“Something Out Of Jerry Springer”: Commentators Lament Out-Of-Control, Insult-Filled House Hearing Featuring Marjorie Taylor Greene

C-SPAN coverage of Congress turned into a Jerry Springer-like spectacle of name-calling and insults on Thursday, as a verbal jab lobbed by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) triggered an extended period of outcry from several Democrats on the House Oversight Committee.

The purpose of the hearing was to consider whether to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt, a polarizing proposal that quickly made the proceedings raucous. But things got especially chaotic after Greene took a swipe at Rep. Jasmine Crockett over her “fake eyelashes.”

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Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) then stepped in to protest Greene’s remarks, telling her, “How dare you attack the physical appearance of another person.”

Greene responded, “Are your feelings hurt?”

“Oh, girl. Baby girl. Don’t even play,” Ocasio-Cortez responded.

Greene said that she would strike her words, but she declined to apologize.

For her part, Crockett got in a dig at Greene as the hearing devolved into debate over Greene’s remarks. “If someone on this committee then starts talking about somebody’s bleach blonde bad built butch body, that would not be engaging in personalities, correct?”

The chairman of the committee, Rep. James Comer (R-KY), expressed confusion. “What now?” In fact, he claimed to have had trouble hearing as the proceedings got out of control.

Greene has become somewhat of an outcast in her own party after she sought to oust Speaker Mike Johnson, an effort that was resoundingly defeated in a vote last week. She also has yet to appear at Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York, even as other right wing members have made the trek in support of the former president. On Thursday, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) was at the courthouse, and during the evening hearing, she even voted with Democrats on a resolution that Greene should be silent during the remainder of the proceedings.

The committee, on a party line vote, ultimately passed the Garland contempt recommendation.

The spectacle of the hearing, though, was a hot topic on this morning’s news and talk shows, as commentators on the left and right pointing to it as an example of the decline of decorum in Congress. On CNN’s This Morning, a panel pointed to the hearing as an example of how the incentives for lawmakers have shifted to scoring partisan points with moments that could go viral on social media, rather than seek compromise on legislation to get things done.

Former Fox News and CNBC contributor Julie Roginsky wrote on X/Twitter, “This is literally something out of Jerry Springer: members of the House having a tabloid-ready fight over fake eyelashes and fake hair. This is what the Trumpification of America has wrought.”

Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) went further, writing, “In the past, I’ve described the U.S. House as The Jerry Springer Show. Today, I’m apologizing to The Jerry Springer Show.”

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