SONGS SUNG BLUE: Yesterday, Donald J. Trump was on trial!


Tonight, he's on CNN: As Michelle Cottle notes in today's New York Times, the Trump Show continues tonight.

Yesterday, a verdict was reached in a civil trial. Tonight, it's on to a CNN Town Hall!

What happens yesterday in that trial? On the front page of today's Times, print edition headline included, the news report starts as shown:

Jury Finds Trump Sexually Abused Carroll in 1990’s

A Manhattan jury on Tuesday found former President Donald J. Trump liable for sexually abusing and defaming E. Jean Carroll and awarded her $5 million in damages. More than a dozen women have accused Mr. Trump of sexual misconduct over the years, but this is the only allegation to be affirmed by a jury.

In the civil case, the federal jury of six men and three women found that Ms. Carroll, 79, a former magazine writer, had sufficiently proved that Mr. Trump sexually abused her nearly 30 years ago in a dressing room of the Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan. The jury did not, however, find he had raped her, as she had long claimed.

The jury, in returning the verdict shortly before 3 p.m., also found that Mr. Trump, who is running to regain the presidency, defamed Ms. Carroll in October when he posted a statement on his Truth Social platform calling her case “a complete con job” and “a Hoax and a lie.” His lawyer said he intended to appeal.

The Times reports that "more than a dozen" women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct. At other orgs, the number is frequently said to be 26.

Under the "more likely than not" evidentiary standard which prevails in civil trials, the jury found that Trump had sexually abused E. Jeanne Carroll. They didn't find that he had raped her.

At some point, some jurors may (or may not) describe the basis of their judgements. But as for today, it's on to that nationally broadcast Town Hall!

CNN's Kaitlan Collins has drawn the task of moderating the event. We became a major fan of Collins during the first Covid year, when she broke from an otherwise somnolent pack and pushed Trump to answer basic questions during his interminable, daily Covid-based "press events."

(For one example, click here.)

Collins has drawn a challenging assignment tonight. At the start of this morning's column, Cottle offers this overview of the event:

COTTLE (5/10/23): Hunker down, America. Here we go again.

The presidential election is still a year and a half away. But on Wednesday evening, Donald Trump will elbow his way back into the campaign mainstream. At a town hall event in New Hampshire hosted by CNN, the former president will field questions from audience members and the network anchor Kaitlan Collins.

The whole spectacle sounds downright chilling. The event will be live, leaving Mr. Trump more or less free to inject his lies straight into viewers’ veins. He will be coming off the E. Jean Carroll verdict, upping his odds of saying something awful about women or witch hunts and how everyone is always out to get him. And even if he dials down the crazy, his re-emergence on a major prime-time platform raises vexing questions. After everything this antidemocratic, violence-encouraging carnival barker has put America through, are we really going to treat him like a normal candidate this time? How can CNN and other media outlets justify giving him a megaphone from which to dominate and degrade the political landscape? Have we learned nothing from the past eight years?

Cottle is no fan of Donald J. Trump. For ourselves, we regard the former president as deeply disordered. We regard him as the person Bob Dylan described way back in 1968:

That man who with his fingers cheats, 
Who lies with every breath...

For ourselves, we would give a songwriter the license to use the term "lies." If we were Cottle's editor, we would have directed her to replace that word in her text.

(Is there something wrong with a more verifiable term like "repeated flagrant misstatements?")

We regard Trump as badly disordered, in a way which calls for discussion by (carefully selected) medical / psychiatric specialists. We also know that tens of millions of our fellow citizens do not regard him that way—and we know that news orgs like Cottle's have agreed, for better or worse, that the type of discussion we've prescribed will never come to pass.

For better or worse, that's what the major orgs have decided. Along the way, Cottle also says this about CNN's decision to stage tonight's event:

COTTLE: Just to be clear: No one is daft enough to think that Mr. Trump and CNN are linking arms out of a selfless, high-minded commitment to the public good. They are using each other. Under new leadership, the network is looking to rebuild its reputation, and ratings, as a less crusading, more balanced news source.

