Tuesday, July 28th, 2020


Nom Nom Nom

The glorious years BT (Before Trump), and BC (Before Covid-19), and BISBMHATWTMTENS (Before I Started Banging My Head Against The Wall To Make The Effen News Stop), I most certainly would have lead NextDraft with today's Emmy nominations. My doing so now is not so much a return to normalcy as it is a hat tip to the increased importance TV has played in providing us a respite from the virus and the news. It's also a hat tip to my friend Damon Lindelof who slid into the Emmys like Lube Man as Watchmen led the field with 26 nominations. AP: Dystopian series ‘Watchmen' leads all Emmy nominees with 26. (I don't know what could be less dystopian than a Lindelof-led, quality series, that tells the truth about race and features Regina King kicking ass. Dystopia is what I experience when I turn that show off.)

+ Here's a look at all the nominees. Shout outs to Zendaya in the envelope-pushing Euphoria, and Jeremy Strong (L to the OG) and the rest of the stellar cast in amazing Succession (which I just watched a third time.)

+ Here are some snubs and surprises. (I have no clue how Trump got skipped over for best performance in a comedy series for his run as the star of Coronavirus Task Force. The UV light episode alone should be worth a few trophies.)


Will Power

Speaking of TV performances, William Barr appeared before the House Judiciary Committee where he defended the use of federal forces in Portland. "We are concerned about this problem metastasizing around the country. And so we feel that we have to, in a place like Portland where we don't have the support of the local government, we have to take a stand and defend this federal property. We can't get to a level where were going to accept these kinds of violent attacks on federal courts." (I think we all know who's been doing the attacking of federal courts over the past year. What we need to do is stop the metastasization of bullshit coming from the administration.)


Sham Wow

"Modern American politics began with that secret weapon. Greenfield called it Project Macroscope. He recruited the best and the brightest, many of whom had been trained in the science of psychological warfare. "The scientists are from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale, Harvard, Columbia, and Johns Hopkins," the New York /Times/ reported. Simulmatics' 1960 election project was one of the largest political-science research projects ever conducted." The New Yorker's Jill Lepore looks back at the earliest days of politicians using computers to slice, dice, model, and manipulate voters. How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future.


Particle Theory

"As cases continue to rise across the country, experts are pointing to an array of evidence suggesting that masks also protect the people wearing them, lessening the severity of symptoms, or in some instances, staving off infection entirely." NYT: People wearing face coverings will take in fewer coronavirus particles, evidence suggests, making disease less severe.

+ "We put a sign outside — an appeal to kindness. 'If you wear a mask, it shows how much you care about us.' We found out how much they cared. It became clear real quick." The latest in Eli Saslow's Voices from the Pandemic series: No mask, no entry. Is that clear enough?

+ The mask stupidity pandemic knows no borders. "It's constant verbal abuse." San Francisco bus driver recounts assault after enforcing mask rule.


Captcha the Flag

"The main purpose of Wednesday's hearing is for Zuckerberg, Pichai, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, and Apple's Tim Cook to address the evidentiary record the committee has already prepared over the last 13 months, an intimidating number of documents that no tech CEO has reckoned with since Microsoft's antitrust charges in the ‘90s. At the end of this probe, the committee intends to publish a report in the coming months detailing how the executives' respective companies have avoided liability under current antitrust laws because those competition rules were never crafted with the tech industry's behaviors in mind." Congress will be grilling the rulers of the universe tomorrow. (At this point, it seems like the big tech cos have more power than Congress. I wouldn't be surprised if Facebook annexes America during the hearing.)


They’re Back…

After a few days wearing a mask and flirting with a few pandemic-related realities, the Trump misinformation train is back on its tracks. "President Donald Trump shared a slew of social media posts Monday containing a wildly misleading video about the coronavirus, prompting Facebook, Google, and Twitter all to remove the Trump-amplified misinformation but not until it had been viewed tens of millions of times."

+ AP: Twitter gives Trump Jr. a tweet timeout for pandemic misinfo. (It's about time someone gave this kid some parenting.)

+ How crazy is the crap they're spreading? This crazy: Texas doctor who went viral with unproven COVID-19 cure believes in demon sperm. (Bad news for Melania...)

+ WaPo: There are so many coronavirus myths that even Snopes can't keep up. (And the editors understandably need mental health days...)


Covid Has Us By the Ballgames

Baseball tried get back to the field without going full bubble. A few games into the season, the Miami Marlins had 17 positive cases. The NFL will be the next league to attempt to reopen outside a bubble. ESPN: No bubble for the 2020 NFL season? Why the league didn't consider it, what's next.

+ Free From Quarantine: The NBA Bubble Is A Unique Experience. (This may be the only model that will work...)


There’s Something in the Air

"To some American companies and Florida men, COVID-19 is apparently a war that will be won through antimicrobial blasting, to ensure that pathogens are banished from every square inch of America's surface area. But what if this is all just a huge waste of time?" Derek Thompson in The Atlantic: Hygiene Theater Is a Huge Waste of Time. (Hygiene theater is what I call it when my kids say they already brushed their teeth.)


The More You Nose

"Senator David Perdue of Georgia's re-election campaign was assailed on Monday for a Facebook advertisement that enlarged the nose of his Democratic opponent, Jon Ossoff, who is Jewish, in a portrayal that critics immediately denounced as anti-Semitic." NYT: Georgia Senator Is Criticized for Ad Enlarging Jewish Opponent's Nose. (Not quite sure if this was really antisemitic? Well trust me. I have a nose for this kind of thing. The ad included Chuck Schumer and the tagline, "Democrats are trying to buy Georgia!")


Bottom of the News

"The letter, produced in partnership with the Artist Rights Alliance, urges political parties to 'establish clear policies requiring campaigns to seek consent' from any artists they hope to feature." Lorde and Mick Jagger urge politicians to seek permission before using music. (It's crazy that campaigns can use this music without consent; and without paying for it.)

+ A controversial limb-lengthening surgery is on the rise among men who want to be taller. (That wasn't what we meant by limb lengthening back in my day...)

+ This kid is pretty good at skateboarding.

+ Can an animated gif make your day? Yes.