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    Taylor Swift Bravely Leaves Home for the First Time Since the Kim Kardashian Incident
    Image via Getty

    On Sunday night, Kim Kardashian electrified the internet by revealing that Taylor Swift did, in fact, verbally approve the use of her name in Kanye West’s “Famous.” Five days of self-imposed house arrest later, Swift finally crept from her L.A. mansion for a little trip to the gym:

    Swift, clad in a black Nike jacket, printed leggings and sunglasses, looked ready to go as she entered the gym with her iPhone headphones already in her ears. The 1989 singer’s iPhone screen appeared to be cracked. Hiddleston, who was driven by Swift’s security, was spotted sporting a black Nike top for his separate workout.

    Why the gym? It’s hard to imagine that a star of Swift’s stature doesn’t have at least six workout facilities dotting the grounds of her estate. If you’re going to leave after five days, at least make it for something worthwhile, like the all-you-can-eat buffet at Golden Corral.

    Also, by specifying that Hiddleston and Swift’s workouts were separate, I now find it utterly impossible to avoid picturing them both joylessly marching on a single StairMaster, bound by shared earbuds blasting “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy.”

    [Us Weekly]

    On that note: It seems that Kanye West has an unlikely ally in Amber Rose, who defended him against the sly witch Swift during an episode of her show. Rose begins by saying how terrible West felt for interrupting Swift during the Great VMA Wars of ‘09, and how he learned his lesson:

    “It was just a very hard time for him, and I was around to see that,” she adds. “I watched Lady Gaga cancel the tour. I watched people say that they did not want to work with him anymore because of it. And he really went through a lot of bulls—- and I know that Kanye would never ever go through that again by not calling Taylor and say, ‘Heads up, I’m about to go write this verse real quick. Just wanted to make sure you’re cool with it.’ I know that about Kanye.”

    “So, I say all of that to say, why didn’t I get a phone call for using a naked wax figure in your video Kanye?” she adds. “I mean, Taylor gets a call but I don’t get a call. So please stay the f—- out of the news so I don’t need to talk about your ass anymore.”

    How sweet, sort of.


    • Oooo, Madonna’s in trouble with her Upper West Side co-op for failing to spend enough time in her apartment. [Page Six]
    • “American Pie” singer Don McClean admitted to assaulting his estranged wife. [AP]
    • Lizzy Caplan and Tom Riley are engaged. [E! News]
    • Calvin Harris and Tinashe appear to be an item, because dating is a competitive sport and Harris WILL NOT LOSE to some scabby bampot. [Daily Mail]

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    Clinton And Kaine Make Very Normal Debut as Running Mates
    Photo: AP

    Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, made their debut on Saturday, after Clinton broke the news of their ticket partnership Friday night. The team showed up nearly an hour late at the Florida International University in Miami to discuss how great they are and why you should vote for them.

    Clinton, unlike Trump in his recent appearances with Mike Pence, permitted her running mate to speak.…

    According to the New York Times, Kaine infused his speech with some Spanish phrases such as, “Somos Americanos todos,” which means “We are all Americans” (Kaine speaks Spanish!).

    Kaine also said a true thing about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump: “He leaves a trail of broken promises and wrecked lives wherever he goes.”

    “Tim Kaine is everything Donald Trump and Mike Pence are not,” Clinton told the crowd.

    A person? White? Straight? A man? No, none of these would have made a bit of sense.

    “He is qualified to step into this job and lead one day,” Clinton finished.

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    Vapes Are Banned At the Democratic Convention, Welcome to Hillary's America
    A customer purchases an e-cig at an electronic cigarette store in Miami in 2014 (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

    Are you going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this coming week? Well, prepare to have your liberties destroyed. The LIE-berals have banned all vape products from the convention floor. First the Democrats took away all our guns, and now they want to take away all our e-cigarettes.

    Back in the good old days, the presidential nominees were chosen as God intended—by old men in smoke-filled rooms trading political favors like kids trading baseball cards. But now we’ve lost not only the smoke-filled rooms, but the vape-filled corridors of our hallowed sports stadiums where convention-goers are made to pay $9 for a Coke and can’t even suck on a Blu cig between stump speeches. Benjamin Franklin, our greatest Democratic president, is probably rolling in his grave.

