In This Episode
- Six people – including three young children – were killed in a shooting at an elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee. Police say the shooter, a 28 year-old, was a former student, and was armed with two assault rifles and a handgun.
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to pause a plan to overhaul the country’s judicial system until the next parliamentary session next month. The decision comes amid widespread protests against the reforms, which critics say undermine Israel’s democracy.
- And in headlines: millions of transportation workers in Germany walked off the job, Hungary’s parliament overwhelmingly voted to allow Finland to join NATO, and North Carolina-based First Citizens Bank & Trust agreed to take over Silicon Valley Bank.
- Trans Journalists Association: TJA statement on the Covenant School Shooting – https://trans-journalists-association.ghost.io/
- What A Day – YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/@whatadaypodcast
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Josie Duffy Rice: It’s Tuesday, March 28th. I’m Josie Duffy Rice.
Tre’vell Anderson: And I’m Tre’vell Anderson. And this is What A Day where we are simply eating up Emily Ratajkowski’s post-divorce hijinks.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, life is too short not to go on a date with Pete Davidson, spend Valentine’s with Eric Andre and make out with Harry Styles in Tokyo.
Tre’vell Anderson: Eat, pray, love walked so Emrata could run. [music break]
Josie Duffy Rice: On today’s show, a huge transportation strike brought Germany to a standstill. Plus, the house of mouse started its first rounds of layoffs.
Tre’vell Anderson: But first, one of the deadliest school shootings in Tennessee’s history took place yesterday. This is still a developing story. So I’ll just go over what we know as we go to record Monday night. Six people were killed at an elementary school in Nashville called Covenant Presbyterian Church School. It served preschool through sixth grade. The victims names are nine year olds Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney. Katherine Koonce, age 60, was the school’s principal. And Cynthia Peak and Mike Hill were both age 61. Hill was a school custodian and Peak was a substitute teacher.
Josie Duffy Rice: It’s just so, so tragic. This has had me heartbroken all day. What do we know so far about the shooter?
Tre’vell Anderson: Information around this shooter, super complex based on a number of reasons, which I’ll get to shortly. The shooting suspect was killed at the scene by police. They were identified as a 28 year old Nashville resident. They apparently were a former student at the school and was heavily armed with three total weapons. Two were AR style and the third was a handgun. Two of those three weapons were legally obtained in the Nashville area. Now I’ll be using they/them pronouns for the shooter, because right now there are reports that the shooter was trans and might have used he/him pronouns, even though the shooter has been identified as a woman by police. However, the shooter identified, though, will be important, as a number of reports have already noted that following the initial police reports, it is rare for a woman to commit a mass shooting. All of that is according to data from the Violence Project, which maintains a national database of mass shootings dating back to 1966.
Josie Duffy Rice: Wow.
Tre’vell Anderson: In a data set of theirs of 172 mass shootings, which the group defines as involving four or more victims. Only four assailants were women or girls. In two cases, women acted alongside a man. The shooter’s potential trans identity, though, has led to some questioning what their motive could be. And there were some writings discovered at their home, which the police chief called a manifesto, as well as maps of the school detailing the route that they intended to take. But again, a motive has not yet been released.
Josie Duffy Rice: So obviously, this shooting is going to put the issue of gun violence back in the headlines. What are the elected saying right now? What’s coming down from the Biden administration? What’s the response been like?
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah, so President Biden is basically saying what he has said numerous times at this point, Right. In a press conference, he said, quote, “We have to do more to stop gun violence. It’s ripping our communities apart. I call on Congress again to pass my assault weapons ban.” But a clip I want to be sure to play is from a bystander in Nashville named Ashby Beasley. They actually are a survivor of the Highland Park shooting that took place last summer over the July 4th weekend. And they jumped in at the end of a police news conference with this to say.
