Opinion: George Santos isn’t any laughing matter


Editor’s Notice: Dean Obeidallah, a former legal professional, is the host of SiriusXM radio’s each day program “The Dean Obeidallah Present.” Observe him @DeanObeidallah@masto.ai. The opinions expressed on this commentary are his personal. View extra opinion on CNN.


“Saturday Evening Reside” returned with its first new episode of 2023 that includes Aubrey Plaza because the visitor host, however US Rep. George Santos was the true star.

The late-night present served up a double serving to of comedy at Santos’ expense. Solid member Bowen Yang appeared because the embattled Republican congressman in each the chilly open — first in a tie after which in drag — and later reprised his position on the “Weekend Replace” section.

Dean Obeidallah

This Santos on “SNL” was really hilarious, however again in the true world, he has been something however, whereas perpetrating an unfunny fraud upon the voters of New York’s third Congressional District by misrepresenting his training, work and household background.

“SNL” kicked off Saturday’s present with a parody of a Fox Sports activities program recapping the Philadelphia Eagles-New York Giants sport. About midway by way of the sketch that featured “SNL” solid members as Fox Sports activities anchors, one in all them excitedly launched a brand new sideline reporter with a powerful record of credentials together with being a “Heisman Trophy winner” with “extra championships than Tom Brady.”

Enter Yang as Santos claiming to be the primary participant to steer the NFL in passing and dashing as “type of the true Bo Jackson” and the “first African American quarterback to ever dunk a soccer.”

Later within the sketch, the character got here again in drag as “Kitara Ravache,” a reputation Santos utilized in Brazil, based on a Brazilian drag performer. (The true Santos has denied performing as a drag queen, however hours earlier than “SNL” aired, he appeared to confess he had dressed for “enjoyable” like a lady at a competition when he was youthful, telling reporters, “Sue me for having a life.”)

Yang as Santos then bragged he had achieved 26 “demise drops,” 19 “duck walks” and “infinity” wigs snatched. (“Demise drops” and “duck walks” are dance strikes showcased on the TV present “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”)

Later within the present, Yang returned as Santos for extra huge laughs on “Weekend Replace.” A number of examples embody claiming to be the “virgin” of the Madonna track “Like a Virgin” and arguing he had handed a lie detector whereas holding up the outcomes of a Covid-19 take a look at.

It’s arduous to maintain the true Santos and the parody on “SNL” straight, on condition that the congressman has spewed so many lies about so many features of his life.

This previous week, Santos’ declare that his mom was within the World Commerce Heart on 9/11 — which he stated brought on her to contract a deadly type of most cancers — unraveled. Newly uncovered immigration data for Santos’ mom present she was in Brazil from 1999 to early 2003, not in New York Metropolis on the time of the terrorist assaults.

A building employee who misplaced his foot whereas working at floor zero slammed Santos on CNN final week, calling his use of 9/11 to attain political factors “un-American” and “unpatriotic.”

Add to that episode, two veterans from New Jersey stated final week that in 2016 Santos promised to lift funds for lifesaving surgical procedure for a canine. Santos then created a GoFundMe web page elevating $3,000 for the canine’s remedy however by no means turned the cash over to the veteran, Michael Boll, a mentor of the veteran and founding father of the New Jersey Veterans Community, instructed CNN. Santos denied the allegations, claiming the report was “simply extra of the pile on impact.”

Earlier than these revelations, Santos misled voters in his district with a litany of deceptions — all the things from the place he went to highschool and the place he labored to his faith and household’s background. Not solely is he not Jewish, genealogical data additionally contradict his declare that his grandparents “survived the Holocaust.” Santos has admitted to “embellishing” his resume however instructed the New York Put up, “I’m not a prison.”

Past the “elaborations” of his resume, crimson flags have been raised about Santos’ sudden acquisition of wealth between his failed 2020 run for Congress and his profitable 2022 marketing campaign. He curiously went from claiming he had no belongings in 2020 to having the ability to lend his marketing campaign $700,000 two years later. Questions on his funds have sparked each state and federal prison investigations. Santos instructed the information web site Semafor that he made his cash by way of “capital introduction” and “deal making” for “excessive internet value people.”

If Santos was only a B-level celeb or a failed actuality present contestant, then we might all chuckle. However he’s not. He’s one in all simply 435 members of the Home of Representatives, somebody who has the power to vote on making federal legal guidelines and — who regardless of his falsehoods — was appointed by GOP Home management to 2 committees within the chamber.

Santos lately refused calls from native New York Republican leaders to resign, responding defiantly, “I want nicely all of their opinions, however I used to be elected by 142,000 individuals.”

Nevertheless, his constituents voted for an individual who Santos actually fabricated. And whereas the “SNL” characterization of him is hilarious, Santos is something however humorous — he’s a fraud.

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