editorial standards

The Man of the Hour

#DimensionTrump | #WhatTheyVotedFor

Political strategist Stephen Bannon speaks at a Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore campaign rally in Midland City, Alabama, 11 December 2017. (Reuters/Carlo Allegri)

The triple-bylined exclusive from The Daily Beast opens like sublime comedy:

Steve Bannon is lawyering up as he gets ready to face investigators looking into the Trump-Russia nexus.

The Daily Beast has learned that the former top White House strategist has retained Bill Burck, of the firm Quinn Emanuel. Two sources tell us Burck is helping Bannon prepare for an interview with the House intelligence committee, which is currently scheduled for next week. Sources also said Bannon plans to “fully cooperate” with investigators.

Puti TootsBurck also represents White House Counsel Don McGahn and former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus for the purposes of the Russia probe ....

(Woodruff, Markay, and Suebsaeng)

To the one, this ought to be in some manner artistically appreciable; to the other, we cannot reiterate enough that as much as Mr. Bannon needs to testify under oath, and about more than simply his time with the Trump campaign, neither, really, can he be trusted. That is to say, spectacularly flaming paragon of right-wing cynicism he might be, Steve Bannon not only can be expected to throw the House Intelligence Committee, and thus the entire Beltway, into chaos, but virtually cannot fail to discredit Congressional inquiries into the #TrumpRussia affair.


Naked Children Explaining that ‘No’ Means ‘Yes’

You know, the “naked kids” cartoon, otherwise known as Love Is, has always been at least a little creepy.

And then there’s … this.

Love Is ... knowing that 'no' means 'maybe' and 'maybe' means yes.Kim Bellware of Huffington Post, explains:

A long-running cartoon described as “heart-warming” received a cold reception after a panel published Tuesday appeared to send the wrong message about consent.

Tuesday’s syndicated “Love Is…” panel featured male and female cartoons above the caption, “Love is… knowing that ‘no’ means ‘maybe’ and ‘maybe’ means ‘yes.'”

In defense of Bill Asprey, the cartoonist responsible for this panel, we mightα point out that it’s silly to drag the rape question into this since neither of the kids has any genitals.

Still, though, Tribune Content Agency, the one-panel comic strip’s distribution syndicate, pulled the frame from its content system and issued an apology.

Yeah. That was the right move. Well, right. But we can also acknowledge the “breakdown in [TCA’s] editing procedures” that resulted in the distribution of a cartoon that “does not reflect the high editorial standards we have in place and work vigilantly to maintain”. To the one, it would be nice if they didn’t try to thump their chests in the middle of an apology; to the other, it’s more of a pat than a thump, and at least they didn’t pretend to be some sort of victim of unjust criticism.


α But we also might wish to acknowledge that this probably isn’t the best time for the joke about the naked children having no genitals.

Bellware, Kim. “‘Love Is…’ Newspaper Cartoon Sends Misguided Message About Rape Culture”. The Huffington Post. 15 October 2014.

Image note: Detail of image provided by L.K., via Facebook.