Center for American Progress Action

Erin Reed on Pride and the Fight for Transgender Rights
Podcast
Part of a Series

Journalist Erin Reed discusses the importance of Pride Month, the fight for transgender rights, and the issues motivating LGBTQI+ voters. Daniella and Colin also talk about Donald Trump’s tax proposals and his plans to wrestle power away from federal agencies and Congress if elected.

Transcript:

Daniella Gibbs Léger: Hey everyone, welcome back to “The Tent,” your place for politics, policy, and progress. I’m Daniella Gibbs Léger.

Colin Seeberger: And I’m Colin Seeberger. Daniella, it was a beautiful Pride weekend in [Washington,] D.C. Had just the best time being out with my family, watching the parade together. I feel like this year they experimented with doing a new parade route—

Gibbs Léger: Yeah, I heard about that.

Seeberger: —all the way down 14th Street. And I was kind of skeptical because there’s just something special about the history of the different neighborhoods and whatnot. But I actually think it was even a little bit more seamless. It can get a little chaotic with all the different floats, but it seemed like things went off without a hitch.

Gibbs Léger: That’s awesome. I, unfortunately, could not make it because I was out of town, but I’m so glad that the weather gods decided, “Hey, D.C., maybe you get a nice Saturday for once.”

Seeberger: For once.

Gibbs Léger: Thank you very much. Well, speaking of Pride, I heard that you had a very relevant interview this week.

Seeberger: I did. I spoke with journalist Erin Reed about attacks on the transgender community, issues important to LGBTQI+ voters this year, as well as the importance of trans voices in journalism.

Gibbs Léger: Well, I can’t wait to hear her perspective. But first, we’ve got to get to some news.

Seeberger: We do. You may have seen last week that we got another fantastic Goldilocks jobs report, yet again pointing to a strong economic comeback for Americans that they’re feeling more and more.

Gibbs Léger: Yeah, it was really something. And like you said, those gains are being felt by everyday Americans, not just major corporations.

Seeberger: That’s right. But Donald Trump—he’s having none of it.

Gibbs Léger: Of course not.

Seeberger: He loves his corporate buddies and actually has created a plan to boost their bottom line even more in a second term—at the expense, of course, of, again, everyday Americans. During his first term, Trump cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent—a cut that failed to trickle down to ordinary workers as promised, and which, of course, cost $1.3 trillion and helped fuel a record $1 trillion in stock buybacks the year after it passed.

Now, Trump is privately telling allies he wants to do it again. He wants to go even further. Even as corporate profits have hit near-record highs in 2023, some of his advisers want to bring the corporate tax rate down to 15 percent, another 6 percent below what he already cut the rate to. And this 15 percent corporate tax rate, it’s a target that Trump has been talking about since he first ran for president in 2016. He gave a major speech at the Detroit Economic Club on this.

Our colleagues Brendan Duke and Will Ragland at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, they crunched the numbers this week and found that a corporate tax cut like that would give the 100 biggest companies in the United States a $48 billion—nearly $50 billion—a year in annual tax cuts.

Gibbs Léger: Wow.

Seeberger: Even though, again, those companies made $1.1 trillion in profits in 2023. So what would that tax break mean for certain industries in the Fortune 100? Well, Big Oil—who Donald Trump has been famously asking leaders of those companies to raise a billion dollars for his campaign—well, they would get a $2.5 billion tax cut under this Trump plan.

Big Pharma? They’d get $3.1 billion every single year under this proposal.

Gibbs Léger: It’s outrageous.

Seeberger: And Wall Street banks—you know, they’re hurting so bad—would net $4 billion in tax cuts every single year. Let’s remember these are the same industries again that Trump is out there constantly pleading for campaign cash from.

So, we’ve seen these tax cuts don’t help everyday workers. All they do is help corporations and leave less money on the table for the important federal programs that help low- and middle-income Americans have a better shot at living a middle-class life.

Gibbs Léger: Yeah, they’re all about helping rich corporate heads become richer at the expense of everyone else.

Seeberger: That’s exactly right.

Gibbs Léger: Now, Trump claimed his across-the-board tariff proposal, which we’ve discussed previously on the pod, would pay for these tax cuts. But we know from a separate analysis our colleagues did that that tariff proposal would cost the average family $1,500 a year. So not only would everyday Americans not see or feel the impacts of corporate tax cuts under his plan—they would actually have to pay the price so that these corporations could save.

