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The unearthed Joe Exotic interview about Donald Trump, Oklahoma’s teacher walkout

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Joe Exotic interview
Joe Exotic files paperwork to run for governor at the Oklahoma State Capitol on Wednesday, April 11, 2018. (Tres Savage)

With the release of Tiger King 2 on Netflix this month and a subsequent lawsuit from that woman Carol Baskin, Joe Exotic is back in the 24-minute news cycle. I’m not sure he ever left, despite being incarcerated in federal prison after a 2020 conviction of attempted murder-for-hire and violations of animal welfare laws.

I somewhat famously interviewed Joe Exotic in September 2016 when he had been kicked out of a Donald Trump fundraiser at the home of Hunter Miller, Barry Switzer’s son-in-law.

A year and a half later, I conducted another Joe Exotic interview at the State Capitol on April 11, 2018, near the end of the teacher walkout. Moments before the interview, Exotic had filed to run for governor as a Libertarian, so I asked his thoughts on the historic revenue-raising bill passed just prior to the walkout by the Oklahoma Legislature. (Joe Exotic’s answer was similar to then-candidate Kevin Stitt’s.)

I also asked Joe Exotic whether he was still mad at President Donald Trump, a question that evoked a pretty good one-liner from Oklahoma’s favorited mulleted maniac. It’s too bad I didn’t remember I had this recording when he and his advocates were asking Trump to pardon him last year. Fortunately, Joe recently wrote a letter calling Trump a “fool” for not pardoning him.

So with Joe Exotic once again back in the public eye, what better time could there be to empty my digital notebook into the trashcan of the internet?

You can read a transcription of this Joe Exotic interview below, or you can listen to the 83-second recording, if you want to hear what a human Pall Mall sounds like.



Tres Savage: I’m guessing you recorded a video in front of a bunch of tigers talking about this, but what’s your feeling on the teacher walkout?

Joe Exotic: You know, I support the teachers 100 percent, because the educational system in this state has got to be improved. But we ain’t got to raise taxes to do that, and one thing that I’m against is they raised [the tax on diesel by six cents], and it just costs our own school buses $1.2 million, approximately. They’re robbing Peter to pay Paul. And the smartest thing I’ve seen, at least this morning, is they’re considering consolidating superintendents, and that’s where most of our money needs to come from. But instead of taxing people, I’d like to see us go back to vehicle inspections.

Tres Savage: If you’d have been governor, would you have signed the revenue bill that they passed?

Joe Exotic: No.

Tres Savage: You wouldn’t have signed it? You would have vetoed it?

Joe Exotic: No. I would’ve vetoed the whole thing. 

Tres Savage: Anything else? What’s the message around the state coming to you?

Joe Exotic: Well, we got to hold people accountable, OK? Especially departments like the health department.

Tres Savage: You still mad at Donald Trump?

Joe Exotic: Am I mad at Donald Trump?

Tres Savage: Yeah, you got thrown out of his fundraiser. That’s the second-most viewed video we’ve ever gotten on our YouTube page.

Joe Exotic: Donald Trump’s got some issues. I think instead of draining the swamp, he filled it full of millionaires. But we’re gonna fix Oklahoma — for the people, for a change.

Tres Savage: I appreciate it.

Joe Exotic: Thank you, sir.

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Netflix Confirms February Release Date for Season 2 of Popular Superhero Series

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One of Netflix’s most popular superhero TV shows is finally returning for a second season. Raising Dion, based on the comic by Dennis A. Liu and executive produced by Michael B. Jordan, first debuted on Netflix in 2019 and told the story of a young boy who suddenly develops superpowers, and his mother who tries to help guide him through his new life. The series resonated with audiences and, in early 2020, Netflix announced that it would be bringing the show back for a second season. 

Things have been fairly quiet on the Raising Dion front, but Netflix finally shared some new information on Tuesday morning, revealing the release date for the second season. Raising Dion Season 2, which consists of eight episodes, will debut on Netflix on February 1, 2022. 

Stars Alisha Wainwright and Ja’Siah Young will be returning for Raising Dion Season 2, along with creator Carol Barbee, who will continue to serve as showrunner.

“I started this project many years ago because I wanted to see more diverse representation on film and television and I’m excited to partner with Netflix, who I know shares that commitment,” Liu said in a statement back when the series was first announced. “More than ever, we need more stories told from different points of view and my hope with Raising Dion is to create a cinematic experience for all families that will lift your spirits and make you laugh and cry.”

You can check out the official synopsis for Raising Dion Season 2 below.

“Raising Dion follows the story of Nicole (Alisha Wainwright) and her son Dion (Ja’Siah Young) after Dion starts to manifest several mysterious, superhero-like abilities. Two years after defeating the Crooked Man (Jason Ritter), Season Two follows Dion as he continues honing his powers with the support of his mom and Tevin (Rome Flynn), his Biona trainer who catches Nicole’s eye. After befriending new student Brayden (Griffin Robert Faulkner) – a fellow powered kid – a series of alarming events unfold, and Dion learns that danger is still looming. Navigating twists, turns, and surprise visitors, Dion and Nicole must prevail again — not just to save themselves, but the entire city of Atlanta.”

Are you looking forward to the second season of Raising Dion on Netflix? Were you expecting the new episodes to arrive so early in 2022? Let us know in the comments!

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Trevor Noah blasts Joe Biden’s South Africa travel ban as ‘bulls***’

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Trevor Noah has hit out as President Joe Biden’s ban on travel from South Africa and multiple other countries over the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Last Friday (26 November), the White House announced new rules that restricted travel between the US and several African nations as the virus continued to spread across the region.

