On Friday’s CBS Mornings during the “Talk of the Table” segment, they came through with the first broadcast network news show coverage of the Senate dress code change in order to accommodate the mentally and physically incapacitated Senator John Fetterman (D-PA). And, instead of focusing on how the former was made to baby the ladder, the CBS crew laughed about opposition to axing a business professional requirement from the Senate.
Fill-in co-host Adriana Diaz began by touting there’s “another showdown brewing in Congress” and full of “dramatic twists and turns” and it wasn’t the looming shutdown: “[J]ust yesterday, a top Democrat broke with the party’s leadership to align himself with the other side, and this debate is over the Senate dress code.”
As co-hosts Nate Burleson and Vladimir Duthiers chuckled, Diaz continued:
On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told the sergeant-at-arms he will no longer have to enforce the dress code. That was a suit and tie for men and a dress or suit for women. Some have said it was to accommodate Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman, who has had to vote from the doorway because of his casual attire. Of course he’s known for wearing hoodies.
Notice how nothing was said about why the sudden change was made and how it could be boiled down to allowing a vegetable to dress how he wants to keep him from being depressed.
But, as Stephen L. Miller wrote at The Spectator (click “expand”):
Now we’re being told that if John Fetterman is not allowed to wear whatever clothes he chooses, it could trigger a remission of his depression and hamper any further recovery from his stroke — a health incident about which the public was deceived, almost from the beginning, as National Review’s Jim Geraghty noted.
Much like how an entire kindergarten class must accommodate one problem child who refuses to do his work unless his own special conditions are met, we are being misled once again under the guise of a dress code. The Senatorial dress code is not the issue. The issue is the ongoing deception by John Fetterman, his family, his office and the media who will go to the lengths of bullying their own colleagues should they dare report on the accurate nature of Fetterman’s abilities.
The question is simple: can John Fetterman perform basic tasks, such as showing up to vote (he shouts his vote through a doorway) or putting on a suit like a healthy, functioning adult, without work restrictions, as his campaign promised back in October? If he can’t do these things, then why did his campaign, aided by a willing media, tell the voters of Pennsylvania that he could? Does John Fetterman require in-home assistance to perform even basic tasks, like feeding or dressing himself? Is he able to tie a tie?
After a mash-up of reactions from Senators (and Speaker McCarthy), Diaz giggled in approval at Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for her answer that a dressed-down Senate as fine “as lone as people cover all their private parts” before noting the growing bipartisan support for changing back to the business professional dress code.
Diaz, who’s husband was just named a Biden White House fellow, took the left’s side by insinuating the right’s more concerned about this than ensuring the government doesn’t shut down: “So, obviously, this is happening against a backdrop of the government being on the brink of a shutdown and they have much more important things to do than talk about this. But it is capturing people’s attention, including my own.”
Having asked the guys to weigh in, Duthiers stood up for professionalism and correctly observed “we have come too far from the standard that we used to have in this country where there are moments when you can be casual and you can wear beach clothes and flip-flops and shorts, and there are moments when you have to present yourself in a manner that is befitting of the occasion or of the platform.”
Always a finely-dressed man, Duthiers showed a picture of when he visited CNN as a student and was the lone person to wear a suit, which was a sign of how committed he was to get a job in the news business.
Burleson had a different take, arguing he’d have sympathy for dressing professionally if “it aligns with how they also act” and Washington need to honor “decorum” as going “both ways.”
Before moving on, Duthiers quipped to Burleson’s amusement: “But yeah, fix the government and worry about the clothes later.”
To see the relevant CBS transcript from September 22, click “expand.”
September 22, 2023
8:31 a.m. Eastern
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Talk of the Table; Dress Code on the Hill?]
ADRIANA DIAZ: My Talk of the Table is about yet another showdown brewing in Congress. One that has taken dramatic twists and turns all week in the Senate. So here’s what happened — just yesterday, a top Democrat broke with the party’s leadership to align himself with the other side, and this debate is over the Senate dress code. [DUTHIERS AND BURLESON LAUGH] On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told the sergeant-at-arms he will no longer have to enforce the dress code. That was a suit and tie for men and a dress or suit for women. Some have said it was to accommodate Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman, who has had to vote from the doorway because of his casual attire. Of course he’s known for wearing hoodies. CNN caught up with some lawmakers about the change. Take a listen.
HOUSE SPEAKER KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Are we going to change all the Senate rules simply so someone can wear gym clothes onto the floor?
SENATOR RICK SCOTT (R-FL): This has got to change back. We have got to have decorum.
SENATOR JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): I don’t like it.
SENATOR ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): I’m fine. You know, as long as people cover all the private parts.
SENATOR TIM KAINE (D-VA): I think you can have respect for the institution without a formal dress code.
DIAZ: [LAUGHS] Oh, Elizabeth Warren. So, even Schumer’s number two, Dick Durbin, opposes the change, and The Hill reports another Democrat, Joe Manchin, plans to introduce a resolution to restore the dress code. He’s got that rare accessory on Capitol Hill — bipartisan support.
NATE BURLESON: Hmmm.
DIAZ: So obviously this is happening against a backdrop of the government being on the brink of a shutdown —
VLADIMIR DUTHIERS: Yes.
DIAZ: — and they have much more important things to do than talk about this. But it is capturing people’s attention, including my own. What do you guys think?
DUTHIERS: Look, I am one of those who believes that we have come too far from the standard that we used to have in this country where there are moments when you can be casual and you can wear beach clothes and flip-flops and shorts, and there are moments when you have to present yourself in a manner that is befitting of the occasion or of the platform. I have a picture of myself when I was an intern. I was just a student in school and we went to visit CNN for the first time. I — I mean, like —
DIAZ: It’s a suit!
DUTHIERS: — I’m wearing this three-piece suit.
DUTHIERS: I’m a student —
BURLESON: And you’re the only one —
DUTHIERS: — visiting —
BURLESON: — in the photo.
DUTHIERS: — yes. And I think —
BURLESON: And you got the job —
DUTHIERS: — I mean, I’m here.
BURELSON: — you’re here.
DUTHIERS: Although there is — a lot of great journalists in that photo, as well, who have had incredible careers. I just think that, you know, when you show up for work, you look a certain way.
BURLESON: Okay, so —
DUTHIERS: Go to the beach, you look a certain way.
BURLESON: — I understand that. You are a traditionalist especially when it comes to fashion, and you do make valid points, but I hear these words like decorum when it comes to the standards that are set and how things should be, but I hope that how they want people to dress, it aligns with how they also act —
BURLESON: — because, sometimes, their word don’t match how they want people to dress. So, decorum goes both ways with how you look and how you act as our political leaders in this country.
DIAZ: I will say, very quickly, some changes are important like women can wear sleeveless clothes.
DUTHIERS: Very good point.
DIAZ: You can wear religious headwear, so you know, evolution is important.
BURLESON: Yeah. Alright, Vlad, what do you got?
DUTHIERS: But yeah, fix the government and worry about the clothes later. [BURLESON LAUGHS]