Seeberger: It’s sick. It’s perverse.

Gibbs Léger: It’s so outrageous. And it stands in stark contrast to the Biden administration’s efforts to boost the economy, which have helped lower costs for low- and middle-income Americans. President [Joe] Biden has said he wants to raise the corporate tax rate to 28 percent, a move that would raise $1.1 trillion over 10 years to help pay for investments like affordable child care, paid family and medical leave.

Seeberger: Things people could actually use and benefit from.

Gibbs Léger: I know, what a novel concept. These are investments in the American people, and it would reduce the deficit. And I just have to remind people that 28 percent is still less than the 35 percent they were paying before Trump’s tax cuts. So, when you compare the two policies, it’s clear that one is geared towards economic recovery for all, while the other places the needs of big corporations above the needs of everyday citizens.

Seeberger: You’re spot-on, Daniella. It’s just a very, very, very stark contrast on this issue. But we’re not done with disastrous Trump proposals yet.

Gibbs Léger: Oh, great.

Seeberger: I also want to mention comments Donald Trump made recently about things he would do to fundamentally upend our democratic system of checks and balances. As we’ve discussed before, Donald Trump and his allies have laid out plans to strip federal agencies of their power and consolidate that power in the president if Trump is elected.

It’s a dangerous, antidemocratic series of reforms, and they’re pushing us toward a postconstitutional government so that they can usher in a sweeping and dangerous series of policy reforms, things like stripping Medicare of the ability to negotiate for lower drug prices, completely eliminating the Head Start program, or—they’re not talking too much about this one publicly—but also, banning abortion nationwide by misapplying the Comstock Act in order to be able to prevent people from being able to access the most common form of abortion: medication abortion.

But Trump wouldn’t just leverage these new powers to enact far-right policies. He’d also use this power to punish his political enemies. And you don’t have to take my word for it. He’s out there talking about it all the time.

Gibbs Léger: He’s so proud.

Seeberger: Yeah. In interviews with both Sean Hannity and Newsmax over the last week, Trump indicated he’d instruct his Department of Justice to prosecute his political opponents, including the Bidens, including Hillary Clinton. Let’s be clear: This is a gross abuse of presidential power. There is no evidence that Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, any of the folks that he’s going after have done anything to wrong Donald Trump or violate our rule of law.

Yet, it’s even more ironic the fact that Trump is out there doing campaign events and he’s saying, “I never chanted lock her up in 2016” about Hillary Clinton. He’s trying to gaslight voters, and yet he turns around and suggests in the same breath that he will indeed lock her up and others if he wins. I don’t even know where to begin.

Gibbs Léger: It is kind of the quintessential Donald Trump. When he speaks, he says one thing, and at the end of the sentence, he totally contradicts himself. It is wild.

Seeberger: Totally.

Gibbs Léger: And what’s even more wild is how other members of the Republican party are tripping over their feet to support him in the wake of his guilty verdict in Manhattan. It’s a who’s who of MAGA radicals from Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). They have rushed to denounce the trial and label it as “politically motivated.” And that’s the same kind of rhetoric that Trump is using to justify his dreams of political revenge in the second term. And it just goes to show how they’re enabling his authoritarian tendencies.

Seeberger: It’s not like we’ve seen any consequences from their enabling over the course of the last decade.

Gibbs Léger: And I also wanted to mention that while Trump’s efforts to concentrate presidential power have so far been mostly focused on federal agencies, we are now learning that he plans to wrestle power away from Congress too—specifically, authority over the federal budget.

The Washington Post reported last week that if elected, Trump plans to try to get his allies in Congress to repeal laws that limit his influence on the federal budget process. Let that sink in for a moment. And he plans to use something called executive impoundment power to end funding for any program that he doesn’t agree with—most notably, investments that are helping fight climate change.

Clearly, Donald Trump has never watched “Schoolhouse Rock!” Congress makes the budget; the president abides by it.

Seeberger: It’s kind of American government 101.

Gibbs Léger: Exactly! It’s how our government works. And executive impoundment power is not a blank check for a president to say what can and can’t be funded.

