America, where corrupt criminals are just funny characters on a TV show

I have never watched this show, The Masked Singer, in which celebrities are dressed up in silly costumes to sing songs, and then celebrity judges try to guess their identities. It sounds insipid. From the few short clips I have now suffered through, it is deeply, painfully, agonizingly stupid. Do they pay the audience to put on over-the-top expressions and squeal excitedly over banalities, or is it just that the kind of people who get tickets to see the show are selected for idiocy?

Anyway, they unmasked one “singer” in the most recent show. It was Rudy Giuliani.

Is this the new path for rehabilitating the reputations of deplorables, letting them caper and dance like court jesters for the mob?

Fuck that evil clown. Fuck that show.


  1. says

    Please put the mask back on, Rudy.
    I have never watched The Masked Singer, and never will for various reasons. Add this to those reasons.
    I had an idea a couple of years ago for a show to be called The Singer Beaten Beyond Recognition. Of course I’m not serious, because that would be wrong.

  2. R. L. Foster says

    The only costume I want to see Giuliani wearing is colored orange. But the mask can stay.

  3. kenbakermn says

    I didn’t see it but reportedly a couple of the judges walked off the stage when the evil clown was unmasked. Good for them I guess, but they should have walked off before the first show.

  4. robro says

    I’ve seen the unmasking snippet of one famous person humiliating himself. Can’t remember who, so it didn’t help.

    Reminds me of What’s My Line? where the panel would wear masks if the guest was recognizable. Given its parlor game feel, that show had a semblance of civility about it.

    As for the audience, I can imagine it’s partly a self-select phenomenon. People who like the show want to be on it. During the pre-show warm up they get churned up…and some of the cuts to the audience could be during that part. The producers may move audience members to get them in good spots for shots, or just identify the best one’s during the pre-lim. They might even tell them that if you act goofy enough you have a better chance to get on camera…”Hi mom!”

  5. Susan Montgomery says

    @7. Well, what did you expect? The last 50 years have given us a society full of people which will pay any price – who won’t even think about the price – to avoid any short-term conflict, effort or discomfort.

  6. birgerjohansson says

    In Britain, it is painfully obvious the institutions cannot handle a compulsive liar and narcussist, not when most newspapers are owned by conservative media barons who no not care at all about lawful government.
    Only the incompetence and arrogance of Bojo has made it possible for his popularity to flag- if he had not sabotaged himself he could have continued after the next election and completely rewritten the laws regulating elections, gerrymandering the country to hell.

  7. birgerjohansson says

    Susan Montgomery
    We are watching the end game of what started with the election of Ronald Reagan.
    Next election, you either do FDR- level new deal, or end up like Hungary, Poland or Russia.

  8. Susan Montgomery says

    @10. It would require the exact opposite. Take power away from government and authoritarian types wouldn’t want anything to do with it.

  9. StevoR says

    @10. birgerjohansson : I thought that “the end game of what started with … Ronald Reagan” was seen in the satirical movie idiocracy although the President there was actually smarter than Trump.. Yeah, I know that had its flaws as science to put mildly.

  10. Akira MacKenzie says

    Next election, you either do FDR- level new deal, or end up like Hungary, Poland or Russia.

    Sadly, the DNC won’t let us elect anyone but senile Boomer “centrists” (i.e. right-wingers) like Brandon Biden.

  11. Susan Montgomery says

    @13 is that really a bad thing? A federal government powerful enough to impact the day-to-day affairs of individuals is El Dorrado to anyone who gets off on wielding unaccountable power over others.

    Maybe Big Government is played out?

  12. Walter Solomon says

    It sounds insipid

    According to the little information I’ve heard about the show, it’s an import from S. Korea. If Rudy walks, you really can’t blame this insipid show. It’s US justice system that’s at fault.

  13. StevoR says

    @15. Walter Solomon : I agree Giuliani is personally to blame for his own conduct, crimes and actions and the US “Justice” system is to blame for letting him escape but then the show is also responsible for allowing (even encouraging?) him to go on it and thus giving him, “show-washing” if that’s a thing so.. nah.

    Here in Oz, we had a similar-ish thing with former jailed racist party leader (ex-LNP originally) Pauline Hanson :

    too FWIW. Hopefully, Giuliani’s attempted rehabiliation and come back here will be a lot LESS successful. Also, for those who don’t know Qld is our redneck “Deep North” ..

  14. donfelipe says

    @13 Akira
    Biden isn’t a boomer. Neither is Sanders. Nor Pelosi for that matter.

