If industries can buy themselves an exemption from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, then there is no real deadly pandemic. If the coronavirus was really as deadly as the Spanish Flu, no one would be lobbying the governor for an exemption to his lockdown orders. But that is exactly what has been happening in the recesses of Gov. Newsom’s office.
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive.” Sir Walter Scott had it right, even in the 18th Century.
The Intercept is reporting California’s entertainment industry has been given exemptions to operate during the COVID lockdown, thanks to efforts by lobbyists close to Gov. Gavin Newsom.
As Californians have suffered nine months under business lockdowns, school closures and stay-at-home orders, lobbyists like Jason Kinney, who are in and out of the governor’s office like it has a revolving door, were able to get the governor to name the television and movie production industry as “critical infrastructure,” allowing Netflix and Hollywood studios to continue film productions, including in Los Angeles, which has one of the most strict lockdown orders.
“One of Kinney’s clients, Netflix, has been allowed to continue to operate during the latest round of forced closures that began last week as intensive care hospital capacity has dwindled across the state,” the Intercept reported.
If Jason Kinney’s name is familiar, he’s the birthday boy from the now infamous French Laundry dinner Nov. 6th that Gov. Newsom and his wife attended, with a bar tab of $15,000, and dinners that start at $310. “The dinner controversy was more than just an opulent display of political double standards — it also highlighted the backroom efforts to maintain special treatment during the pandemic.”
The Intercept said:
Many studios are still filming shows across Los Angeles, including HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method,” along with at least 40 feature films that began filming in November. Sony Pictures told investors that it began to ramp up its production schedule back in July.
This stands in sharp contrast to the strict rules applied to the average California resident or small business. Californians in many counties now face fines or imprisonment for venturing outside for any “nonessential” travel, congregating in small groups, or operating an outdoor restaurant, even one that follows federal guidelines on social distancing and hygiene.
This is all ironic given that Gov. Gavin Newsom just sent out an “Emergency Alert” Friday to everyone’s cell phone, ordering Californians to “stay home, wear a mask, keep your distance.”
By Katy Grimes