Final Friday round-up
"Just try to make us stop GIFing @Simone_Biles," dares NYT's Amanda Hess, linking to this stunning New York Times interactive that perfectly illustrates what makes Simone Biles a world-class gymnast (at 7,000+ shares right now). For one thing, Biles' "signature move" -- a night impossible double layout with a half-twist and a blind landing -- is now officially named after her. "SIMONE BILES IS MY GODDAMN HERO," declares Esquire's Julia Black. And the NY Times does a commendable job of combining graphics, video and a bare minimum of text to explain Biles' talent to even the most unathletic of us. "What makes world's best gymnast? This @nytimes interactive on Simone Biles is *almost* as amazing as her skills," concludes KPCC's Rebecca Plevin. "Goddamn this is some good internet," FiveThirtyEight's Jody Avirgan seems to be in agreement.
You can watch the opening ceremony here.
All right, back to politics (but fingers crossed the Olympics will soon provide more relief from this election):
- According to the NY Times, this one dude who once ran the C.I.A. is now endorsing Hillary Clinton, which might seem impressive, except for one pesky little detail as pointed out by Gawker: the Times conveniently left out that he now works for a longtime Clinton ally's consulting firm. "How did @nytopinion not make that CIA officer disclose this in his endorsement of Clinton?" fumes Fusion's Adam Weinstein. "Truly terrifying when long-time intelligence agents insert themselves into political campaigns!" points out Gawker executive editor John Cook.
- Something else you might miss if you blink too long, also from the first link above: "Classic NYT buried lead: Someone wanted to postpone the bin Laden raid bc of the White House Correspondents Dinner?" WSJ's Mary Kissel tweets in what appears to be disbelief.
- Clinton finally came clean on "misspeaking" about FBI director James Comey’s testimony -- you know, when she claimed he called all of her statements about the email scandal as "truthful." Actually, he was referring exclusively to her interviews with the FBI.
- Also from the story above, Clinton's explanation: "I may have short-circuited, and I will try to clarify." Freudian slip proving the ClintonBot theory?
- Meanwhile, Trump adviser Carter Page's public comments as well as his ties to Moscow are making both parties uncomfortable. "Trump aide stunned foreign policy experts by extolling virtues of Putin--to Indian PM," details Washington Post's Rosalind Helderman.
- The debate rages on as to whether Trump should have access to nuclear power. "If you thought it took a consensus to nuke somebody you are wrong. Entirely the president's call," observes NYT's Patrick LaForge. Pause for a moment of levity from The Atlantic's David Sims, who admits, "I know it’s terrifying but I’m pretty delighted that the president’s nuclear codes are in an 'emergency satchel'." Also, TIL: one defense secretary warned the military to ignore any theoretical nuclear strike orders by Richard Nixon.
- Khizr Khan not only says he has no regrets about his speech, but he would even go so far as to live this week a "hundred million times over." We also learned Khan gives friends pocket constitutions when they come to his house for dinner.
- An AJC poll shows Clinton boasts a slim lead over Trump in Georgia. Garrett Martin at Paste Magazine reacts, "well sh*t maybe Jason Carter knew what he was talking about."
- WaPo's David Fahrenthold chronicles the lessons gleaned so far from his tireless search for Trump's personal giving to charity: "I've spent the last few months trying to prove Donald Trump right about something important. So far, I've failed."
- Univision is asking some uncomfortable questions about Melania Trump's marriage history, citing a former Trump lawyer who says she obtained her green card in 2001 by "marriage," which would make it a full 4 years before she married Trump. Trump's wife says she's only been married once, so you be the judge.
- In non-presidential politics, a Fairfax City mayor was arrested and charged in connection with a meth for sex scheme. "I bet this guy would kill to have an email problem & 4 Pinocchios," muses Meg Kinnard with the Associated Press, whereas National Review's Jonah Goldberg laments, "In the old days, this is the kind of thing that might hurt a politicians political career."
- Something we enjoyed: why "This Is Fine" is the meme this year deserves. "'This Is Fine' might grow from the meme 2016 deserves to a mini merch empire for @kcgreenn - $200k raised already," reports Katie Rogers at NYT Now.