Yesterday evening, the internet lit up with news that a former British intelligence operative claimed to have proof that Russian intelligence gathered kompromat on president-elect Donald Trump, in the form of both financial documents and a video of Trump in a hotel room watching two prostitutes urinate on each other. I think we can agree that is the greatest, most luxurious sex act in the world. Also, I probably shouldn’t have used the word “news” in the first sentence of this post. The memo describing this kompromat has been circulating in the intelligence community and among journalists for months. Yesterday afternoon, CNN reported that intelligence agencies had informed Trump that the Russians had compromising information on him. Their willingness to treat the kompromat story as legitimate seems to have inspired Buzzfeed, which released the two-page memo “so that Americans can make up their own minds.”
For a candidate who usually benefits from foreign tragedy, Donald Trump sure drew the deuce yesterday. He was all set to announce Indiana governor Mike Pence as his running mate, but then a truck driver killed 84 people during Bastille Day celebrations in Nice, France. Newt Gingrich called on us to realize that we are at war with “people who seek to destroy our civilization,” which is about the level of insight he offers. Chris Christie refused questions from his front yard, after a storm knocked out his power and a former aide pled guilty to bribery charges. Similarly contending with forces beyond his control, Trump postponed his announcement of a running mate out of respect for Nice, then had to announce early this morning, apparently to beat Indiana’s deadline for gubernatorial candidates to withdraw from the race. Then he released the vaguely sexual logo above. Today is Friday, and even the luckiest people in the world get snakebit sometimes. Won’t you savor the comeuppance with me?
Last year around this time, the internet briefly worried/hoped that the New York Times innovation report would lead the paper to become more like Buzzfeed. That didn’t happen—or did it? The Gray Lady has not become obsessed with viral stories or replaced page A1 with its Twitter feed, but it did run a Sunday op-ed titled What You Learn in Your 40s. It’s nice. Its premise is also remarkably similar to this Buzzfeed listicle, or this one, as well as this one and these. The difference is that the Times essay is built around a tone of humorous reflection rather than GIFs from Friends, and it’s about being 40 instead of 20.