June 30, 2017

"It suddenly hit me. That’s what people want to see. That’s what I’ll give them, blood and gore."

Said Generoso Pope, Jr., the founder of The National Enquirer, who had begun the newspaper as "a serious, upscale weekly," but "had an epiphany one day when he found himself gazing at a particularly gruesome traffic accident, and noticed how many other people had also stopped to stare."

He's quoted in a New Yorker article by Jeffrey Toobin that has a title — "The National Enquirer’s Fervor for Trump/The tabloid is defined by its predatory spirit. Why has it embraced the President with such sycophantic zeal?" — that makes it seem pretty blood-and-gore — metaphorically, anyway. But it turns out to be more of a — how you say? — nothingburger.

I did though enjoy reading about the early history of the paper. I remember stealing glimpses of The Enquirer at newsstands back in the mid-60s, when it was considered too evil for a decent person to look at. As The New Yorker puts it:
In the fifties and sixties, the [blood and gore] formula was a resounding success. With headlines like “mom boiled her baby and ate her” and photographs of purported freaks of nature, such as two-headed babies, circulation soared to more than a million. 
I can still remember getting drawn into the story of a murderer who cut up a body and put the head in some kind of box and threw a foot out the window. There was a photograph of a severed foot. Was it still wearing the cut-off end of a nylon stocking? 

Pope had a second epiphany in the late 60s which was to sell the paper at the supermarket checkout display.
This required him to scale back the gore (which was unacceptable to the markets) and amp up the celebrity coverage. The transformation proved a boon to business. So did a television campaign featuring the catchphrase “Enquiring minds want to know.”
The grisly gunk was gone, and we got the insane, cheerful message that we were sorta intellectual — "enquiring" — to want to know pointless crap about celebrities:



Those were simpler times, back when Princess Di was blasting heartless Fergie for inadequate baby care. Today, the Enquirer is run by David Pecker, and most of Toobin's article is about Pecker, who is friends with Donald Trump, but Toobin didn't dig up anything shocking about the Pecker-n-Trump bromance, so I left the table still hungry.

Fortunately, The National Enquirer popped into the news today: "Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough’s Extortion Claim Against Donald Trump and the National Enquirer." That too is by Toobin in The New Yorker. Trump used extortion against Mika and Joe??
Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski have just caused a sensation by claiming, in effect, that they were extorted by Donald Trump and the National Enquirer. According to their op-ed in the Washington Post, White House staffers told them that the tabloid would run damaging stories about them unless they could persuade the President to intervene.
At that link to the WaPo op-ed, the word "extortion" is not used. It just says:
This year, top White House staff members warned that the National Enquirer was planning to publish a negative article about us unless we begged the president to have the story spiked. We ignored their desperate pleas.
Why would White House staffers be "desperate" to save Mika and Joe from a negative article? And where's the "extortion"? Extortion is a legal term. It is the actual or threatened use of "force, violence, or fear" to obtain property from someone. I think Toobin's idea is that the threat and what was to be extorted with the threat were both press coverage: Trump was trying to get good coverage from Joe and Mika by threatening them with bad coverage from The Enquirer.

But in Mika and Joe's telling, it was only Trump's staffers urging them to get Trump to intercede with the third party — The Enquirer — that was threatening to harm them. But it takes another few leaps to get to the idea that The Enquirer was in cahoots with Trump, cooking up a negative story against Mika and Joe to work as a threat that would bring them begging to Trump and that if they had done so, Trump would have extracted from them a commitment to give him good coverage on their show.

As Toobin puts it:
[I]t’s certainly possible that there was some connection between the Enquirer story about Scarborough and Brzezinski and Trump’s quest for favorable coverage from “Morning Joe.” Bizarrely enough, Trump’s most recent tweet suggests that he served as the middleman between the anchors and the magazine, though he denies that he did ultimately intervene.
The recent Trump tweet is: "Watched low rated @Morning_Joe for first time in long time. FAKE NEWS. He called me to stop a National Enquirer article. I said no! Bad show."

What a screwy mess! I attempted to watch "Morning Joe" today, but it was so dumb and slow-moving I couldn't put up with it. In the little I saw, I was mostly fascinated by the visual: Mika and Joe looked incredibly glum, positively morose. What's the problem? Why aren't they happy that they got under the President's skin and have everyone talking about them? How can it hurt? Is it just that people are motivated to dig up the terrible story that The Enquirer in fact published about them earlier this month? Or is there something more to this — some trap Trump has set with his oddball tweet about Mika's "bleeding badly from a face-lift"?

Everybody stopped to stare. That’s what people want to see. That’s what I’ll give them, blood and gore.

137 comments:

eric said...

And they are refusing to share.

Imagine that, reporters and journalists have direct evidence of the president telling lies and blackmailing them and, well, they'll talk about it but the evidence must be kept hidden.

Uh huh.

You know, people like to say Trump lies. When he said Comey told him 3 times he wasn't under investigation, we talked for weeks about what a stupid and easily provable like that was. Until it was proven true.

I'mma side with Trump on this one.

Lucien said...

Did the article mention that it was the National Enquirer that broke the John Edwards love child story when the Democrat supporting MSM wouldn't go anywhere near it?

The Democratic candidate for Vice-President has a love child with his mistress while his wife is dying of cancer and he convinces his aide to pretend to be the father - and the media refuse to report it. If you got your news from the NYT or CNN, the first time you heard about this scandal was when the media were grudgingly reported that Edwards had resigned because it was true.

Limited blogger said...

Remember Russia?

eric said...

This article makes a heck of a lot more sense.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/06/30/trump-kushner-never-blackmailed-scarborough-source-says.amp.html

Joe asked Kushner to talk to the President about quashing the story.

Kushner told Joe he should speak to the president himself.

