On TikTok, there perhaps is no insult more withering and devastating than to be told by a teenager that your content is cringe. If this is the case, then the Jonas Brothers and the White House had quite a rough week. The pop trio teamed up with the Biden administration for a quick TikTok video promoting the importance of vaccines by using the Bing Bong audio from a viral video by the YouTube channel SideTalk, which features a motley crew of eccentrics from Coney Island. After showing the brothers goofing around at the White House, the camera cut to Joe Biden, a.k.a. “Joe Byron,” who is heavily referenced in the popular video:
This isn’t the first time that celebrities have used the Bing Bong audio: two weeks ago, Lil Nas X went viral for posting a video from Variety’s Hitmakers Brunch showcasing Olivia Rodrigo, Jack Harlow, and Chloe Bailey, among other stars, lipsynching to the trend. Yet amidst a resurgence of the Omicron variant in the United States, as well as the Biden administration’s initial refusal to provide Americans with free Covid-19 rapid tests, the timing of the Jonas Brothers’ video was a little suspect, to say the least, according to the cohosts of Rolling Stone‘s podcast Don’t Let This Flop.
“We just had the entire White House, make it seem like we were stupid for wanting at-home tests for free, which now cost up to 40 or 50 dollars at a time when there’s a huge COVID surge happening across the country,” DLTF cohost Brittany Spanos said on the episode this week. “The White House is just ignoring the fact that there’s still a pandemic going on, making everyone pay back their loans at a time again when the pandemic is still going on. It’s just a fully cringy thing to do and like this video is so stupid.”
Spanos also questioned whether the Jonas Brothers were the best choice to deliver a pro-vaccine message to those on the fence about getting vaccinated. “Democrats think this is what the youth wants to hear,” she said. “The Jonas Brothers are not targeting the audience they need to target to get more people vaccinated.” With Joe Biden as a “jump scare” at the end, “I was like, I don’t care for this. I would have rather it had been Frankie,” she said, referencing the fourth “Bonus Jonas” brother, who has a massive following on TikTok.
On this week’s Don’t Let This Flop, Spanos and cohost Ej Dickson discussed the Biden/JoBros collab, as well as PageantTok in honor of the 100th anniversary of Miss America (you can read Dickson’s dispatch from the event here), secret fuckboy train enthusiasts, the “Gorgeous Gorgeous Girls Love Soup” meme, TikTok moral panics, and Nancy Reagan as the original Throat GOAT.