Episode 67: Our First Annual Second Annual Year-in-Review

In a special sixty-seventh episode of The Latest, we look back at the year 2020 in our First Annual Second Annual Year-in-Review. Joe DeCristoforo, host of the “Joe’s Daily U.S. History Lesson” podcast (http://joesdailyushistorylesson.com), joins the program for this week’s O.J. Simpson Twitter Update.

The Latest with Greg Ott
Episode 67: Our First Annual Second Annual Year-in-Review
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Transcript

As 2020 draws to a close, we’d like to take a look back at some of the biggest stories and trends we covered this year. Not because we’re trying to juke our SEO stats, but because we’d like to create a time capsule that we’ll open one day in the future to infect our friends and neighbors. 

And because we didn’t do one of these episodes for our first season, it’s officially our First Annual Second Annual Year-in-Review. 

JANUARY

  • In January, Boeing suspended the production of its 737 Max airliner after multiple problems with a software update that greatly improved the plane’s rate of descent. But don’t worry: on Tuesday, December 30, American Airlines is reintroducing the aircraft into its U.S. fleet — so whether it plunges into a mountain or crashes into the ocean, 2021 will likely begin with a bang or a splash.
  • The start of 2020 also gave us an early glimpse of the Jackson 5 days of the “coronavirus,” with its humble beginnings as a young talent that would eventually blossom into the full Michael Jackson: a household name that reached every corner of the earth, touched a great many of us, and left behind an irreparable trail of damage. 

FEBRUARY

  • February officially kicked off the 2020 Presidential Election with the botched Iowa caucuses, which featured a malfunctioning app that inaccurately reported that a landlocked cornfield with less than 1% of the nation’s population deserves to determine the best person to chart a course for its 325 million neighbors.
  • It was also the month that more than 1,000 former prosecutors and justice department officials called for the resignation of Bill Barr, after the Attorney General sought lenient punishments for convicted felons like Roger Stone and Michael Flynn, such as a mandated two-year minimum friendship with the My Pillow guy. 
  • Barr ultimately you can’t fire me, I quit, in mid-December, in hopes that his newfound conscience would earn him a refill of brandy in the barrel strapped around his neck. 

MARCH

  • In March, everything came to a complete stop as the COVID-19 pandemic replaced office small talk, like “I hope it doesn’t rain tonight” with work-from-home Slack chat small talk, like “I hope the Nazi governor of Michigan doesn’t make me cover my mouth at the Burger King drive-through because if they can’t understand my order, they’re not an essential worker.” 
  • While stuck at home, many chose to binge Tiger King on Netflix, which was released the first week of quarantine — which still serves as a reminder to those who have since watched TENET, The Midnight Sky, and Wonder Woman 1984, of what it was like for streaming services to release content that people actually enjoy.

APRIL

  • As the virus raged on through April, citizens across the country poured into the streets in mass opposition to the year’s headline-grabbing injustice: not being able to get a haircut.
  • Safeguards that were implemented in the interest of public health, kind of like when a “coming soon” sign appears in front of what’s about to become a joint KFC-Taco Bell as a means of caution, were protested by citizens who believed that the masks that prevent large infected droplets from spreading in the open air pose a greater danger to others than the bullets contained within the guns they carried that were purchased without a background check.  
  • April also brought to light the need for improved vote-by-mail options for the November election, which sought to exchange that “I voted” sticker you wear on your shirt for more than a week to showcase the fact that you’ve done your bare minimum civic duty, for a stamp, those things that you’re supposed to buy almost anywhere that nobody seems to actually sell.

MAY

  • In May, we covered the rise of the QAnon mass delusion across websites like Facebook, apps like Facebook, and social media platforms like Facebook.
  • It was a match made in heaven, as the Venn diagram of people who believe that Tom Hanks is a pedophile who sips on the blood of unborn children out of a tall Collins glass at the Clinton family’s secluded New York estate, and people who still think Facebook is just a popular, fun means of staying in touch with the people who used to live in your apartment building that you never bothered to get to know in real life, resembles a perfect circle. 
  • But since that episode aired, multiple Q Anon supporters have been elected to Congress, presumably thanks to their catchy promise of “a chicken in every pot, a car in every garage, and a suicide bomber outside of every 5G tower in Nashville.”

