Actor Wayne Knight, best known as a Seinfeld cast member, filmed a public service announcement (PSA) in support of the United States Postal Service (USPS) and against President Trump. Knight played a postal carrier, Newman, in the television show.
What jumps out in the PSA is that Knight makes a point of saying that he is “not a political person” yet in the second sentence spoken by Knight, he accuses President Trump and “his so-called Postmaster General” of a “premeditated assault” on the USPS. Specifically, he accuses them of trying to “slow down the mail.” And, after he says the words Postmaster General, he spits. I guess that is to show he is in Newman mode. Clearly, he is doing a hostile-sounding political rant.
Knight tries to soften his rant a little bit by taking very weak shots at postal carriers, like saying that only postal workers can slow down the mail. Any effectiveness of his tongue in cheek criticism of postal carriers is lost in the tone of the rest of the rant. Knight lists his proof of alleged interference with the USPS by the Trump administration and the Postmaster-General – shortened hours, “missing” mailboxes, and decommissioning sorting machines. I know that the Newman character was never the sharpest tool in the shed but his premature celebration of Festivus isn’t a good argument. All of this has been debunked by pointing out that the union members of the USPS and the Postmaster General have been working on an agreement over working hours, the mailboxes and sorting machines are standard practice in keeping equipment in working order and in places that they are most needed. Postmaster General DeJoy promised reforms to the USPS that will make it more efficient and his plans have been met with opposition from the powerful Postal Service union.
“Hello zip codes and you plus fours – you know who you are. According to this month’s old issue of Dr. Roberta Greenburg’s Time magazine subscription, there’s been a systematic, premeditated assault on the US Mail by President Trump and his so-called postmaster general,” Knight says in character, before spitting on the ground.
“That guy’s never even licked a stamp!” he continued. “They’ve had the unmitigated gall to try to slow down the mail. When everybody knows who can slow down the mail is a mailman! They’ve shortened working hours. They’ve got missing mailboxes. They’re decommissioning sweet, sweet sorting machines to try to delay voting by mail. And it’s not just your mail-in ballots you’ve got to worry about. Oh no-no-no-no. You’ve got to worry about your grandmother’s blood pressure medicine, your social security checks, military benefits, and millions and millions of Crate and Barrel catalogs.”
He ends with an appeal to voters to vote early, whether that is in person or by mail. And he says the USPS will do it’s “solemn best” to make sure the ballot is delivered.
“But take it from me, a postman. If you want to vote early and in person, do it. You want to vote from home? Apply for the ballot and get it in as soon as possible. My brothers and sisters and I in blue will do our solemn best to make sure your ballot is delivered,” he said.
The PSA was released the day before World Post Day, October 9. It is sponsored by PACRONYM, “the largest digital super PAC working to get Trump out of the White House on 11/3/20” according to its Twitter page. The whole PSA is political, of course, and anti-Trump. Knight’s claim that he isn’t a political person is no longer a valid claim, if it was before, after participating in this ad. He’s just another Hollywood celebrity that is a Biden voter and willing to weigh in with his opinion.
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