As for the former president, CNN is just one piece of his grand media strategy. His team has been talking up how their guy wants to push the reset button on his relationship with the fourth estate. Journalists from mainstream outlets are being invited to travel on his campaign plane. And the campaign is negotiating with other top outlets, including NBC, for face time with the candidate.

During the 2016 campaign, the cable channels—MSNBC included—gave Candidate Trump astonishing volumes of unfiltered airtime, happily building their profits. 

Is CNN at it again? It's hard to avoid such a thought. Cottle throws down and says yes.

At this site, we hugely admire CNN's Collins for much of the work we've seen her perform. We hope she's up to the challenging task which awaits her tonight.

Back in 2016, the cable channels—and major orgs like the New York Times—played significant roles in forging the path which took Trump to the White House. Will these orgs perform better in the coming campaign? 

At this point, that's a story without an end.

In the wake of yesterday's verdict, we have continued to see "songs sung blue" being performed on MSNBC. That continued into the first few minutes of today's Morning Joe.

In many ways, the channel comes close to being a parody of a journalism enterprise. Even after the departure of Tucker Carlson, Fox News may be even worse—but MSNBC is the channel which claims to be working on behalf of blue tribe voters like Us.

Tomorrow, we'll return to the task of exploring the way those songs sung blue have been performed with respect to the now-concluded trial. In large part, we'll be examining the fascinating phenomenon known as CPD—Creative Paraphrase Drift.

In our view, blue tribe citizens should ask for better performance from our mainstream and tribal news orgs. Major experts continue to insist that no such ask will happen.

Yesterday, Donald J. Trump was on trial. Tonight, he's on CNN!

Tomorrow: In search of what Trump said

This afternoon: We're losing a chunk of time this morning. 

This afternoon, to speed things along, we'll discuss Philip Bump's report concerning The Case of the Blurry Photo.


  1. "but MSNBC is the channel which claims to be working on behalf of blue tribe voters like Us."

    How does Bob really now who makes "the best pizza in town"?

  2. "(Is there something wrong with a more verifiable term like "repeated flagrant misstatements?")"

    Yes, what's wrong with calling Trump's lies "repeated flagrant misstatements" is that this isn't a true or accurate description of what Trump does. He lies. The people deserve to be told the truth about his lies -- not just that they are inaccurate misstatements, but that Trump's intent and purpose is to deceive his supporters for his own gain.

    Giving Trump the "benefit of the doubt" about his misstatements allows his supporters to continue their faith in him, enables Trump to continue bilking them of money, and pretends that Trump is a normal candidate for office, when he is now a convicted sexual abuser who defamed his victim, and unqualified to hold office.

    A lie is a lie and it should be identified as such. A liar is a liar and should be identified as such.

    1. Trump is telling the lie that he was not allowed to speak at his trial. That is untrue. He declined to testify.

    2. I agree with Bob that, while Trump is a freakish new element in our national life, “lie” should be avoided in political reporting. But unlike Bob, my objection is not selective. It’s a routine charge at Fox, aimed at Dems, and Bob has no problem.,

    3. In a civil trial, the jury is allowed to draw inferences from a party not testifying.,Trump and his defenders have also made claims in the media that they don’t make in Court, to avoid legal liability.

    4. 11:44,
      Would you rather political reporters state a politician is "relying on their feelings, not facts" instead of using the word "lie"?

    5. "I agree with Bob that, while Trump is a freakish new element in our national life, “lie” should be avoided in political reporting. "

      The element of lying was part of the defamation portion of the trial. In order to prove defamation, it must be shown that Trump knowingly lied and showed malice toward Carroll. That the charge of defamation was upheld and damages were awarded shows that the jury thought Trump was lying.

      Somerby has, in the past, insisted that when a jury convicts someone, they should be considered guilty of that crime. This is a civil trial, but it seems consistent to me that Somerby should accept that Trump lied once the jury as done so. Otherwise, Somerby is not accepting the judgment of the court, and what then would be the point of trying someone?

      Proving that Trump is a liar is very important given how many people on the right don't seem to know that he does that (including Somerby).

