In the May 7 episode of HBO’s Veep titled “Justice,” former President Selina Meyers (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) attends the funeral for fictitious Supreme Court Justice Tenny and takes a swipe at a Supreme Court decision. The episode also perfectly illustrates how a cable news station (in this case CNN) can run with a rumor whether it is based in truth or not, aka fake news.
As Selina leaves the funeral, reporters flock to her for a statement. She gives them one, saying the Justice was “a friend to all people, especially corporations, who he legally considered to be people.” That was a shot at a real SCOTUS decision in 2014 on religious freedom – “that for-profit corporations can be exempt from providing certain contraceptives to their employees if providing coverage for those products conflicts with the corporation's religious beliefs. The Court's opinion affirmed the principle that corporations are people and therefore like people, have constitutionally protected religious liberty.” It’s commonly called the Hobby Lobby decision.
Gary: Do you want a juice box?
Selina: Where was that an hour ago?
Amy: We have a lead on a site for your library. Eastern Shore of Maryland. If it was any more Kennedy-esque, it would drive you into the ocean.
Selina: Eastern Shore, very classy. Fittingly, I lost my back-virginity in Assateague.
Richard: I once lost my wallet in Denver.
Amy: We need a down payment of five mil.
Richard: Ma'am, Tanz at 2:00.
Richard: No, ma'am, you have a meeting with Tanz at 2:00.
Selina: Oh, thank you very much, Richard.
Reporters: President Meyer! President Meyer! Can we get a few words about the late Justice Tenny?
Selina: Absolutely. He was a friend to all people, especially corporations, who he legally considered to be people.
Reporter: Thank you.
Nice shot at Ted Kennedy there, too!
Meanwhile, as Selina delivers her statement, spokesman Mike (Matt Walsh) is asked if there is any truth in the rumor that Selina is up for consideration to fill the vacancy. The rumor came out of the blue but Mike, inept as always, confirms that yes, she is being considered for the appointment. CNN reporters run with it and the network carries the story as if it is truth. LOL!
Needless to say, Selina doesn’t get the nomination to the Supreme Court, though she began to believe the hype as CNN continued to take her as a serious contender. It was a perfect illustration of the danger of 24/7 cable news when the story is flat-out wrong but promoted for ratings anyway. #FakeNews