The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

The Spectator

Breaking News
  • February 15Enjoy the Long Weekend!
The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

The Spectator

The student news site of Lake Forest Academy

The Spectator

George Santos, the ex-congressman turned entertainment mogul

Former Representative of New York, George Santos, has quickly become a household name.

He has gained a sort of infamy, whether it be because he is only the sixth individual ever to be kicked out of the House of Representatives, his laundry list of lies (including a fabricated education history and faux connections to historical atrocities such as 9/11 and the Holocaust), or his constant features in pop culture. Despite being forcibly removed from Congress, it seems as though George Santos is here to stay in the limelight.

On Saturday Night Live, Santos is portrayed by Bowen Yang and has graced satirical skits summoning over four million views– a testament to both the rather flabbergasting volume of Santos’s lies and the appeal his persona has to the public. Recently Santos was in a viral interview with Ziwe Fumudoh, a comedian known for artfully getting celebrities to incriminate themselves in her satirical interviews. There, Santos was peppered with questions in an unserious fashion regarding his dismissal from congress and its ludicrous buildup. He responded with insistence that he was innocent for what he was accused of while simultaneously using slang such as “slay the house boots down” and reciting Nicki Minaj lyrics when prompted. But amidst this entertaining “show,” Santos didn’t shy away from giving his opinion on fellow congress members like Robert Menendez (whom he called “Gold Bar Menendez”) and made contradicting statements regarding the Hamas and Israel conflicts. 

He’s an undeniable goldmine for content: constantly committing to outright lies, justifying his debunked statements, all said with a dose of magnetic confidence. We enjoy sarcastically dissecting the impossibility that is George Santos’s stories, while simultaneously we are what brings him to our screens.

His sort of fame is comparable to that of (notably problematic) internet sensation Trisha Paytas, who has gathered notoriety from “speaking her mind” even when it is a flat out lie or offensive. This practice could be regarded as a perpetual sort of trolling, harmful and intentionally insidious language stated only for accumulation of attention. The connection between the two has been highlighted online by people suggesting that they should co-host a podcast (Trisha Paytas responded on the social media platform X by asking “Who is this?” in reference to Santos). Now, after Paytas has undergone several years of self-reflection and has addressed several of her past controversies, many remark that the Internet has “reclaimed” her and accepted the matter that she’s unable to be “canceled”– further heightening her fame. Santos’s “TV” personality is already solidifying in the media, and it begs the question if he too will have his actions excused in favor of his entertaining charisma. 

In part, his career has already pivoted and to great success. A lucrative businessman, he’s charging a hefty $500 asking price for exclusive personalized videos on Cameo, and the demand is exponentiating. In December, he claimed to be making more than his annual congressional salary of $174,000 with just a few days on the platform and is attracting speculation for where he shall venture next. After all, it is a rarity to have such access to an ex-Congress member whose own merits are questionable at best. Even now, as we approach the impending presidential election, it is certain that his publicity will only grow with his promises of “spilling the tea” on his aged peers (whom he promises to outlive, and consequently take their office). Perhaps as news sites like Slate anticipate, 2024 will see his unfortunate reality TV debut as well. 

Though Santos does have the makings and attitude of an online troll, the issue is that his reach has extended far past the crevices of the internet where these sorts of individuals are usually resigned to. His lies were national news, his words were representative of our nation because well, he was an elected representative of the people of the United States of America. 

Thus, it is critical that we remain mindful of who is platformed. George Santos was given unparalleled influence in the form of a seat in Congress, and now that it’s gone, he is looking to reserve a permanent spot online. While there is nothing inherently wrong with paying attention to this man if you acknowledge that nearly everything he says is fabricated, you simultaneously have to reckon with the fact that by feeding him attention, by liking the videos he’s in, by commenting on and promoting them, you might be pushing them towards people who may disregard the severity of his falsehoods. 

As George Santos said himself in his interview with Ziwe when asked what would finally make him go away,“Stop inviting me to your gigs… but you can’t because you want the content.”

George Santos cackles during his interview with comedian Ziwe.
Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *