The Washington Post breaks the news: The headline appeared atop page one of today's hard-copy Washington Post.
It appeared in the top right hand corner of the page. It announced the top news of the day:
Gates admits to cheating on wife, bilking ManafortRick Gates admitted to cheating on his wife! At the Washington Post, it was the most important fact of the day, apparently on a worldwide basis.
The Post's news report began like this. It took four reporters to do this:
WEINER, ZAPOTOSKY, HELDERMAN AND BARRETT (8/8/18): The courtroom showdown between Paul Manafort and his former right-hand man, Rick Gates, grew painfully personal Tuesday as a defense lawyer forced Gates, the prosecution’s star witness, to admit he had a transatlantic extramarital affair and embezzled money to live beyond his means.Just so you'll know, these are the topics which actually matter:
During his second day on the witness stand, Gates detailed the lies, phony documents and fake profits he claims to have engineered at Manafort’s direction. Manafort, seated at the defense table, at times stared intently at his former protege and business partner, who has assiduously avoided Manafort’s gaze despite their proximity inside the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Va.
Paragraph 1: Did he have a sexy-time affair?These are the topics which actually matter to members of our war-ridden species. Indeed, these were Nicolle Wallace's only three questions about the trial, as delivered to Josh Gerstein on Monday night, her final night of guest-hosting for Rachel Maddow:
Paragraph 2: What sort of body language obtained inside the courtroom?
WALLACE (6/6/18): Josh, take us through these dramatic points that are coming out in press accounts about Rick Gates, about the dynamic between Gates and Manafort, and about the larger picture that's being filled in through press accounts about Gates is an eyewitness to much more than Manafort`s crimes.Drama, emotions and body language—these are the issues which matter. Were there any outbursts from any family members?
WALLACE: Take us through some of the emotions that went through this room. Was Gates—and did the jury pick up on any of that—was Gates acting fearful of what he was testifying to? Did Manafort seem angry? Were there any family members with any outbursts or emotions that they displayed in the courtroom?
WALLACE: Let me ask you how they deal with explaining to a jury that someone is a cooperating witness, that they`ve already pleaded guilty to committing some crimes. Does that change, or could you detect any change in any of the body language from the jury? Did they seem to, to listen less intently or did they—did they lean in as this was someone who had traded something?
Atop page one in this morning's Post, the fact that Gates had an affair was today's most important fact from all around the world. Meanwhile:
On page A3 of today's New York Times, we were handed yesterday's "Quote of the Day" (hard-copy editions only). Here it is—and no, we aren't making this up:
Quote of the DayOn page A3 of the New York Times, that was yesterday's most important statement, also apparently on a worldwide basis.
"Pound for pound, Stan Mikita was one of the greatest players of all time."
BOBBY HULL, the Hall of Fame hockey star, describing his teammate who was just 5-foot-9 and 150 pounds when he joined the Chicago Black Hawks.
According to Professor Harari, our smaller-brained Homo sapiens species eliminated the larger-brained Neanderthals thanks to our ability to "gossip" and to adopt group "fictions." According to Kevin Drum, people of a certain age were all exposed to much more lead than the children of modern-day Flint.
We offer those possible explanations for the strange state of our discourse. But when a nation's journalistic and academic elites behave in the way this nation's have done, can anyone really be surprised when we end up, after thirty-one years of girl friend chasing, with a President Donald J. Trump?
(We date that to the mainstream press corps' chase after Gary Hart, who had engaged in sexual acts without prior press corps permission.)
Our major elites have been deeply disordered for decades. We take this to be an obvious fact.
We've reported, you can explain. In our view, there's no obvious way to go back.