Susan Sarandon, the great actor and less-great political analyst-activist, appeared last night on MSNBC’s All In With Chris Hayes and proceeded to give the kind of interview that not only makes Fox News fans more confident in their contempt for liberals, but also leaves people like me — a fan of Sarandon as an artist — reconsidering who to root for her when she plays Bette Davis versus Jessica Lange’s Joan Crawford in the upcoming FX whoop-de-doo Feud.
You may recall that Sarandon was a huge Bernie Sanders supporter and an aggressive anti-Hillary Clinton proponent. She gave numerous interviews during the election saying there was essentially no difference between Clinton and Donald Trump. So All In host Hayes was, naturally, interested in hearing how much her thinking has changed now that President Trump is busy throwing America into nonstop chaos. “Can you look me in the eyes and say, 24 days into the Trump administration, ‘This is what I expected it to be’?” asked Hayes. Sarandon didn’t merely decline to answer, she got huffy: “What is the point of even saying that? It doesn’t matter, all these looking-back, philosophical things.”
Fixing Hayes with her best Thelma and Louise tough-woman glare, Sarandon said, “We don’t need to have conversations about my imagination about where Trump was gonna be [if elected]. We need you to cover these issues” — a reference to what Sarandon wanted to talk about, the Dakota Access pipeline, which she opposes and Trump supports. “You don’t think that water is important? Are you aware of how many pipelines are going in all over this country?”
Yes, yes, yes, Hayes said. But didn’t Sarandon have a wee bit of regret that she didn’t campaign as full-throatedly for Clinton once Sanders conceded? The problem for Hayes was that he, like so many in the media, allowed himself to be rather cowed by the presence of a real-life movie star in front of him and in turn allowed Sarandon to scold him for not covering her pet project protests more thoroughly. “Can you look me in the eyes and say you’re a journalist?” she riposted.
Sarandon declared, “The good thing about this horrible thing about having Trump [as president] is that people are awake, and they’re participating.” As a steamrolling display of narrow-minded celeb arrogance, this was impressive stuff. Later, when Hayes handed off his hour to Rachel Maddow, she said watching that interview, she got a little nervous on behalf of Hayes. “Oh, I was sweating,” Hayes admitted. The lesson: Don’t be intimidated by celebrities, Chris.
All In With Chris Hayes airs weeknights at 8 p.m. on MSNBC.