Joe said, but the president is angry with me.

Kushner responded, then maybe you should apologize.

Unknown said...

Jared Kushner was the middleman between Joe Scarborough and Trump and National Enquirer.

Kushner told Joe that if he called Trump and kissed his ring, Trump would call the Enquirer to spike the story about Mika and Joe. Joe told Kushner to f'off.

Joe copied his bosses at NBC in realtime what Kushner (and others in the WH) were communicating.

This is blackmail.

Neither Kushner or Trump have denied Joe Scarborough's side of the story and do you know why that is? Because he is telling the truth. Trump is a con-man and a known sleaze-bag.

Fen said...

This puts the dead female aide found in Joe's office under a new light. I wonder if that's why he's behaving like someone owns his ass.

Luke Lea said...

My favorite headline in the checkout line was "World War II Bomber Found on Moon." At some point they went in for the absurd.

Bay Area Guy said...

These Left-wing elites like Jeff Toobin live in a fantasy world. There's no real blood and gore. There's a tweet about a facelift -- nothing more. But it freaks out these people and then they unleash whatever weird imagery is already lurking in their heads.

The only REAL recent blood and gore has been when some leftwing wacko, Hodgkinson, tried to murder some Congressional Republicans on the softball field with a rifle.

Ditto for Kate Steinle -- murdered in SF by an illegal immigrant, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez.

The Leftist mindset has been thoroughly distorted. It can't discern between fact and fiction; it can't discern between fact and opinion; it can't discern between emotions and thoughts.

AllenS said...

Trump is a con-man and a known sleaze-bag. -- Unknown

Sure.

rcocean said...

There has NEVER been a POTUS in recent memory who's been lied about and smeared like Trump. Even Nixon was treated was more respect.

The leaps of logic and evidence hoops you need to jump thru to get to: "Trump tried to blackmail Mika/Joe" is astounding.

And you now have Bill Kristol twitting that Trump is " a pig" -with Donnie Deutch aka "Donnie Dumbshit" going on MSNBC and saying the same thing on MSNBC.

How the hell does anyone watch NBC and think they're getting straight News when Trump is involved? No POTUS in the past 100 years has been treated with such contempt and insults by the MSM.

rcocean said...

And I thought the National enquirer had been purchased by some Leftist who was upset at their coverage of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal.

Maybe that's some other scandal sheet.

Inga said...

Mika and Joe have said numerous times that they are worried for the nation. Their "glumness" may reflect this. I saw them as being seriously fearful for the nation under Trump. "Donald Trump is not well."

Fen said...

"Enquirer broke Edwards story"

Also remember, ABC was sitting on the Lewinsky story, shielding Clinton, until the Enquirer broke the story and forced them to play catch up.

The more MSM antics come back into focus, the more I realize just how much they have acted as a propaganda arm of the Democrat Party. They really should be subject to campaign finance law.

Or just elimated. Maybe a Running Man show since ratings are so important to corporate.

Virgil Hilts said...

The story at the beginning sounds just like the essay Tom Wolfe wrote about the invention of the Demolition Derby. As I remember it a race car had flipped into the stands and the driver (the inventor) was sitting there upside down in his car thinking about (i) how crashes like this were what people really came to see, and (ii) the only reason he was not surrounded by corpses was because of the lagging popularity of normal car races, whereupon he had his eureka moment.

Fen said...

"The two-faced adulterous hacks have said many times they are worried for the future of this country"

Yah bullshit. Who takes anything they say at face value?

Michael K said...

Toobin and the MSM seem to have adopted the Enquirer business model but without the facts that the Enquirer finds, like Edwards.

The Enquirer was also the first target of the Anthrax terrorist.

I wonder why ?

The panel concludes that scientific evidence is consistent with the idea that Bruce Ivins could have been the perpetrator of the anthrax attacks that killed five people in 2001. But taken on its own, the science doesn't prove Ivins did it, the panel says. The new report is limited to an evaluation of the scientific evidence and does not assess the guilt or innocence of anyone connected to the case.

Ivins was a very weird guy with murderous obsessions.

Why in the world did he have a security clearance ? Maybe National Enquirer had ticked him off somehow.

rcocean said...

"Morning Joe" was originally supposed to be a somewhat balanced news show. Pyscho Joe was the "conservative" while Low IQ mika was the liberal. And they had a balanced panel of Buchanan, Mike Barnicle, etc. etc.

It was never very interesting, but it wasn't terrible. I never thought Joe/Mika were anything special, it was their guests and the panel that made me watch sometimes.

Haven't watched for years, and like Althouse tried to watch today. Was bored after 15 minutes. Wife asked if I watched to see more, and I said NO!


Michael K said...

And I thought the National enquirer had been purchased by some Leftist who was upset at their coverage of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal.

No, that's "US" Magazine which ran adoring stories about the Obamas.

Also, "The Onion."

Bay Area Guy said...

I'm not a huge fan of the National Enquirer - don't we all agree it's mostly a hollywood rag?

But, they do get a couple stories right (John Edwards) and they don't pretend to be on a high horse, unlike the major media.

LilyBart said...


'I know Melania. I haven't talked to her in months, but if my gut is right, I don't think she's going to put up with it much longer,' Brzezinski said. 'I know nothing. That's just my instinct and I go with my gut and my gut's always right.

Then, in a startling suggestion she claimed her 'gut' was telling her that the first lady was only doing 'the worst job in the country' for the sake of her young son, Barron


Mika gets dirty and personal too. She hasn't taken the 'high road'.

Fen said...

"This is blackmail"

Meade: If you guys apologize for wasting my time and promise to knock it off, I'll try to convince Ann not to ban you.

Inga: Extortion!

Unknown: Blackmail!

LilyBart said...