    What else is banned at the conventions this week? Well, for starters, selfie sticks—just like in Obama’s Disneyland. And the DEMON-crats have also banned drones. Another thing we can probably thank Obama for. (Because he loves drones.)

    The most egregious ban? Guns. Can you believe it, they’re banning guns. It’s like they don’t want anybody to have any freedom at this thing.

    If Bernie was the nominee they definitely wouldn’t be banning vapes at this thing, amirite? Iamrite.

    [Democratic Convention List of Banned Items]

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    DNC Communications Director Ordered Anti-Sanders Article Be Shared 'Without Attribution' 
    Photo: AP

    On Friday, Wikileaks published an email exchange between Western Regional Communicators Director for the Democratic Party Walter Garcia and DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda, in which Miranda requests an article critical of Bernie Sanders be covertly shared, “without attribution” to the DNC.

    The article, by Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston, pushed a narrative that Bernie Sanders supporters were becoming violent and out of control and that Sanders was partly responsible.…

    The article was published on May 17, one day after the New York Times reported that Sanders supporters threw chairs at the Nevada Democratic Party’s convention and threatened the convention’s chairwoman, Roberta Lange.

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    Sunday's Best Deals: Your Favorite Vacuum, String Lights, Away Luggage

    Your favorite affordable vacuum, extra long string lights, and an exclusive discount on Away luggage lead off Sunday’s best deals.

    Bookmark Kinja Deals and follow us on Twitter to never miss a deal. Commerce Content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. Click here to learn more.

    Sunday's Best Deals: Your Favorite Vacuum, String Lights, Away Luggage
    PNY 2200mAh iPhone Power Bank, $9

    2200mAh is about as small as USB battery packs get, but this one includes a built-in Lightning connector so you can plug it directly into the bottom of your iPhone.…

    Sunday's Best Deals: Your Favorite Vacuum, String Lights, Away Luggage
    Refurb Shark Navigator Lift-Away Vacuum, $90

    The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is one of your favorite affordable vacuums, and you can get a refurb from Amazon today for $90, or $46 less than buying a new one.……

    Sunday's Best Deals: Your Favorite Vacuum, String Lights, Away Luggage
    Magnetic Screen Door Curtain, $15 with code 8QCNB4VY

    If your home or apartment doesn’t have screen doors installed, this easy-to-install magnetic curtain will achieve the same effect, meaning you can let in some fresh air, while keeping out the bugs.…

    Sunday's Best Deals: Your Favorite Vacuum, String Lights, Away Luggage
    Etekcity Kitchen Scale, $10

    Everyone needs a kitchen scale, and this $10 model from Etekcity is notable for its detachable bowl design.……

    Sunday's Best Deals: Your Favorite Vacuum, String Lights, Away Luggage
    Stanley 210 Piece Mixed Tool Set, $99

    Tool collection seen better days? Everything you see above, plus a carrying case, is on sale for $99 today.…

    Sunday's Best Deals: Your Favorite Vacuum, String Lights, Away Luggage
    TaoTronics 66' 200LED Dimmable Copper String Lights, $30 with code T224PTLO

    It’s a scientific fact that every outdoor space looks better with copper string lights, and while $30 isn’t a particularly low price for a 66' strand with 200 bulbs, this set does include a remote that can power them on and off, and even make them dim, pulse, and strobe on demand.…

    Sunday's Best Deals: Your Favorite Vacuum, String Lights, Away Luggage
    Midland Consumer Hand Crank/Solar Weather Radio, $49

    You never want to be in a situation where you need a solar and hand crank-powered weather radio with a flashlight and USB port for charging your phone, but you probably should buy it just in case. This one also includes a 130 lumen flashlight, and even an ultrasonic dog whistle.……

    Sunday's Best Deals: Your Favorite Vacuum, String Lights, Away Luggage
    Away Travel, $20 off with code KINJA, free shipping, expires 7/25 at 11:59pm.

