In this segment, there can only be one “winner.” But if your stomach can take it, here are some unnerving stories from the past week.
Facebook — I mean, Meta
Facebook announced this week it has changed its name to Meta to better reflect its focus on the metaverse — a virtual, interconnected “world” that inhabitants can access through devices like headsets or glasses.
Last week, I wrote that Facebook’s metaverse plans should excite you in some ways. But I also said the company's troubling record of manipulating its users should absolutely terrify anyone who inhabits the new world it's trying to create.
Conservative Senate Democrats
Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona both embraced their roles as foils to progressives during negotiations over President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan this week.
Manchin has used his power as one of two Democratic holdouts to water down key social programs in the bill, while Sinema has reportedly used her power to possibly tank a plan to lower prescription drug costs that’s popular in her state of Arizona.
Collectively, they’ve significantly pared down a popular bill, benefiting themselves and their wealthy donors in the energy and pharmaceutical sectors. Oh, the horror!
Cruel Covid defiance
Earlier this week, it was reported that Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo was booted from a meeting with an immunocompromised state senator after refusing to wear a mask.
Ladapo, who frequently spreads vaccine and mask-related conspiracy theories, has been a reliable sidekick to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, in his opposition to public health measures. There’s nothing scarier than having conspiracy theorists at the wheel during a pandemic.
This week, National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell said the league won’t release a report on its investigation into sexual harassment and abuse committed by Washington Football Team executives. Goodell said the league won’t put out a report in order to “protect” the people who came forward with stories of misconduct, despite several of them asking for the results to be shared publicly.
But the league’s excuse here is weak and unbelievable. Team owners — fearful of damning information the investigation could have unearthed — have the most incentive to keep the results secret. Feigning sympathy for harassment victims in order to defend powerful executives? Without question, one of the most unnerving stories of the week.
Watch Joy's "Absolute Scariest" segment below.
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