Donald Trump continues to churn out new and novel plans each week to give himself unchecked power over our federal government if elected to a second term. We need to believe him when he tells us what he’ll do in that event, because our democracy hangs in the balance.

Seeberger: It really does. Well, that’s all the time we have this week. If there’s anything you’d like us to cover on the pod, hit us up on Twitter @TheTentPod. That’s @TheTentPod. And stick around for my interview with Erin Reed in just a beat.

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Seeberger: Erin Reed is a transgender journalist and social media influencer. Her award-winning subscription newsletter, “Erin In The Morning”, tracks anti-LGBTQI+ legislation nationwide. Her work has been cited by the AP [Associated Press], [The] New York Times, [The] Washington Post, and more. Erin Reed, thanks so much for joining us on “The Tent.”

Erin Reed: Thank you so much for having me.

Seeberger: So, I’m sure you’re going to get this question a lot throughout this month, but could you tell our listeners what Pride Month means to you personally, as well as in the work you do every day?

Reed: Of course. Pride Month for me was really, really important, especially whenever I had first come out as transgender. It was often very hard for me to find community on my own. And so having a month where we would gather and celebrate and be able to enjoy each other’s company, it helped me feel like I wasn’t alone. And I think that that’s one of the biggest and most important factors around Pride Month.

People are coming out now more than ever. There are more trans and queer people that have felt free to make themselves known now than ever before. And those people need community. Those people need chosen family. So often, whenever we come out, we’re rejected by family, we lose our blood family. And so being able to have other people to celebrate with, to experience community with is, is so important.

Seeberger: That’s great. As a gay man myself, I also think of Pride as an opportunity to recommit ourselves to the fight for our freedoms, too. The freedoms that we have right now, the rights that we have right now, aren’t guaranteed. And they have to be constantly defended and strive to expand those freedoms even more.

I’m specifically interested in your thoughts about the trans community right now, who you focus a lot on in your reporting. Obviously, the story for trans Americans looks extremely different state to state, but in general, what’s your sense of the state of the trans community and the fight for trans rights across America?

Reed: The last five years have been incredibly hard. To be completely blunt, we have dealt with attacks in such a way that a lot of people have gotten hurt over all of these laws. We’ve seen a good 25 states pass laws banning gender-affirming care for transgender youth. And many of these states have also targeted transgender adults—like Florida, for instance.

We’ve seen bills that forced trans people to be outed to their parents and schools. We see bills that ban pronouns, bills that protect a student’s right to bully another trans person by using their old name and old pronouns and allowing them to not get in any trouble at all for it, protecting that. There are bills that have passed that give pharmacists the right to refuse to fill our medical prescriptions as well as gay people’s medical prescriptions as well. We see anti-AIDS, anti-HIV drugs targeted. We see birth control targeted, and more.

And so it’s been tough. The legal situation has been very difficult. And in fact, I know, according to polling from Data for Progress, for instance, that a good 130,000 to 260,000 trans people have already fled from their home state in the last few years. They’ve moved from places like Florida and Alabama and Texas.

And I can tell you, as somebody who lives in a state that is a bit more protective for trans people, they are fleeing to my local community. I’ve got an eight-year-old kid where I’m in parent’s groups in schools and on Facebook, and I see them saying, “I’ve just moved here from Texas. Is this place going to be safe for my queer family?” And so, we have seen this extreme attack on transgender people.

But in the last few months, I’m sensing something else. And as somebody that’s reported on this and had my finger on the pulse of this for a long time, I think it’s really important to note. I see that things are changing. The tide is beginning to shift.

And I first saw this in Arizona, where a Republican cast the deciding vote against a bill that would have sent forced outing and bathroom bans to the November ballot in the state. Immediately afterward, Florida failed to pass any anti-LGBTQ legislation. Then Georgia failed to pass any anti-LGBTQ legislation. Then West Virginia. We saw in Kansas a Republican cast a deciding vote against the gender-affirming care ban there. We assumed it would go through because Republicans had a super majority in Kansas and it didn’t.

And then just this weekend, we got a poll from Gallup that says that 62 percent of Americans oppose bans on gender-affirming care for transgender youth. And they asked the question in multiple different ways, so it wasn’t just the way that they asked the question. At the same time, another poll just came out the day before that says that 77 percent of people in America view attacks on trans people as a political distraction.

