The coup that won’t admit to being coup

Nov 11, 2017

We have your round-up of the latest news out of Zimbabwe. From The Wall Street Journal’s Gabriele Steinhauser, Gunfire and Explosions Heard in Zimbabwe’s Capital. Ed Cropley and Michael Perry of Reuters provide the Zimbabwe military's statement after seizing power. Al Jazeera reports, Zimbabwe army seizes state TV but denies coup ongoing, quoting journalist Enock Muchinjo, who says, “The streets are empty and people haven’t reported to work in fear of what is happening.” And Luke Baker links to a “Clear overview of developments,” from Reuters’ MacDonald Dzirutwe, Zimbabwe's army seizes power, targets 'criminals' around Mugabe.

Christina Goldbaum of The Daily Beast goes Behind the Zimbabwe Coup That Won’t Speak Its Name. She tweets about “the coup that won't admit to being #coup in #Zimbabwe,” noting, “The target of the military’s action is very likely Grace Mugabe, the 52-year-old wife of the 93-year-old president, who has been positioning herself to succeed him.” And @nytimesworld tweets, “Amid political strife and fears of a possible coup, the lingering question of who will succeed Robert Mugabe,” linking to Mugabe Allies Tell Zimbabwe’s Military to Stay Out of Politics, by Jeffrey Moyo of The New York Times.

“Here is a brilliant analysis of Zimbabwe we published a couple of months ago. Very helpful today,” says Stig Abell, who links to the piece by historian Martin Meredith in The Times Literary Supplement, How much longer the night? The remorseless tyranny of Robert Mugabe.

Again, again, again

In the U.S., yet another mass shooting. At The Los Angeles Times, Frank Shyong and Jaclyn Cosgrove report on the Terror in Northern California town as gunman goes on rampage, sprays school will bullets. Jim Schultz of the Record Searchlight (Redding) reports, Shooter identified as 44-year-old man who had problems with neighbors. Tweets Beth Hyams, “Plenty of warning signs before today’s shooting in #RanchoTehama, California.” And from Melody Gutierrez, Jenna Lyons and Steve Rubenstein of The San Francisco Gate, 5 dead, including gunman, in Northern California shooting rampage. “Again, again, again,” tweets Kimberly Winston

What’s in your Venmo subject line?

“The arguments ridiculing the notion of Russian interference in the 2016 election have aged extremely poorly,” observes Adam Serwer, who links to Secret Finding: 60 Russian Payments “To Finance Election Campaign Of 2016,” by Jessica Garrison of BuzzFeed News. Tweets Chris McDaniel, “This is like when people write ‘marijuana’ in the Venmo subject line.” Or, as Marisa Kabas tweets, “this is like making your Venmo subject ‘cheating on my girlfriend.’” “Not even in Arrested Development did they dare to have Bluth checks with the memo line ‘Light Treason,’” tweets Nate Cohn. “I think we need to stop calling this an intelligence operation,” says Mark MacKinnon. But Philip Bump points out, “That there was a Russian legislative election last year is probably further down in this story than is warranted.”

It did not go well

Fox News’ Shepard Smith debunks his network’s Hillary Clinton ‘scandal’ story, infuriates viewers, writes Fred Barbash of The Washington Post. Or as Radley Balko puts it, “Shep Smith betrays Fox viewers with facts.” Tweets David Owens, “Fox News tried some actual ‘fair and balanced.’ It did not go well.” “TV audiences are growing increasingly tribal. Anyone on tv feels it. It's depressing and not helpful,” tweets Katty Kay

More on the Fox front, from Ken Bensinger of Buzzfeed, Fox Sports Bribed Officials, Says Prosecution Witness In FIFA Trial. He tweets, “Fox Sports accused of participating in bribes to South American soccer officials. My story.”

