In a world full of unimaginable absurdity, we spend a lot of time thinking about the future… and to where all of this insanity leads.
“Future Headline Friday” is our satirical take of where the world is going if it remains on its current path. While our satire may be humorous and exaggerated, rest assured that everything we write is based on actual events, news stories, personalities, and pending legislation.
September 29, 2027: Kamala eliminated from “America’s Next Top Leader” Episode 1
Late last year, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD)— the non-profit group that has governed televised debates among US Presidential candidates since 1987— announced groundbreaking changes to its traditional debate format.
The Commission’s Executive Director stated back in December 2026 that it was time for presidential debates to “keep up with America’s rapidly evolving culture and values, and the way we engage in political discourse.”
And that’s why, the CPD’s Executive Director said, “starting with the 2028 election cycle, the Commission will replace the traditional debate format with a new reality show called America’s Next Top Leader.”
The decision was immediately controversial; many prominent politicians and media personalities were outraged, claiming that the switch to reality TV was an “insult” and “threat to democracy” that trivializes the electoral process and distracts from the serious issues facing the nation.
Others supported the new reality-TV format, given that Americans tend to respond better to drama and entertainment rather than frank policy discussions.
And many proponents believe that a reality TV format is the natural progression given the trend of poor decorum at traditional debates.
“Let’s be honest, debates have been more about insults over substance for a long time now,” said pop culture analyst Taylor Trend. “‘America’s Next Top Leader simply makes it official and packages it in a way that’s engaging for the modern audience.”
Over the past several months, newly appointed co-Producers of America’s Next Top Leader— Simon Cowell and RuPaul— released details on the show’s format.
They said that every episode of America’s Next Top Leader will feature Presidential candidates participating in various challenges designed to test their leadership skills, charisma, and ability to generate viral moments.
Challenges include crafting the most retweetable slogan, delivering canned talking points within a 15-second time limit, shouting over the debate moderator, and participating in “roast battles” where candidates unleash personal attacks on each other.
As candidates are eliminated, the few remaining will have to participate in increasingly more difficult challenges. For example, later this season in Episode 7, candidates will compete to see who can most subtly grope an intern in a theater full of cameras.
Episode 5 will feature the “most degrading photo-op” challenge, and Episode 3 will showcase the “flip flop challenge” to see which candidate can reverse his/her position the most times within 60 seconds.
Last night’s inaugural episode was watched by a record 94 million people, smashing the previous record of 84 million set by the first 2016 Trump-Clinton debate, and coming in right behind the 1994 LAPD police chase of OJ Simpson which was watched by 95 million people.
Perhaps one of the most entertaining parts of last night’s episode was the “Crisis Lightening Round” where candidates had to give a 5 second response to some of America’s biggest looming problems.
Moderator: “Stacy Abrams— Social Security runs out of money. Go!”
Abrams: “I’ve instructed the Federal Reserve to print the money and send every retiree a Social Security check that can be harvested and cashed by local election volunteers.”
Moderator: “Gavin Newsom, the US just defaulted on its debt. Go!”
Newsom: “We only owe the debt to ourselves. Fighting climate change and supporting childhood gender identity is all that matters.”
Former US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg drew laughter for his response when the moderator said, “Pete Buttigieg, the US dollar just lost global reserve status. Go!”
Buttigieg stammered for a moment before admitting, “I don’t know what that is.”
Later in the show, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shined when it came time to design the most viral Tweet with, “Billionaires have been STEALING from you for their whole lives! No more ‘tax the rich’. Now it’s time to LOOT the rich. #HungryforJustice.”
The studio audience cheered in approval.
During the GOP’s roast section, Glenn Youngkin scored big when he told Chris Christie, “Spending restraint? Looks like you’ve never restrained yourself in your life. The only thing growing faster than the federal budget is your waist. I don’t need your policy advice, but the one thing I’ll trust you on is your pick for the best pizzeria in New Jersey.”
Chris Christie, however, redeemed himself when he was able to successfully shout over all the other candidates in the “screaming match” segment.
Republicans stumbled during the ‘victimhood’ challenge in which they had to show how they identify as an oppressed class.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, for example, claimed that, as a Christian, he is “among the most oppressed people in history.” Ron DeSantis couldn’t get the hang of it, and ended up complaining about the lack of Italian food at Yale’s dining hall.
At the end of the show, the judges— which included Cowell and RuPaul, plus Kim Kardashian, David Hasselhoff, and 15-year old YouTuber Ryan Kaji from Ryan’s World— announced their decision of the first candidate to be eliminated: Kamala Harris.
Cowell savaged the Vice President before eliminating her from the competition; he quoted the Adam Sandler movie Billy Madison, saying,
“What you just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response, were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.”
Clips from the show have already racked up hundreds of millions of views on TikTok and YouTube, and political pundits have spent hours dissecting the candidates’ performances and predicting who would advance to the next round.
“I think this is a much better way to choose politicians,” said one commenter, “because it’s more relevant. We need a leader who knows how to go viral and capture attention. Nothing’s more important in today’s world.”