A protester screams ‘Freedom’ inside the Senate chamber at the US Capitol on January 6. Picture: Getty Images/Win McNamee
A protester screams ‘Freedom’ inside the Senate chamber at the US Capitol on January 6. Picture: Getty Images/Win McNamee

The ratings are in for the newest US reality TV show, The Real Patriots of Orange-Banana Republic. Verdict? A window-and democracy-smashing hit.

Never in the history of television has the pilot episode of anything spawned such a reaction so fast and so wide. Excitement! Flags! Hot dogs! Sedition! Merch! (The designs are already out for a Lego "Capitol invasion" set with the shirtless QAnon believer and his horns, bearskin cloak and megaphone as lead figurine.*)

The pilot episode has left lots of people punch-drunk, in places where they like to punch people who suggest democracy is a good thing.

Usually the punching is done behind doors in buildings with bland façades and thick walls, so the screams cannot be heard outside.

But last Thursday gave fascists everywhere a screenplay: instead of torturing dissidents and libs in basements, spin it: take your airborne-droplet outrage to the streets and make it Their Fault. How many bottles of vodka must they have roared through that night in the Kremlin, laughing helplessly at US democracy being stomped by flag-waving "patriots" who wouldn’t be able to identify irony if it was a rabid dog that bit them in the bum. The reaction of Brazilian Trump groupie President Jair Bolsonaro was to say there were "a lot of reports of fraud", after which he whined he’d have won without a run-off in 2018 if the poll hadn’t been soured by fraud. (It wasn’t.)

Pity Bolsonaro won’t get a chance to star in the other reality TV show airing on January 21: You’re Fired has only one episode and one actor — the 45th president of the US.

*Lego is not making a Capitol invasion set

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