People are waking up. And I think that the history of moral panic shows that you cannot maintain hate for very long. They burn, and they get really dangerous. But eventually, people do move on as they begin to learn who we are. And just like in the fight for gay marriage, how you could have polled people during the 2002–2003 fight for gay marriage, and you would find something like 65 percent of people opposed to gay marriage. And that completely shifted within 10 years.

The reason why it shifted is because people got to know gay people in their communities. It was much easier to hate the gays than it was to hate your gay father, your gay brother, your gay sister. The same thing is happening right now with trans people. People are getting to know us. More people know us than ever before. And as they do, they learn that we’re members of your community just like anybody else. We want the same things. We have the same dreams.

Seeberger: That’s very inspiring, Erin. And I’m heartened to hear that many of the political ploys that we are seeing from the far right trying to be exploited in electoral politics, in campaigns, in voters rejecting that poisonous politics of division—I’m heartened to see that we’re starting to see some of that trickle over into legislative advocacy as well. That’s very encouraging.

So, many of the attacks that we are seeing from the far right, though, on transgender Americans, really rest on misinformation, particularly when it comes to bans on gender-affirming care—which, we’ll note for listeners, is medical best practice.

We’ve seen this even beyond the United States with things like the Cass Review in England, which you’ve reported on extensively. What is fueling this rampant misinformation? Can you talk about works like the Cass Review, how they pass for “legitimate science,” and how the antitrans movement latches onto those pieces of misinformation in order to fuel their attacks on transgender Americans?

Reed: Of course. So the Southern Poverty Law Center recently released a report on hate groups in the United States. And in that report, they noted an entirely new kind of anti-LGBTQ hate group: the attempt to launder antitrans and antiqueer hate through scientific facades. And we see this right now across the world.

I’m going to start in the United States, where just a couple of days ago—and I wrote a story on this—a group of pediatricians went viral on Twitter, went viral on Fox News. We saw news headlines saying that, “The American College of Pediatricians (ACP) has come out against transgender care.” This is misinformation, because the American College of Pediatricians is named similarly to the actual group that represents pediatricians in America: the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Seeberger: Yeah, that blew my mind.

Reed: The ACP was founded in 2002. They took that name purposefully. And it was founded in 2002 to oppose gay parenting. This is the kind of misinformation that can hurt. And it’s purposeful, because they’re getting out there and now people are going to read this and say, “Oh my God, something is changing in America.”

The truth of the matter is that all 31 major medical organizations that even touch this topic in the United States have issued strong statements in support of transgender care. And so then whenever you see people try to weaponize this tactic—we saw this first in Florida recently, whenever it comes to transgender care and the science around trans people, where Gov. [Ron] DeSantis (R) basically handpicked members onto a medical board from the Catholic Medical Association.

It’s notable, by the way, that the Catholic Medical Association—one of the tenets that you have to accept to join it is that you cannot advocate that gender-affirming care is medical best practice. That is specifically one thing that you have to pledge to not do. And so he tapped these people to make a decision on gender-affirming care for trans youth in Florida. To do that, they built this big review—which, again, they handpicked people to do this—to justify banning that care.

So I say all of this, I point to all of this medical misinformation and disinformation, purposeful disinformation, to contextualize what we’re seeing internationally. We just saw in the United Kingdom—a place where antitrans rhetoric can sometimes be even more extreme than in the United States—there was recently released a review called the Cass Review.

And that review was headed by members who belong to Southern Poverty Law Center hate groups—groups like Genspect and the Society for Evidence[-Based] Gender Medicine. Again, a name that sounds purposefully important and scientific, but in reality is just laundering antitrans misinformation. And in fact, we later learned that that review and the advisers for that review were taking meetings with the DeSantis Medical Board in order to ban care in Florida.

These fights are linked, and I think it’s in those linkages that we have to understand that advocacy for queer people, advocacy for trans people—local is so important. It’s so important to do it local. But it’s also important to recognize that this is an international fight as well. This fight is happening in other countries. This fight is happening in other states. And the victories that antitrans forces make in places like the United Kingdom or in Hungary or in Russia, they then take those and try to export them here. And so it’s important to recognize that.