    6. @1:02 "Relying on feelings rather than facts" is not the definition of lying.

      lie definition: "an intentionally false statement"

      feelings have nothing to do with the truth value of statements

    7. Instead of political reporters saying things like "Republican Senators want to cut funding to balance the budget", they can instead say "Republican Senators say they want to cut funding to balance the budget." This makes more sense, because political reporters aren't mimd readers.

      I don't have a huge problem with the reporter stating "Despite all appearances to the contrary, Republican Senators say they want to cut funding to balance the budget."

  3. "For ourselves, we would give a songwriter the license to use the term "lies."

    That songwriter was not talking about Trump. His lyrics were written before Trump was on the scene. We don't know whether he was talking about anyone specific. There isn't much involved in giving Dylan "license" under those circumstances.

    No one has given Somerby "license" to decide which statements are true and which can be called lies. Somerby has no special powers of discernment to make such decisions. He is a Trump-excusing asshole who repeats right-wing talking points in order to help a man he now disparages regain office. That makes Somerby the last person anyone should look to about identifying lies. He tells enough of them himself to disqualify himself from that role.

    1. You don’t know much about Bob, do you?

      What I love here is how the Bob-haters are now trying to claim that this wasn’t a rape trial in order to justify this odd verdict where the jurors didn’t believe Carroll’s words that she’d been raped — but believed everything else that she said even though there was no more reason to justify the one result than the other.

      Everyone said it was a rape trial, and now they’re saying it was not — in tones of outrage no less! Some of you guy really need to start thinking through your ridiculous hate around here.

      And btw, I’m not at all right wing. Nor is obviously Somerby.

    2. Of course you're right wing. And you are repeating the Republican meme that since Trump wasn't convicted of rape, this is a victory for Trump, not the disgrace of having sexually abused and then defamed an innocent woman.

    3. @10:50 What does your comment have to do with what @9:08 said? Nothing. You are just filling this comment section with bullshit, without regard to what is being discussed by others.

    4. Everyone covers a lot of ground. I certainly knew it was a civil defamation trial and that’s how I heard it referred to on MSNBC. Your use of “everyone” here shows you are at least as willing to be deceptively imprecise with language as anyone.,MSNBC certainly did emphasize that a charge of rape was at the heart of the matter.,

    5. Yes, it was a rape (as one of three forms of sexual battery) and defamation trial. No one has lied to you about that. The ultimate form of battery affirmed by the jury was "sexual abuse" not rape and not forced touching. Even though Carroll claimed rape, the jury awarded her defamation damages and repair money because it found that Trump had defamed her by having knowledge of the truth but lying, and by showing malice.

      Insisting that because Carroll claimed rape but the jury found sexual abuse instead means anything good for Trump is ridiculous. He assaulted a woman, lied about it, smeared and bullied her, and now he has to pay $5 million to her because of his wrongdoing.

      This is the former president of the US and he should have behaved better. If you cannot see that, you deserve him. Whining about imprecise language or whatever it is you are claiming just makes you sound like a wounded snowflake. You are stuck with this guy and we all hope you will be happy together, but Trump isn't going to win in 2024. He is toast.

    6. "Of course you're right wing. And you are repeating the Republican meme that since Trump wasn't convicted of rape, this is a victory for Trump, not the disgrace of having sexually abused and then defamed an innocent woman."

      No one's saying that this was a victory for Trump. I'm saying that the jury was flaky and inconsistent given the evidence, and that this neither inspires confidence in their judgment nor some kind of big feeling of vindication for Carroll.

      She actually lost out on this. It was a partial victory.

      I also get a kick out of how people are desperately trying to ignore the clear fact that the jury did not buy her story that she had been raped -- which given the evidence was not only the story, but was HER story.

      You know, I actually believed Carroll when this story first came up. But the more she testified, the less I found her credible.

    7. 1:06: if you’d only been on that jury! The actual jurors found her credible. Imagine that.

    8. I am a Republican, voted for Trump, and I think the jury found the correct balance between the likelihood that Trump raped Carroll and the lack of physical evidence.

