Wow. Read this story
J. David McSwane links to an alarming scoop by Kevin Sieff of The Washington Post, who found out that the U.S. is denying passports to Americans along the border, throwing their citizenship into question (189,000+ shares). Christopher Hayes tweets, “Outf*ckingrageous,” adding, “Citizens having their papers demanded, then confiscated and then put in detention and ordered into deportation proceedings. The historical resonances here are clear as bell.” “The US government is denying passports to US citizens with the onus on the citizen to prove — beyond just a birth certificate — that they were born in the country. How many constitutional rights are being violated here?” Felix Salmon wonders. Carlos Lozada sums it up: “It's like birtherism, but for Hispanic Americans.”
Also “Wow. I guess on a pre-holiday week the big story drops Thursday morning?” Chris Krewson is talking about the new scoop by Jim Rutenberg and Maggie Haberman of The New York Times, National Enquirer Had Decades of Trump Dirt. He Wanted to Buy It All. Tweets Haberman, “Trump and Cohen were discussing buying decades of info about Trump as Trump prepared for a potential electoral loss and return to his business.” As Sophie McBain says, “I should not be shocked, but still this is nuts.”
Everybody’s got a troncated joke
In other media business news, “I wonder if things are still depressing at Tronc. (reads @kdoctor) Oh.” Chris Krewson links to Newsonomics: It looks like Tronc is about to be chopped up and sold for parts, by Ken Doctor of Nieman Lab. “Oh cool. We could be chopped up and sold off for parts like a stolen car to Gatehouse Media,” says Brock Vergakis. Matt Pearce calls it “Adventures in executive compensation. What, exactly, was the work being performed, here?” Whatever it was, it didn’t result in a lot of creativity in the jokes department. As Shan Wang points out, “everybody’s got a troncated joke.” Meanwhile, Christine Schmidt notes, “The irony of the two articles published @NiemanLab today,” linking also to Why do billionaires decide to buy newspapers (and why should we be happy when they do)? by Austin Smith.
Ashley Feinberg reminds us that Salena Zito is the one who wrote, in a September 2016 piece in The Atlantic, that Donald Trump’s supporters were taking the candidate seriously, not literally, while the national press was doing the opposite. And now, “Ooooh boy. @ashleyfeinberg brings the heat on Salena Zito,” tweets Sopan Deb. In her latest for HuffPost, Feinberg suggests that we Take Salena Zito Neither Seriously Nor Literally and poses a question for the ages: “Is the populist whisperer of Trump Country full of crap?” To Sarah Jones, “It’s been clear for a while that Zito’s real project is to launder Trumpism to audiences who think they’re too smart for it.” And Susan J. Demas thinks, “It's sort of hilarious that conservatives who insist that journalists’ liberal politics must influence the accuracy of their reporting never think that applies to journos with their politics.”
Here’s your latest “Game of Thrones” metaphor, courtesy of Philip Rucker, Carol Leonnig, Josh Dawsey and Ashley Parker of The Washington Post: ‘Winter is coming’: Allies fear Trump isn’t prepared for gathering legal storm. Parker gives us “Inside the White House impeachment Cliffs Notes: Trumpworld is growing nervous — in part that Trumpworld isn’t nervous enough.” Eric Umansky says, “This is remarkable. The White House counsel’s office has been gutted. Trump Twitter-booted McGahn, the WH counsel. McGahn had five deputies. Four are now gone. One guy is left, who focuses on national security.”
Also, Labor Day is coming, and in their piece for The New York Times, Planning His Funeral, McCain Got the Last Word Against Trump, Michael Shear and Katie Rogers write that, by this weekend, “Mr. Trump is expected to have retreated to Camp David, where White House aides hope he will contain his anger at the attention being lavished on Mr. McCain.” Of McCain’s meticulous planning, Shear tweets, “He obsessed over the music. He choreographed the movement of his coffin. And he sent an unmistakable rebuke to President Trump. How @SenJohnMcCain spent eight months planning the week after he would die.”
So even though Trump may not be ready for a possible impeachment war, it turns out he’s already been fighting another war: the national threat of people feeling OK about marijuana. Dominic Holden of BuzzFeed News went Inside The Trump Administration’s Secret War On Weed and learned that “A secret group called ‘The Marijuana Policy Coordination Committee’ is a real thing that exists in the Trump administration,” as Matt Berman tweets.
Meanwhile, Daniel Drezner says, “The most disturbing part of this story is Trump’s lawyers deciding that he’s already been so public in his obstruction of justice that, what the hell, he might as well fire Sessions.” That piece, Trump personally lobbying GOP senators to flip on Sessions, is by Eliana Johnson and Elana Schor of POLITICO.
