April 28th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Let's lead with something other than news about the topic everyone is sick of...

As one who finds and shares news on a daily basis, the most surprising aspect of the first hundred days of the he who shall not be named administration are the emails I get from people asking me why I’m covering him so much. Well, this is the biggest political story of our lifetimes, it’s the greatest show on earth (it’s no coincidence that Ringling and Barnum & Bailey announced they were shutting down — at this point, a circus is just too redundant), he’s president of the world’s most powerful nation, and most importantly, thanks to the obsessive coverage of this one topic, there’s really not that much other news out there. Seriously, when I reflect on my last hundred days as a news curator, I have to admit: this is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier. But you want any other news up top, and you’re not the only ones suffering from a hundred day case of mental fatigue. So let’s lead with the story that sits at the top of the NYT’s list of most emailed stories: There Is a Right Way to Wash Your Hair. (This whole effort has been superfluous. Even when you hear the word hair, you think of him…)


Peninsula Pals

“Failing to act now on the most pressing security issue in the world may bring catastrophic consequences. The more we bide our time, the sooner we will run out of it.” Rex Tillerson calls for more sanctions, and leaves open the option for direct talks, in a UN speech on North Korea.

+ Meanwhile, people in South Korea aren’t sure what to make of the comments they’re hearing from President Trump. (Join the club.)

+ “Mr. Trump’s negotiating strategy has often involved the taking of an extreme position, hoping that the other actor in a test of wills will be thrown off enough to move in his direction. That is one thing when it means threatening to pull out of Nafta, the gambit Mr. Trump floated, then retreated from, this week. But it can be a far riskier bet when exchanging signals with Mr. Kim, who has survived so far — like his father and grandfather before him — by employing a similar playbook of extreme rhetoric, often followed by acts of violence.” David Sanger in the NYT: Trump on North Korea: Tactic? ‘Madman Theory’? Or Just Mixed Messages?


Weekend Whats

What to Watch: Real Sports has long been one of television’s best shows. They do news features as well as anyone. Here a recent piece Soledad O’brien did on two brothers who compete in triathlons together. Aldrich Brothers-Race Against Time.

+ What to Browse: I’m addicted to the Cool Tools blog. I almost never have any need for the products they review, but I love how fired up they are about the products. Browse a few pages and I bet you’ll bookmark the site.

+ What to Kate: GQ has a list of Every Time Kate McKinnon Was the MVP of Saturday Night Live This Season. And this could be SNL’s most valuable season in decades.

+ What to Watch: Here’s The New Yorker on a show you should be watching (all three seasons have been excellent): “An astringent outlier in a dizzy age, it has none of the ironic pop songs and retro homages that dominate so many modern cable dramas. It’s serious in an old-fashioned sense: sincere, thoughtful, and heartbreaking.” The Disciplined Power of American Crime.


Being There

“I cannot take the other culture with a spoon and eat it and get it inside me.” From the NYT, an interesting look at how the storied city of Weimar, Germany absorbed 900 refugees in a year. “Our journalists spent months on the ground examining integration from all sides.”


The Hundred Daze

“I loved my previous life. I had so many things going. This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.” After a hundred days of nonstop news, notorious tweets, and trippy interviews, President Trump gives one more newsworthy interview. This one with Reuters: Trump says he thought being president would be easier than his old life.

+ Ever hear the term Deporter in Chief? Given all the bluster, you’d be forgiven for assuming it’s a nickname given to Donald Trump. But so far, Trump’s deportation “numbers track slightly behind the pace of removals during the same time period during the past two years of the Obama administration — and greatly lag behind the rate of deportations before Obama ordered greater discretion.”

+ FiveThirtyEight: What Trump Has Done.

+ Buzzfeed: 100 Lies from Trump’s First 100 Days.

+ The Daily News: 100 Days of on the Trump News Roller Coaster.

+ WaPo: The first hundred days of presidential tweets.


Throw the Kindle at ‘Em

“Once upon a time, people bought books because they liked reading. Now they buy books because they like books.” The Guardian’s Paula Cocozza on a trend that few of us saw coming. Ebooks sales are going down. Sales of real books are going up. (One obvious bonus of going old school: real books can be placed around the house to make it appear to dinner guests that you’re pretty well read.)


Threat Taken

“She’d been reporting on his exaggerated claims about covering the Falklands War in the 1980s (he had actually covered protests more than 1,000 miles away, in Buenos Aires). ‘I am coming after you with everything I have,” O’Reilly said in an on-the-record phone call to Steel. ‘You can take it as a threat.'” From Marie Claire: Meet the Woman Who Took Bill O’Reilly Down.


Lasting Impact

“A weird, wild weekend. An insulting trophy. Torture from teammates. Here’s what it’s like from seven players who lived it, and the CEO who keeps the party going.” With the NFL draft in full swing, GQ’s Clay Skipper introduces you to Mr. Irrelevant: True Stories of Being the NFL Draft’s Last Pick.


Are You a Top or a Bot?

“Harmony smiles, blinks and frowns. She can hold a conversation, tell jokes and quote Shakespeare. She’ll remember your birthday, McMullen told me, what you like to eat, and the names of your brothers and sisters. She can hold a conversation about music, movies and books. And of course, Harmony will have sex with you whenever you want.” The Guardian on the race to build the world’s first sex robot. (There must be a massive backorder for these things at Fox News.)

+ Vice: Inside the Insane Feud Between a Vegan Strip Club and the Steak House Next Door. (Portland. Where else?)


Bottom of the News

“Flights were canceled. Headliners dropped out. Guests tweeted photos of bare-bones food and lodging and comparing this stark reality to the (absurd) promotional videos the festival put out.” It turns out the Fyre music festival wasn’t all it was cracked up to me. (Seriously, even well-run music festivals look like a nightmare to me…)

+ In the week leading up to it some things seemed like they weren’t as advertised. We gave them the benefit of the doubt and figured they’d pull things together before we got there. And we were dead wrong. It was chaos.”

+ Last week, Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi told high school students that a man who wears a tutu to a bar “kind of asks for” a fight. The internet took it from there.

+ Reminder: If you’re in the Bay Area, come out to my talk at UC Berkeley’s BAMPFA on Monday night. It’s gonna be really weird if it’s just me and my parents talking about Trump and the media.

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