New York Post reporter Steven Nelson decided Wednesday’s White House daily press briefing on the coronavirus was the perfect time to ask Donald Trump whether he’ll pardon Joe Exotic, who’s become a national sensation after the docu-series Tiger King premiered on Netflix during the global pandemic.
“The man who’s the star of this, a former zoo owner, who’s serving a 22-year prison sentence, he’s asking you for a pardon saying he was unfairly convicted. Your son yesterday joking said he was going to advocate for it and I was wondering if you saw the show and if you had any thoughts on this,” Nelson asked.
Trump said, “Which son? It must be Don? I had a feeling it was Don. Is that what he said? I don’t know anything about it. He has 22 years for what? What’d he do?”
“To murder an animal rights activist, but he said that he didn’t do that,” Nelson said, mentioning the alleged hit Joe Exotic made on animal rights activist Carole Baskin, owner of Big Cat Rescue.
Trump then asked Nelson, “Do you think he did do it? What do you think? Are you recommending a pardon?”
While the story of Joe Exotic, who was arrested in September 2018 and convicted of attempted murder after allegedly paying $3,000 to kill Baskin, has absolutely captured the nation’s attention, there are far more pressing matters to be discussed during the White House press briefing. According to Worldometer, as of April 8, 426,300 patients in America had tested positive for the deadly coronavirus and 14,622 had died.
However, Trump smirked at the remarks and then volleyed the question of pardoning Joe Exotic to CNN reporter Jim Acosta, who refused to comment on the matter. In the end, Trump said, “I’ll take a look at it.”
Conservatives on Twitter Loved The ‘Light-Hearted’ Question, While Liberals Compared the White House Briefing To A Bad Reality Show
While issues such as making sure healthcare workers across the nation have PPE or figuring out if hospitals have enough ventilators to save patients that have tested positive for COVID-19 sound more important to discuss at the moment, many conservative reporters and online users loved that the New York Post reporter brought up Joe Exotic.
Katie Pavlich of Fox News tweeted, “The reporter asking President Trump about Tiger King and a possible pardon for Joe Exotic is exactly the kind of quarantine content we need.”
Liberal media, on the other hand, were outraged. Shannon Watts, founder of Moms on Demand, tweeted,“WTAF: A reporter wastes our time by asking Donald Trump if he’ll pardon Joe Exotic, saying he’s the only one getting ratings as high as Trump’s press conferences. How many Americans will die today?”
Dr. Eugene Gu tweeted, “The media is so addicted to sensationalism that a journalist at the Coronavirus Press Conference literally asked Trump whether he will listen to Donald Trump Jr.’s suggestion to pardon Tiger King Joe Exotic for hiring a hit man. We have a broken government and a broken media.”