To prove I'm not a robot, I was required to highlight the squares where the person was wearing shorts - on Althouse's blog! Funny.

surfed said...

I'm telling you that Trump is the most fun President ever. Aaron Burr might have given him a run for his money if he hadn't been such a good shot but we shouldn't pine for what wasn't.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EDH said...

At that link to the WaPo op-ed, the word "extortion" is not used.

"So, if you mention extortion again... I'll have your legs broken"

Fen said...

"don't we all know it's a Hollywood rag? "

Oh sure. And that's it's best feature - as I kid I learned very early that just because it's in the papers doesn't mean it's true.

It's why I never wasted my allowance money on those Sea Monkeys. I guess I should buy a few Enquirer Mags to repay the favor.

Matt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Cracker Emcee said...

The Enquirer hit Hillary hard in the two weeks before the election. It's not insane to think they swung enough votes among Wal-Mart women to give WI and PA to Trump. Where else in those two weeks would hundreds of thousands of working-class LIV's be exposed to a lurid cover declaring Hillary a crook? Elections have turned on stranger things.

madAsHell said...

Today, the Enquirer is run by David Pecker, and most of Toobin's article is about Pecker, who is friends with Donald Trump

Trump has an acquaintance named Pecker? First, we had Scaramouch, and now Pecker? What's next? Richard Head? Helen Bedd?

Fen said...

Inga: "What possesses a President to - "

We know but we're not telling. It's a HUGE secret and you are the only one Donald said not to tell. But I'll give you a hint...

ALIENS!

Fen said...

Lily LOL!

Diogenes of Sinope said...

panem et circenses

Tom Peckenham said...

Ann - the clip you've embedded is not the Enquiring Minds campaign - which I produced as part of my first job out of school. One a week and a lot of fun. Try this clip instead:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SYtOFldXI8

Inga said...

What possesses a President of the United States to demean himself and his Office by playing this stupid game with TV talk show hosts? Doesn't he have Presidential duties to be concerned about? It's as if he doesn't really care about being President as much as he cares about settling scores. He continues to shit all over his own small victories with these insane tweets, what is wrong with this man?

The man is not well.

Ralph L said...

I saw them as being seriously fearful for the nation under Trump.
While laughing all the way to the bank. Job security from MCCCP.

Fen said...

Inga is stuck on replay, someone kick her.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"What possesses a President of the United States to demean himself and his Office by playing this stupid game with TV talk show hosts? "

Exactly what I thought when Obama was singling out Rush Limbaugh. Nice to know we both think Obama is stupid.

Fen said...

Inga: "the man is not well"

Inga dear, everyone here is very concerned about you. Many of us are worried about your future. You are not well.


(that's what you sound like)

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

rcocean said...

Haven't watched for years, and like Althouse tried to watch today.

Wonder how many other people did the same? Trump's done them a big favor by getting the existence of their crummy show out in the public conscience.

Michael K said...

I'm telling you that Trump is the most fun President ever. Aaron Burr might have given him a run for his money if he hadn't been such a good shot but we shouldn't pine for what wasn't.

I tend to agree with you. I am a big fan of Coolidge and think that, if his son had not died, he might have run for re-election in 1928 and prevented the Depression.

Still, it is fun to watch Trump drive people out of their minds while actually doing a decent job of governing.

Doesn't he have Presidential duties to be concerned about? It's as if he doesn't really care about being President as much as he cares about settling scores.

Well, Bill Clinton stayed in the oval office but, of course he had Monica and cigars so it wasn't all work.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann - the clip you've embedded is not the Enquiring Minds campaign - which I produced as part of my first job out of school."

It's not? It's got the same slogan, same actress....

Bob Ellison said...

By the way, Ann and Meade, I could commission a comment-banning 'bot.

Seriously. This seems totally do-able. Pretty quick, frankly. Probably about a two-day turnaround.

I don't think you really need one that much. It's fun around here. But the business idea has merit. I'd need you to sponsor it in order to make money on it.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

Trump is beginning to become Winston Churchill. He may have been rude to point it out that crazy Mika bleeds, but Mika will still be ugly in the morning. Winston was an early version of Trump.

If there was one man hated by all in the English government in May of 1940 it was crazy and rude Winston. He was only made PM to take the blame for the necessary surrender negotiations with Germany...but the half American belligerent little man refused to surrender.

Bob Ellison said...

Doesn't Blogger offer a comment-banning system? They've got all that AI and stuff. This is easy by comparison: ban by name, by IP address, by general content...writing style is where the AI comes in.

Google knows how to do this. They're not deploying it for Blogger? If not, why not?

The Godfather said...

When I was a student at an Ivy League U in the early '60's, I was assigned some book by Zbigniew Brzezinski about US foreign policy v. the Soviet Union, and I was blown away -- it was the most anti-USSR book in the entire U curriculum as far as I could tell (and Kissinger was on the faculty!). So when Carter appointed him as national security adviser I had great hopes (in fact, although I voted for Ford, I had great hopes for Carter, at the beginning; boy was I disappointed!). But somehow Zbig wasn't able to convey to Carter that the Soviets were bad guys, and Jimmy had to learn it from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

In much later years I met Zbig's son, who was a nice guy. Mika I've never met and have only occasionally seen on clips from her show, and she's certainly nice to look at. Per Wikipedia she's about 50 years old, which I consider young. With decent makeup she shouldn't need a necklift. From what little I've seen of her and her co-anchor, between the two of them they might add up to an average IQ.

Trump really shouldn't bother with them, and neither should anyone else.

Earnest Prole said...

It's not? It's got the same slogan, same actress....

The clip you embedded is mislabeled -- it's actually the "Enquire Within" campaign from 1988. The "Enquiring Minds Want to Know" campaign dates from about five years earlier and can be seen on YouTube.