    Away Travel arrived with a perfect set of reasonably-priced luggage for everyone, and they’re offering Kinja Deals readers the company’s first ever discount. Use promo code KINJA to take $20 off your order, and head over to this post to learn more.…

    Sunday's Best Deals: Your Favorite Vacuum, String Lights, Away Luggage
    Extra 15% off select Amazon Warehouse items

    For a limited time, Amazon’s taking an extra 15% off over 27,000 “back to school” used items in the Amazon Warehouse. Just head over to this page to search for whatever’s on your wish list, and you should see the discount taken automatically at checkout.

    Sunday's Best Deals: Your Favorite Vacuum, String Lights, Away Luggage
    Refurb Brother HL-2380DW Laser Printer, $80

    If you’re still wrestling with a terrible inkjet printer at home, do yourself a solid and pick up the reliable Brother HL-2380DW monochrome laser printer today for just $80 (refurbished) today.

    While it doesn’t print in color, it more than makes up for that with the ability to spit out 32 pages per minute, duplex printing, and inexpensive toner cartridges that can last for years without being replaced. We’ve posted a lot of Brother deals in the past, and we’ve heard nothing but good things from readers about them. Plus, this particular model has a sterling 4.4 star review average on Amazon, a built-in scanner, and AirPrint and Google Cloud Print support, so it should serve you well for years.………

    Sunday's Best Deals: Your Favorite Vacuum, String Lights, Away Luggage
    TaoTronics Dash Cam, $63

    Hopefully you never need a dash cam, but owning one can really save your bacon in the result of an accident. This affordable TaoTronics model has all of the features most people need, and you can score one today for just $63.

    That price gets you 1080p recording, night vision, auto on/off, and a g-force sensor to automatically lock your footage in the event of an accident. Now go film some meteors.……

    Sunday's Best Deals: Your Favorite Vacuum, String Lights, Away Luggage
    Firefly: The Complete Series, $13

    If you still haven’t watched Firefly, or just want to own a physical copy for posterity, the complete Blu-ray is down to $13 on Amazon, the best price ever listed. Shiny!…

    Sunday's Best Deals: Your Favorite Vacuum, String Lights, Away Luggage
    Wi-Fi OBD2 Scanner, $14 with code WIFIOBD5

    You’ve heard of Automatic’s smart driving assistant, but if $80-$100 is too rich for your blood, this cheap OBD2 dongle connects to any iPhone or Android device over Wi-Fi, and can fulfill many of the same functions using various third party apps.…





    Commerce Content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. Click here to learn more, and don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter. We want your feedback.

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    There Will Be No Blanket Ban on Russian Athletes at the Rio Olympics
    Image: AP

    The shitstorm that’ll likely be the Rio Olympics is almost here and it was possible that Russia, an entire nation with a huge presence at Olympic games, wouldn’t be able to participate due to allegations of widespread doping before, during, and after the Sochi games in 2014.

    On Monday, the Worldwide Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) released an independent study that supported the Russian doping claims and called for a blanket ban of all Russian athletes. But with the Olympics less than two weeks away, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ruled that it wouldn’t be imposing the ban, mostly due to the time constraints.

    The process for admitting athletes has already begun and “this situation leads to an urgency for the IOC which does not allow it sufficient time for hearings for affected athletes, officials and organisations,” the executive board wrote in a press release issued Sunday.

    However, that doesn’t mean the country is getting off without punishment. The IOC has issued guidelines for Russian athletes that restrict the participation of anybody who has been sanctioned for doping, even if the person has already served the sanction or anybody who had been implicated in the report.

    “Nobody implicated, be it an athlete, an official, or an NF, may be accepted for entry or accreditation for the Olympic Games,” the committee wrote.

    Additionally, Russian athletes permitted into the games will be subject to an additional testing program coordinated by the IF and WADA.

    The IOC also reiterated guidelines for the International Federations (IFs) that an athlete is only permitted entry it it meets a certain list of criteria, which includes having a clean doping record.


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    Leaked DNC Email Refers to Potential Latino Voters as 'Brand Loyal Consumers'
    Photo: AP

    Wikileaks published an email sent to DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda on May 22, summarizing a plan for “Getting out the Latino Vote in 2016 and Beyond.” The document is one of the nearly 20,000 hacked DNC emails released to the Wikileaks platform on Friday.