Seeberger: That’s interesting. You mentioned at the top of our conversation how we have more people coming out than ever before. We have elections here in the United States coming up in November, and I think there’s going to be a lot of competition for LGBTQI+ voters this fall.

I want to ask, what issues do you think are going to be front and center for LGBTQI+ voters this fall? And how can candidates demonstrate a real, genuine commitment to serving the needs of the community?

Reed: I think that we have to take lessons from the fight over abortion. We have to. And what I mean by that is that in the aftermath of the Roe v. Wade decision, many Democrats made a mistake. They made a mistake by not pushing for codifying abortion protections into law. And thankfully that has changed in the aftermath of the Dobbs [v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization] decision. A lot of states quickly reacted and were like, “OK, we need to codify abortion restrictions.”

For trans and queer people, we need to make sure that all of the old antigay and antitrans laws are off the books. Many blue states still have old laws that are just sitting there with the assumption that they’re unconstitutional. But you never know what a judge does 10 years down the line. You have to make sure that you’re protecting your local communities, your trans and queer people in your community. And you have to be sure that you’re being proactive about it.

Thankfully, we’ve seen that. We’ve seen that 15 states that have passed shield laws protecting abortion and trans care, as well as many other forms of reproductive health care and LGBTQ health care. And this is extremely important. We need people that are going to support that.

The other thing that I want to mention is that even in states where LGBTQ issues are front and center, and where people are being protected, those protections need to be accessible to the people who need them the most. We need human rights navigators in our local city councils. We need people who are on our school boards advocating for the LGBTQ people that are members and of the students that are there and the teachers as well.

And we are seeing pushes to retake school boards that were captured by Moms for Liberty in 2003. And in fact, in 2003, Moms for Liberty-affiliated candidates lost 70 percent of their races. It was a trouncing—a historic loss by the group. It was a once-ascendant group that ran on books and bathrooms. And thankfully there was pushback to that. But that was in 2023. And in 2024, we’ll have many more elections to come.

I’m wearing a shirt right now that says, “Local elections matter.” And I truly believe that they do. I think that no matter where your opinions are on your uppermost level elections, it’s the local ones where you can have the most difference. Your vote will go the longest. And the people that are in your local community are going to be the ones fighting for you, no matter what laws exist at higher levels.

These local community elections are meaningful no matter which state you’re in. You can be in the reddest of red states and the bluest of blue states, but your local elections are the ones that are going to be directly impactful to you and your local community. And so I think that LGBTQ voters should absolutely look local. Local is where many of the protections are needed.

Seeberger: That’s great. And I think your point up top about LGBTQI people and policymakers needing to learn from the abortion rights movement is really apt. And I think for a long time, people were thinking, “Oh, we can’t possibly lose a constitutional right that people have enjoyed in this country for decades and decades.” And I think we’ve seen all of that be completely turned on its head. And we don’t know what rights and freedoms are going to be at risk in the months, in the years, in the decades to come. So, I think that is just so spot on.

With so many attacks coming from the right on LGBTQI+ folks, it can be really easy, I think, for people to be discouraged. But in the spirit of pride, I want to ask: Where are you seeing some positive developments? Where are you seeing some wins for the LGBTQI+ community, whether it’s in policy, in the courts, or culturally more broadly?

Reed: Absolutely. I mean, look, just a couple of weeks ago, we got word that a ballot initiative in California that was being pushed by one of the antitrans groups there and led by some of the major antitrans figures that we’ve seen in recent years—people like Chloe Cole, for instance, a political detransitioner who has advocated against LGBTQ people very broadly in recent years—that measure failed to gather enough signatures. They could not even get 1 percent of [the] California population to sign their petition to put this on the November ballot.

And this was an issue that I was watching really closely, because I think we all have memories— if you were around during the fight for gay marriage in the early 2000s—we all have memories of Proposition 8 and the way in which California suddenly voted to ban gay marriage. And so there were concerns that that would go through. But it didn’t.

And I think that, what we learn time and time again is that this is an issue that is not popular. Our communities are not clamoring for targeting trans and queer people.

Seeberger: Yeah.

Reed: Instead, this is coming from a handful of very well-funded conservative political action groups that are sending these bills out to state after state after state.