DKWalser said...

What possses a President of the United States to demean himself and his Office by playing this stupid game with TV talk show hosts?

I'm tired of the have-you-no-decency-sir attitude coming from those who've (collectively) run our culture into the gutter. You've torn asunder all our cultural norms of behavior and NOW you insist that Trump behave himself?

I'm sorry, but that boat sailed a long time ago. I mean it. I morn for our soiled culture. I would have preferred the stilted tones of Mitt Romney to the sly profanity of Barrack Obama. But, you laughed with scorn at Mitt's "gosh" and smiled in approval at Obama's slyly flipping off his competitors. (Wasn't that just so sophisticated? I mean, how cool was that?! He pretended he was scratching his cheek while extending his middle finger. [Snort!])

Trump's vulgar. But, you created a culture -- over our objections -- that rewards vulgar. You cheered on Jonathan Stewart with his non-stop F-bombs. What a comic genius! You made Kathy Griffin a star. You defended Bill Clinton receiving BJs in the Oval Office from an intern. You forced us to explain to our elementary school kids what oral sex is. You thought Girls was high art. Rather than produce art that inspires and uplifts, you, literally, piss on Christ.

So, I would rather that Trump had never been elected. My choice was Romney -- a thoroughly decent man that you vilified. Now we have Trump. Live with it. You helped create the culture that created him.

Bob Ellison said...

DKWalser, well written.

rcocean said...

Toobin is a mystery to me. I keep watching him on TV, and people keep telling me what a "super smart lawyer" he is - and I just find him dumb.

But then I'm just Joe six-pack so maybe he has some super-secret lawyer intelligence that I don't get. In any case, I find him completely driven by his politics and personal prejudices. He says crap that's obviously wrong, but it doesn't matter, 'cause next day its all forgotten, and he's still Mr. Smart lawyer Guy - that we're all supposed to listen to.

Fen said...

Lori Klausitus, 29 year old female and intern who worked 2 years for Joe Scarbough.

Found dead in Joe's office, July 2001. Cause of death ruled to be a blow to the head. Assumption is she had undiagnosed cardiac condition, passed out and suffered mortal blow to head, hitting something on the way down.

In May of 2003 in an appearance on the Son Imus Show, Joe Scarbough admitted to having sexual relations with her.

Ralph L said...

Ellison, if you've read much of her blog, you'd know Althouse is all about the free speech. It takes a lot to get a comment removed by Meade.

rcocean said...

"So, I would rather that Trump had never been elected. My choice was Romney -- a thoroughly decent man that you vilified. Now we have Trump."

One, this is all entertainment. It doesn't matter that Trump is vulgar or Obama did X, or even that Bill Clinton was a sexist pig. What really matters is what they do as Commander-in-Chief, what policies they support, and who they nominate to the SCOTUS and judiciary.

Trump got elected -partly- because he was vulgar entertainer and anti-PC. But mostly because people liked his policies. Border security, no more bad trade deals, America first, etc.

The problem with Romney, wasn't that he was a "Gentleman" who didn't fight back. Its that he was moderate, globalist, establishment, elitist, who couldn't connect with working class folks. Hard for him to win the Midwest, when he opposed the auto bailout but supported bailing out AIG and Citibank. And he now showed his true colors by attacking Trump as "racist" and "Sexist" - I kid you not. Not mention he's constant pandering and flip-flopping.




Bob Ellison said...

rcocean, I know what you mean about Toobin.

Punditry is like a video game. You can try for Fareed Zakaria level, but that takes years of practice. You can go all-in and try to be Limbaughian or Maddowesque, but you have to have great presence on video and audio.

Toobin is on the Zakaria track. That's the middle track, where you have to dodge the turtles and hop on the mushrooms. He tries to present himself as a serious guy.

On that track, you can say really dumb things, where you just fall off the track and then come back to life instantly and keep on running. (Sorry; the video game metaphor is getting away from me here.) That track keeps lots of media people running.

Drago said...

Inga s in a bit of a tizzy now that it appears it was lil Joey himself who reached out Kushner to get some help with the enquirer story.

On top of that all of a sudden MSNBC has decided to move to cautious mode on release of this mountain of evidence of extortion/blackmail/(insert latest insane accusation here).

Lol

As predicted, it's already falling apart.

Inga hardest hit. The good news? She's been so desensitized to losing she now thinks she's winning gloriously!

rhhardin said...

Weekly World News was better.

DKWalser said...



I wasn't trying to debate the policy merits of the various candidates. Inga's and the rest's plaint is cultural. From that perspective, Romney would have been the all-but-perfect President. His one flaw: At a state dinner when toasting another country, his glass would have been filled with water rather than with wine.

tcrosse said...

At a state dinner when toasting another country, his glass would have been filled with water rather than with wine.

Trump and Obama as well, only Obama would have turned the water into wine.

Bay Area Guy said...

@Godfather,

But somehow Zbig wasn't able to convey to Carter that the Soviets were bad guys, and Jimmy had to learn it from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Exactly. Carter and these leftwing knuckleheads back then told us that we "had an inordinate fear of communism." Today, when some radical islamist shoots innocent people, yelling "Allahu-Akbar!," they tell us it is work place violence.

The Left: Wrong then, Wrong Now.

Drago said...

DKWalser: "...Romney would have been the all-but-perfect President."

I disagree.

Don't get me wrong, I like Romney. Who doesn't (besides the dems who called him a nazi just like every other republican ever)?

But I believe that in the end he would have allowed himself to be rolled by the dems/left/media. Its not worth the time to get into the "what if" details.

William said...

