In This Episode
- Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history, passed away on Thursday. She was 96 years old. Kristen Meinzer, the cohost of Newsweek’s Royal Report podcast, joins us to discuss what made the queen such an important figure on the world stage.
- And in headlines: Nevada police arrested a county official in the fatal stabbing of a Las Vegas reporter, the U.S. announced a new $2.8 billion military aid package for Ukraine, and Steve Bannon was indicted for his alleged role in the “We Build the Wall” scheme.
- Newsweek: The Royal Report – https://www.newsweek.com/podcasts/the-royal-report
- Vote Save America: Fuck Bans Action Plan – https://votesaveamerica.com/roe/
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For a transcript of this episode, please visit crooked.com/whataday
Tre’vell Anderson: It’s Friday, September 9th. I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
Priyanka Aribindi: And I’m Priyanka Aribindi. And this is What A Day where on behalf of the whole country we are inviting the British Royal Family to be our colonial overlords again for just one day.
Tre’vell Anderson: But only if they give Meghan Markle her title.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah.
Tre’vell Anderson: Her rightful place on the throne.
Priyanka Aribindi: We only want Meghan listen. No King Charles for us. Sorry.
Tre’vell Anderson: No thank you.
Priyanka Aribindi: Not about that. No, siree. [music break]
Tre’vell Anderson: On today’s show, a government official has been charged in the stabbing death of a Las Vegas journalist. Plus, the Justice Department appealed the decision to appoint a special master to review documents taken from Mar-a-Lago.
Priyanka Aribindi: But first, yesterday at 6:30 in the evening local time, the BBC announced the end of an era for the United Kingdom.
[clip of Hugh Edwards] A few moments ago, Buckingham Palace announced the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the second. The palace has just issued this statement. It says the queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.
Priyanka Aribindi: That was the BBC’s Hugh Edwards announcing the passing of Queen Elizabeth the second. It came down hours after she was placed under medical supervision and her family rushed to Balmoral Castle, the royal family’s summer home in Scotland, to be by her side. She was 96 years old.
Tre’vell Anderson: Any death at any point is bad and like a moment of grief and reflection for so many people.
Priyanka Aribindi: Right.
Tre’vell Anderson: But 96 years old, baby, that’s a long, long life.
Priyanka Aribindi: A long life and an incredibly long reign.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. She reigned for 70 years, making her Britain’s longest reigning monarch. And while the British crown has a complicated legacy and complicated, obviously is putting–
Priyanka Aribindi: Certainly do.
Tre’vell Anderson: –it a little light.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yup.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. She was one of the most recognizable people in the world.
Priyanka Aribindi: For the next few days, memorials will be held in her honor. Her son and heir, Charles, is now King Charles the third. He is expected to speak publicly today for the first time since her passing.
Tre’vell Anderson: And yesterday I spoke to Kristin Meinzer, co-host of Newsweek’s Royal Report podcast. She’s followed the royal family for years. I started by asking what made Queen Elizabeth such an important figure on the world stage.
Kristin Meinzer: Queen Elizabeth was, in my opinion, in a lot of people’s opinions, more than the queen, more than a head of state. I don’t know of another person on her level as far as when we think of icons. And she was very much a stabilizing force for her nation. And I know for a fact that even a lot of people who are anti-monarchist still had respect for her, even if they didn’t really have respect for the monarchy because she was there for so long. She had seen so much. She was not just our queen or our children’s queen, but also our grandparents queen and in some cases, our great great grandparents queen. And lest we forget, she was not even supposed to be queen in the first place, if not for her Uncle Edward abdicating. She never would have even been in direct line to be the Queen. And her father dying so young made her have to take to the throne at a very young age, too. So she, pretty much for her entire adult life, took on this role with great dedication, even though she wasn’t supposed to when she was first born. And she did it in a way that none of the royal family since has been able to do it for the most part, avoiding scandal, for the most part, coming off as apolitical, for the most part not playing her cards, but peacefully meeting with heads of state all over the world, peacefully working with the prime ministers to transition from one to the other, 15 of them. Plus, she’s met with 14 presidents of the US. And for a lot of people, she defines what Britishness is to the rest of the world.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. So what comes next? As far as succession goes, Prince Charles will become king. But how, in your estimation, will this affect other members of the royal family?
