The surprise successes of the insurgency campaigns of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have sent a powerful message to Washington insiders: This election year, Americans are hungry for something different. They want a different kind of leader—one who can cut through the red tape and actually get things done.
There's something to be said about this couple filming an icy street corner from out their window, commenting on the passers-by who slowly but surely will fall victim to a certain slippery spot... Well, we're watching too, aren't we?
While at first blush it may seem inappropriate to compare Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor to Jennifer Lopez simply because both are Latina women from modest backgrounds, you've got hear conservative commentator Debbie Schlussel out: she's got a compelling argument for calling Sotomayor "J-Lo":
This is wonderful. Commentary, which is basically the most Ridiculous Serious Journal Ever, has decided to tentatively endorse a Palin/Bachmann 2012 ticket! That would be Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota Congresswoman recently in the news for asking that Barack Obama and her fellow Congresspeople all be investigated to determine which ones are anti-American. She floated this idea on television, of course. She was previously famous for kissing President Bush creepily, baby-farming, and hiding in a bush while she spied on a gay marriage protest. Now Bachmann is apologizing and the GOP has basically cut her off and left her on her own. Related: Michael Weiss explains that you are not allowed to compliment W. H. Auden or use the phrase "fossil record" in the pages of Commentary. [Commentary via Andrew Sullivan]
In America (the Land of the Free) you can't win a libel suit unless you can prove not only that what was published was false, but also that it was published with actual malice—i.e., you must show that someone meant to hurt you on purpose with false information. But in the UK, the situation is the opposite; it's up to the publisher to prove what they wrote is true. So offended parties from across the world practice "libel tourism," filing suits in the UK against writers and media outlets who have only sold a few copies there, in order to take advantage of the crazy English laws. Luckily our (USA) legislators have now done something useful by protecting gossip sites like us from libel suits across the pond. Here's how one evil Saudi billionaire is helping Gawker write more freely: Commentary has a think piece out this month on new legislation signed by New York's heroic blind governor last spring, which allows judges here to invalidate libel judgments obtained in countries with lesser free speech protections (hello, UK). The prime motivation was reportedly the nonstop libel tourism of Khalid bin Mahfouz (see below), which threatened to bankrupt some journalists. Huzzah for our right to write things, and yours to read them! Here are some of recent history's most notable libel tourists:
Commentary, the political magazine most famously edited by former literary party animal turned conservative crank Norman Podhoretz, is changing editors for just the fourth time in its 61-year history. Everyone please welcome five-time Jeopardy! champ John Podhoretz, the flightier, flakier son of Norm! Now that the magazine has long completed its transition from home of critical thinking from legendary figures like Lionel Trilling to clearinghouse for vitriolic uber-Zionist right wing bullshit with too many three-dollar words for the Weekly Standard (originally JP's venture with fellow son-of-famous-conservative Bill Kristol), the editor of the New York Post's intellectually rigorous editorial page is the perfect figure to lead it into this glorious neo-conservative future.
It's a good day today at Broadway and Leonard — although, we suppose, they're pretty much all good days down there. The boys of CollegeHumor.com — you know, that quartet of 20-somethings you read about in The New Yorker back in January, the guys who from their $10,000/month Tribeca loft run a website you've never seen but your younger brother seems to find diverting — today signed a movie contract. It's not for any specific project yet; it's just a development deal, says Variety, "aiming to find feature projects reflecting the college experience along the lines of 1978's hit comedy 'National Lampoon's Animal House.'"
We could excuse our failure to quickly address the launch issue of The Brooklynite magazine as a result of our typical derision reserved for the domesticated borough from which it hails, but we won't. Rather, we'll just honestly confess to not knowing about the free magazine (though our ignorance has something to do with the fact that the publication hails from a domesticated borough we often deride).
As we speak (write?), Time reporter Matt Cooper — after months of litigation, ungranted petitions for certiorari, threats in all directions, a fight inside Norm Pearlstine's head, a dramatic farewell to his son, an equally dramatic (or perhaps not) release from his source, Judy Miller's incarceration, and Newsweek's revelation of an email to his boss — is finally testifying before special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's grand jury.