We start today with a piece written by someone in the Trump administration, but we can’t say for sure who. The New York Times has published an anonymous op-ed by a senior administration official, I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration (1.16 million shares), and yes, the op-ed is coming from inside the house. “OMG CLICK,” as Michael Del Moro tweets. Ben de Pear is calling it “Crazytown Part 2,” and Luis Gomez says, “The Brett Kavanaugh hearing is officially old news. Everyone on my Twitter timeline is talking about this anonymous op-ed in the @nytimes.” It’s not clear who wrote the piece, but plenty of Internet detectives have been searching for the, shall we say, lodestar.
“I'm in shock,” tweets Brian Stelter, while Kara Swisher says, “In all seriousness, channeling my grandmother: Jesus Mary and Joseph.” Roben Farzad thinks, “The troll/gaslighting level here is off the dashboard. It will send Trump into paranoid fury. @HBO, hurry up already!” Are you really paranoid if they’re actually going after you, though? But Scott Simon has a different take: “I think @potus may be happy to read this. The criticisms are nothing he hasn't heard. But the article is no call to action. It says, If you like tax breaks & court picks, ‘we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction.’”
Back in the house, ‘The sleeper cells have awoken’: Trump and aides shaken by ‘resistance’ op-ed, write Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker and Josh Dawsey of The Washington Post. Tweets Philip Bump, “One thing about people who work in politics is that they are melodramatic, though this moment might actually live up to it.” The problem for the aides, you see, is that the writer “could be so many people." Jacob Heilbrunn is calling them, “Woke Trump officials.”
Trump has a different name for them. Mike Allen of Axios writes that, Amidst leaks, Trump privately rages about the “snakes” in his White House. And Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman of The New York Times report that Trump Denounces New York Times for ‘Gutless Editorial.’
For a “Thoughtful piece on the likely unintended negative consequences of yesterday’s @nytimes Anonymous Resistance Op-Ed,” as Gavin Finch puts it, read David Frum at The Atlantic, who says This Is a Constitutional Crisis (137,000+ shares). He writes, “If the president’s closest advisers believe that he is morally and intellectually unfit for his high office, they have a duty to do their utmost to remove him from it, by the lawful means at hand.”
The story behind the story
CNN’s Brian Stelter talked with New York Times op-ed page editor Jim Dao and got some more details on The story behind the New York Times' anonymous op-ed blasting Trump. Meanwhile, Joe Pompeo of Vanity Fair spoke with editorial-page editor James Bennet and others about the backstory, and one senior Times journalist told Pompeo, “People are Totally Stunned”: Even Within the Times, the Deep Throat-esque Op-Ed Heard ’Round the World Dropped Jaws.
Proving that other outlets can publish anonymous op-eds, too, BuzzFeed News takes “the rare step of publishing an entirely satirical, and anonymous, op-ed essay,” I Am Part Of The Resistance Inside The New York Times Opinion Desk. Too bad it’s anonymous, because Daniel Drezner thinks, “Whoever wrote the second paragraph deserves a goddamn Pulitzer,” and Matt Wells says, “Someone has spent a LOT of time on this and it is marvelous.” Adds Zoe Beery, “A lot of the time I hate being a writer On The Internet but occasionally I feel very grateful because I understand jokes like this.”
In case you forgot, there’s also a Supreme Court confirmation hearing going on in D.C., and some other things. Dan Zak and Ben Terris of The Washington Post get us up to speed with Handmaids, Alex Jones and Nonsense on Capitol Hill: The view from Crazytown. (Also known as Washington). Tweets David Malitz, “It's remarkable how good @MrDanZak and @bterris are at these ‘everything is completely off the goddamn rails in Washington’ stories but I guess they've had plenty of practice over the last 20 months.”
Something to talk about
About that Supreme Court nominee, Charlie Savage of The New York Times reports on newly leaked documents from Kavanaugh’s time in the White House. Tweets Jonathan Weisman, “Boom: Those secret Kavanaugh emails that the Judiciary Committee won't let out? We've got them: Abortion, affirmative action, surveillance. Now the committee has something to talk about.”