Kristin Meinzer: We can’t overlook how big of a deal it is, Charles becoming king because he is the longest heir apparent in all of UK history, possibly all of world history. He has been sitting in the wings for a long time to do this and is not very popular. He’s not stepping into this role with a lot of people celebrating, unfortunately. And he has hinted in the past that he wants more of a streamlined monarchy. He doesn’t necessarily want there to be pomp and circumstance for everybody who is the first 25 people in line for the throne. So I’ll be curious to see if he succeeds in streamlining things. But I’ll also be curious to see if he’s capable of modernizing and speaking about the things that really need to be spoken about, things that the Queen really tiptoed around or just didn’t address entirely, and talks more openly about things like racism. Up until now, really the most he has done is he has said that slavery was abhorrent. But that’s like saying the sky is blue. Duh. That’s obvious.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm.
Kristin Meinzer: Is he going to be more vocal about these things?
Tre’vell Anderson: I mean, and we also know that he’s coming into this role at a point where the UK is having a period of economic uncertainty as many other countries right now, among other things. What are you hearing from people there about what that future outlook looks like under Charles?
Kristin Meinzer: Under Charles there are a few things that some people are very much looking forward to because he is an environmentalist. He is somebody who, long before it was actually being talked about widely, was talking about how can we make sure that all of our properties are more eco friendly? But even though he does that to a certain extent, it’s also hard to look at this person who lives in castles and wears crowns.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm.
Kristin Meinzer: And travels all over the world to look at him and say, do you really care about the environment? And when he speaks about the needs of all the people, does he have any idea of what it’s like for all the people? Because he was born in a palace. He also profits off of the people too. He is a landlord and there are tax dollars and so on that go to support the crown. And even in the ways that the royal family says, oh, we accept very little from the public, we mostly rely on what we already have in the coffers. How did they get what’s in those coffers? The royal family was instrumental back in the day in the transatlantic slave trade.
Tre’vell Anderson: My last question for you. Obviously, as you’ve already mentioned, the United Kingdom will be experiencing and moving through what this means. But I also know that Americans also recognize the queen, right, as this icon of culture. I’d just love to hear you speak a little bit about why you think Americans are so involved and concerned and in love with the queen as well.
Kristin Meinzer: Well, I think we’ve always had a very special relationship with Britain. Lets not forget, we were a part of Britain when this nation started and we broke away from them. But I think we also have always had a fascination with them as this is where we came from. Our language, a lot of our culture comes from that, whether it has to do with pop culture or policy, how we do things. There are a lot of similarities there. And also we can’t overlook the role that pop culture plays in shaping our ideas about fantasy, about love, about princesses are inspired by the British Royal family. And also, we have to mention that Americans have been directly and indirectly a part of that family off and on for years. I’m not just talking about Meghan Markle either. Princess Diana, her great grandmother, was an American. Also we’ve just rubbed elbows with them. We’ve been friends with them. We walk the same red carpets as them. And there’s a fine line in some cases between royalty and celebrity.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mmm hmm.
Kristin Meinzer: Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference and it’s hard to separate the two.
Tre’vell Anderson: That was my conversation with Kristin Meinzer. She is the co-host of Newsweek’s Royal Report.
Priyanka Aribindi: And for more on this, be sure to check out Pod Save The World’s bonus episode on the Queen’s passing. It dropped yesterday. That is the latest for now. [music break] Let’s get to some headlines.
Tre’vell Anderson: A man was charged with first degree murder yesterday in connection to a series of shootings that left four people dead and three others injured in Memphis, Tennessee. According to police, the violence started early Wednesday morning and spanned across at least eight crime scenes throughout the day. And the shooter allegedly livestreamed at least one of his attacks on Facebook before he was arrested. Police identified the shooter on Thursday as a 19 year old who was released from prison earlier this year after serving time for aggravated assault. Investigators did not identify a motive for the attacks. The suspect is set to appear in court today, but prosecutors are expected to file more felony charges against him.
