Goodman offers hope, but CNN isn't buying
WASHINGTON -- Bless Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman for wanting to open up Las Vegas for business as soon as possible.
Then breathe a sigh of relief that she doesn't get to make it happen.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered a nonessential business shutdown through April, which is likely to be extended into May. The Democratic governor's action gives the nonpartisan mayor license to spout her opinions without hurting anyone or anything other than her reputation.
The 81-year-old mayor did her cause no favor when she appeared on CNN on Wednesday to make her case. Unfortunately, Goodman did so by suggesting that an open Vegas could serve as the nation's "control group" and that competition would award the cleanest casinos and close those where people get infected because gamblers somehow would know when and where they caught the virus.
Goodman's performance was such a fiasco that late-night TV host and Vegas native Jimmy Kimmel tweeted she "should resign before lunch arrives today. She is an embarrassment to my hometown."
Fair enough, but let's look at the other half of that interview.
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper gave Goodman, who sees her role as a "cheerleader," 25 excruciating minutes of airtime. Let's be clear about the intent of that sitcom-length allotment.
The idea wasn't to explore how a tourism mecca could open for business -- as an actual news story might do. This was pure theater, reality TV dressed up as journalism -- with Cooper mugging on camera, calling Goodman "ignorant" and at one point taking off his glasses and rubbing his eyes in a pose of exasperated disbelief, which made for a viral Twitter screenshot.
What's especially irritating about Cooper's preening-not-probing is his apparent belief that it's his job to ridicule anyone who wants to open America for business.
If you're worried about businesses never reopening, if you think about low-wage workers who don't know how they're going to make the rent and buy groceries, if you fear what's next in this economic freefall, beware. You lack the due reverence owed to what CNN anchors refer to as "the science," and you will be pilloried.