#teensexting | #sexting | Don’t Look Up: Who Are the Characters Based On

Streep’s President Orlean similarly merges elements of other political figures across the spectrum, from the fact she’s seen in one photograph hugging former President Bill Clinton, and somewhat copying his folksy mannerism, to her oft-discussed smoking habit, which she initially tried to hide on the political campaign trail. This, in turn, mimics former President Barack Obama’s worst kept dirty little secret. Also like Obama, she has a habit of being photographed with celebrities. Obama also had a tendency to trust the experts who came from Ivy League schools as most credible, much to many on the left’s disdain when it came to appointing conventional Harvard thinkers like Larry Summers as Director of the White House National Economic Council during the Great Recession.

Even her earliest “scandal” as a woman who, according to her son, became famous for being a Playboy centerfold back in the day feels like a play on former Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, the Republican politician who shocked the political elite when he captured Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat following Kennedy’s death in 2009—and in spite of the fact that his nude centerfold spread in Cosmopolitan magazine was dredged up during the campaign.

Jonah Hill’s Jason Orlean Inspirations

On balance, Jonah Hill’s character in Don’t Look Up is nothing short of a Frankenstein’s Monster styled stitching of the reputations and rumors around Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and Donald Trump Jr.

Introduced first as President Orlean’s entirely disinterested and arrogant White House chief of staff, we eventually learn Jason is her actual son. While President Trump never quite had the audacity to appoint one of his children (or their spouses) as his chief of staff, according to various reports about the Trump White House, he might as well have. Particularly during the first year-plus of the Trump presidency, reports consistently described Trump’s son-in-law, Kushner, and his daughter Ivanka as leaders of a competing White House apparatus that worked in opposition to Trump’s first failed chief of staff, Reince Priebus. Indeed, Ivanka sat by her father’s side on the night he picked Anthony Scaramucci to replace Priebus as chief of staff. (That one didn’t last long either.)

While their roles in managing the presidency allegedly faded some in later years, the son-in-law remained President Trump’s go-to fixer and idea man. During our own real life Don’t Look Up experience in 2020, Trump appointed  Kushner to oversee much of the federal response to COVID-19 in the spring, despite his son-in-law’s absolute lack of experience in handling viruses, pandemics, or national emergencies. 

More damning still, reports came out alleging Kushner’s team spent months coddling the president’s political desire to downplay the virus by coming to the conclusion that “because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically.” One anonymous expert was quoted as saying, “The political folks believed that because it was relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy.”

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