[clip of Ashby Beasley] Aren’t you guys tired of covering this? Aren’t you guys tired of being here and having to cover all of these mass shootings? I’m from Highland Park, Illinois. My son and I survived a mass shooting over the summer. I am in Tennessee on a family vacation with my son visiting my sister in law. I have been lobbying in D.C. since we survived a mass shooting in July. I have met with over 130 lawmakers. How is this still happening? How are our children still dying? And why are we failing them? These shootings and these mass shootings will continue to happen until our lawmakers step up and pass gun safety legislation. Aren’t you guys tired of this? Are you guys sick of it? We have to do something. We’ll all have to call our lawmakers and we all have to make our lawmakers make change now or this is going to keep happening and it’s going to be your kid and your kid and your kid and your kid next.
Josie Duffy Rice: Just absolutely devastating and just a real testament to the pain and the just trauma that so many people who have endured these shootings have been through. That is just going basically unheard by their government. Truly unimaginable. If I didn’t live here, I wouldn’t believe it. So it’s worth noting that we don’t have all the facts, and this is only what we know at this point. Right. But what we also know is that Republicans are going to use this tragedy to perpetuate more hate against the trans and gender non-binary community, especially in Tennessee, which recently just passed the drag bill. Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm.
Josie Duffy Rice: It’s been particularly brutal in Tennessee. We can see right now this will be a political moment about gender.
Tre’vell Anderson: It will.
Josie Duffy Rice: And it will not actually be a political moment about guns.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah.
Josie Duffy Rice: That is quite devastating to think about when we think about what the next few weeks hold at least.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely.
Josie Duffy Rice: So now moving on to another story we’ve covered on this show before. We’ve talked a bit about what’s going on in Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been pushing a plan to overhaul the country’s judicial system despite widespread protests. We mentioned on yesterday’s show that Netanyahu had fired Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who was the first member of his cabinet, to speak out against the overhaul. So our newest update is that on Monday, Netanyahu agreed to put a pause on the overhaul plan until the next parliament session, which is kind of a big deal and then like not a big deal at all. It’s unclear what that really means in practice, but it’s certainly a sign that he recognizes that this is an unpopular plan. Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. Also interesting to do the pause after you have fired that man.
Josie Duffy Rice: Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: I hope he gets his job back. Maybe. I don’t know.
Josie Duffy Rice: It is really wild that you fire someone on Sunday for saying you should do this. And then on Monday, you do that thing.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah.
Josie Duffy Rice: You know.
Tre’vell Anderson: It’s interesting to say the least.
Josie Duffy Rice: It’s interesting.
Tre’vell Anderson: But can you give us a quick recap of what’s been going on that led us to this particular point?
Josie Duffy Rice: This has been what has been called one of the most dramatic periods in Israel’s history. Basically, Netanyahu’s administration, which the Israeli newspaper Haaretz describes as far right, ultra religious, and ultra nationalist, has been trying to push legislation through Israel’s Knesset, their parliament, in other words. The legislation would cause a drastic change in the balance of power in Israel and would seriously, seriously weaken the Supreme Court in the country. And therefore, it would also give like basically unlimited powers to Netanyahu’s government. This is according to Haaretz as well.
Tre’vell Anderson: Which is not good. I think that’s objectively true.
Josie Duffy Rice: Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: From everyone who’s looking at this, it’s not good to be further consolidating, you know, this type of power.
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, it’s never good when a country’s leader is like, hey, I’m going to try to make sure I have as much power as I want. And you can never tell me no. Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah.
Josie Duffy Rice: That’s not a good sign. It turns out that many Israelis also find this to be concerning. There have been protests for months, which hundreds of thousands of Israelis have engaged in. And it’s not just protest in the street. Thousands of members of the country’s army, including soldiers and officers, have said that they will not show up for duty if the legislation passes, including, quote, “hundreds of combat pilots, cyber intelligence unit reservists and veterans of the special forces.”
Tre’vell Anderson: And this is presumably why the defense minister, I would imagine, spoke out, right?