    The tone of the email vacillates between a corporate marketing scheme and a horoscope. The document makes sweeping generalizations about Latinos (which on planet earth is usually referred to as “racism”) in order to sell them, as “consumers,” on the Democratic vote.…

    “Hispanics are the most brand loyal consumers in the World: Known fact,” reads the email.

    But, “Once a brand loses this loyalty, Hispanics never re-engage: Unforgiving.”

    Full document can be found here.

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    Report: Debbie Wasserman Schultz Ousted From DNC 
    Photo: AP

    Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz will not have a significant speaking role at the party’s convention or preside over it, CNN reports.

    On Sunday, the DNC Rules Committee named Ohio Representative Marcia Fudge permanent DNC chair, according to a DNC source who spoke to CNN. Fudge’s office confirmed CNN’s source in an email to NPR.

    The decision was reportedly made on Saturday, one day after Wikileaks published nearly 20,000 internal DNC emails, several of which suggest the DNC supported Clinton over Sanders and even took actions to derail the Sanders campaign.…

    CNN’s DNC source said that the decision to fire Schultz was supported by both the Sanders and the Clinton camps.

    Shortly before news broke that Schultz would be stepping down from her position as DNC chairwoman, Sanders called on her to resign in an interview with ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.

    “We need a new chair that is going to lead us in a different direction,” Sanders said.

    Sanders reiterated his support for Clinton, adding, “To my mind what is most important now is defeating the worst candidate I have seen in my lifetime, Donald Trump.”

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    Michael Bloomberg Will Endorse Hillary Clinton for President
    Photo: AP

    Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, will endorse Hillary Clinton for president at the Democratic National Convention, according to a spokesperson, the Associated Press reports. Bloomberg was elected mayor as a Republican.

    Up until a few months ago there had been plenty of speculation that Bloomberg would run for president himself, as a third-party candidate. In March, Bloomberg decided against running, fearing it would benefit Donald Trump, the Republican presidential front-runner at the time, now the party’s nominee.…

    Senior advisor to Bloomberg, Howard Wolfson, commented on Bloomberg’s decision in the New York Times:

    As the nation’s leading independent and a pragmatic business leader, Mike has supported candidates from both sides of the aisle. This week in Philadelphia he will make a strong case that the clear choice in this election is Hillary Clinton.

    Bloomberg has not been a registered Democrat since 2000.

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    Amazing Job Opportunity: Be Hillary's Security Engineer!
    Image: Getty/

    If the Democratic party needs two things right now: to up their email game—seriously, how are there zero results for “harambe”—and better cybersecurity. Now you, dear reader, have the opportunity to guard the secrets of our potential next president by applying to be Hillary’s new Security Engineer!!

    They’re looking for someone to start right away, and to be honest, “identifying and evaluating threats to [Hillary’s] internet presence” sounds pretty fun. You could be the mastermind against Hill’s next “Delete Your Account” or Frozen meme. The possibilities are seemingly endless.

    Amazing Job Opportunity: Be Hillary's Security Engineer!

    If “security” isn’t your thing, don’t fear. You can still make sure to be a part of history by becoming the DNC’s new email campaigner.

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  • 07/24/16--17:47: Donald Trump Is Not Well
  • Donald Trump Is Not Well
    Image: Getty

    RNC Chairman Reince Priebus probably feels pretty good about himself right now. We can’t say for sure, of course, because like any other relatively well-adjusted adult, Reince Priebus understands that it’s unseemly to revel in someone else’s misery. Donald Trump, however, does not have that problem.…

    Trump was already in peak form on Twitter earlier this morning. But when Debbie Wasserman Schultz was officially ousted from her role as Democratic National Committee Chair, Trump doused any pretense of a coherent thread in gasoline and set it aflame. As the smoke cleared, the charred remains spelled out @REALDONALDTRUMP.

    Let’s watch a man overcome with endorphins and rage lose his mind in real time.

    A quick shift for some good news...

    ...before moving back to Bernie.