Comedian Noah, criticised the decision on The Daily Show. He stated: “As a South African, I think this travel ban is total bulls***.”

He added: “Omicron has already been done in over a dozen countries around the world. We don’t know where it started. We don’t know how long it’s been around. It’s everywhere – from Hong Kong, to Israel, to Spain.”

Noah also slammed the decision to only ban travel between the US and African countries despite the fact the variant has already spread across the globe, including to the UK. Noah said: “Why aren’t you banning travel from all of those countries too? Huh? Only the African countries? I still don’t get the logic. You think Omicron is going to get to Europe and then just decide to stay there?”

He also said that the decision to ban travel between countries will also negatively affect the reporting of new variants of the virus: “You do realise that other countries are paying attention. And they realise that if they’re going to get punished for telling the world about new variants, they’re going to stop telling the world whenever their scientists discover new variants.”

As well as South Africa, Biden’s travel ban affects Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho, Eswatini and Namibia.

South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has also criticised the travel ban. He said there was no scientific basis for the ban and would further damage South Africa’s economy.

Ramaphosa said: “The only thing the prohibition on travel will do is to further damage the economies of the affected countries and undermine their ability to respond to, and recover from, the pandemic.”

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Eric Zemmour, Far-Right Pundit Often Compared to Donald Trump, Running for French Presidency

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Eric Zemmour, a far-right former TV pundit with multiple hate speech convictions, officially announced his candidacy for the French presidency Tuesday.

According to The Associated Press, the author and former journalist has polled in the low double digits since September despite having no hands-on political experience. Many have compared him to former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Zemmour made the candidacy announcement with a pre-recorded video filled with far-right anti-immigration and anti-Islam sentiments. In the video, Zemmour, reading from notes and speaking into a microphone, said France is “in the process of disappearing” due to immigration.

“You feel that you are no longer in the country that you knew,” Zemmour said. “Your feel like foreigners in your own country. You are exiles, from the inside.”

The video’s messaging was clear, showing mostly white men making honest livings as teachers and business leaders, while people of color were shown lining up for food and in tent cities filled with litter.

Then Zemmour warned supporters to be ready for the campaign ahead, saying they could face backlash for supporting him.

“They will tell you that you are racist,” he said. “They will say the worst things about me.”

Current French President Emmanuel Macron’s interior minister, Gerald Darmanin, called the video “absolutely revolting.”

Macron is expected to run in the April election for a second term, though he has not announced his candidacy yet.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Eric Zemmour, far-right
Far-right political talk-show star Eric Zemmour has officially entered the race for France’s presidency, having already shaken it up with his anti-immigration, anti-Islam invective. Above, Zemmour acknowledges applauses as he arrived on stage during a meeting to promote his latest book “La France n’a pas dit son dernier mot” (France has not yet said its last word) in Versailles, west of Paris, Oct. 19.
Michel Euler, File/AP Photo

The launch of Eric Zemmour’s run for the presidency made official a candidacy that had been gathering steam for months before it then stumbled of late — notably after the 63-year-old raised a middle finger at a woman who did likewise to him over the weekend.

That flash of temper — which Zemmour later acknowledged on Twitter was “very inelegant” — cast fresh doubt on his temperament and electability.

Name-dropping Joan of Arc, Napoléon Bonaparte, Gen. Charles de Gaulle and others who shaped France’s history, Zemmour announced his candidacy for the election in a pre-recorded video. The pose evoked imagery of radio addresses that De Gaulle famously delivered during World War II, urging France to rally against Nazi Germany.

But the message Zemmour delivered was steeped in far-right thinking and language and far from that of the wartime leader who later served as president from 1959-1969.

The people that Zemmour was shown meeting in the video and the campaign supporters and crowds filmed at his rallies were nearly all white. And the vast majority of people shown doing jobs in the video — a mathematics teacher, a nuclear worker, cooks, suited business leaders, a butcher, a cattle farmer and others — were nearly all white men.

People of color, in contrast, were shown lining up for food handouts, pushing into a crowded train, milling around in a litter-strewn tent city and on a street corner and, in a scene at the start, seemingly taking part in a street deal. Other images showed Paris streets filled with Muslims kneeling down in prayer. Images of women protesting, some with breasts bared, were cut with violent scenes of people attacking police.

“It is no longer time to reform France but to save it,” Zemmour said. “That is why I have decided to stand in the presidential election.”

Zemmour joins a crowded spectrum of candidates, from far-left to far right. Polls have for months given Macron a sizeable but not impregnable lead over Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader roundly beaten by Macron in the presidential run-off in 2017. The 2022 campaign seemed likely to be a sequel of that battle before Zemmour started siphoning off Le Pen supporters.

The campaign launch video left many questions unanswered about Zemmour’s election platform. He didn’t mention France’s resurgent coronavirus pandemic, which has so far killed 119,000 people. He spoke of creating jobs, building France’s industries and reducing its debts but didn’t say how.

The group SOS Racisme said Zemmour’s video demonstrated “pathological racism.”

Eric Zemmour, French president candidate
Eric Zemmour announced his French presidential candidacy in a video attempting to evoke imagery of Charles de Gaulle’s famous WWII radio addresses. Above, Zemmour delivers a speech to announce his candidacy in a video broadcast on social media, on Nov. 3 in Paris.
Photo by Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images
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