The Giudice WWHL Interview – I’ve Finally Recovered Enough to Blog About It by NMD
When I saw the previews of Teresa and Joe Giudice being interviewed by Andy Cohen on WWHL, I was astonished. Facing a federal indictment on 39 counts – and going on a cable late night talk show to talk about them? Who could possibly think that’s a good thing? Well – besides Andy Cohen.
First of all let’s take a little sidetrack on Mr. Andy Cohen. I think Andy’s glory days at Bravo are over. The move to run WWHL five days a week has been a failure. Some nights he’s pulling in less than 500,000 viewers. Much less. Especially evenings when he doesn’t have an original program as a lead in. Does that even pay the lights for his studio? He should go back to having the show on housewives nights. And housewives nights should be Sunday and Thursday. Housewives on back to back has also been a dismal failure – Monday’s just don’t pull in the same ratings. We need a little space between the franchises.
Given that, he must have been licking his chops to pull in the Giudices. But Bravo segue’d from the finale into WWHL – so there is no way to tell how many people stayed tuned in to watch the Giudices that night. Around 900,000 people watched the second airing after the finale repeated. That’s no small potatoes for his show. And thankfully he didn’t make the Giudices play any juvenile games. Instead, he drilled them on a series of what appeared to be pre-approved questions. I can only hope their lawyers pre-approved the questions. In the end it was a rapid-fire of Q & A with very little information revealed.
Like Gregg Leakes – I needed some time for the interview to percolate before I could blog about it. Are the Giudice’s really that stupid? Or was the whole thing a crafty setup to establish their innocence (by stupidity?). Only they (and perhaps their lawyers) know.
Joe Giudice’s Immigration Status.
When Andy asked – you’re not a US Citizen, Joe replied “Yes I Am.” He then went on to explain that he was in the country legally – that he had a Green Card.
I had a Green Card for 20 years after moving to the US. Even if Joe got the Green Card as a child, he needs to renew it every 10 years – which means he’s done that since he became an adult and knows full well that he’s not a citizen. We’ve also seen him travel outside of the United States. That means that Joe is traveling on a passport – and that passport does not have the United States of America stamped on the front. In fact – the Italian passport is smaller and red. And for several years now, Italian Citizens travel on an EEC passport. Getting an Italian or EEC passport is a lot more work than getting a US passport if you reside in the US – AND – as he re-enters the country, he’d need to line up in a separate immigration/customs line than his family. So unless he was color blind, can’t read, had a personal assistant who applied for his passport, AND was as dumb as nails – the answer to Andy’s question should have been No. I’m not a US citizen, but I do have a Green Card.
Why was his first response a lie? I don’t really care, but it does tell me that he can lie with a straight face even on something that is seemingly meaningless. And once I’ve established someone as a liar – I tend not to believe ANYTHING that comes out of their mouth.
They Don’t Understand the Charges.
This one is just flabbergasting. These people are not as stupid as they want us to believe they are. I read the indictment paperwork. I’m not a lawyer. I understood it. It was an easy read. Dozens of blogs and magazines summarized the charges as well. They were an even easier read. I’m wondering what part Teresa and Joe don’t understand. Don’t they know that you are required to file taxes every year? Don’t they know that when you apply for mortgages and write down your income, you shouldn’t just make it up?
Let’s step back a little. Andy’s question was – 39 counts is a really bad thing ….. He didn’t ask Teresa and Joe if they understood the charges – he was following up on how they were feeling about what they were facing – the severity of the charges. It was Teresa who concluded her answer with saying she didn’t even UNDERSTAND the charges.
Why? No one would expect either Teresa or Joe to eggmit that they did anything wrong at this point. They are going to fight the charges and plead innocent. But not understanding the charges is a different thing altogether. Are we supposed to believe that they haven’t taken the time to have the charges explained to them? How can they plead innocent to charges if they don’t understand what they’ve been charged with? It’s nonsense, so I’m left with thinking it’s either a strategy to look STUPID (and therefore innocent by stupidity) or they are just lying. Since there is no reason to lie about this, I’m going with the STUPID strategy. That might work for Teresa. Even I can believe that she signed paperwork that her husband asked her to sign when it came to the mortgages or other finances. I would. I’d trust my husband and not read the fine print. I don’t think it’ll work for Joe. Someone will have to take responsibility.
When did they find out about the investigation.
Joe eggmited that they learned about the investigation a few years ago. Teresa denied that at first, then also eggmited it. There are so many charges against these two, it gets confusing. I’m going to give Teresa a pass on this one. I can’t keep it all straight.
They take no responsibility for the charges.
Andy’s question – Do you take any responsibility? was answered by Joe with a flat out No. Perhaps that’s Joe’s way of pleading innocence. After all, he can’t take responsibility without eggmitting he did anything, can he? So maybe that was really Andy’s fault for asking an unanswerable question.
But it did sit wrong with me when they blamed the show for causing their troubles. Many of the charges stemmed from actions that occurred before the show. My guess is, what they are probably thinking is everyone lies on their mortgages and taxes, but they went after us because we did the show. From an observer watching from across the country, I must confess that all of the people on or associated with the Real Housewives of New Jersey are in an alternate universe than mine. A colleague of mine was a city planner for 30 years out here in Washington State. Only once in her career was she offered money to “grease” a project through the system – and the offer came from an east coast developer. Business is conducted differently in different parts of the country, and corruption does exist.
They Wouldn’t do anything Differently.
If I were facing a 39-count indictment, you can bet I’d be wondering what I could have done differently. Teresa did say that maybe she shouldn’t have done the show – in hindsight. I have to scratch me head over this one. Again – it might be that they know many people that were pulling the same stunts and didn’t end up facing federal charges. Was it the show that got the feds attention, or was it the people they pissed off along the way, such as Joe’s business partner. I don’t know. I do know that when I started reading Lynn’s blog around the time the news of their bankruptcy charges broke, one of Lynn’s regulars was pushing for people to “write the trustee” to tell them not to discharge the bankruptcy. I don’t remember all the details (and am too lazy to go look it up on the old blog), but I think I remember phone calls to the trustee, and a real push to hold the Giudice’s accountable. My point is, the show brought national exposure to this couple, and things that might have been resolved quickly and without much thought, gained a much higher profile. So perhaps Teresa is correct.
Another part in this is the recession. No one could have predicted that the housing industry would burst so quickly. Many, many people across the nation were severely impacted by this. It appeared that Joe was so far extended that he got caught when the recession hit, and he couldn’t pay back the mortgages. If he had been able to pay them back, I doubt any charges would have been filed. When the recession hit, they were holding a mortgage that was far higher than the value of their brand new house – which led to the bankruptcy to discharge their debt. In normal circumstances that would have gone fine, but with all the allegedly falsified information etc., that set them on the road that led to the federal charges.
My main conclusion is that the Giudice’s should have said “no thank you” to Andy Cohen’s offer to appear on WWHL. They are facing serious charges, and should not mix that up with the reality show. This isn’t a game of public opinion. It’s moved well beyond that. All that matters now is whether or not their is proof that they are responsible for the things they are charged with – beyond a reasonable doubt.
I think back to Lynn’s blog all of those years ago, and wonder if those letters and phone calls to the trustee had anything to do with the charges the Giudice’s are facing now. Perhaps someone will tell us at some point. That was about the time Season Two had just finished airing – it seems like such a long, long, long time ago.