Ledes that lead
"Is this an actual headline? Or did someone have a stroke?" wonders The Weekly Standard's Mark Hemingway, and it doesn't take long to understand where that question came from. The headline is this: Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. At Deadspin, Rob Harvilla does a double-take: "who halts what after a what on whom." Actually, it's exactly what it sounds like ... well, with one exception. "I was pretty disappointed to learn the 'pigs' were not actual pigs," admits Reyhan Harmanci at Atlas Obscura (they were a couple dressed in pig masks). This raises many questions, like the one tweeted by Ars Technica's Jon Brodkin in the direction of his own publication: "who is our sex pig/Pokemon reporter?" Meredith Clark with Glamour resolves, "Keeping this Sex Pigs story open in a tab to remind myself to keep chasing my best life." And speaking of strokes, it seems like the headline may have triggered one in Washington Post's Mark Berman, who tweets on repeat, "sex pigs laser attack pokemon teens sex pigs laser attack pokemon teens sex pigs laser attack pokemon teens sex pi ..."
We don't want to spoil the fun by giving you any more details, but suffice to say, Pikachu would not be pleased.
In darker news, David Wallace-Wells recounts the terrifying JFK airport shooting that wasn’t, where it appears that applause and cheers in response to Usain Bolt’s 100-meter dash somehow sounded like gunfire, to someone, triggering total chaos: "My Sunday night was wild. I landed in the middle of a terror event. The terror was mass hysteria," writes Wallace-Wells. Reporters were stunned:
- "My brother spent Sun night in two JFK stampedes & then a bunker, sure a shooter was coming. On terror w/no terrorist," summarizes New York Magazine's Benjamin Wallace-Wells.
- "After a 15-year diet of real and/or abstract terror, I'm surprised this doesn't happen more," admits WaPo's Hank Stuever.
- "One of the scariest stories I've read this year. We're so accustomed to terror now that we can terrorize ourselves," reacts Lois Beckett.
- "A false disaster," is how Molly Crabapple bills it at VICE.
- "My 11yr old son got caught in this and separated from his mom," shares Robert Cyran at Reuters.
Which brings us to our next point: "How the hell did what happened in JFK airport on Sunday not get more attention?" demands Washington Examiner's Kyle Feldscher, although freelancer Matt Haber has a theory: "This 'non-shooting' is forgotten because the press onto the 'non-attack' on Incirlik Air Base Manafort told us about."
And that brings us to politics:
- We hear tell Rogers Ailes' next gig is advising Donald Trump ahead of presidential debates. "Ailes to Trump: Open by asking her out," snarks Mark Silva.
- The Boston Globe calls for the Clinton Foundation to stop accepting funds. "Even if they’ve done nothing illegal the foundation will always look too much like conflict of interest for comfort," points out Ben Mayer at Morning Joe.
- Trump leads by only 6 in Texas. "Texas should be redder than red. Romney won it by 16 points in 2012. Trump’s lead there is only 6 points," observes Jim Roberts.
- Trump advisor Al Baldasaro apparently clarifies that Hillary Clinton should be shot for treason, not assassinated. Oh, well, that's different, right? "Trump adviser: I didn't mean Hillary should be shot like that, I meant shot like THAT," quips Daniel Dale at the Toronto Star.
- Anthony Weiner thinks he's pretty good at giving advice, but openly admits he's not so good at taking it. "I love the extent to which Anthony Weiner isn't even trying to say he's changed his ways," muses BuzzFeed's Tom Gara.
- D.C.'s police chief Cathy L. Lanier is leaving to work for the NFL.
- Abroad, former UKIP leader Nigel Farage refuses to deny speculation that he's applying for German citizenship, which sounds about right. "Is this really the Nigel Farage post-Brexit plan? 1) Grow a moustache 2) Apply for German citizenship," details WaPo's Adam Taylor. BuzzFeed's Matthew Zeitlin asks the next natural question: "did nigel farage grow the mustache so people wouldn't recognize him in line at the german embassy."
Today we also bow our heads in memory of John McLaughlin, "provocateur of public affairs TV," who has died at 89. "The @nbcsnl Hulu site is going to get a workout tonight as people watch 'McLaughlin Group' skits," predicts WaPo's John Taylor.