Josie Duffy Rice: Yeah, I think that’s worth noting. Right. The defense minister said he was basically worried about the effect this was having on national security. Wasn’t like a principled rejection of the actual legislation and still got fired. Israel is seen by many both inside the country and outside as this very progressive democracy. I think reasonable minds could disagree with that assessment and certainly Palestinians would disagree with this idea of Israel as a truly progressive democratic state. But my point is that this legislation is such an aggressive move on Netanyahu’s part because it’s such a naked power grab. It’s right there for everybody to see. It’s pretty brazen. And the response from him and his government in the months since has been extremely uncompromising and unapologetic, like not budging an inch. So the fact that Netanyahu has even pressed pause is meaningful. It’s kind of a political concession, but it certainly doesn’t mean that this is over. In fact, probably the opposite.
Tre’vell Anderson: Right. So what exactly did Netanyahu say? Did he admit this was unpopular legislation, did he admit he made mistakes or overstepped? Did he take any accountability in this situation at all?
Josie Duffy Rice: No. He needs to go to the accountability workshop that I recommend people. Got to go to your accountability workshop because this man is not being accountable. He basically said he was ordering a, quote, “timeout”. And once again, he criticized the protesters. He said, quote, “One thing I am not willing to accept. There are a minority of extremists who are willing to tear our country to shreds, escorting us to civil war and calling for refusal of Army service, which is a terrible crime.” Netanyahu is also doing this Putin Trump thing, which in fairness, is not exclusive to the three of them. It’s kind of a politician special, but the three of them are pretty aggressive about it, where they claim something is popular when it is clearly not. Polls show anywhere from two thirds to three quarters of Israelis do not support this legislation. And Netanyahu’s out here talking about a minority this a minority that, small number of X, Y, and Z. That’s not what the numbers show. Right?
Tre’vell Anderson: Right. So now what? What happens next here?
Josie Duffy Rice: This really just delays the legislation like a month or so. It is not over. Basically, Netanyahu blinked. That’s the best way, I think, to frame it. But he has not backed down. In fact, he’s probably [?] and more. And in the meantime, Israeli police are brutally attacking protesters. Reports say Arabs and Palestinians are being mercilessly beaten by right wing protesters and by the police. Netanyahu and his people are still really trying to do this overhaul and keep as much power as they can. So, you know, it’s not over. It’s certainly not over. As always, we’ll keep you updated on all of this as it unfolds. And we’ll be right back after some ads. [music break].
Tre’vell Anderson: Let’s get to some headlines.
Tre’vell Anderson: Millions of transportation workers in Germany walked off the job yesterday, becoming the biggest strike in that country since 1992. Germany’s largest transportation worker unions launched the 24 hour walkout as a warning to their employers, who they say have yet to offer them an acceptable pay raise. And it brought the country’s transit system to a standstill, leaving millions of air, bus and train passengers stranded nationwide. The massive strike is part of a larger wave of work stoppages across Europe amid high rates of inflation that have driven up the cost of living across the continent. Germany in particular has been hit especially hard. Inflation there is more than 9% higher than last year, in part because it cut ties with Russia, its longtime oil supplier, following the invasion of Ukraine. German workers, unions, and their employers will return to the bargaining table to negotiate a wage increase. If an agreement isn’t reached by tomorrow, it could trigger another round of strikes.
Josie Duffy Rice: Finland just got another step closer to joining NATO after Hungary’s parliament overwhelmingly voted in favor of having the Nordic country join the alliance. The only thing standing in the way is Turkey. The only NATO country that has yet to approve Finland’s membership. Turkey is expected to give its consent, but things look less certain for Sweden’s bid to join the alliance. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants Sweden to extradite a group of suspected Kurdish militants first. Erdogan claims they’re quote unquote, “terrorists” plotting to overthrow his government. And he’s expected to delay Sweden’s application until NATO’s upcoming summit in July. Finland and Sweden both applied to join NATO at the same time last year in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Tre’vell Anderson: The FDIC has found a buyer for Silicon Valley Bank. North Carolina based First Citizens Bank and Trust agreed to take over most of what’s left of the failed California bank, including its existing deposits and loans, and will now run its 17 branches. That means that as of yesterday, anyone who still has money in Silicon Valley Bank is now automatically a First Citizens customer. Meanwhile, officials with the FDIC, the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve are all expected to testify before the Senate Banking Committee today about the Silicon Valley Bank fiasco and how it cost the government an estimated $20 billion dollars to protect its insured deposits alone.