JUNE

  • In June, the nation descended upon the Maul of America in Minnesota, as officers casually stood by to watch policeman Derek Chauvin murder George Floyd.
  • Citizens around the world took to the streets in protest of the USA’s casual indifference towards what was laid out in the Declaration of Independence as the country’s alleged inalienable rights, because even if a person of color is afforded liberty and the opportunity to pursue happiness, they still need that life part.

JULY

  • As demonstrations bled into July, and those seeking to build a more perfect union sought to excise harmful symbols of our troubled past by taking down Confederate statues throughout the country. 
  • Republicans such as President Trump and Senator Roy Blunt defended the honor of such historical figures, believing that if they’re not able to revisit the past, they won’t be able to recreate their actions.
  • The summer also featured congressional hearings against the major big tech companies, forcing Facebook to decide whether they’re the pre-eminent propaganda exchange for media illiterate baby boomers, oblivious suburnaites, and unpopular millennials, or something else altogether that hasn’t been invented yet.

AUGUST

  • August brought forth allegations of insider trading at Kodak, that onetime household name, like Kevin Spacey, that’s still around somewhere, apparently, after executives received stock options just before receiving a contract to produce chemicals for drug ingredients that can help ward off COVID-19, as long as you remember to load them properly. 
  • While those executives were ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing, it served as a reminder that sitting senators like Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue of Georgia have made millions of dollars while trading stocks as members of Congress. 
  • Perhaps they’ve come around on the idea of a $2,000 coronavirus stimulus check because they might cover the convenience fee should pick up a few loose shares of Monsanto, Enron, or the other types of companies that espouse their values. 

SEPTEMBER

  • In September, Amy Coney Barrett replaced Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the Megablocks knockoff of a Lego Supreme Court justice.
  • Barrett underwent criticism for ties to an extreme religious sect. But it turns out that The Handmaid’s Tale was not, in fact, inspired by Barrett’s group, known as People of Praise, but was instead based on a different group called People of Hope. It’s an important distinction that should straighten out that only one of these brainwashed cults one opposes gay marriage, while the other opposes same sex marriage.
  • Climate change, that thing on your back that you pretend is a mole that you know, deep down, is malignant, also grabbed headlines in September as the west coast struggled to contain out-of-control wildfires, with annual flare-ups that are beginning to resemble seasons of The Simpsons: an ongoing shame with no end in sight that we’re totally helpless to stop. 
  • In fact, September 2020 was the warmest month on record worldwide, which you can read all about in a future edition of Guinness Book of Hops Don’t Grow Anymore and There’s No Clean Water So We’re Drinking Oil Now. 

OCTOBER

  • In October, Mr. Trump contracted COVID-19 because he must have stopped washing his hands at the 29-second mark just one time.  
  • The end of the year brought out a domestic terrorism kidnapping planned by a Michigan militia plot in response to the COVID-19 restrictions that hoped to incite a second civil war, in a 2020 Madlib of a sentence that’s only missing the words Tik and Tok. 

NOVEMBER

  • November brought forth the defeat of Donald Trump, a historically unpopular one-term president whose selfishness, indifference, nepotism, incompetence, racial invective, and questionable fashion earned him a measly 74,222,593 votes from our friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. 
  • President-Elect Joe Biden, a four decades-long Washington DC veteran and Halloween decoration that we decided to keep propped up for the next four years, will go forth with his mission of restoring the soul of the nation, meaning that once the pandemic’s finally under control, yelling at waiters for bringing us the meal we ordered incorrectly because we didn’t bother to read the menu, we’ll get back our time-honored American traditions of pretending that unions still have power, and believing that movies based on comic books embody our nation’s greatest contributions to art and culture. 

DECEMBER

  • In December, HBO Max upset Hollywood when it announced that it would be releasing blockbuster movies directly onto its streaming service — meaning if you really want to watch Godzilla take on King Kong while enjoying a stale hot dog that’s been fondled by a teenager, you’ll need to swing by 7-11.
  • And finally, to put an end to our long, national nightmare, multiple COVID-19 vaccines were approved for safe production. And as states continue struggling with storage, distribution, and opposition to taking the vaccine itself, there’s a good chance that the COVID-19 pandemic will, at long last, be under control, just as COVID-29 emerges from a bowl of raccoon stew. 

Will 2021 look like the 2021 Johnny Mnemonic, with people wearing face masks, corrupted information spreading throughout the world, and Keanu Reeves continuing to find work?

Or will 2021 look more like the 2021 of Mission to Mars: somewhat enjoyable, completely forgettable, but ultimately not a drag on our souls?

Stay tuned to The Latest with Greg Ott for a full report.