I had heard of their marriage, but none of the news reports mentioned that this was the product of an adulterous relationship. As scandals go, having an adulterous relationship with a coworker is small bore, but, still, it didn't receive that much publicity. That may be the explanation for the glum look on Mika's face. She comes from a Catholic, old world background, and probably doesn't want to be known as a cheating wife. Maybe there's more mud in the bucket. Perhaps, like Giuliani, enterprising reporters can find the kids and get their take on the divorce......Any chance they participated in wife swapping with Andrea Mitchell and Allen Greenspan? I've never heard them deny it. It would be just like the Russians to set some honey trap for Joe and Mika and then use them to discredit the Trump presidency.

chuck said...

Back in the 60's I met a young woman who wrote stories for one of the tabloids, I forget which. The way is worked was, they sent her a picture, she made up a story to go with it. Her stories were so crazy that they demoted (promoted?) her to writing for an even lower class tabloid than she started with.

Unknown said...

What I love about the Trumpski's is how they talk with authority about Trump. Like as if they've known him all their lives.

Joe Scarborough, Mika, Donny Deutch have known Trump in excess of 10 years. Donny actually worked for Trump. Plus, they move in circles where Trump has moved and moves.

They know a lot more about Trump than a bunch of mindless Trumpski's spouting ignorant nonsense picked up from Fox News and the National Enquirer.

Empty vessels make the loudest noise.





MikeD said...

In breaking news, MSNBC has refused to release the "proof" MoJoe referenced {emails, recorded phone calls & fax's(?)}

The Vault Dweller said...

I'm not certain Mika and Joe are playing this right. For example, until this started getting talked about I never had heard about the odd death of Joe Scarborough office worker, 28-year old Lori Klausutis.

Bob Ellison said...

Unknown, which unknown are you? You should really acquire a nickname, because there are a few of you, and you seem like Minions from Despicable Me.

Earnest Prole said...

Toobin speaks fluent tabloid.

tcrosse said...

Empty vessels make the loudest noise.

More noise from an empty vessel.

Yancey Ward said...

This so-called extortion story doesn't pass the smell test. Common sense alone tells you that if anyone intervened trying to look for a way to bury the Enquirer story, it would have been Scarborough/Brzezinski reaching out to someone they know who they thought might be able to intervene with the publisher. That person was apparently Jared Kushner who told them that the only person who might have that kind of pull was Trump himself, but that if Scarborough wanted this favor, he would have to ask Trump for it himself. Apparently Scarborough knew Trump would turn him down. End of story.

Michael said...

I think Inga believed it was blackmail not extortion, a concept new to her. It was Unknown that picked up the new word even after our hostess, a professor of law, made it clear that it was a nothingburger. So there you have it. Russia. Nope. Blackmail. Certainly nope. Extortion. Extra certainly nope.

God but this is a great blog, as entertaining as it can be with crazy uncles and aunts at every turn and no need to pour them another glass of wine. They bring their own.

Inga: I too am sad that Joe and Mika are sad. In a too bad so sad sort of way.

Inga said...

Althouse, in the other thread you asked us not to name another commenter in one's comment. You said you would delete such comments, yet you have left these comment up. Enforce your own rules.

Blogger Drago said...
"Inga...."

Blogger Fen said...
"Inga: ...
6/30/17, 4:45 PM

Blogger Fen said...
"Inga ..."
6/30/17, 4:41 PM

Blogger Fen said...
"Inga:..."
6/30/17, 4:15 PM
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Drago said...

What is the sound of one empty vessel clapping?

The answer is, of course, "Unknown".

Drago said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drago said...

Now now Inga. Let us rejoice in the new found freedom from the slavery of our "old ways" and embrace the new paradigm that Madam Althouse has provided!

After all, when in Rome.........find a petite brunette because she just might be a princess.

rcocean said...

"On that track, you can say really dumb things, where you just fall off the track and then come back to life instantly and keep on running."

I agree Bob, its a great metaphor. These pundits keep getting killed, but the next day they spring instantly back to life, like nothing happened, and no one notices.

Bill Kristol was a perfect example. He's been more or less wrong about everything, and I've never knew anyone who was impressed by him. But somehow, he kept appearing on FOX year after year, always acting like he was the "smartest guy in the room". He basically, had to commit hari-kari by trashing Trump at every opportunity and supporting Hillary before FOX got rid of him.

But very few people seem to care or notice. I remember Bob McNamara. You'd think after his disastrous stint during the Vietnam war or his failure at the World Bank, he would have faded into oblivion. Instead, during the 80s/90s he was constantly on TV as some sort of "Expert" giving advice on foreign policy. Its like a surgeon who'd been bounced for malpractice showing up on TV and giving medical advice.

Inga said...

Blogger Michael said...
"I think Inga...
Inga...."

6/30/17, 6:08 PM

Another violation.

Drago said...

My my, I must say the atmosphere here has certainly become quite unseemly what with all the self-appointed blog monitors on patrol.

And they don't even have armbands!

Michael said...

Unknown
Indeed they have known him. Deutch might have more in common with DJT than you know, having inherited a business from his father and it was in that capacity as an advertising hack that he "worked for" Trump. He is profoundly dumb, really world class stupid. He runs with a C and D crowd in NY. Trump is definitely and solidly B. Possibly B- but definitely not C. Deutch is probably C working his pecs off to get to B and thus his ass kissing of Mika and Joe who are solid B. He holds every single solitary PC belief and like all very stupid people will not budge one jot from PC. He lives in NY and the only possible way to get to B is to be PC. A you would know nothing of.

Michael said...

Inga

Hall monitor? Show me your badge. How dare you call me in violation for quoting you.

Inga said...

Blogger Drago said...
"Now now Inga..."
6/30/17, 6:13 PM

Another violation regarding not using names.

Chuck said...

