End the duopoly

Sean’s Spicy Salsa

Perhaps it was inevitable that someone who helped create the first reality TV White House would salsa his way into an actual reality show.

Clad in a shiny, neon-green ruffled shirt, like a pirate ready to storm a Celine Dion show, the former White House press secretary Sean Spicer shimmied his way through America’s living rooms on Monday night on “Dancing With the Stars.”

The reaction to his one-minute performance followed what has become a predictable pattern in the Trump era: liberal outrage, counter-conservative outrage and so, so many memes.

We’ve talked about all the conventions President Trump has broken in Washington. And we’ve also discussed how the president has turned so many traditionally apolitical corners of American life, from “Hamilton” to the N.F.L., into part of a new culture war that is likely to help fuel his re-election bid.

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In all those incidents, Mr. Trump waded into the national conversation around sports or celebrity or race, choosing to fire up the outrage machine, often for his own political gain.

But the decision by “Dancing With the Stars” to cast Mr. Spicer is an even more cynical permutation of that strategy: a mainstream brand attempting to make money off the chaos and controversy that has overtaken American political life.


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