Ruthless podcast plays 'Dem or Journo' based on reactions of Texas voting bill saga

Media top headlines July 13

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith admitting he ‘screwed up’ on his Shohei Ohtani comments, reporters and Democrats blaming US embargo for protests in Cuba, and an MSNBC host claiming ‘there’s a lot’ national Democrats can learn from fleeing Texas Democrats round out today’s headlines

The conservative podcast “Ruthless” played a new round of “Dem or Journo” based on the recent coverage of the GOP-backed Texas election reform bill. 

On Tuesday’s “variety progrum,” hosts Comfortably Smug and Josh Holmes faced off in a game involving the two having to decipher which of the following four statements, provided by Michael Duncan, was said by a Democratic operative versus members of the media, this time focusing on the legislation that has been halted by Texas Democratic state lawmakers, who fled the Lone Star state in order to prevent the passing of the Republican bill. 

Statement #1: “With the national political spotlight on Texas’ efforts to further restrict voting, the Democratic exodus offers them a platform to continue pleading with Congress.”

Statement #2: “Texas Democratic lawmakers are walking out to break quorum in defense of voting rights in Texas and block further consideration of anti-voter bills.”

Statement #3: “This is the second time that Democratic lawmakers have walked out in protest of the bill. The first time, it forced Texas Republicans to shelve their plan to pass new voting restrictions in the state, which already has some of the most onerous voting restrictions in the country.”

Statement #4: “The bill in Texas is among the most expansive and sweeping efforts to restrict voting in a state that already ranks as one of the most difficult in the country cast a ballot.”

“The talkers are out,” Holmes reacted. 

Smug cited advice from Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, a previous participant in “Dem or Journo” game show, which was that the “completely shameless” comments definitely came from journalists. 

“A few of these were like zero dignity, which like a Dem operative would have some self-respect, journos have none,” Smug explained. 

While Smug kept his ballot-casting “secret,” Holmes ruled out the first statement by pointing to the use of the word “spotlight” as a tell that it’s a journo. 

“Ordinarily, I would fall in, say, No. 2 is my pick, ordinarily because ‘anti-voter’ – like to actually get that by an editor- ‘anti-voter,'” Holmes explained before narrowing his pick down to either the third or fourth statements, which he declared were “narrative-setting.” 

Despite calling the second statement the “obvious” choice, Holmes went with the fourth statement while Smug went with the second one, which was ultimately the correct answer. 

“I’ve got to hand it to the selection committee,” Holmes reacted. “This might be the best one we’ve seen because I think that you can make a very valid argument- two, three or four and one’s outrageous in its own right.”

Duncan revealed that the first statement came from the Texas Tribune, the second came from the joint statement from the Texas Democratic state lawmakers, the third came from Vice News and the fourth came from The New York Times. 

“The Times! Unbelievable,” Holmes exclaimed. “How that gets past the editorial suite, I’ll never know.”

“It’s because the editorial suite at the New York Times is their Slack now… That’s who calling the shots,” Smug quipped. 

Ruthless later released an “emergency pod” mocking the Texas Democrats who fled their home state between their eyebrow-raising tweets, their botched-singing of “We Shall Overcome” in Washington D.C. and their upcoming meeting with Vice President Kamala Harris.

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