Try following all the smears & lies
Well, it’s finally here. Election day is underway, and things are already messy. For starters, “Try following all the smears & lies. Dems alerted Georgia’s Brian Kemp about voting security holes. Kemp turned it around & accused Democrats of ‘cyber-crimes.’ He also denied any problems. Except: We checked. And saw them fixing the thing they denied.” Eric Umansky links to the scoop by Jack Gillum, Jessica Huseman, Mike Tigas and Jeff Kao of ProPublica, along with Stephen Fowler of Georgia Public Broadcasting, Georgia Officials Quietly Patched Security Holes They Said Didn’t Exist. As Gillum tweets, “Kemp’s camping spokesman pointed to ‘power-hungry radicals.’ Yet his office didn’t even know the basics of who provided details of security vulnerabilities until ProPublica told them.”
And then, Without evidence, Trump and Sessions warn of voter fraud in Tuesday’s elections, as Amy Gardner reports at The Washington Post. The way Melanie Sill sees it, “The US president and attorney general engaging in voter intimidation on election eve. This is beyond partisanship.” But David J. Goldstein points out, “Ever since Repubs pushed the myth that a 🐶 in St. Louis voted in 2000, massive voter fraud claims-always debunked-has been a go-to GOP tactic. The question for the press: Is this so thoroughly false charge a legit story deserving of coverage?”
Eli Rosenberg of The Washington Post finds that Republicans attack Jewish Democrat candidates in at least five states with an age-old caricature: fistfuls of cash. As Michael Cohen says, “2018 is the year Republicans normalized overt anti-Semitism in American politics.” Stephen Robert Morse is hashtagging it “#uhmerica.”
Of course, that’s not all. For example, Rep. Steve King says he hopes Supreme Court Justices Sotomayor and Kagan ‘will elope to Cuba.’ The Post’s Felicia Sonmez has that story of what happens “When bigots feel empowered,” tweets Ann Telnaes.
And in case you were wondering, Duncan Hunter Is Running the Most Anti-Muslim Campaign in the Country, writes McKay Coppins of The Atlantic. Emma Green advises, “Read @mckaycoppins on Duncan Hunter. He's the congressman in a deep-red California district who, facing a ridiculous slate of corruption charges, turned to anti-Muslim rhetoric to try to keep his seat.” Coppins sums it up this way: “White Republicans frightened by cynical conspiracy-mongers. Local Muslims frightened by the fallout. A community poisoned by Trumpian politics. My dispatch from the San Diego suburbs—a grim microcosm of this campaign season.”
Meanwhile, “Facebook announces yet more inauthentic activity, on the eve of the US midterm elections,” tweets Hannah Kuchler. Facebook has posted about that in its Election Update, and Jessica Guynn reports for USA Today, Facebook discloses possible election meddling by foreign actors on eve of midterms.
Speaking of Facebook, Kevin Roose tweets, “Facebook just released a big, independent examination of its role in human rights abuses in Myanmar. Luckily, there's nothing else going on in the news so we'll all have time to fully absorb and process it.” Take a minute out from the election coverage to read An Independent Assessment of the Human Rights Impact of Facebook in Myanmar, posted by Facebook’s Product Policy Manager, Alex Warofka.
As Facebook tries to reign it in, the trolls have moved on to LinkedIn, of all places. Craig Silverman of BuzzFeed News reports that LinkedIn Is Now Home To Hyperpartisan Political Content, False Memes, And Troll Battles. Or as Taylor Lorenz puts it, “Just when you thought LinkedIn couldn’t get any worse.” You may be surprised, but Ryan Mac says, “I have long maintained that the craziest shit on the internet happens on LinkedIn.” Sam Thielman thinks, “among microsoft's many, many unforced errors, the worst in a good long bit may be buying linkedin.” Anyway, watch out, trolls, because as George Hopkin points out, “Recruiters will be chasing them.”
Maybe Twitter’s pushing them to LinkedIn, too. “An NBC reporter was mistakenly invited into a secret far-right chat group in which members have apparently been increasingly struggling to deliberately spread misinformation on Twitter,” tweets Michael Del Moro. As Ben Collins of NBC News reports, In secret chats, trolls struggle to get Twitter disinformation campaigns off the ground. He tweets, “New from me: A true brain genius accidentally invited me to a secret far-right troll chat on Discord, coordinating disinformation campaigns ahead of the midterms. For weeks, I saw them struggle to get around Twitter's banhammer, which is finally working.”
On that note, Kevin Roose of The New York Times outlines 6 Types of Misinformation to Beware of on Election Day. (And What to Do if You Spot Them.).
Moving on, “In an extraordinary scene, Fox News Channel personality Sean Hannity appears on stage at Trump rally after cable news network said he would not be part of the event, @dbauder reports.” The Associated Press links to the report by David Bauder, Fox’s Hannity speaks onstage at Trump campaign rally.
Get out and vote
Beyond the mess, though, there is still the power of the vote. Michael Luo links to a “Moving piece by @newyorker’s Roger Angell, 98 years young and legally blind, exhorting people to get out and vote. ‘What I said I would die for I now want to live for.’” Be sure to read What We Can All Do at This Moment Is Vote, by Roger Angell of The New Yorker, who first voted in 1944 for FDR. And also be sure to vote.
You can follow all the election coverage at The New York Times, which has taken down its paywall, but first, you might want to check out Katherine Miller’s Hour-By-Hour Guide For Normal People Watching Tonight’s Election at BuzzFeed News, which Lisa Tozzi says is “The most helpful thing you can read this morning.” Adds Nidhi Subbaraman, “You'll know it's a huge wave if... @katherinemiller has answers for this and many other things to expect today.”