For purposes of this story, I am going to presume that everything that the Trump camp contends, is true (in Trump's favor). That there was no extortion. No blackmail. That Joe Scarborough wanted the Enquirer to ditch a story, and maybe Trump could do it.

Whatever.

Still; Trump looks like a scumbag. By all accounts, Trump is a trafficker in this shit. Trump's been a source, a leaker, and he was even "John Baron/John Miller". On a reporter's tape recording.

Ann Althouse; your gut was right, when you first encountered The National Enquirer. It was evil. It's still evil. Trust your gut.

It's Trump's world; the world of tabloids.

Inga said...

Blogger Michael said...
"Inga..."
6/30/17, 6:16 PM

Althouse if you don't enforce your own rules, they have no meaning.

Drago said...

It's Trump's world; the world of tabloids.

Well, I'd say Trumps world is slightly larger than that.

LOL

Michael said...

Our second most insane and stupid commenter has taken on the role of tattle tale. It is not a good look.

Drago said...

Althouse if you don't enforce your own rules, they have no meaning.

No meaning or rhyme,
like notes to a song out of time,
How can we repay,
you for having faith in us?

Drago said...

We are being stalked by La Femme Le Tattle.

Drago said...

Furiously knitting more and more online "handles" into an ever longer scarf.

Inga said...

I'm holding Althouse to her own rules. Why come on the thread and admonish people not to use other commenters names, when she is once again ignoring her own rules. That makes her appear as if she throws out these rules willy hilly and then promptly forgets she just made them. The so called rules then become a joke.

Inga said...

Willy nilly.

Jon Ericson said...

I can read your e-mails.

Big Mike said...

You mean there are people in this world stupid enough to believe "Morning Joe" Scarborough? I wouldn't believe him if he said the sun came up in the east this morning. I'm sure that at the end the truth of the story will be at odds with "Morning Joe's" version of the story.

Mika and Joe remind me of an obnoxious little girl running bawling to her mother "because brother hit me BACK!"

Ann Althouse said...

It's not an absolute rule. I don't have the time to enforce such a rule. It is a standard that I apply with discretion. Your lack of respect for the effort it takes and the advice you were given underscores why the discretion was applied against you and why you are approaching persona non grata status.

Ann Althouse said...

Stop and think about how boring you are.

Drago said...

Althouse has violated the all important and heretofore unheard of "Willy Nilly" Law of Blogdom.

This is a serious offense and may result in her impeachment.

Meade, I hope you are fully prepared to assume the responsibilities should the it become necessary.

I'm afraid we may have our own "Seven Days In May" scenario brewing here.

Ann Althouse said...

"The clip you embedded is mislabeled -- it's actually the "Enquire Within" campaign from 1988. The "Enquiring Minds Want to Know" campaign dates from about five years earlier and can be seen on YouTube."

Thanks for the details.

I looked for the oldest one I could find. Sorry I didn't get further back.

Inga said...

Stop and think how ridiculous you've become. I'm fine with becoming persona non grata. Your blog has become the cesspool it once was. I'm pretty much done here.

Ann Althouse said...

It was literally part of "a television campaign featuring the catchphrase “Enquiring minds want to know'.',

The slogan remained the same even if the inside name for the campaign changed.

Drago said...

One should not threaten to depart the premises in a willy nilly fashion lest one become an object of ridicule when the threat is not carried out.

Willy Nilly-ness is to be avoided at all costs, along with man-buns.

DKWalser said...

I think Althouse was asking us not to make ad hominem attacks. That's not synonymous with calling someone by name.

Michael said...

Drago (can I say that?) there is a barber shop I pass in midtown Atlanta that had a sign saying they would professionally remove man-buns. Possibly for free.

I am of the old school that believes the Enquirer is not to be touched in public, I think I might have purchased it twice, cringing, in my life. I forget that I can get a peep online if you can get past their pop-ups.

Drago said...

I forget that I can get a peep online if you can get past their pop-ups.

Things best done in the privacy (british pronunciation) of ones own abode.

Though to be fair, they did break a couple of famous stories others wouldn't touch and, lets face it, when you've got a Playboy "journalist" yakking at the Press Secretary, perhaps we should let all inhibition fade away for publications that at least give Trump a halfway fair shake.

FullMoon said...

I'm fine with becoming persona non grata. Your blog has become the cesspool it once was. I'm pretty much done here.

Haha, you're just kidding.

Funny, though how some assume AA and Meade have time to focus 100% on moderation. A day with several couple hundred comments will lead to someone complaining about lack of moderation. Meanwhile AA and Meade out doing normal person type stuff and leaving the children to fend for themselves.

DKWalser said...

Drago -- In saying Romney would have been the perfect President I intentionally limited my opinion to his comportment. Romney would have looked and acted the part. Whether he would have been a "good" President is an entirely different question. Many believe Clinton was an effective President even if his personal life was not all it should have been. (Before anyone jump in to say that Clinton was NOT an effective President, I'm disclaiming any interest in that question for the moment.)

The point is the Left has trashed our culture and Trump is more reflection of that fact than anything else. After decades of doing their best to destroy social norms, its too late for them to complain that someone isn't displaying those norms. (That doesn't mean I'm wouldn't prefer that he did. I'm just going to put zero credence in the Left's crocodile tears over Trump's behavior.)

AllenS said...

Inga said...
Your blog has become the cesspool it once was. I'm pretty much done here.

Translation: I'm going to use another name.

Too funny. You can't make this shit up!

Ann Althouse said...

Drago and Inga should be saying they are sorry, they appreciate the forum, and they will try in the future to help make it good in the way that I have explained.

That was not their initial impulse. I would like to aee a course correction now.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill Crawford said...

Drago - "Seven Days in May" reference!! Love it!

Achilles said...

Inga said...
Stop and think how ridiculous you've become. I'm fine with becoming persona non grata. Your blog has become the cesspool it once was. I'm pretty much done here.

