"Olympolitics" - let's make it happen
"We could all use a Cold War chill pill," suggests HuffPost Live's Milos Balac, after reading the Washington Post's suggestion that Americans are "splashing murky waters" by vilifying Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova (a wildly popular read at 27,000+ shares right now). "Walk a mile in Efimova’s shoes," recommends Sally Jenkins, who wrote the column, or as Efimoza herself tearfully requested during a Q&A, "You can just try and understand me, like if you switch you and I." And Jenkins does make a good case against American self-righteousness. "No writer forces me to question my perceptions --often to even change my mind --more than @sallyjenx. Quite a talent," praises Ron Fournier, newly settled in at Crain's Detroit Business. "Damn you context and nuance and fairness," laments MSNBC's Alex Seitz-Wald. "Damnit, now I'm an Efimova fan," admits John D. Harden with the Houston Chronicle. "All that finger wagging at Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova was rubbing me the wrong way too," concedes Gabe Joselow at Voice of America.
There were, however, some who were not so moved, such as John Miller with Reuters, who tweets, "Finish this sentence: Lance Armstrong biographer @sallyjenx musing about the cure for sports doping is a bit like..."
In happier Olympic developments, the New York Times feels it's safe to officially crown Simone Biles the world’s best gymnast in a headline. "Simone Biles' floor routine really should be called an 'airspace routine.' Floor only tangentially involved," observes Yahoo's Eric Adelson, who also tweeted, "Headed out to the superlatives store. Used all of mine on Simone Biles." At the Associated Press, Will Graves urges, "You do you Simone Biles. Sorry, Olympic champion Simone Biles." In worse developments, though, The Daily Beast put out a first-person investigation into Olympic hook-ups that ran the risk of outing several closeted Olympians. "Imagine: straight/married/dad hunting Olympic Village Grindr dates then outs them. Classy," admonishes Hamish Macdonald with ABC News. Daily Beast editors have since added an apologetic editor's note, alongside altering and removing any identifying details about the gay athletes, but some question whether that was enough. "They should've just removed it, IMO. Wasn't valuable enough to alter," argues freelancer Beth Elderkin. "Imagine having the opportunity to report from Rio and deciding this is a good idea," marvels WaPo's Dan Zak. At Slate, Mark Stern calls the post dangerous and unethical.
Checking in on yesterday's top story, the Trump Tower climber apparently posted a video message to Donald Trump explaining "why I climbed your tower" before he attempted the stunt. "Apparently the guy who climbed Trump Tower is one of the goth kids from South Park, all grown up and ready to MAGA," concludes Lachlan Markay at the Washington Free Beacon. "Because when you love someone, you get suction cups and climb their building," Daily Beast's Michael Moynihan shrugs it off. Well, obvi, right? The climber Stephen Rogata, once known as Michael Joseph Ryan, was arrested Wednesday evening and taken to Bellevue Hospital for a psychological evaluation. "Someone's watching too much Mr. Robot," theorizes Joe Bua, while The Verge's Bryan Bishop has a question: "Why does Trump Tower Climber Steve act like he's seeking an audience with The Emperor?" The only reaction that really matters, though, is that of The Donald himself, and this is all he had to tweet: "Great job today by the NYPD in protecting the people and saving the climber."
Also in Trump updates (Trumpdates? Let's make that happen, too):
- When Donald Trump makes an off-color comment, the first person to let him know is Reince Priebus, according to TIME.
- More than 70 Republicans signed an open letter to Priebus requesting he stop spending money on Trump's campaign and shift contributions to Senate and House races, instead.
- That Sean Hannity tale of Trump rescuing more than 200 Gulf War Marines was clearly too good to check. "No, he didn't send his own plane to save troops. He leased a plane 2 military," details Kurt Eichenwald with Vanity Fair and Newsweek.
- Gannett and the NY Times are asking the New York Supreme Court to unseal the 1990 Trump divorce records, arguing (among other things) that Trump's raising questions about the marriage of Hillary and Bill Clinton warrants similar scrutiny of the mogul's own marital mêlées. "Just guessing that this isn't going to make Trump like the media any more than he already does," predicts Matt Lindner with RedEye Chicago.
- So, how much does Donald Trump pay in taxes? It could be zero.
- Trump touts his on-site child-care service for employees, but as far as the Washington Post can tell, they're for guests only. "Trump said he offers 2 programs for employees, including 'Trump Kids.' That's a hotel service. Like 'Trump Pets,'" reports Jill Colvin.
But that's an area where Trump and Clinton deserve to draw equal ire, as both candidates' campaigns barely mention the millions of Americans in poverty. "Hillary Clinton wants to rescue the middle class. She rarely mentions the people who yearn to be middle class," points out NYT's Binyamin Appelbaum.
Here's what else is haunting Hillary today:
- The fact that State Department aide Cheryl Mills was helping the Clinton Foundation while also working as chief of staff for the secretary of state "raises new questions about blurred lines," to put it euphemistically. "As Clinton's top aide at State, Cheryl Mills traveled to NY to interview candidates for a top Clinton Foundation job," reports CNN's Dan Merica. "Again, I marvel that @brianefallon spins so hard for only $100k annual salary (per FEC docs)," The Daily Caller's Chuck Ross calls out Clinton's press secretary.
- Officials say that hack of Democrats’ accounts was much wider than believed, which sounds none to good to us. "I'm no conspiracy guy, but this is starting to feel Watergatish. Who's the end user for all this useless intel?" Yahoo's Matt Bai wants to know.