Priyanka Aribindi: Nevada police arrested a county official on Wednesday in connection to the fatal stabbing of a Las Vegas reporter. Jeff German was an investigative journalist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and was found dead outside of his home on Saturday. Authorities were investigating whether his death had anything to do with his work, focused on Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles, who became a person of interest early on. German published several stories that were critical of Telles and detailed alleged wrongdoing within his office. Police said Telles matched the description of the suspect in a surveillance photo and Telles’s DNA came back as a match from the sample recovered from the crime scene. Oh, my god. The investigation is still ongoing. German’s family released a statement yesterday saying, quote, “We look forward to seeing justice done in this case”.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a surprise visit to Kiev on Thursday to announce a new $2.8 billion dollar military aid package for Ukraine. That brings the total amount of financial assistance the U.S. has given to Ukraine to $13.5 billion dollars. It comes as Ukraine begins its counter-offensive efforts against Russian forces in the southern and eastern regions of the country. And Blinken said that the aid also extends to 18 other countries that are, quote, “potentially at risk for future Russian aggression”.
Priyanka Aribindi: Here is your update on Trump’s push for a special master. A legal concept we liked learning about and are excited to forget forever in just a few weeks. The Department of Justice pushed back yesterday against a federal court’s decision that supported the special master appointment in the case pertaining to classified documents that the FBI seized from Mar-a-Lago. In a court filing, the DOJ said that the claims of executive and attorney client privilege that are the basis for the special master request don’t apply to the classified documents since they are government property and don’t contain communications between Trump and his lawyers. This now goes to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, where the saga will undoubtedly continue.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. Some finance crime deja vu for Steve Bannon yesterday, who was indicted for the second time in two years for his role in a group called We Build the Wall. You’ll remember that this group preyed on innocent, patriotic racists, [laugh] raising $25 million dollars from them to construct a border wall, then diverting over a million dollars to the group’s founders. As we said yesterday, Trump pardoned Bannon on federal charges related to the scheme. But that didn’t stop prosecutors in New York from hitting him with state charges of money laundering, scheming to defraud, and conspiracy. These charges carry a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. Here’s Bannon doing his perp walk and reacting in a calm and rational way to getting caught stealing money.
[clip of Steve Bannon] This is what happens in the last days of a dying regime. They will never shut me up they’ll have to kill me first.
Tre’vell Anderson: Wow. He took it there.
Priyanka Aribindi: He really did. He really went there. Also, um I think some people, like the people who donated to this, maybe deserve to be brought in. [laughter] [?] I don’t know if you’ve heard before, but I think it’s one that I might stand by. I don’t know if you’re trying to build a wall and you think that donating money to these people was how you were going to get it done. Maybe you deserved to get your money stolen.
Tre’vell Anderson: Points are being made.
Priyanka Aribindi: And lastly, it is officially misguided 9/11 tribute season for brands. A country club near D.C. called Aquia Harbor, has already had to apologize for their contribution. A special, a Patriot Day Seafood Sunday menu at their clubhouse, which included dishes like first responder flatbread. That is just a tame one. There was also the remember teeny pentagon pie and Flight 93 redirect, which is hot crab dip.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yikes.
Priyanka Aribindi: Don’t know how that pertains at all, but it’s fine. I don’t want to know. The restaurant’s manager made a Facebook post on Tuesday saying, quote, “I apologize for those I offended with the 9/11 Seafood Sunday Post”. The new safe for work theme appears to be football. Counterpoint. I don’t think you need to theme the menu. I think you could just write crab dip and people would be like. Huh? I’m intrigued. Maybe I’ll order it. Fine. If you want to order freedom flounder, though, you’re going to have to use it’s updated name, which is fumble flounder.
Tre’vell Anderson: You know, I know that businesses are trying to do, you know, a lot of different things to like get people back in the door. It’s a holiday weekend. Right. So you want to, you know, attract people on this, particularly, you know, potential like big day, right. Money wise. But I don’t know if theming something related to 9/11 is the way to go. That feels misguided.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. You know.
Tre’vell Anderson: For sure.
Priyanka Aribindi: People say like no bad ideas in a brainstorm but I, we have at least five here. Like [laughter] several but several bad ideas came from whatever time was spent brainstorming this bright idea.