Ann Althouse said...
Stop and think about how boring you are.

It is more than boring.

There have been dozens of media stories about Trump that are almost instantly proven false. It doesn't stop these people from humping the next dubious story and when it is proven false there is no apology or decency. Just on to the next pile of bullshit.

They fling their feces about and their only goal is to ruin things for people. They have taken the decency our side has shown them and spit in our faces. When they have the numbers or the chance they resort to violence. The vast majority of them never apologize or even denounce the violence. In fact When they don't get their way they attack in whatever way they can get away with.

In other words: Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.

Earnest Prole said...

they will try in the future to help make it good in the way that I have explained

Have you ever heard the one about the scorpion and the frog?

Hagar said...

I think Joe & Mika set up a pre-emptive "he said, they said" situation.

Earnest Prole said...

Sorry, I was unclear — I meant that the person who put the clip up on Youtube mislabeled it.

Michael K said...

Inga has worthwhile things to say on healthcare, even if they are wrong.

On Trump, she is a one note symphony.

Blogs can become toxic. I quit Patterico because he has become a toxic Never Trumper.

I know Patrick personally but he gets hysterical if I post a defense of some Trump action,

I asked him if he wanted ban me or unfriend me on facebook but he says no.

Is a puzzlement.

Cathy Seipp is dead or I would ask her about it.

bgates said...

Pecker-n-Trump is not nearly as funny as Trump-n-Pecker.

Why aren't they happy that they got under the President's skin

Because he can remove them by getting just a little skin under his chin tweaked, which is totally not the same as a facelift.

Fen said...

I don't care what good she does for health care topics, it's trumped by her derangement syndrome. Can have a decent conversation on politics without her mucking it up.

I'm sick of her shit. I hope she goes away.

Fen said...

She's not here in good faith. She's still angry Hillary lost and she is only here to take it out on Trump supporters.

I think we have made it clear that a significant portion of the Right is not going to just ignore unprovoked bullshit like we have in the past. Don't demand we ignore the trolling if you can't ignore the counter-trolling.

Bob Ellison said...

Achilles said, "They have taken the decency our side has shown them and spit in our faces."

You mean, "spat".

bgates said...

What possses a President of the United States to demean himself and his Office by playing this stupid game with TV talk show hosts?

You mean the appearance on Bill Maher with Martin Short?
The "Full Frontal Presidential Interview" with Samantha Bee?
The three appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live?
The special guest star appearance on the live Colbert Show after the Super Bowl?
The very special last episode of American Idol?
NBA on TNT?
Running Wild with Bear Grylls? ("Their off-the-script chat reveals the President's thoughts on his official duties, family life at the White House, parenthood and his own faith.")
Shark Tank.
The five Letterman episodes during his presidency.
The YouTube interview.
Between Two Ferns with Zack Galifianakis.

Two appearances on Real World.

His "Preezy of the united steezy" bit on Jimmy Fallon ("preezy", as urban dictionary helpfully explains, is someone who is pretty easy to have sex with.)

His appearance on The Apprentice.

What was that about the dignity of the office?

Fen said...

I'm also annoyed with people insisting we just ignore it. Yah, well fuck off, you're not the one getting hit.

Ignoring NEVER works. You have 30 people going out of their way putting up with, and then ONE new guy walks in and responds and your cowardly little pact falls apart.

Let's go shoot some pool? Nah *she* is in that room so let's do darts instead. But I need to use the bathroom. No, just use the men's room instead, we watch the door. You wind up with 30 people in the joint all making special allowances for one person who doesn't respect them or the owner.

Fuck all that. You walk over, you pick her inconsiderate ass up and you throw her out of the joint.

Michael said...

At the same time some of these alt left commenters provoke the very topics that drive the success of the a national Enquirer. Blood, anger, stupid remarks resulting in a sort of retaliatory violence, ad hominem piled up like the corpses on the Enquirer page. While we may not want to inhabit those pages all the time there is a sort of thrill in seeing the decapitations that regularly occur on these very pixels.

That said there are an awful lot of very smart people here with incisive takes on all manner of subjects that get derailed by the blind fury of the alt left. A fury born of frustration at an inability to coherently address any topic regarding the present political reality.

Fen said...

Damn bgates, you knocked that one out of the park. Nicely done.

Michael K said...

I would be sorry to see al the lefties (except maybe Ritmo) gone.

There is something to be said for debate, even with people who don't believe in honest debate.

I used to enjoy debate at Washington Monthly until they banned me. Kevin Drum, as wrong as he is, has a lot to say that is worthwhile.

The Godfather said...

Without mentioning She Who Must Not Be Named, I urge all commenters on this blog (which I love) to abide by the "don't be boring darling" rule. Have your say, and if someone rebuts your comment, offer your surrebuttal, but after that, who really gives a sh*t? Most of the commenters here are smart enough to recognize ideological drivel when they see it. If SWMNBN actually makes a NEW argument that is sufficiently cogent that it calls for a response -- even a response that, Hey that's right! -- OK, go for it, but You're stupid, No you're stupid, is really BORING for the rest of us.

Fen said...

"something to be said for debate"

Oh I'm with you there, Micheal. Just not under two separate and unequal rule sets.

Fen said...

And its a weird aspect of human nature. I see it over and over again wherever I go.

Blue: Red is a jackass
Red: huh?
Yellow: ......

Blue: Red is a racist
Red: wtf?
Yellow: .....

Blue: Red is sexist
Red: oh fuck you Blue
Yellow: HEY! Both of you knock it off!

Earnest Prole said...

You're stupid, No you're stupid, is really BORING for the rest of us.

