Ajit Pai went there.
The FCC commissioner Tuesday joined the online ruckus over whether Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) loudly broke wind during a live remote on MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews” Monday night, jokingly dismissing calls for an investigation into the incident.
I hate to cause a stink, but we have to decline the invitation; any @FCC investigation would abruptly run out of gas given that this alleged emission occurred on a cable news network (the relevant rules apply only to broadcast television). https://t.co/d7B8xEtWza— Ajit Pai (@AjitPaiFCC) November 19, 2019
Swalwell became the butt of hundreds, if not thousands, of sophomoric jokes on Twitter and other social media Monday night and Tuesday because of the incident. He was mid-sentence criticizing President Donald Trump during Monday night’s episode of the show when he paused briefly and what sounded like a loud fart could be heard on the microphone.
Eric Swalwell appears to drop a massive fart during live on television— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) November 19, 2019
Turn the sound on, this is real pic.twitter.com/DyElNSwYog
The 39-year-old Democrat, who’s been in Congress since 2013 and sits on the House Intelligence Committee, was quick to deny the offending flatulence. Swalwell insisted that it was a coffee mug scraping across a table that made the noise.
TOTAL EXONERATION! https://t.co/JAuTsnCjAC— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) November 19, 2019
But his protestations have not tamped down the faux outrage and jokes.
[November 18, 2029]— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) November 19, 2019
Kid: Dad – when did our country become so united and started actually working together again?
Me: Ten years ago a man named Eric Swalwell ripped a fart so amazing on TV that both parties got together to post memes, literally transcending politics. #fartgate
This, too, shall pass… https://t.co/nzy1bXPagP— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) November 19, 2019
Eric Swalwell's fart is polling higher than Pete Buttigieg in South Carolina. #fartgate— David Martosko (@dmartosko) November 19, 2019