Trevor Noah Reviews the Betsy DeVos Confirmation Hearings

The Senate confirmation hearings for US Cabinet positions are rife with examples of lying, misdirected responses, dodging questions and, notably, nominee points of view on key issues that are the exact opposite of the stated positions of Donald Trump. Watching video of congressional hearings provide the next best experience to actually being present at the hearings. But few have the time and inclination to watch the full proceedings. Most of us depend upon the clips made available by major media.

A few of us gain some insights through video clips shown on alternative media or links to YouTube from alternative media websites. Then there are comedians like Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert, and John Oliver through whom we have the opportunity to see video clips that might make us grimace were we not first put in a “laugh at the ridiculousness” mindset. Political comedy often makes it possible for the public to see revealing aspects of politics, policy, and government that major media ignores. And truly good political comedy reaches a lot of people. NOTNORMAL.INFO aims to extend that reach. We begin with Betsy DeVoss, the nominee for Secretary of Education.

Here’s a look at troubling moments from her confirmation hearing, through the eye of Trevor Noah of “The Daily Show”:



John Oliver’s “This Is Not Normal” Video Inspired Us

John Oliver was not the first media figure to point out that the situation in which we find ourselves in “Not Normal”. But, as is so often the case with Mr. Oliver, it’s the WAY that he said it that is so memorable and so instructive. In fact his rant on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, broadcast on HBO November 13, was the inspiration for the creation of NOTNORMAL.INFO and our sticker campaign. 

The entire video is super and should be viewed if you have not done so already. The segment that gave us the “aha!” moment starts at marker 22:20 (22 minutes, 20 seconds into the video). We recognized how easy it will be, as time passes, to become anesthetized by what we expect to be a constant onslaught of sound bytes from Trump, echoed and amplified incessantly by popular mass media. It will be so easy to allow our sense of right and wrong – of decency, of justice – dulled so that we cease to be outraged; so that we cease to speak out.  

Oliver’s plea that we paste on our refrigerators a Post-It Note inscribed with the words “This Is Not Normal!” led to our decision to do what we can to turn that reminder into a meme and to help it go viral. We reasoned that we should do what others might not – to go offline with the meme in the way that Post-It Notes are “offline”, and to enlist as many Americans as possible to do the same. Thus was born the Not Normal Sticker Campaign.  We hope you will join the campaign.