This Congressional shit show
As for the current members of Congress, according to a joint analysis by The Washington Post and ProPublica, Congress has a job — but has largely stopped doing it, write Paul Kane and Derek Willis, who tweets, “As near as I can tell, the last time @pkcapitol & I worked on a story together was in December 2007, on House freshmen voting patterns. Today we've got something much bigger for you.” Kieren McCarthy says it’s a “Good analysis showing that the Democratic Obama wave started this Congressional shit show and McConnell/Ryan have only made it worse.”
No price is too high
Here’s a big number you may not have seen in the midst of all the wall-to-wall election coverage: Trump’s border deployments could cost $220 million, even as Pentagon sees no threat from migrant caravan, reports Amanda Macias of NBC News. “Well, I guess no price is too high for us to pay to help Trump and GOP win elections,” notes Theodore Kinni. Meanwhile, the Joint Chiefs chair says soldiers will not be involved in denying border entry to migrants, according to the report by CNN’s Kate Sullivan and Ryan Browne.
Also, did you know that “Ivanka Trump has won patents for nursing homes, sausage casings and voting machines in China,” as Amy Mackinnon tweets? Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington reports that Ivanka Trump’s Business Has Won Approval for 16 New Chinese Trademarks Despite Shutting Down. We’re with Raquel Cepeda, who tweets, “I'm so delirious that I swear I just read that Ivanka Trump is trying to trademark voting machines in China. No way.”
While you’ve been focusing on the midterms, “An absolutely monster WSJ scoop just hit,” tweets Nathan Becker. Laura Stevens of The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Amazon Plans to Split HQ2 Evenly Between Two Cities. At The New York Times, Karen Weise and J. David Goodman report that Amazon is closing in on Long Island City and Crystal City for its split HQ2. And Nick Wingfield says, “This should serve as a moment of reflection for everyone involved in the HQ2 hype (me included). If Amazon ends up splitting its expansion into mini HQs, that is called...opening satellite offices, which scarcely deserves the buckets of ink spilled so far.”
File under: Seriously?
Akane Otani directs you to “THIS LEDE by @khadeeja_safdar: Under Armour Inc. employees received an email earlier this year that upended a longstanding company practice: They could no longer charge visits to strip clubs on their corporate cards.” That’s from Khadeeja Safdar’s story for The Wall Street Journal, Under Armour’s #MeToo Moment: No More Strip Clubs on Company Dime, and Kadhim Shubber “*checks what year it is*”
Here’s one more Wall Street Journal scoop, from Yang Jie, Shayndi Raice and Eric Morath, Foxconn Considers Bringing Chinese Personnel to Wisconsin as U.S. Labor Market Tightens. As Polly Mosendz tweets, “Wisconsin gave Foxconn the biggest corporate subsidy in American history to create jobs but Foxconn is..considering just transferring workers from China into those American jobs.”
This is why we don’t make jokes
Well, sure, why not at this point. David Freeman of NBC News reports that Scientists say mysterious ‘Oumuamua’ object could be an alien spacecraft. (At 162,000+ shares, it looks like we’ve found the one story that can beat election day coverage.) “Team Oumuamua,” as Nicholas Jackson says. We echo Matt Pearce’s sentiment: “I’ve been busy today but: are you shitting me.” Also, says Libby A. Nelson, “There was a joke made at a pre-election meeting on Friday that the one outcome we hadn't prewritten was ‘aliens descend on the Earth,’ and this is why we don't make jokes.” “Save us Jeff Goldblum,” pleads Brett Molina. Or is it, “Oh thank God,” as Jason Bailey tweets?
Steve George of CNN also covers the intergalactic beat with his report, Cigar-shaped interstellar object may have been an alien probe, Harvard paper claims (64,000+ shares), and Kevin Bennett thinks, “I don't know if we need this war of the worlds stuff on election day!” But Ebenezer Samuel offers a reassuring and plausible explanation: “Side note: they have prolly noticed humans are idiots and are focusing on dogs instead.”
The right choice
No matter what else happens today, “2018 has been saved,” says Derek Lawrence. Or at the very least, we’ll always have this: Idris Elba Is PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive 2018. People’s Julie Jordan has the story along with some sizzling video.
More Tuesday reads
“The great @jelani9 edited the race issue of @CJR and his opening essay, out today, is a must-read. ‘The press, tasked with protecting American democracy, is best secured by reflecting the American people.’” Betsy Morais links to Missing the Story, by Jelani Cobb for the Columbia Journalism Review.
Will Evans of Reveal goes Inside Tesla’s factory, a medical clinic designed to ignore injured workers. Tweets Jennifer Gollan, “Shocking investigation by @willCIR. Inside @tesla’s medical clinic: Sending workers to the hospital in Lyfts. Pushing hurt employees back onto the production line.”
Before punching a handcuffed man, an Indiana police officer told him, “If you spit again, we’re gonna party.” That’s from the report by Christian Sheckler of the South Bend Tribune and Ken Armstrong of ProPublica. Tweets Armstrong, “Before, we had a 30-sec clip of what happened in an Indiana police station. Now we've got full 30-min video. An officer tells a handcuffed man: ‘If you spit again, we're gonna party.’ The video ends w/ the man leaving on a stretcher.”
Highly relatable: ‘It’s Giant and Has Like Five Million Buttons.’ The Office Desk Phone Won’t Die, writes Jennifer Levitz of The Wall Street Journal, who tweets, “Dial F for Frustration: The office desk phone confuses workers in the age of iPhones. ‘I don't even know how to dial out on it.’” Mat Honan shares, “I feel very much as one with this content.”