    What you’ve “always known”? Then maybe this was actually Obama’s brother’s fault, too:

    Donald Trump Is Not Well

    Let’s move on.

    Pot tweets at kettle.

    Until finally...

    Yes. It was truly a wonderful day for Donald Trump and ISIS, alike. And I can’t wait to see what else this new, tame, general election-style Donald has in store.

    Now, someone take away his meds.

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    Police: Munich Gunman Planned Attack For a Year
    Photo: AP

    Officials say the 18-year-old German-Iranian man who killed nine people in Munich on Friday before turning the gun on himself was “obsessed” with shooting rampages and apparently spent a year planning his attack, The Guardian reports.…

    According to Bavarian state police, the gunman identified as David Ali Sonboly visited the site of a school shooting last summer and likely bought the gun illegally online. From CNN:

    On Sunday, investigators revealed he left behind a long written statement on his computer, which was still being analyzed. They said they found photographs on his camera showing he visited the German town of Winnenden, the site of a deadly 2009 school shooting.

    Earlier, officials said they found in the gunman’s belongings numerous documents on mass killings, including a book entitled “Rampage in My Mind — Why Students Kill.”

    Officials believe there likely was significance in the timing of the attack, which came five years to the day since Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in Norway in 2011, many of them attendees at a youth camp.

    Although himself the son of Iranian asylum seekers, Sonboly reportedly yelled “anti-immigrant slurs” and shouted “I will kill you all” during his attack. A 16-year-old who knew the gunman from playing Counter-Strike online told Der Speigel Sonboly was “very nationalistic” and frequently made xenophobic comments about Turks.

    “We always expected something like what happened,” said the teen, according to Reuters, “but we never thought he could get a gun and then use it.”

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    1 Dead, 12 Injured After Suspected Bombing in Southern Germany
    Screencap: CNN

    An explosion rocked the city of Ansbach in the German state of Bavaria early Monday morning, killing the suspected bomber and injuring 12 others, the BBC reports.

    The explosion, which officials characterized as “deliberate,” went off at a wine bar near a music festival that early reports suggest may have been the intended target.

    “A security guard at the entrance to the music festival reported that a man with a backpack had been trying to get into the area,” reported Guardian journalist Janek Schmidt. “He had been turned away at the entrance and then went to the restaurant. Very briefly afterwards the explosion occurred at the restaurant.”

    According to the BBC, the attack is the third in the state of Bavaria in the last week.

    UPDATE 10:20 P.M.: According to Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann, the suspected bomber was a 27-year-old Syrian man whose request for asylum was rejected last year, the Associated Press reports.

    “We don’t know if this man planned on suicide or if he had the intention of killing others,” said Herrmann.

    This post will be updated as more information becomes available.

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    Reince Priebus Defends Donald Trump's Right to Imply Your Dad Killed JFK
    Photo: AP

    RNC Chairman Reince Priebus took a bold stand in favor of free speech on Sunday, specifically, Donald Trump’s freedom to speak about your father and his possible connection to the murder of John F. Kennedy, The Washington Examiner reports.…

    “He’s got a right to talk about whatever he wants to talk about,” said Priebus when asked about Trump’s comments linking Ted Cruz’s father to Lee Harvey Oswald. “However, I don’t think he was ever saying this was some sort of factual information.”

    After inviting Ted Cruz to speak at his own assassination on Wednesday, Trump once again raised the possibility that the elder Cruz was involved in Kennedy’s death.…

    “All I did was point out the fact that on the cover of the National Enquirer, there was a picture of him and crazy Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast,” said Trump on Friday, according to CNN. “Now Ted never denied that it was his father.”

    But like the 35th President’s shocking murder itself, Priebus thinks Trump’s foray into speculative journalism is all in the past.

    “As far as I’m concerned, we can move on from it,” said Priebus on Sunday. “He’s talked about it, he’s gotten off from it.”

    I’m sure he has!

