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The 411 Douchebag of the Week: Ralph Northam

February 4, 2019 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Ralph Northam

The 411mania Douchebag of the Week

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the latest edition of The 411 Douchebag of the Week. I’m Bryan Kristopowitz.

I seem to say this every year, but, I think it needs repeating because it’s something that, pop culture wise, bothers me. And what do I say practically every year?


The Puppy Bowl is overproduced.

Back when the Super Bowl counterprogramming put on by the Animal Planet cable channel started, it was essentially three hours of puppies playing. There was an announcer who chimed in every so often, there was a “referee” that popped in to clean up after one of the puppies if it shit on the field, but the focus of the show was on the puppies playing. They rough housed, they ran around, the played with doggie toys, and, on occasion, we’d see one of them get a drink from the bowls of water via the “bowl cam.” The soundtrack of the show was soothing but fun background music.

As the show became a bigger deal and more of a thing, Animal Planet started adding things to the show. A kitten half-time show. A blimp run by gerbils or hamsters or whatever the fuck they are. Bunnies. Endless announcing. More bits by the referee. And depressing as fuck “human interest stories” involving animal cruelty. The show was also shortened to two hours. There was also plenty of product placement shit added to the show.

Is any of this really necessary? What happened to just having the puppies play? Isn’t that what the show is supposed to be about?

I’d like to see Animal Planet strip the show down to the bare essentials and go from there. The show doesn’t need pigs or birds or kittens or any of that other stuff. It was much better when it was simple. I know it won’t happen since the Puppy Bowl is popular exactly the way it is now, overproduced, so why change anything?

Anyone else think that the Puppy Bowl has become an overproduced mess?

And now onto this week’s Douchebag of the Week.



This week, the 411 Douchebag of the Week goes to the still, as of this writing, Democratic governor of Virginia Ralph Northam, for his shockingly tone deaf press conference attempting to explain why he isn’t resigning from office. As was revealed via both the Big League Politics website and the Virginian-Pilot newspaper, the governor’s medical school yearbook page has a picture of a man in black face and a man wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe, with one of them presumably the governor. As calls for his resignation began as soon as the picture was revealed, the governor “apologized” for the images in a video message. After the message was sent out, calls for the governor’s resignation only increased. The governor then staged a press conference the following day to, again, apologize, maybe explain himself a little bit, and announce that, despite all of the controversy, he wasn’t going to resign. The governor also let out before the press conference that he didn’t think he was actually in the offending image in question.

So the Saturday afternoon press conference came and went and, not surprisingly, things only got worse for the governor. Northam couldn’t really explain what the hell was going on with the offending image, why it was in the yearbook next to his name, claimed that he “didn’t know” if he was in the photo, and then he announced that he did, once, appear in blackface “as Michael Jackson” for a dance contest. The governor apparently put shoe polish on his face for the contest and it was hard to remove afterwards. Honesty is the best policy, I guess.

Jesus Christ.

First off, why did the governor think that staging a press conference where he wasn’t going to announce his resignation or explain, in detail, what the fuck was going on with the offending image was somehow going to work? Did the governor think that, after the press conference, his detractors would say “Okay, I understand now” and stop calling for his resignation? Did the governor think that the whole thing would probably blow over quickly because of the 24 hour news cycle and there was a chance that President Trump would say something stupid and “everyone” would then start talking about that? Is the governor a fucking moron?

If the governor never had any intention of resigning, why didn’t he just leave his initial apology as the “official” apology and then go on from there? If he isn’t in the photo, why didn’t he say that from the beginning? And, for the love of God, if he isn’t in the photo, then why the fuck is it on his fucking page in the fucking yearbook?

This whole thing is just so fucking stupid and offensive, on multiple levels.

On its face, the image is offensive. There’s just no way getting around it. It’s awful and terrible and wrong. It’s also wrong that the governor still refuses to explain what the hell it’s all about. If he was an asshole racist dipshit in medical school, come out and admit it. If you’re not that guy anymore, be honest about it. Don’t try to hide it or obscure it or try to pass it off as something not that important. It is important, massively important, and you can’t escape it. If it’s some sort of “inside joke,” it’s time to reveal what the fuck that “inside joke” is all about. This situation isn’t going away.

On top of that, why was your nickname at the Virginia Military Institute “Coonman?”

If the governor isn’t going to resign because of these photos linked to him, he should resign for his complete and total inability to understand what the fuck is happening to him, his family’s name, and the state of Virginia. The man is just fucking clueless.


And now for this week’s honorable mentions…

-Comedian and talk show host Bill Maher, for his recent “Popeye’s Chicken” remark on Real Time.Just go ahead and read the story at the link and ask yourself if Maher grasps why people are upset with him this time. I don’t think he does. And try to guess how many times he’s going to get away with this kind of thing.

-Former Starbucks CEO and current billionaire Howard Schultz, for his recent “I’m thinking about running for President as an independent” announcement. You’d think, by now, that anyone announcing a potentially big deal “third party” presidential campaign would know that, unless you have a shockingly compelling message, an actual, real life base of support, and a machine in place to do the ground work to get on the ballot in every state, there’s no point in even trying to do this because you have zero chance of winning. All you’re likely to actually to do is act as a “spoiler” for one side or the other. Bernie Sanders figured that out. Donald Trump figured that out. Howard Schultz can’t see that?

-Musician Aaron Lewis, for his behavior onstage at a recent concert in Texas. Just read the story at the link and ask yourself if that’s how a professional musician should act. It would be one thing if Lewis left the stage because the crowd was throwing cups and bottles and shit at him, but the crowd didn’t do anything like that. How does any of this make sense?

-Former NBC Nightly News lead anchor Tom Brokaw, for his “Hispanics need to assimilate more” commentary on a recent appearance on Meet the Press. I was actually watching this show when Brokaw made his comments and, at first, I thought he was relaying what he’s been told by “people on the street” while travelling America. That isn’t what he was saying, though. He was saying something else. Hispanics “don’t do enough to assimilate?” What the hell does that even mean?


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