POLITICAL ARENA

Bowman stops to visit some toons

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No one is portraying him quite yet on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” but the national stage in front of congressional candidate Jamaal Bowman continues to expand.

His latest stop was on a satirical news show streamed on CBS All Access, “Tooning Out the News,” which presents a version of that day’s news — as told by cartoons.

Bowman was a guest on a segment of the animated show called “Inside the Hill,” itself a send-up of “Morning Joe” with hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, except with voice actors Addison Anderson and Maureen Monahan as Rich Ballard and Sarah Sabo taking on the primary hosting duties.

Bowman appeared remotely from his home, talking to the actors about the Democratic National Convention, with one of the actors — Jeremy Bent as Teddy Hopper, one of the other panelists — jokingly stating that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was going to give her speech from “inside her $10,000 fridge.” He then asked Bowman “what outsized purchase are you going to make when you get into office?”

“I will not be making any outsized purchases,” Bowman said, with a smile. “I still have a lot of student debt to pay off, so I am going to get to work on focusing on that.”

“OK, well, you’ll have to keep all of your artisan ice cream somewhere, Jamaal, keep that in mind,” Monahan said in her Sabo character.

The daily cartoon show premiered on the online streaming service last April, and is executive produced by CBS “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert. Among its other executive producers is R.J. Fried, who voices news anchor James Smartwood, and also produces the Showtime series “Our Cartoon President” featuring a satirized version of Donald Trump.

“We’ve got to grill you on this, Jamaal,” Anderson said, as Ballard. “You are a former principal. Can we trust you’re not in the pocket of big middle school students?”

“Yes, Jamaal, will we ever catch you having a high-powered, private fundraiser with sixth graders?” Monahan’s Sabo added.

Laughing, Bowman said he couldn’t promise that, adding that “I think I might be in the pocket of middle school students. Those are my constituents. Those are the people I serve.”

“Wow,” Monahan’s Sabo said, “he admits it.”

Bowman later told The Riverdale Press he was obviously in on the joke, and while he was given the topics that would be discussed in advance, he was hearing the questions from the comic actors for the first time as the audience did.

Bowman was able to work in a plug for the census, however, telling the hosts it “brings in tens of millions of dollars for your districts. Make sure you’re counted.”

“OK,” Monahan’s Sabo said, “Check out the census, or whatever. Now streaming.”

Bowman is expected to succeed Eliot Engel in the U.S. House of Representatives after winning the Democratic primary in June.

“Tooning Out the News” airs weekdays on CBS All Access.

 

DSA questions Israel

“Where do you plan on going on vacation this coming year,” isn’t typically on a lot of candidate questionnaires. But Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz is taking issue with one political group the lawmaker says went too far.

Dinowitz, whose son Eric is one of several people seeking to replace prospective judge Andrew Cohen on the city council, called out the Democratic Socialists of America taking issue with two questions the group has asked city council candidates as part of its endorsement process.

Those questions — whether they plan to avoid travel to Israel, and whether they support the Boycott, Divest, Sanction movement — are simply anti-Semitic, Dinowitz said.

“We should be encouraging prospective public servants to keep an open mind about the diversity of perspectives in our community, not boycotting a specific country,” Dinowitz said, in a release. “If the questions were really about human rights, then they should also refer to countries like China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran and North Korea.”

The group defended asking the questions in a statement to Spectrum News, saying council members are “regularly taken on expenses-paid” trips to Israel as political junkets.

“It is the only country council members are regularly taken on delegations to visit for this purpose,” according to the statement. “Yet, Palestinians have lived under military occupation and siege, been displaced from their homes, and denied freedom of movement for decades.”

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