While no one was watching…
Andrea Mitchell is referring to a new NBC News investigation that discovered the Trump administration rejected a report showing refugees did not pose a major security threat. Dan De Luce and Julia Edwards Ainsley have the details on that investigation, which found out that the administration dismissed the report from the National Counterterrorism Center and inflated a DOJ/DHS report to show that most terrorists are foreign born.
Meanwhile, Jon Swaine of The Guardian reports that, according to newly released documents, Donald Trump’s inauguration crowd photos were edited to make the crowd appear bigger “following a personal intervention by the president.” Sam Stein thinks, “This would be pathetic if it weren’t actually frightening.”
What’s happening inside shelters for immigrant kids
In a new ProPublica piece co-published with Mother Jones, Melissa Sanchez, Duaa Eldeib and Jodi S. Cohen find that As Months Pass in Chicago Shelters, Immigrant Children Contemplate Escape, Even Suicide. Tweets David Eads, “What happens once ‘unaccompanied minors’ are detained and sent to shelters? @msanchezMIA, @deldeib, and @Jodiscohen sifted through thousands of Heartland documents that shed new light on what happens to these kids and why they fear turning 18.”
And now, Nick Miroff and Maria Sacchetti of The Washington Post break the news that the Trump administration proposed measures to keep migrant children in detention longer by withdrawing from the Flores Settlement Agreement, setting the stage for new court battles.
Guns and America
Cameron Knight, Max Londberg, Bob Strickley, Sharon Coolidge, Anne Saker, Kevin Grasha and Sarah Brookbank at the Cincinnati Enquirer have been following the developments in downtown Cincinnati as a gunman opened fire at the Fifth Third Bank this morning. The latest: ‘There are fatalities,’ ‘gunman deceased’: At least 5 injured in Downtown Cincinnati.
Meanwhile, Chuck Holmes points to “An insightful, honest piece of writing about guns and America”: Elaina Plott’s new piece for The Atlantic, The Bullet in My Arm. Tweets Addy Baird, “This is so unbelievably good. I’m going to think about it for a long time.”
Lots of shouting
“Read this amazing work by @lyzl instead of that other thing,” advises Danielle Sepulveres. At the Columbia Journalism Review, Lyz Lenz probes The mystery of Tucker Carlson and finds him to be a bit shouty. If that doesn’t sound appealing, don’t let it deter you. As Alex Thompson says, “I thought this wud be one of those ‘read 300 words and *close tab*’ sorta pieces b/c i thought I already had enough Tucker Carlson in my life. But I read every word of this @lyzl profile.” Lainna Fader agrees: “This is...way more interesting than I thought it would be, and very good.” And Tyler Coates tweets, “Mere paragraphs into this brilliant profile by @lyzl and I already have shouted to myself, ‘EDITOR GOALS!’” (You’ll see why.)
And now, some good news
There has been a groundbreaking victory for gay rights in India as its Supreme Court Strikes Down Colonial-Era Law Against Gay Sex (58,000+ shares), report Jeffrey Gettleman, Kai Schultz and Suhasini Raj of The New York Times. It was one of the world’s oldest laws criminalizing consensual gay sex. Michael Safi of The Guardian has more on that historic ruling in his piece, Indian supreme court decriminalises homosexuality (145,000+ shares). As Matt Kamen says, “Love wins! I mean, slowly, with many legal battles behind it and still more to come, but it wins!”
Speaking of winning — finally — here’s another “Fantastic story. Woman astrophysicist discovers cosmic objects that light up the heavens; her male supervisor gets the 1974 Nobel for her discovery; she's now won a $3m prize - which she’s given away to encourage diversity in physics.” Katharine Viner links to British astrophysicist overlooked by Nobels wins $3m award for pulsar work, by Ian Sample of The Guardian. Pallab Ghosh of BBC News has more on Prof Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell’s scholarship to counter ‘unconscious bias’ in physics.
And one more thing: “Fuck. Yes,” says Jenna Scherer. Brie Larson takes flight as ‘Captain Marvel’ on this week’s EW cover, and Devan Coggan gives us a sneak peak at Entertainment Weekly. As Tim Stack says, “Brie is the captain now.”