    How long are you going to be crying about the DNC controlling everything? You sound like a conspiracy theorist on every other thread. It’s either this shadowy cabal controlling who is in charge of the Democrats, or those darned Democratic politicians making Republicans evil fascists. There were a dozen notable people running for President for the Democratic Party in the last election, and the younger ones fared poorly. How exactly did the DNC brainwash all those people to vote for Biden over others?

    At some point you have to realize there are people actually voting for the monstrosity’s and duds. Just because not everyone has your viewpoint doesn’t mean the whole thing is rigged by some evil genius.

  15. StevoR says

    @8 . Susan Montgomery :

    The last 50 years have given us a society full of people which will pay any price – who won’t even think about the price – to avoid any short-term conflict, effort or discomfort.

    Hmm.. not so sure about that given the painful – including to themselves lengths the Repugs esp Trump cult will go to “own the libs” and basically go out of their way including hurting themselves to hurt others and spark conflict and discomfort and pain..

    Many of them died of covid avoidably and the whole “rolling coal” thing made their vehicles more costly and less efficient as a couple of examples plus the working class repubs that hurt their own economic interest for the sake of racism and other bigotries.

  16. Susan Montgomery says

    @21. I didn’t say people stopped being assholes. But it’s easy to hide behind a keyboard or do something “provocative” where you know no one will be provoked. It’s low-risk and low-stakes confrontation. It’s just that that’s all the status quo needs to do.

  17. Susan Montgomery says

    @21. Why do you think these edgelords get so bent out of shape over criticism? They’re hurt and terrified at the prospect of the confrontation inherent in being called out.

  18. says

    You know what? I saw the picture before I found out it was from The Masked Singer appearance. I thought it was a parody pic in which somebody had wrapped him in the Rainbow Flag.

  19. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 14

    is that really a bad thing?

    Considering that the world needs socialism and most human beings are too greedy and stupid to wipe their own asses properly much less govern themselves: Yes.

    @ 19

    Biden isn’t a boomer.

    Biden was born in 42. The Baby Boom started in 46. Close enough for government work.

    How long are you going to be crying about the DNC controlling everything?

    Until a socialist atheist becomes the president. If that isn’t possible, then they shithole country doesn’t deserve to exist.

    At some point you have to realize there are people actually voting for the monstrosity’s and duds.

    Because when I did that, I was called “classist” for daring to cast aspersions upon the poor proletariat.

    Just because not everyone has your viewpoint doesn’t mean the whole thing is rigged by some evil genius.

    Funny, I keep hearing liberals claim that the working class had been tricked into being racist Bible-fuckers who “vote against their material interests” by the 1%. The proles couldn’t possibly be greedy, superstitious, bigots all by themselves, they had to be duped into it by the rich. Right?

  20. Susan Montgomery says

    @26. That’s your best sales pitch? “You’re all morons who need me and my sociology degree to run your lives” is probably not going to work.

  21. Susan Montgomery says

    @26. And, while I’m thinking about it, what’s the track record for top-down solutions so far and how do you think that record is perceived by the average American?

  22. Akira MacKenzie says

    Here’s a few things you ought to know about me:

    I live in a rural suburb of Milwaukee where every other house still has a Trump yard sign on it. Our recent schoolboard election had candidates running on an anti-CRT anti-public-health platform. I’m also stuck living with my Right-wing Catholic father who makes no efforts to hide his disdain for me because of my left-leaning atheism. No, I don’t have the means to move.

    Largely because of this situation, I am in a nearly constant state of barely-repressed, impotent, rage. Throw onto that the daily deluge of news articles about how the Christo-fascist Right is dragging this country into a new Dark Age while the useless Dems sit and wring their hands about bipartisanship and unity while their president fondly reflects on this friendship with Republicans. Right solutions are being watered down or ignored to appease those who are demonstrably wrong. Right-wing street thugs get to march around unchallenged by anyone with the power or authority to stop them. The world is coming to an end. If the poverty or the Proud Boys doesn’t kill you, climate change certainly will.

    I’m fed up. I’m done. I’m done with “America.” I’m done with capitalism (no matter how “regulated” it pretends to be). I’m done with “liberty” or “freedom” (especially for Right-wingers). I’m done with being civil. I want to yell, scream, and break things… but unless I want to live in a cardboard box or a prison cell for the rest of my miserable days, the best I can manage is posting online.

    There. Now, you may resume fire.

  23. Akira MacKenzie says

    @ 27, 28

    I don’t care if they disapprove. We shouldn’t have to get their permission to do what science or economics or demonstrable, objective reality tells us is necessary–especially from the willfully uneducated.

    Last time I heard of common people shrugging off those big meanies in government and doing it on their own, their town got buried in garbage and overrun by bears.