Josie Duffy Rice: A lot of money.
Tre’vell Anderson: Oh, yes.
Josie Duffy Rice: From Disney plus to Disney minus. On Monday, Disney began its first phase of layoffs as the company plans to reduce its workforce by 7000 employees before the summer. CEO Bob Iger confirmed in a companywide email that the first wave would begin this week, followed by a second more aggressive cut next month. As of last October, Disney boasted a global workforce of about 220,000 people, 166,000 of whom are based in the United States. The layoffs were first announced last month in an effort to save the company about $5.5 billion dollars and are expected to affect all levels and departments at Disney. I have to say I reject this. I see the videos of these people at Disney World where it costs a gazillion dollars to get in. I personally must spend a billion dollars on Disney related things a year in this house alone. Okay. How could these people not have money? It’s insulting to me personally.
Tre’vell Anderson: I’m not a Disney mom, but–
Josie Duffy Rice: Don’t recommend it.
Tre’vell Anderson: –you’re not wrong. And finally, it’s shaping up to be quite the summer for fans of white women who do the good singing. Okay. And, you know, it’s a very finite list. We can talk about the list later. But in this moment, we’re talking about Kelly Clarkson and Adele, who have both announced new dates for residencies in America’s live entertainment capital, Las Vegas, Nevada. Adele, who was initially scheduled to take the stage for the final performance of her much attended Caesars Palace residency last Saturday, announced 34 more performances that will begin June 16th, ending November 4th. The singer also teased an upcoming concert film for her fans who won’t be able to see her show in person. Meanwhile, down the street at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, Kelly Clarkson will open her new show titled Chemistry: An Intimate Night with Kelly Clarkson, in late July with dates continuing into August. From one American Idol to another, oh, yes, Kelly, I will definitely be seeing you because you deserve and I stan and we adopted you in the race trade a few years ago.
Josie Duffy Rice: We sure did.
Tre’vell Anderson: And so, you know, you are a honorary one of ours.
Josie Duffy Rice: Not just a few like 20 years ago.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah.
Josie Duffy Rice: This is half of our lives.
Tre’vell Anderson: Since American Idol. Honestly right? Like.
Josie Duffy Rice: Since American Idol, since the beginning. [laughter] I will be there in Vegas. Kelly, we are available to sing with you. We’re available to just attend. Just send us tickets, first ten rows preferably.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. You know what, Josie? I think we need to do our first live podcast of What A Day.
Josie Duffy Rice: Love it.
Tre’vell Anderson: From the front seats of the Kelly Clarkson experience. That’s what I’ve renamed–
Josie Duffy Rice: Love it.
Tre’vell Anderson: –the residency. [laughter]
Josie Duffy Rice: I love it. You will hear the good, the bad, and the ugly about the news. Straight from behind my hazel eyes.
Tre’vell Anderson: Period.
Josie Duffy Rice: Period. And those are the headlines.
Josie Duffy Rice: That’s all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe, leave a review. Wait a lifetime for a moment like this and tell your friends to listen.
Tre’vell Anderson: And if you’re into reading and not just terrifying companywide memos from Bob Iger like me. What A Day is also a nightly newsletter, check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
Josie Duffy Rice: I’m Josie Duffy Rice.
[spoken together] And do you Emrata.
Tre’vell Anderson: Listen, what a person does post-divorce is their business.
Josie Duffy Rice: Ugh. I know.
Tre’vell Anderson: And we should all be minding our own.
Josie Duffy Rice: Unless it’s to admire [laughter] how much energy this woman has. I’m amazed. I love it. I support it.
Tre’vell Anderson: We love to see it. Okay. [laughter] [music break] What A Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz. Raven Yamamoto is our associate producer. Our head writer is Jocey Coffman and our executive producer is Lita Martinez. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.