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  • 07/25/16--05:02: 105 Days and a Wake Up
  • 105 Days and a Wake Up
    Bye! Photo: AP

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    Hillary Clinton Just Released a Truly Joyless Mobile Game

    The youth vote is crucial in any election, and while Trump is busy crafting Facebook-ready attack ads based on Pokémon Go, Hill is appealing to the youngs with a game of her own. It is profoundly, jaw-droppingly dull.

    Hillary 2016, which launched late yesterday, puts the player in the appropriately grim surroundings of their own “campaign HQ,” a second-floor office with eight chairs, one sofa, and no staff. By completing daily challenges a highly motivated member of the American electorate can earn “stars,” which really could have had a cooler name, like “HillCoins” or maybe just “points.” (To be clear, “points” are also earned in-game, though it’s not immediately clear how, or what they’re used for.)

    Today’s daily challenges include: syncing your own calendar to the campaign, answering questions for a quiz called Trump Or False—which makes uncredited mention of that bloviating psychopath retweeting a Mussolini (thanks Gawker!)—or committing to vote for Hill. There does not appear to be any legally binding agreement to A) actually cast your vote as such or B) use your own name. I signed up Bernie Sanders, but feel free to fill in, say, Ivana Trump or the pink-haired girl from Degrassi: Next Class.

    But what oh what does one do with these stars? At present the options are limited to upgrading campaign HQ furniture. A starter lamp can become a modern lamp for a mere 25 stars. I couldn’t afford the brick accent wall and so opted for a standard fridge. There’s no XP. No leveling. No sense of difficulty, progress, or reward. Just the chance to remodel empty—but remarkably spacious—virtual offices space.

    There are a few purchasable things that crossover into the real world, a world that allowed this app to be created in the first place. Among them are 20 percent off Hillary merch (120 stars), access to “special campaign updates” (200 stars), and an unknown souvenir signed by the future president herself (325 stars). In truth I had assumed I was already in for several lifetimes of “special campaign updates” when signing up for the app with Gmail.

    Gamifying a contentious election makes sense in principle, but the execution misses almost every hallmark of the concept popularly understood as “fun.” On the flip side, the Hillary 2016 servers appear to be struggling a great deal less than Pokémon Go.

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    L Train Scheduled to Shut Down Between Brooklyn and Manhattan for 18 Months
    Photo: AP

    The MTA will announce on Monday the official timeline for the long-awaited L train shutdown, the New York Times reports. The Canarsie tube—the tunnel running under the East River, connecting Manhattan and Brooklyn—will be shut for eighteen months, beginning in January 2019.

    There will be no L service in Manhattan, where it normally runs under 14th Street. In Brooklyn, the L will run from Bedford Avenue to Canarsie as usual. Shuttles will run from the Bedford L to Delancey Street-Essex Street in Manhattan, via the Marcy Avenue JMZ.

    The MTA says the shutdown is necessary to complete lingering repairs to damage caused by Superstorm Sandy, in 2012, which flooded the Canarsie tube. The transit agency had considered a partial, three-year shutdown that would have allowed a few trains to continue running, but public opinion overwhelmingly favored the more disruptive but shorter-term full shutdown.

    “It really came down to our wanting to pick an option that minimized inconvenience to the customer,” New York City Transit President Veronique Hakim told the Times. “This is the, ‘Get in, get done, get out,’ option.”

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    Is Roger Ailes Going to Run Donald Trump's Presidential Campaign?
    Photo: AP

    In what would certainly be one of the unholier unions of our time, rumors have begun to emerge that Roger Ailes, the former chairman and CEO of Fox News, might go work for Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate. “A lot of people are thinking he’s going to run my campaign,” Trump told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Sunday, confirming that the rumors exist but speaking no further to their veracity.

    Ailes resigned from his post after Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him—an increasing number of women have approached Carlson’s lawyers to say that they too have been subject to Ailes’ advances.

    Not that Trump, who says he’s going to be “really good” for women, seems to care. “Well, I don’t want to comment...But he’s been a friend of mine for a long time,” Trump said on Sunday, asked to comment on the allegations against Ailes. “He’s a very good person. I’ve always found him to be just a very, very good person.”