And so I take comfort in knowing that our communities are not asking for this. And then I also take comfort in knowing that the young people get it. Young people have given me so much hope over the last few years. Last year, the Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV) marches were the biggest TDOV marches in history. And they were led by Queer Youth Assemble, a group of all under-26 activists. And they knew. They know it. You look at polls, and you see that Gen Z and Millennials by and large support trans people and LGBTQ people. You look at the actions of these kids, and they’re walking out in large numbers in places like Virginia and Florida, protesting antitrans and anti-LGBTQ policies.

I often give a story whenever asked this question about what gives me hope, about a young trans girl in the state of Louisiana that I met about a year and a half ago. And she called me, and she said, “Hey, Erin, I go to this high school, I’m 17 years old, and I’m trans.” And the high school that she listed was a high school that was only 15 minutes away from where I grew up.

I knew that back then, 20 years ago, as a queer kid, it was very hard for me. I was bullied relentlessly. It was very difficult. And she let me know, she said, “And Erin, I was nominated for the homecoming court.” And I cried because that’s how things change. That’s how we move forward as a society. To see her accepted and loved in a place that was so hard for me—it’s hard not to have hope whenever you hear stories like that.

Seeberger: Absolutely, absolutely. I really appreciate all of your insights that you’ve shared with us today, as well as those that you continue to share online both through your newsletter as well as on social media.

And given the environment where you have policymakers, these political actors pushing to basically push trans people and LGBTQI+ people into the shadows, it can’t be easy being a trans journalist. Why do we need more trans voices in the media covering these issues? And what are some of the unique challenges you’ve faced as a journalist, both from the industry and in an increasingly hostile social media ecosystem?

Reed: We absolutely need more trans and queer journalists covering issues around trans and queer people. I have found—and I know many people in this field—that trans journalists are barred from covering this topic in many ways. And I’m not even just talking about on news desks. It is very hard to get any major publication to print a trans journalist or a trans writer to write even an opinion column.

We talked earlier about the Cass Review. In the aftermath of that review, The New York Times was very quick to print antitrans groups. The Washington Post—many of these papers were very quick to print opinions from conversion therapists. We saw actually, for instance, members of the now-defunct Gender Exploratory Therapy Association wrote articles about how what they’re doing is not actually conversion therapy; it’s OK to try to change a trans person’s gender. And whenever you see that in the wake of news, we’re shut out. We get shut out.

And I think that honestly, the whole reason why I have a platform, the whole reason why I’m able to do what I do, is because our major media outlets are leaving a huge gaping hole. Honestly, I’ve been filling the void with my reporting. And there are other journalists that are doing a really good job right now, too. People like Evan Urquhart, for instance, is covering this issue very well.

My hope is that in the future, these outlets—at least some of them—realize that trans people, gay people, queer people, we all have something to say and that our stories are important to listen to as well and that people do want to hear from us. And the quicker that happens, the better.

Seeberger: Hear, hear. Erin Reed, thank you so much for joining us on “The Tent.”

Reed: Thank you so much for having me.

Gibbs Léger: Well, that’s going to do it for us this week. As always, please go back and check out previous episodes. So, Colin.

Seeberger: Yes?

Gibbs Léger: Apparently, there’s some other things happening this Pride Month that we need to discuss.

Seeberger: Well, in the spirit of pride, we have something camp, we have something dramatic we have to talk about.

You may have seen that earlier this week, documentary filmmaker Lauren Windsor released audio from an exchange that she had with [U.S.] Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s wife, Martha Ann Alito. The audio was absolutely bonkers. I mean, literally, I thought that I was listening to “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” She is out there complaining about having to look at a pride flag across the street, is saying that she’s going to defer to her husband for now and not raise her own flag, but when he’s no longer on the court and she can put up whatever she wants, she’s designed her own flag.

Gibbs Léger: What?!

Seeberger: I know, I know, it sounds crazy, right? She’s designed her own flag. It’s going to be a white flag, yellow and orange flames around the sides, and it’s going to say “Vergogna,” V-E-R-G-O-G-N-A, vergogna, which stands for “shame” in Italian.

Gibbs Léger: Wow.

Seeberger: I mean, if that was not the most unhinged part of the audio, I don’t even know. It was so nuts, Daniella.

Gibbs Léger: What is going on with Supreme Court justices’ wives? I have to put the question out there to the people: What is happening?

