Ziwe’s long-awaited interview with former member of Congress George Santos has arrived and it is simultaneously ridiculous, enlightening, and entirely unsettling.
If this is your first interaction with George Santos (can I move under the rock where you live? please?), George/Anthony/Kitara is a former, recently-expelled Republican congressman who dabbles in drag yet has never heard of Marsha P. Johnson, James Baldwin or Harvey Milk. He knows exactly how much attention he can get right now and is eager to cash in on any opportunity to increase his goodwill among the voters he very recently swindled.
Acutely aware of the fine line her interview is walking, Ziwe makes it abundantly clear she knows Santos’ game.
Throughout the 17-minute interview, she proceeds to read him for filth on everything from his haphazard use of slang to his lies about family origins and designer purchases. She also inquires about our main collective curiosity: when will he just go TF away?
From the inside thoughts Santos said out loud to the truly concerning statements he seems to think are logical, here’s everything you need to know from the disgraced former congressman’s time with Ziwe.
He compares himself to Rosa Parks because he… owns a picture of her:
“Rosa Parks, believe it or not, is one of my favorite political figures… I had a portrait of her in my office, I think that speaks for itself.”
Does it? Because I still have questions, starting with: how did a portrait of Rosa Parks inspire you in your congressional office given the fact that every day you chose to align yourself with the farthest-right wing faction of the Republican party who have tried to undermine democracy by stifling the voices of Black voters? Please explain your thinking.
On his most beloved civil rights icons:
You would think Kitara Ravache herself would pay homage to the LGBTQ+ trailblazers who came before her, no? No.
Z: Can I list civil rights icons and you tell me what they mean to you? Marsha P. Johnson.
G: Very respectful and honorable person. Keep going.
Z: Respectful and honorable in what way?
G: On all the stances and all the work.
Z: Marsha P Johnson?!
Z: What does that mean??
G: Just keep going, next.
Z: You don’t know her
G: Yah I do, keep going.
Z: Do you?G: I do yah, just go, just keep going.
Z: James Baldwin
G: Who the hell is James Baldwin?
Z: Harvey Milk.
G: I have no clue who that is.
On that time he appeared with a random baby:
You may remember that earlier this year George Santos was seen holding a mystery baby in the halls of Congress. When asked if it was his, Santos said “not yet.” He tells Ziwe he meant that he’s not ready to be a parent yet and it was a staffer’s baby. She accuses him of using the baby as a prop to which he says, “I was taking the baby to introduce him to another member of congress.” Because the baby needs to be networking? Is it the latest intern?
On his analysis of Gen Z:
Santos said that he “loves Gen Z progressives because they’re the future and they need to slay the boots house down in the future so that this country can stay functional.” In case you briefly thought, “oh, George is a progressive in disguise!” rest assured he also said Gen Z loves Donald Trump because he’s an “icon.” As a Gen Z progressive, I take so much offense.
Anyways, he doesn’t even know what that statement means:
Z: What does “slay the boots house down” mean?
G: Conquer everything.
Z: Is that what that means? That’s not what that means.
On his Hermes purchases:
So what about those pesky purchases that got him fired?
“I don’t actually own Hermes stuff. Other than the cologne, that’s all I wear from Hermes. Oh no and the bracelet.”
He then proceeds to hold out his wrist which is donning an Hermes bracelet he claims was a gift from his husband.
On alleged fraudsters:
When asked who else in Congress he might consider to be committing fraud, Santos suggested the halls of his former workplace are full of secrets, though he demurred on the details.
Who does the Fraud King still respect?
- Woman-who-has-never-spoken-a-fact-in-her-life Marjorie Taylor Greene
- Insurrectionist-sympathizer Matt Gaetz.
Ugh, so now what?
Ziwe concludes her interview with an unsettling question: is internet culture enabling George Santos?
Z: Are you like Tinkerbell? If we stopped clapping would you disappear?
Z: You wouldn’t?
Z: What could we do to get you to go away?
G: Stop inviting me to your gigs.
Z: So no Dancing With The Stars?
Z: No RuPaul’s Drag Race?
G: I haven’t gotten that invite yet, I’d love to go read a bitch.
Z: The lesson is to stop inviting you places.
G: But you can’t, because people want the content.
In some ways, he’s right – I can’t look away from George Santos and based on the millions of views his Cameos are getting on TikTok, I’m not alone. He has no self-awareness and very clearly does not know what he is saying half the time. Laughing at him is funny.
The danger is that he is a far-right Republican who is facing 23 felony charges and has quite literally nothing left to lose. He is still defending his former colleagues Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz. He calls Rosa Parks his favorite political figure, but supports a political party that wants to undo all of her work. He is a gay man who has dressed in drag and uses terms that stem from Black and LGBTQ+ communities yet supports the criminalization of drag. He lied his way into a congressional seat while (allegedly) stealing thousands of dollars from his constituents. Somehow nobody did a background check on him until he had already won an election that gave Republicans control of the House by a very narrow margin. All of that should be taken seriously.
There is no doubt in my mind that George Santos is a very dumb man. I also think he is addicted to the grift and recognizes his 15 minutes of fame for what it is. Ziwe’s interview opens with title cards saying he received no money for the interview, despite him asking…three times. According to George, he has already made more money on Cameo than he did during his entire time in Congress. Now he’s developing a memoir.
Our main takeaway from the interview is simply to watch more of Ziwe and less of George. Without further adieu, it’s time for George Santos’ 15 minutes to be up.
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