Talk about timing
Just as U.S. officials are debating whether to designate one of Iraq’s most prominent Shiite political figures a terrorist, Declassified Interrogation Reports Show How Much Iran Shaped Iraq War, write Michael Gordon and Ben Kesling of The Wall Street Journal. Jake Novak points out, “Iran has been in a one-sided shooting war against the U.S. for years.”
Reader, she does not disappoint
In an op-ed for The New York Times, Roxane Gay takes a look at Louis C.K. and Men Who Think Justice Takes as Long as They Want It To. As she puts it, “I wrote about the path to redemption for bad men.” Kelly Gillease says it’s an “Excellent piece by @rgay on why this all bugs me so much,” and Jaclyn Peiser agrees, tweeting, “When @rgay beautifully articulates everything I’ve been thinking and feeling this week.” Take Lily Herman’s word for it: “Too many things I want to quote from this @rgay piece, so read it all: ‘I have to believe there is a path to redemption for people who have done wrong, but nine months of self-imposed exile in financial comfort is not a point along that path.’”
But What Would CK Say? For that, we turn to the incomparable Alexandra Petri and her piece for The Washington Post, I, an accused abuser of women, have decided that I have atoned enough. Of course, “This writer, @petridishes can write about anything and it’s always good,” says Carolyn Ryan. As Rebecca Traister tweets, “I saw the phrase ‘I, an admitted abuser of women, have decided…’ and thought, oh yeah that's gonna be @petridishes. Reader, she does not disappoint. ‘...for a period of literal months, I did not do something that I wanted to do.’”
If you’re curious about his set, Two Women Described Louis C.K.’s ‘Uncomfortable’ Comedy Cellar Set to Vulture’s Hunter Harris.
A big scoop from David Sirota of Capital & Main and Jay Cassano of Sludge reveals that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Received $25,000 From Weinstein Lawyer’s Firm as He Suspended Probe. Luke Savage sums this one up for us: “Jfc.”
Justin Boggs notes that “This latest report from the Columbus Dispatch is quite damning involving the Urban Meyer/Ohio State saga, especially given the highlighted paragraph.” Dean Narciso and Rita Price of The Columbus Dispatch have the exclusive on the withheld police report detailing allegations of longtime abuse by Zach Smith. The paragraph Boggs highlights: “Boruchowitz wrote that Courtney Smith told him Ohio State sent a lawyer to her home in connection with a previous incident, ‘convincing her to drop the charge because it would embarrass OSU if she proceeded with the prosecution.’”
Meanwhile, Erica L. Green of The New York Times reports, New U.S. Sexual Misconduct Rules Bolster Rights of Accused, Protect Colleges (51,000+ shares), and Dan Pfeiffer says, “This is what happens when a man who bragged about sexual assault gets elected President.” Also, “Misspelled ‘rapist lobby,’” tweets Eli Valley, highlighting the phrase “men’s rights groups.”
For her Washington Post piece, Catholics face a painful question: Is it true, Elizabeth S. Bruenig gives us the “tl;dr: i knocked on former Cardinal Ted McCarrick’s door to ask him if these latest coverup allegations are true, and the archdiocese called my boss saying I was being intimidating.” She adds, “All I want to know is whether what Vigano alleges in his testimony, about church efforts to cover for McCarrick, is true. At this time, that's all I want to know. I don't really want to hear anything else.”
Everything is so stupid and exhausting
Ryan Mac of BuzzFeed News reports that The Cave Rescuer Elon Musk Called A “Pedo” Is Preparing A Libel Claim. And then, tweets Mac, “Elon Musk emailed me about my story. He didn’t address anything about a potential lawsuit, but decided to insult my reporting. I verified my reporting in the story. Thanks @elonmusk for the comment!” Oh, and he adds, “Elon will be hearing from my mother!” “My God, the cognitive dissonance required to criticize a reporter for calling someone a ‘diver’ w/o double checking, when you accused him of being a ‘pedo’ w/o any evidence,” tweets James Temple.
But just remember, kids, “everything is so stupid and exhausting,” as Charlie Warzel tweets. In this instance, he’s referring to Trump Claims Google Didn’t Promote His State Of The Union. Google And This Screenshot Say Otherwise, which Jane Lytvynenko, John Paczkowski and Blake Montgomery write about for BuzzFeed News. The short version, courtesy of Jay Bookman: “This video attack on Google for alleged political bias was posted by Trump. It has since been revealed to be total made-up crap.”
And finally today, “🔥 Alert: The rare zero-star review from @tomsietsema,” tweets Mark W. Smith. At The Washington Post, Tom Sietsema reviews La Vie on the Wharf and tells us, La Vie on the Wharf is so bad I’m only writing about it as a warning. As Josh Raab points out, “There’s nothing like a good terrible restaurant review.”