What happened: Lucas Kunce, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Missouri, played Magic: The Gathering with a journalist from Time magazine, a once-respected publication.
The resulting article was clearly inspired by the Washington Free Beacon's exclusive report about Kunce being a massive nerd who was a male cheerleader at Yale and got arrested for harassing his neighbors with a box of Lucky Charms because their weed-smoking annoyed him. (Yes, seriously.) He also plays wizard-themed card games in his spare time.
Nerd alert: Mini Racker, the Time reporter, attempts to explain what happened during the gathering of magic. We're pretty sure that Kunce kicked her ass and enjoyed doing it like one of those rare nerd-bully hybrids. Beyond that, who the hell knows?
Driving the news, defending democracy: The Free Beacon is dedicated to speaking truth to power and afflicting the comfortable, which includes members of the political party that controls the federal government. Our story on Kunce's nerd tendencies forced the candidate to take an extreme position and embrace an odious ideology to placate the radical nerd fringe.
What they're saying: "They just don't understand how everyday people live," Kunce said of the millions of hardworking Americans who are understandably weirded out by Magic: The Gathering and other nerd-involved activities.
Some context: Kunce is one of those stock-image white guy candidates the Democratic Party likes to nominate in conservative states where they are almost definitely going to lose.
• He's an Ivy League grad (Yale and Columbia) who served as a lawyer in the Marines and currently works at a fake-sounding think tank (the American Economic Liberties Project). He recently adopted a Southern accent. (Bless his heart.)
• Kunce is almost definitely going to lose, but not before the mainstream media publish a bunch of puff-piece profiles that make it seem like he has a legitimate chance to beat Sen. Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) when in fact he does not.
Beto O'Rourke, beta version: Time describes Kunce as "a clean-cut, populist Marine vet who could give Democrats a fighting chance in a deep red state." Based on what, exactly? On his first failed Senate campaign in 2022, when he "got buzz in the national press as the sort of Democrat who might be able to face a Republican in a state that seemed to be turning darker red."
Kunce didn't even make it through the Democratic primary that year. He lost to a beer heiress. But he generated "buzz," which gives him a "fighting chance" to beat an incumbent Republican in a state Donald Trump won by more than 15 percentage points in 2020. Yeah, maybe.
Why it matters: In a free and just society, playing Magic: The Gathering with a journalist would disqualify someone from seeking public office. To paraphrase one of America's most formidable intellectual prognosticators: "We don't want nerds elected in Missouri. No nerds!"