The hour draws near when America will decide between two of the most polarizing candidates in US history. Which mean it's time, of course, to talk about jewish ceremonial wine...
"This is exactly the way this insane ride should end."
After Jay-Z and Beyonce performed at a Hillary Clinton rally in Cleveland, Trump campaign representatives went on TV on behalf of their profane and sexually explicit candidate to denounce the duo's lyrics as, well, profane and sexually explicit. That's pretty absurd to begin with, but it was commentator Scottie Nell Hughes who took the absurdity to a whole new level when she described a Jay-Z video by saying people were throwing "mazel tov cocktails." (we assume she meant "Molotov cocktails")
You can find many "mazel tov cocktail" recipes for your election party on Twitter today, but perhaps the best comes from Amazon's Sarah Emerson: "2oz Manischewitz (for sweetness), 2oz prosecco (for joy), 5 dashes bitters (for tears). Tiny latke garnish." Meanwhile, "Whoever is running the official Manischewitz social media accounts is really missing an opportunity right now. #MazelTov" says Jewish philosophy student J.H. Swanson. With a final word on #Mazelgate, here's Hevria's Elad Nehorai: "'Mazel tov' and 'Manischewitz' are trending the day before the election. This is exactly the way this insane ride should end."
Donald Trump's "suicide squad"
The top story in the Muckrack newsroom (10,317 shares) comes from NBCNews' Katy Tur and Benji Sarlin who report that Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, and Reince Preibus are all poised to land top White House positions if Donald Trump wins tomorrow. "The man who rails against the establishment and corruption signals he'd pick Gingrich, Giuliani and a Goldman Sachs vet to key cabinet posts," says NY Daily News' Josh Greenman, implying that a Trump administration may not shake things up much in DC much after all. David Ehrlich of Indiewire likens the potential appointees to a trio of supervillians: "Gingrich, Giuliani, and Priebus? that’s not a transition team, that’s a suicide squad." But perhaps the most astute (and, for many, troubling) observations comes from Buzzfeed's Chris Geidner: "17 grafs into this story on a Trump White House, the 1st woman is mentioned (to say she likely won't be in admin)."
"Wednesday's when the bloodbath starts"
"Every journalist I know," tweets GQ's Joel Pavelski, "is counting down until the election's over." Most of you know exactly what he means. So for the sake of your sanity, maybe think about saving the second half of Pavelski's tweet until after the election: "But Wednesday's when the bloodbath starts."
He's referring to the media's post-election day of "reckoning" described in a piece by The New York Times' Jim Rutenberg that, to be honest, is only tangentially about impending journalist layoffs. The bigger challenge, Rutenberg says, is how a depleted post-election news media plans to fight "fake news" when there are giant social platforms often standing in the way of the truth (like Facebook, which has acted as both a passive and active agent of fake news' spread). Peter Kafka of Recode's praised the piece before adding, "But I don't think you combat fake Facebook news with real news - you combat fake Facebook news by getting Facebook to take responsibility." Others warn against going too far in taking Facebook to task, like Guardian columnist Dan Gillmor who in a tweet that now appears to be deleted expressed concern over asking Facebook and Google to block ad sales on fake news sites, wondering where do we stop? (To which MIT Tecnology Review's Jason Pontin pithily responded that we would stop "At asking FB/Google to block ad sales on fake news sites,"
Janet Reno, 1938-2016
Janet Reno, the first woman to serve as US Attorney General and "one of the most polarizing figures of the Clinton era" according to Vox has passed away at 78 from complications related to Parkinson's Disease. ESPN's Don Van Natta, Jr. memorializes Reno in a tweetstorm that characterizes her as tough and terse ("She often spoke 2 words went 8 would have helped") but also as a "one of a kind public figure" who could take criticism better than most politicians he covered.
Hillary Clinton will make her final plea to American voters tonight, but you can watch the 2-minute clip right now on YouTube. Many weighed in on Clinton's blinding white outfit which on one hand is a little annoying. (Why does it seem to matter so much more what women running for office are wearing as opposed to their male counterparts?) But on the other hand, what more is there to say about these two candidates at this point? "Hillary wearing white in her final 2-minute ad," tweeted Huffington Post's Amanda Terkel. "Nod to suffrage movement?" Maybe. But #VetsAgainstTrump organizer Alexander McCoy has a somewhat different take: "I see that @HillaryClinton has emerged from her fight against the Balrog in her new, more powerful form as Hillary the White."
"What, me worried?"
That's how EJ Montini of the Arizona Republic (which knows a thing or too about threats) responded to a photo that's gone viral of a Trump supporter in a T-shirt that reads, "Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required." Montini reacted to the lynching threat perhaps the best way a journalist can: Strongly denouncing it, but also refusing to let it interfere with his rights and duties as a reporter. Maybe better yet, we should be like Matt Leys who offered this brilliant slice of ridicule: "Impressed by the creative spirit of this Trump supporter. Get a rope, pull down a tree, pulp it to make paper, become a journalist. Noble."
In other news:
At Slate, Tommy Craggs writes that contrary to conventional wisdom the 2016 election was about the issues—just not the issues that matter to Washington insiders, but rather, "the most important issues of our time: misogyny, racism, and xenophobia."
After assuring his editor for the 50th time that yes, Corey Lewandowski really did grab Breitbart's Michele Fields, Ben Terris of the Washington Post experienced Trump's "war on reality" and his gaslighting so acutely that he began to question his own reality.
Great scoop from VICE News' Jason Leopold, Ky Henderson, and Funmi Akinyode who for the first time received official confirmation from the CIA that Dr. Bruce Jessen and Dr. James Mitchell are the names of the men who architected the agency's post-9/11 torture program. (That's been an open secret for years, but it's nevertheless significant that this is "the first time the CIA disclosed the names of anyone who played roles in the interrogation of detainees held captive by the agency.")
Not all evangelicals support Trump, writes BuzzFeed's Anne Helen Peterson who traveled to Charlotte, NC to learn what defines "The New Evangelical Woman." "THIS IS SO DISTURBINGLY ACCURATE," tweets Megan Thielking of STAT.
And finally, about those new Hillary emails found on Anthony Weiner's computer just before the election? FBI head James Comey says it's all much ado about nothing. Or as WIRED's Emily Dreyfuss puts it, "Shorter Comey: Syke!"