Monday, April 24th, 2023


Tuck Off

In a move that has everyone from viewers to industry insiders asking, What the actual Tuck?, Fox News has parted ways with Tucker Carlson. The move is obviously connected to the tuck-load of cash Fox just lost in the Dominion lawsuit. Even with that tuck-ton payout, it's a total mindtuck to see Carlson Murdoch'd in cold blood and told to get the tuck out by a network that, when it comes to truth in reporting, has always maintained a clear policy of zero tucks given. We know this is about money since Fox never told Carlson to go tuck himself, even as he became the embodiment of a tucking white nationalist racist tuckhead. While those who give a flying tuck about reality (including those few within the Fox news empire) are likely shouting, "Tuck Yeah," it's worth noting that the network has tucked with us before. Folks celebrated when the o'dious Bill O'Reilly was tucked over by Fox for trying to turn half the company into his tuck buddies, but before we could even enjoy the sound of him being forced to shut the tuck up, he was replaced by Carlson, and things were even more tucked up beyond repair. Tuck is not everlasting, but the Murdoch's willingness to lie and manipulate most definitely is. I know it's tucked up, but I'm not going to tuck with you. This headline from The Atlantic mirrors my exact tucking reaction to today's news: Tucker's Successor Will Be Worse. (And I'm sure Tucker Carlson will end up making even more money somewhere else, assuming he doesn't mind being paid in Rubles.)

+ "According to three former Fox employees, Mr. Carlson was among the network's most avid consumers of what are known as minute-by-minutes — ratings data on an audience's real-time ebb and flow. 'He is going to double down on the white nationalism because the minute-by-minutes show that the audience eats it up,' said a former employee who worked frequently with Mr. Carlson." From the NYT: What to Know About Tucker Carlson's Rise.

+ Meanwhile, Don Lemon was fired by CNN. "I am stunned. After 17 years at CNN, I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly." (With both Don Lemon and Tucker Carlson off the air, it might be a good time to cancel all cable news. Imagine life without panels.)


Trade Gap

"Mechanic and repair trade programs saw an enrollment increase of 11.5% from spring 2021 to 2022, according to the National Student Clearinghouse. In construction trades, enrollment grew 19.3%, and in culinary programs, it increased 12.7%. Meanwhile, overall enrollment declined 7.8% at public two-year colleges, and 3.4% at public four-year institutions." While some students skip college, trade programs are booming.

+ "Six figures of debt and no job? Minimal debt and a job with an above-median salary? The latter's appeal is growing." The Hustle: Degrees of separation: As college enrollment drops, trade school sign-ups rise.

+ "Many skilled trades face similar shortages, and those shortages have environmental consequences. The Inflation Reduction Act includes billions in tax credits and direct funding for a long list of climate-friendly projects, but all of them depend on the availability of workers who can execute and maintain them." The New Yorker on The Great Electrician Shortage. "Going green will depend on blue-collar workers. Can we train enough of them before time runs out?" (I'm of no use here. It's like the age-old question, "How many newsletter writers does take to screw in a lightbulb?" We don't know. None of them has ever tried.)


Red Bull

Politicians love to point to cities like NYC as devolving societies where violence has run amok. "In reality, the region the Big Apple comprises most of is far and away the safest part of the U.S. mainland when it comes to gun violence, while the regions Florida and Texas belong to have per capita firearm death rates (homicides and suicides) three to four times higher than New York's. On a regional basis it's the southern swath of the country — in cities and rural areas alike — where the rate of deadly gun violence is most acute, regions where Republicans have dominated state governments for decades." Politico: Gun Violence Is Actually Worse in Red States. It's Not Even Close.


Be Labor the Point

"The Florida-based think tank and its lobbying arm, the Opportunity Solutions Project, have found remarkable success among Republicans to relax regulations that prevent children from working long hours in dangerous conditions. And they are gaining traction at a time the Biden administration is scrambling to enforce existing labor protections for children." WaPo (Gift Article): The conservative campaign to rewrite child labor laws. "The reason these rather unpopular policies succeed is because they come in under the radar screen."


Extra, Extra

Sudan Strife: "Hemedti only appeared on the national political scene four years ago. In that short time, he has drawn the army, and all of Sudan, into an unprecedented confrontation – in which the country's army, under Burhan, now finds itself at war with a large paramilitary force that it cannot dominate, under a leader that it cannot control. How did Hemedti, seemingly overnight, come to capture Sudan's politics?" Sudan's outsider: how a paramilitary leader fell out with the army and plunged the country into war. Meanwhile, things are getting more and more dangerous in Sudan. SEAL Team 6, Army special forces rescue US diplomats in Sudan; aid workers urged to 'shelter in place.' Here's the latest from BBC.

+ The Bluest Sigh: "The American Library Association today released their list of the 13 most challenged books of 2022, the titles that have been the biggest targets of banning efforts in schools and public libraries." (Some whack job on a local board is sitting in judgement of Toni Morrison. We're living in the age of stupidity.) And just in case you think craziness is only on one side of the aisle: Identity Politics Comes for a Best-Selling Novelist. "As he describes in an email to the Bulwark, that novel 'was repeatedly rejected by major publishers because as a white author I chose to write about some of our most vexing racial problems –voter suppression, unequal law-enforcement – through the prism of three major characters, two of them Black.'"

+ Red Math, and Beyond: "Bed Bath & Beyond enters bankruptcy distraught and turbulent, after several misfired turnarounds, abrupt leadership shakeups, a rise and crash as a meme stock, store closures, job cuts and numerous last-gasp financing deals. For months, the chain has been losing both money and shoppers, struggling to restock shelves as suppliers and banks cut off its tab."

+ NBC Shell: NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell has been let go for inappropriate conduct with an employee.

+ Fired, Then Rehired? "Myles Cosgrove, a former Louisville police officer who shot and killed Breonna Taylor in March 2020, became a law enforcement officer again in a nearby county."

+ Pop Rock: It's "the first time since 1950, when the UN first began keeping global population records, that China has been knocked off the top spot." India overtakes China to become world's most populous country.

+ Faith Healing: "For many young people, the pandemic was the first crisis they faced. It affected everyone to some degree, from the loss of family and friends to uncertainty about jobs and daily life. In many ways, it aged young Americans and they are now turning to the same comfort previous generations have turned to during tragedies for healing and comfort." The Surprising Surge of Faith Among Young People.

+ Get Wrexed: "Wrexham, the Welsh soccer club owned by Hollywood A-listers Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, secured promotion back to the English Football League system for the first time in 15 years." And Ryan Reynolds fulfils fan Jay Fear's dying wish.


Bottom of the News

"The guardians of Champagne will let no one take the name of the bubbly beverage in vain, not even a U.S. beer behemoth. For years, Miller High Life has used the 'Champagne of Beers' slogan. This week, that appropriation became impossible to swallow. At the request of the trade body defending the interests of houses and growers of the northeastern French sparkling wine, Belgian customs crushed more than 2,000 cans of Miller High Life advertised as such."