A crooked piece of time

New from Betsy Woodruff, Ben Collins, Spencer Ackerman and Joseph Cox at The Daily Beast, Troll Smearing Roy Moore's Accuser Stole Dead SEAL's Identity. Tweets Woodruff, “Troll who started the ‘Wapo paid Moore accusers’ rumor also said Muslims celebrated 911; Scavino cited him on that.” Tweets Andrew Kirell, “it’s a crooked piece of time that we live in.” 

However, Roy Moore’s Religious Supporters Still Believe Him. That’s from BuzzFeed’s Alexis Levinson. Tweets Henry Gomez. “Read @alexis_levinson from the Roy Moore Revival.”

Confronting the issue

And now, the “Long overdue story on gross behavior at VICE,” as Lucy Westcott tweets. New from The Daily Beast’s Brandy Zadrozny, “Unsafe and Just Plain Dirty”: Women Accuse Vice of “Toxic” Sexual Harassment Culture. Tom Gara notes, “This story includes the fun / ominous detail that Vice's head of HR was previous the head of HR at Miramax.” Tweets Sami Main, “let’s make these stories start counting for something.”

At Vox, Matthew Yglesias reassesses the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal and says Bill Clinton should have resigned. He tweets, “Hot takes from 1998. I’ll also add that we rushed into PNTR with China without a realistic transition plan.” Tweets Dennis DiClaudio, “Grover Cleveland should have resigned.”

Meanwhile, as Chris Ariens of TV Newser reports, NBC News Fires Senior VP Following Sexual Harassment Allegations. And “This hearing on sexual harassment on the Hill was remarkable,” says Matea Gold, who links to Training is ‘ first step’ in stopping sexual harassment in the House, lawmakers say, by Michelle Ye Hee Lee of The Washington Post. Tweets Jose A. DelReal, “Female lawmakers expose harassment by fellow members in hearing to confront issue.”

So so surprised

Caleb Ecarma of Mediaite has the EXCLUSIVE: Voice of America Reporter Josh Fatzick Posts Racist Reddit Memes While Receiving Taxpayer Money. “Boy, I'm so so surprised the Daily Caller would ever have hired someone with these kinds of views,” tweets Christopher Hayes. “If you have ever written for the @DailyCaller you are human garbage, no exceptions,” says K. Thor Jensen. “This is nuts. Not sure what on earth is going on at @VOANews,” tweets Ishaan Tharoor


The New York Times shows us “The art of #vanlife,” as Kristen Brown tweets, in Overnight in Walmart Parking Lots: Silence, Solace and Refuge. “Wal-mart parking lot journalism!” tweets Bill Lindeke. “Evocative, surprisingly beautiful photos from Wal-Mart parking lots,” tweets Anna Mehler Paperny.

David Marr of The Guardian reflects on Australia’s “yes” vote on same-sex marriage: I've fallen in love with my country all over again. “This is bloody beautiful, and the video made me cry,” tweets Helen Davidson.

And a couple of potential positive medical advancements: Nicole Ireland of CBC News reports, Surgeons repair spina bifida in fetus for first time in Canada, hospitals say. And in an AP Exclusive, Marilynn Marchione reports, US scientists try 1st gene editing in the body.

The hero we both need and deserve

We’ve saved today’s most important story for last. Blake Shelton is People’s Sexiest Man Alive and I Have So Many Questions, writes R. Eric Thomas for Elle. First of all, “Calling @GossipCop the ‘Robert Mueller of the celebrity news world’ is GENIUS,” tweets Ruthie Friedlander. In fact, “this is a perfect post,” says Tara Abell. “Blake Shelton isn't even the sexiest thing in this picture of Blake Shelton,” notes Alejandra Ramos, and Tanis Fowler says, “I guess we are for reals out of men.” But “In these troubled times @oureric is the hero we both need and deserve,” tweets Meghan Kelly. “Every day @oureric is telling us essential truths, but none is more essential than this,” tweets Brian Moylan. Prepare yourself for some delicious puns.

About the author

Nashville-based writer, marketing communications consultant, and all-around word nerd. Usually covered in dog and/or cat hair.

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