Seeberger: It is bonkers. I mean, in the same audio, she is out there saying that when he’s no longer the court, she’s going to “get them.” She’s going to get them.

Gibbs Léger: Get who?

Seeberger: As she details in the audio, she’s referring to the media, but she’s like, “There’s a five-year defamation statute of limitations.” Can folks take five? Can we please? Can we go on summer vacation? What is happening here?

Gibbs Léger: I mean, it’s hilarious, and of course it’s not, because this man is a Supreme Court justice. But the fact that she feels so comfortable in this environment just saying that, it’s like, who are they socializing with? Who are these other people? And if there’s a silver lining in this very campy exchange, it’s that she said twice “when he retires” or “when he’s no longer on the court.” To me, that says maybe he won’t be there forever. So, maybe he’s doing an exit plan.

Let’s talk about something less scary, please.

Seeberger: Okay, we can, we can. There was also another woman making headlines this week: Sabrina Carpenter. I’m not sure if you caught it, but she released a new single from her upcoming album called “Please Please Please.” It is everywhere right now. She has the top two songs on global Spotify right now—”Espresso” at 11 million streams, “ Please Please Please” right behind at 10 1/2 million. Heck, by the time that this podcast airs, she may have already eclipsed her own number one. So we will definitely be jamming to “Please Please Please” here at “The Tent.” But I’m not sure whether you caught the music video that she also released?

Gibbs Léger: Not yet.

Seeberger: Okay. So Barry Keoghan, who “Tent” listeners know we have talked about extensively on the heels of his appearance in “Saltburn” last year—but yeah, he is the beau in her new music video, and I believe they’re dating.

Gibbs Léger: They are dating!

Seeberger: Yeah, yeah.

Gibbs Léger: Yes, because remember, they were at Coachella with “Traylor,” or however we’re saying Travis and Taylor these days. I don’t know. “Tayvis.”

Seeberger: Tayvis.

Gibbs Léger: Okay.

Seeberger: I was like, Traylor? Okay.

Gibbs Léger: All right. Tayvis. Yes. So they were hanging out together.

Seeberger: Yeah.

Gibbs Léger: Sabrina Carpenter’s having several moments.

Seeberger: Very much so.

Gibbs Léger: Yes. And I will admit that I do know Sabrina Carpenter songs because of Kidz Bop.

Seeberger: Kidz Bop?

Gibbs Léger: Yes. Parents, listen. If you can never put on Kidz Bop for your kids, don’t do it, because then that’s all they want to listen to.

But on the flip side, that’s the only way I know what current songs are out, is because I’m listening to children sing these songs.

Seeberger: Oh boy. Okay, so “Tent” listeners, you tune in for politics, policy, progress, and parenting tips.

Gibbs Léger: That’s exactly right. Nice alliteration.

Seeberger: Thank you.

Gibbs Léger: All right, that’s going to do it for us. Take care of yourselves, and we’ll talk to you next week.

[Musical transition]

“The Tent” is a podcast from the Center of American Progress Action Fund. It’s hosted by me, Daniella Gibbs Léger, and co-hosted by Colin Seeberger. Erin Phillips is our lead producer, Kelly McCoy is our supervising producer, Mishka Espey is our booking producer, and Muggs Leone is our digital producer. Hai Phan, Matthew Gossage, Olivia Mowry, and Toni Pandolfo are our video team. You can find us on YouTube, Apple, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.

Producers

Daniella Gibbs Léger

Executive Vice President, Communications and Strategy

@dgibber123

Colin Seeberger

Senior Adviser, Communications

Kelly McCoy

Senior Director of Broadcast Communications

Erin Phillips

Broadcast Media Manager

Mishka Espey

Senior Manager, Media Relations

Muggs Leone

Executive Assistant

Video Producers

Matthew Gossage

Events Video Producer

Hai-Lam Phan

Senior Director, Creative

Olivia Mowry

Video Producer

Toni Pandolfo

Video Producer, Production

Department

Communications

Explore The Series

Politics. Policy. Progress. All under one big tent. Produced by CAP Action, “The Tent” is a news and politics podcast hosted by Daniella Gibbs Léger and co-hosted by Colin Seeberger. Listen each Thursday for episodes exploring topics that progressives are focused on.

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