Welcome back to Shade Court. I do this work because I want to make the world better and a small part of me feels like I already have. It's encouraging to see so many Shade Court readers out in the wild correcting egregious uses of shade. You're all learning, and I so appreciate seeing it. Now, if only everyone else could get the hell onboard.
I know I teased an all State of the Union version of Shade Court, but I had to throw another unrelated case in there. However, it's still 80 percent State of the Union so I think you'll be satisfied.
The Case: Congresswoman Eleanor H. Norton fired off a hot tweet before the State of the Union, making fun of the mockery her fellow lawmakers have turned our government into. MSNBC's Chris Hayes later asserted that Norton "threw shade" with her tweet.
The Defendant: Chris Hayes
The Deliberation: I have to say, for a delegate who doesn't even get to vote, Ms. Norton doesn't pull any punches. I appreciate that. I also appreciate her for straight up calling her fellow members of congress little children.
While I love the sentiment, her tweet lacks that covert disdain found in shade. Perhaps if she had stopped after "photo-grabbing aisle seats," it would have been closer to the realm of shade. She could have said: "I'm guessing all the aisle seats will be taken quickly by my esteemed colleagues," which totally would have been shade because you know she does not hold that hoard of white men in high esteem.
However, she didn't do either of those things. Here we are, Hayes.
The Ruling: Not shade
The Case: Following the Seahawks versus Packers football game on Sunday, in which both the better team and the better city prevailed, Fox Sports' Erin Andrews interviewed Seattle player Richard Sherman. Katie Cassidy, a CW television actress, is the ex-girlfriend of Erin Andrews' current boyfriend Jarret Stoll. Cassidy apparently didn't like the questions Andrews was asking and piggybacked on somebody else's tweet to express her displeasure.
This led to a whole bunch of petty bullshit when Chrissy Teigen, who is close friends with Erin Andrews, clapped back at Katie Cassidy for talking shit about her friend.
The Defendant: US Weekly and Page Six, respectively
The Deliberation: First, we need to take a moment to full appreciate Chrissy Teigen's response:
She drives me crazy sometimes but I'll be damned if the woman isn't good at Twitter. Also, good on her for sticking up for her friend.
I don't want to jump to the conclusion that Katie Cassidy is hating on Erin Andrews simply because of some dude, but the question does need to be asked: Why the hell does she care?
Maybe Cassidy is a huge fan of football sideline interviews and didn't think Andrews was up to snuff. Perhaps Cassidy really, really wanted to know what was wrong with Richard Sherman's arm. Or maybe she just saw an opportunity to stick her nose into something seemingly innocuous while also throwing in a dig about a woman she just doesn't really care for for reasons completely unrelated to the fact that Andrews is dating her ex-boyfriend.
Regardless, Cassidy should have kept her mouth shut because her little dig wasn't shady or particiarly original. She was then subjected to a Twitter fight with Chrissy Teigen, a woman who is eclipsed only by Rihanna in brilliant Twitter pettiness.
The Ruling: Not shade
The Case: The White House geared up for the President's State of the Union address with a hashtag called #InsideSOTU to give their Instagram followers a behind the scenes look. One of the photos posted during that time was a supposed preview of what the President would be wearing that evening. The photo included the caption:
The President's suiting up for the big speech. Tune into WH.gov/SOTU at 9pm ET #YesWeTan -Dan
The Defendant: The White House
The Deliberation: I love that there were people who legitimately thought Barack Obama was going to roll up to the State of the Union in a summer wedding suit. This was all part of the shade. Obviously he wouldn't be wearing a tan suit, so the entire post was for the direct purpose of shading the saltiest old man on the planet, John Boehner.
Our Speaker of the House, as many know, suffers from a rare condition in which he cannot stop turning himself into a Cheeto. Boehner's tan is a running joke, which the White House was clearly alluding to with that #YesWeTan tag. That's what I love about shade like this—it seems innocent and you sort of have to know better (like the fact that Barack Obama would never wear this suit for this particular event) to understand that it was shade.
Huge props to Dan from the White House.
The Ruling: Shade
The Case: Barack Obama was on fire during his State of the Union address. He looked cool; he sounded cool; he really pissed off Republicans. The President had a number of zingers, but the joke heard around the world was his crack about winning both of his campaigns.
Just about everyone with an internet connection was quick to dub this as shade, but was it really?
The Defendant: EVERYONE
The Deliberation: This was a sick burn. A straight up brag. A cocky retort. I believe that Barack Obama truly understands the nuances of shade and that wasn't what he was going for here. This was him dropping the mic while doing the Shmurda dance on top of the bed in the Lincoln bedroom with his shoes still on. This was his: YOU MAD BRO? LOL I DON'T CARE.
It was a glorious moment in American history and I hope they eventually play this on loop in the entryway of his Presidential library. But shade? Shade, it was not.
The Ruling: Not shade
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Images via Getty. Top image by Tara Jacoby, featuring the shade artist at a young age.