A new breed of news van was parked in the Headmaster’s Pub lot on Friday night — no satellite dish on top or channel markings on the side. Inside, a TV studio, with a single seat, lights, camera and mobile cellular transmitter, the kind that comes in handy for Fox News pundits Matt and Mercedes Schlapp, who have a weekend home just over the county line in Madison.
“We came out here to escape the city, so I love the idea of hanging out in the mountains … and I thought the city was awfully congested, so 10 years ago we had a bunch of little kids and we thought it would be better to get them out and meet real Americans out here and the kids love it,” said Schlapp, who had taken a moment to speak with the Rappahannock News before making a guest appearance on Sean Hannity’s show. Schlapp served as deputy assistant and political director during President George W. Bush’s first term and is currently the chairman of the American Conservative Union, which hosts the prominent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) each year. Mercedes Schlapp, former director of strategic communications for the Trump administration, went on air later for a spot on Laura Ingraham’s “The Ingraham Angle.”
The Schlapps made use of the clean country air during quarantine. “During COVID we came out regularly for extended periods of time … we actually started a ‘quarantine club’ with other people in the area, we would get together, make dinners, drink good Virginia wine and have camaraderie … it was almost like you were told you could not be with people, you could not socialize, and we thought that was a bad lesson for our kids and we found other people felt the same way,” Matt Schlapp said.