    The two men have had their differences, of course. Earlier this year, as either a matter of strategy or egotistical capriciousness, Trump lashed out at Fox News (and specifically Megyn Kelly) in an unprecedented move that likely would have precipitated the implosion of any other Republican candidate’s campaign.…

    As ever, Trump survived, and, in April, Gabriel Sherman reported for New York magazine that Trump was hoarding a cache of Ailes’ secrets that he had been able to use as leverage against the Fox News executive:

    It was also thanks to some information he had gathered that Trump was able to do something that no other Republican has done before: take on Fox News. An odd bit of coincidence had given him a card to play against Fox founder Roger Ailes. In 2014, I published a biography of Ailes, which upset the famously paranoid executive. Several months before it landed in stores, Ailes fired his longtime PR adviser Brian Lewis, accusing him of being a source. During Lewis’s severance negotiations, Lewis hired Judd Burstein, a powerhouse litigator, and claimed he had “bombs” that would destroy Ailes and Fox News. That’s when Trump got involved.

    “When Roger was having problems, he didn’t call 97 people, he called me,” Trump said. Burstein, it turned out, had worked for Trump briefly in the ’90s, and Ailes asked Trump to mediate. Trump ran the negotiations out of his office at Trump Tower. “Roger had lawyers, very expensive lawyers, and they couldn’t do anything. I solved the problem.” Fox paid Lewis millions to go away quietly, and Trump, I’m told, learned everything Lewis had planned to leak. If Ailes ever truly went to war against Trump, Trump would have the arsenal to launch a retaliatory strike.

    Whether Lewis’ secrets had anything to do with the alleged culture of rampant sexual harassment at Fox News is unclear. But if Trump wants to position himself as the “law and order candidate,” he’s going to have to come up with a more nuanced plan than literally just calling himself the “law and order candidate.” Who better than the man who invented “law and order” candidates?

    “We see cities enveloped in smoke and flame,” Richard Nixon said during his 1968 speech at the RNC, accepting the party’s nomination. “We hear sirens in the night. We see Americans dying on distant battlefields abroad. We see Americans hating each other; fighting each other; killing each other at home. And as we see and hear these things, millions of Americans cry out in anguish: Did we come all this way for this? Did American boys die in Normandy, and Korea, and in Valley Forge for this?”

    Aides would go on to become Nixon’s media advisor, and later Ronald Reagan’s, George H.W. Bush’s, and Rudy Giuliani’s. And, as the New Yorker’s David Remnick pointed out last week, despite their differences, there was much in Trump’s speech on Thursday for someone like Ailes to be excited by:

    The nominee began with a phrase about “generosity and warmth” (barked, it’s true, as if some kind of threat), but—untethered to statistics or facts, and with his inner volume dialled past eleven—Trump went on to portray a country facing a Clinton legacy of “death, destruction, and weakness,” a nation of lawless immigrants roaming cities and towns, “chaos” in the streets, radical Islamic terrorists opposed by nothing but a pusillanimous government and its popgun military.

    Because Trump was reading a script, there were no astonishments—no Mexican “rapists” or blood “coming out of her wherever.” Instead, we learned of an America blanketed in smoke and flame, a vision of fear meted out in countless kickers. And, just as Ailes may have counselled, there was no attempt at building a nuanced case or offering realistic solutions. There was only the assurance that Trump was the panacea. Give him power and everything will change magically and “fast.”

    On Sunday, Trump praised Ailes’ talent and hard work making Fox News what it is. “And now all of a sudden they’re saying these horrible things about him,” the Republican nominee said. “It’s very sad.”

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  • 07/25/16--08:20: Welcome to Philly
  • Welcome to Philly

    PHILADELPHIA — Welcome to Day One of the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Hillary signs are sparse, the Bernie bros are in full bloom, and this Guy Fieri look-a-like is vaping up a storm.

    We’ll be coming to you all week from Philly with the only the most important Lena Dunham vaping scene reports that the DNC has to offer. You can follow along on Snapchat, too, by adding user gawkerdotcom, clicking this link on your phone or mobile device, or “snapping” a pic of the unholy ghost below:

    Welcome to Philly

    It’s nearly 100 degrees, we’re all exhausted, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz—I will find you. So friends, stay tuned.

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