  24. Susan Montgomery says

    @29. “Barely repressed impotent rage”. Welcome to the club, pal. It’s just me, you and most of the rest of everyone else. You can either release yourself from the unearned guilt and responsibility for all the things you can’t help and focus on the things you can or you can go mad. I wouldn’t presume to know what choice you’d prefer, so it’s entirely up to you.

    And maybe we shouldn’t have to seek their permission but we kinda do. A dictatorship of the proletariat is still a dictatorship and complete anarchy isn’t the only alternative.

    And, again, can you think of a top-down big government solution of the last 60 years didn’t either simply fail or make things worse?

  25. Jean says

    When it takes over a billion dollars to become the US president, it’s no wonder you get the people you get with the resulting “policies”. Remove corporate and dark money and you may start to get a different result. But the mighty dollar is the real US god so that’s never going to happen before the whole planet dies.

  26. wzrd1 says

    I’m still trying to understand something.
    How does being a masked singer rehabilitate the reputation of an attorney that’s beyond disgraced himself and is being considered for disbarment? He’s already lost his law license in multiple states and the federal court system, does singing somehow win those back?
    He isn’t likely to be considered for any attempt to rehabilitate his public image, as that’s expensive, he’s utterly inept and he’s unlikely to be around long enough to give a even break even return on investment.

    Seriously, this is right up there with “What does God need with a starship” kind of question.

  27. wzrd1 says

    Totally OT, but this just came in. Washington State residents:
    Soul Cedar Farm of Quilcene, WA, is recalling all batches of Zesty
    Sweet Peppers because of potential contamination from Clostridium
    toxins. The recall was initiated after routine sampling
    conducted by the Washington State Department of Agriculture revealed
    that one batch of Zesty Sweet Peppers had a pH level high enough to
    support the formation of the Clostridium botulinum toxin, which
    causes botulism poisoning.

    The recalled product was packaged in 8-ounce glass containers and was
    sold at retail stores in Quilcene and Port Townsend, WA. Consumers who
    have purchased the Zesty Sweet Peppers are urged not to consume the
    product and return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.

    Safety third, because safety is second and first!

  28. Susan Montgomery says

    @36. How about they have Sirhan Sirhan on next? Guiliani was a vital element in an attempted coup anf two years later we’re laughing about it?

  29. Rob Grigjanis says

    @34: “Am I being divisive?”

    Yes. You’ve divided us into the “Susan isn’t a twit” camp (population 1) and the rest.

  30. donfelipe says


    Sorry, I shouldn’t have, but got an urge after seeing the same nonsensical screed for the 4000th time.

    At least they responded with a somewhat amusing response that was a full on argument with themselves.

  31. Susan Montgomery says

    @30. Akira, I’ve been thinking and I owe you an apology. I was trying to assure you that you’re far from alone in those feelings and I shouldn’t have expressed the idea in such a crass manner.

    All we can do is what we can do. And that’s a lot more than you think.

  32. birgerjohansson says

    “Barely repressed impotent rage” is why I use a Prozac analog. It is better than having insomnia of the despair and anger from the state of the world.
    Also, I feed wild birds and adopt stray cats. It is not much, but I can feel I make the world just a tiny bit less vicious.

  33. Paul K says

    Susan Montgomery @43: I agree completely with ‘All we can do is what we can do. And that’s a lot more than you think.’ The alternative is to give up, as Akira says. I get that; looking at things from a wide perspective can sure lead to rage, but what good does giving up do? For Akira or anyone else.

    Akira: re all your recent comments here and on other threads, this is a place where almost everyone is on the same side as you, when it comes to understanding the world we’re living in, even if we differ on exactly what to do about it. The regular commenters and the larger audience of mostly-lurkers (like me). The world is in a terrible place right now, but it always has been, really. We can only do whatever we can do to make it better. Coming here to Pharyngula links me to like-minded people, which is a huge help. But I’m also on my local school board in western Wisconsin, where we, too, just had an election where two anti-mask/CRT candidates won against a couple of fine incumbents. They get sworn in on Monday. It’s the world I live in, and I’ll deal with it as best I can. I hope you can find some way to manage. You are clearly intelligent and passionate, and you care about the right things.

  34. flange says

    Shows like “The Masked Singer” can help rehabilitate malignant thugs like Giuliani. The audience can then think of these assholes as “crazy” or funny, rather than as the malevolent, poisonous human beings they are.

  35. brightmoon says

    I’ve disliked Giuliani since he was mayor of NYC. His social policies were shockingly heartless and cruel against the homeless and mentally ill ! I guess I’m upset because if I had been living in the city before he got elected, I probably would have voted for him . As it was he never got my vote when I moved back to NYC. Then he turned up to support that sociopathic narcissist Antichrist trump (shudder) .