Episode 7: Bono Meets With Mike Pence

February 22nd 2017

ATTN: Staff

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Over the weekend, Bono met with Vice President Mike Pence met at the Munich Security Conference, and Bono took the opportunity to encourage Pence to keep supporting global AIDS relief and to thank Pence for his past support — which Pence defended it on the House floor while he was a congressman. In January, the Trump White House signaled that it will keep the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). PEPFAR was started during the President George W. Bush administration.

Bono has been a long-time advocate for AIDS relief, but Twitter was quick to criticize the U2 frontman for meeting with Pence. An HIV outbreak in Scott County, Indiana happened while Pence was governor. Some, like the Huffington Post's, Erin Schumaker, have linked cuts to Planned Parenthood that Pence championed as a congressman and as governor to the closing of the only HIV testing center — a Planned Parenthood — in Scott County. Poverty, intravenous drug use (specifically abuse of the opioid Opana), sharing needles, and a lack of HIV testing have been blamed for the outbreak.

On the other hand, Bono has been an ardent supporter of PEPFAR, and the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress control whether or not the program continues. This puts Bono in the position of many progressive advocates who must balance a principled opposition to everything related to the Trump administration with the practical reality that they need to work with the federal government.

On this week's "Got Your Attention" Head of Editorial Mike Vainisi, Senior Editor Sarah Gray, Staff Writer Danielle DeCourcey, and special guest-host Editor in Chief Matthew Segal break down the outrage. They also discuss Milo Yiannopoulos, answer what has surprised them most about the first month of Donald Trump's presidency, and look to Venezuela to help understand how to beat a populist.

Podcast notes:

Read more about the stories we did (and didn't) talk about this week on "Got Your Attention."

  • A special election is happening in Georgia’s 6th Congressional district on April 18. Tom Price — newly confirmed Secretary of Health and Human Services — must vacate his seat for his new job. President Donald Trump only won this district by 1.5 percentage points, so many are looking at this special election as a referendum on Trump.
  • Former Breitbart editor and contributor Milo Yiannopoulos lost his book deal with Simon & Schuster, he resigned from Breitbart, and his invitation to speak at CPAC was rescinded following the resurfacing of video where he spoke critically of age-of-consent laws. (Also read author Roxane Gay's full response.)
  • Should Democrats move to the left on economics? Bernie Sanders obviously thinks so. President Obama even mentioned the need to be bolder. But do they risk alienating moderates who dislike Trump? A New York Times op-ed makes the case for Democrats moving left.
  • Lindsay Lohan is claiming that she was "racially profiled," according to E! News.
  • The Cardinals’ Dexter Fowler, whose wife is Iranian, told the press that Trump’s travel ban is "unfortunate."
  • Bono was praising Vice President Mike Pence over global AIDS relief — but let's not forget the HIV outbreak in Indiana and then-Governor Pence's response.
  • Are we entering a terrifying new epoch? The New York Times Magazine looks into the Anthropocene.
  • Your teeth should be covered by health insurance, and they're not for no good reason.
  • How to beat a populist: Advice from someone who lived through the Chavez experiment in Venezuela for the anti-Trump factions in America.
  • Trump said that he wants to unite the country after visiting the African-American History Museum.
  • I want to talk about the scathing op-ed in the New York Times about “Ryancare” — or Paul Ryan’s ACA replacement.

What is the "Got Your Attention" podcast?

If you've ever wondered how the staff pitch and select the stories that you read or watch at ATTN:, we're giving you an inside listen. ATTN: Media is excited to announce "Got Your Attention," a podcast where ATTN: staffers compete to have their pitches accepted by our host — while also unpacking some of the week's most important headlines.

The game is simple: Three ATTN: staff members — Head of Editorial Mike Vainisi, Staff Writer Danielle Decourcey, and Senior Editor Sarah Gray — pitch their best stories to our host and Editor in Chief Matthew Segal. If Mike picks their story, they get a point, and the four discuss the story.