Endless rebuttals are as exciting as watching someone hunt cows.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Fen, when you get annoyed by the crap, and that's all that it is, remember the words of our President: "Just words." When the bullshit is piled too high, remember, it's only words. No kinetic energy. Tempting, yes, but once it starts where will it end? One needs be ready, but not juiced up. In movie cliches, "Stay frosty. And alert."

And I firmly believe it's mud wrestling with pigs.

Bad Lieutenant said...


Blogger Fen said...
"something to be said for debate"

Oh I'm with you there, Micheal. Just not under two separate and unequal rule sets.
6/30/17, 10:08 PM
Blogger Fen said...

+1 More than a fair cop. There are deletions, I think neutrality is gone, churned up with rules into a paste or What-I-Say-Goes. Ann is evidently favoring Chuck.

Unbelievably, his simpering flattery, suckup and Eddie Haskell-ism is WORKING ON HER!

So you can't compete if you will be censored and your opponent won't!

The only way to win is not to play.

Frederick Douglass said, “A gentleman will not insult me, and no man not a gentleman can insult me.”

People you're contending with in this way have nothing positive to offer. Positive doesn't mean agreeing with you. As iron sharpens iron, man sharpens man. I only wish the opposition were better, at making good arguments in a rational manner, than they are at, to brief it, trolling.

And they have no useful intelligence, no data, information, sources, to offer. Fen:

Imagine Robert Cook in Room 101. Inga on stelazine. PBJ under electric shock. TTR under scopolamine and morphine or what we the latest truth serum. ARM waterboarded. Once written, twice...processed in whatever way they give the third degree in Argentina or Valenzuela or wherever he is.

Go on, wet your beak on that...all these bad guys, strapped down and talking straight and answering questions:

What the hell d'ye think they're going to say? What actionable Intel could they yield of they wanted to? If you broke them? If you turned them?

They know NOTHING!!!

The reckoning of a More IGNORANT collocation of shitposters, than we have here most of the time, defies the imagination.

I would get banned here before I found language that can't be ignored. Hey, that's a big power of the sitra achra, the Other Side. They can ignore any number of cogent remarks, only to tease out and pick at the fringes of any imperfections in them en passant. Emulate them.

You call them shitlicking incompetent asskissing mealymouthed cocksucking self-dealing treacherous power-clutching motherfuckers, they go on chumming with their tendentious clickbait and never bat an eye.

They call you I dunno Retard Gay Fen and you abandon a valuable line of argument and howl at the moon, descend into abuses and idle threats. OR they throw out one little ?-true factoid, and you spend kilobrains of your time and life researching the TWENTY bullet points that will put down your foe forever.

But you deliver your jeremiad, then they say "wut, I wuznt lissnin, kin I carry on now?"

I need to find the I Love Lucy clip where she wants to be part of the act as Ricky's club, and he dances her into the ground. How? He does a two-step and she does three. He does a two-step and she throws up her heels and dances a dozen steps. He does a two-step and she hoofs it like a rockette for thirty seconds or a minute and flops exhausted.

That's what trolls DO!!!

They can be low naturally forever. You have to lower yourself and it's actually hard work.

Achilles said...

Bad Lieutenant said...

+1 More than a fair cop. There are deletions, I think neutrality is gone, churned up with rules into a paste or What-I-Say-Goes. Ann is evidently favoring Chuck.

Not really. Chuck descends into ad hom fairly quickly. It is pretty easy to find all manner of personal attacks pouring from his keyboard.

Earnest Prole said...

Two points for the elaborate self-parody takedown.

Yancey Ward said...

Has anyone put together a timeline of all this- the face lift tweet, the New Yorker article, the WaPo editorial, the request to Kushner, Kushner's reply etc.?

Achilles said...

Eric Holder sends a tweet telling career DOJ/FBI employees to stay strong.

Remember Mr. Holder was held in contempt of congress and Obama had to bail him out with a phony executive privilege claim. Holder lied to congress under oath repeatedly.

The next 7.5 years better include some of these traitors going to the pokey.

Rusty said...

Ann Althouse said...
Stop and think about how boring you are.

Why. That's a hangin offense in these parts. That and cat rustlin' will get you hung for sure.

Rusty said...


"She's not here in good faith. She's still angry Hillary lost and she is only here to take it out on Trump supporters"
She'll be fine. She just needs s few more cats.

Bad Lieutenant said...


Blogger Achilles said...
Bad Lieutenant said...

+1 More than a fair cop. There are deletions, I think neutrality is gone, churned up with rules into a paste or What-I-Say-Goes. Ann is evidently favoring Chuck.

Not really. Chuck descends into ad hom fairly quickly. It is pretty easy to find all manner of personal attacks pouring from his keyboard.
7/1/17, 1:03 AM

Right, and is not sanctioned, but apparently gets others sanctioned. Why do you think I've shut up lately, because now I love Chuck? I've been shut up. I can take a hint. When my posts start disappearing, I figure next is me.

Tom Peckenham said...

Ann Althouse said...
It was literally part of "a television campaign featuring the catchphrase “Enquiring minds want to know'.',

The slogan remained the same even if the inside name for the campaign changed.

Actually, just to be a forensic nerd, more than just the inside name for the campaign changed. The necessarily low-budget production style of the original campaign became a cultural phenomenon - we were parodied on Saturday Night Live and chosen by The Cars to create the music video for their song "You Might Think" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dOx510kyOs After the original production team moved on by the end of 1984, there were a half dozen or so attempts to recreate the success of the original using the same tagline - all flops. Btw, the original team also produced a campaign for evil-twin publication The Weekly World News, featuring the generation of Second City performers now in their 70s and 80s. Test market sales would soar during the week the commercial aired, only to plummet once people had actually purchased and read it. I've now been in tech for decades, but producing the Enquirer spots is still about the most fun I've ever had while working.