Tre’vell Anderson: And those are the headlines. We’ll be back after some ads with thoughts on the hottest celebrity in the corn sector. [laugh]
Tre’vell Anderson: It’s Friday WAD squad. And for today’s temp check, we’re checking in on the world of influencer vegetable partnerships. The boy named Tariq, who became a sensation online for absolutely loving corn, was named the official corn-bassador of South Dakota last weekend. In case you’re not familiar with Tariq’s work, here he is in the viral song by the Gregory Brother that helped skyrocket him to fame on TikTok. [clip of It’s Corn by The Gregory Brothers, featuring Tariq plays]
Priyanka Aribindi: I love that song so much. So much.
Tre’vell Anderson: September 3rd was named Official Corn-bassador Tariq Day by South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, who we don’t like her. We’ll do our best to mentally block her out of this narrative. But also over the weekend, Tariq visited South Dakota’s Corn Palace. Apparently, that’s a thing. It’s a corn themed event, space and concert venue. Though we don’t know whether officials at this palace crowned him the corn king or not. He also is in a Chipotle commercial. Maybe you’ve seen that recently. So Priyanka, what’s been your reaction to Tariq’s journey over the weekend and over the past few weeks?
Priyanka Aribindi: Listen, Tariq’s rise to fame and fortune and stardom. Hopefully fortune, hopefully–
Tre’vell Anderson: Right.
Priyanka Aribindi: –this little boy is getting paid. I love it. He is like a gem. We have to protect this kid at all costs. His rise to fame is already bringing him into contact with some suspect characters like Kristi Noem. We should not be bringing this sweet child around this woman. But no, like this couldn’t happen to a sweeter little kid, so I’m thrilled. I love this song. It is a masterpiece. Do I know what he’ll be like 20 years from now as a result of this early childhood fame? Don’t know. And I’m choosing not to ask that question, but I don’t know. I love this for him. What do you think?
Tre’vell Anderson: Back in the day, I too was a young child who really, really loved corn.
Priyanka Aribindi: Same! It’s so good.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. Now, I didn’t get any brand deals.
Priyanka Aribindi: Ya no.
Tre’vell Anderson: I didn’t get named the corn-bassador of South Carolina. They weren’t you know.
Priyanka Aribindi: I wasn’t that cute though.
Tre’vell Anderson: Well I was a very cute child, of course. [laughing] Um. So I love that he has been able to like, you know, have this little bit of attention based off of loving corn, because why not right? A vegetable that goes in the way it comes out? We love that.
Priyanka Aribindi: It’s so happy, it’s so wholesome. It’s like millennials who are like bopping around to this little song, being like, we love corn kid. [laughter] Like, we have a shred of joy in our lives. Really, I feel like it’s the happiest thing to happen to any of us.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. Such a great story. And just like that, we’ve checked our temps. They’re a little corny, but, you know, nevertheless, we persist. [music break]
Priyanka Aribindi: One more thing before we go. Recent Supreme Court decisions have made it clear that religion is being weaponised to push conservative agendas. And that shift is expected to impact Gen Z-ers. The hosts of Crooked’s newest show, Dare We Say, recently tackled how the shift could erode the separation between church and state and what that means for the future. New episodes of Dare We Say drop every Thursday on Amazon music or wherever you get your podcasts.
Tre’vell Anderson: That is all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe. Leave a review. Forget what a special master is when it’s time and tell your friends to listen.
Priyanka Aribindi: And if you’re into reading and not just national tragedy free restaurant menus like me, What A Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Priyanka Aribindi.
Tre’vell Anderson: I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
[spoken together] And bow down to your corn king. Yes, he is the corn king of all of our hearts.
Tre’vell Anderson: I need him to have a popcorn endorsement. Orville Redenbacher or whatever–
Priyanka Aribindi: Oh yeah.
Tre’vell Anderson: –They call it. I hope they’re calling him up.
Priyanka Aribindi: Orville, Skinny Pop.
Tre’vell Anderson: Smart food. All of you.
Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. He needs his pick of the popcorn. [music break] What A Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz. Jazzi Marine and Raven Yamamoto are our associate producers. Our head writer is Jon Millstein and our executive producer is Lita Martínez. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.