      I thought MSNBC’s coverage was fair and balanced on this issue.

    9. @1:17 Even if there had been physical evidence, Trump's refusal to provide a DNA sample makes that moot. Should his refusal to cooperate count against him as evidence of possible guilt?

      Carroll doesn't consider this a victory, but a vindication that she was telling the truth. It certainly was that, because part of proving defamation involves proving that Trump knowingly lied about her, with malice. Calling this a partial victory is an empty phrase that makes no sense. Trump was found liable on both counts -- the battery and the defamation and Carroll was awarded $5 million. Nothing partial about that.

      The right's assertion that if it wasn't called rape then Carroll lost is ridiculous. But this is sort of like Trump claiming that he didn't lose the popular vote because illegals voted in CA and similar nonsense. People on the right seem to actually fall for such manuevers. I don't know why, but it is consistent with the lower levels of education on the right and the greater belief in misinformation.

      Right now, I'd like these trolls to crawl back under their rocks so that we can go back to discussing howlers instead of wishful thinking.

  4. "In the wake of yesterday's verdict, we have continued to see "songs sung blue" being performed on MSNBC. That continued into the first few minutes of today's Morning Joe."

    According to the lyrics of Neil Diamond's "Song Sung Blue," the song is about depression. Morning Joe was most likely not about depression this morning. Somerby seems to be repurposing the song title to refer to something that represents the liberal or Democratic point of view. Grabbing and redefining phrases like this leads to confusion and it ignores the author's intention, while failing to credit his artistic accomplishment. Somerby has never mentioned that Neil Diamond wrote that song.

    I wouldn't be inclined to grant Somerby artistic license in this situation because he shows no respect for the material he borrows nor for the artists who created it.

    1. Here's the song:

    2. Whether it’s Dylan or Diamond, the music is terrible and the lyrics are pompous and inane; thankfully bands like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin came along to save us from having to listen to milquetoast mediocrity.

    3. My point was only that the song doesn't say what Somerby attributes to it. It is not about Republicans ("Song sung Red") and Democrats.

      I'm sure there are threads elsewhere that are discussing who has the best taste in music and which bands are really cool.

    4. The similarities between the bands in "The Song Remains the Same" and "This Is Spinal Tap" are eerie.

    5. The Song Remains The Same movie indeed had some goofy narrative segments (LZ were at the time kids in their mid 20s) that were rightfully mocked in This Is Spinal Tap, however the music performed in the movie was phenomenal and had more musicality in a single song than people like Dylan had in their entire career.

      For example, No Quarter, where Page offhandedly *improvises* perhaps the greatest guitar solo ever:

      Somerby repurposing others’ work to weaponize against the blue tribe is well worth pointing out.

  5. "Is CNN at it again? It's hard to avoid such a thought. Cottle throws down and says yes."

    CNN has been firing its liberal on-screen staff and hiring more conservatives in a move to reposition itself as a Fox News alternative. This appears to be an opportunistic attempt to gain audience share in light of Dominion's lawsuit and now Tucker Carlson's departure from Fox. Everyone knows this except Somerby, who seems to be pretending CNN is doing something else -- what? Somerby doesn't say, because he is not really a media critic of any kind.

  6. The second amendment is evil.

  7. E. Jean Carroll's statement:

    ""I filed this lawsuit against Donald Trump to clear my name and to get my life back,” Carroll’s statement said.

    “Today, the world finally knows the truth. This victory is not just for me but for every woman who has suffered because she was not believed."

    Carroll's attorney, Kaplan, said that Trump's appeal has no chance because he declined every opportunity to be present in the courtroon and to testify.

    Somerby will no doubt attempt to claw back some of Carroll's victory, as a series of trolls did yesterday in comments. The right wing has been claiming that his was a victory for Trump because he was not convicted of rape. Trump was convicted of sexual abuse, which includes all actions short of penetration with his member (using that word to avoid having my comment deleted). The trial verdict affirmed that Trump was there in the dressing room and that he assaulted her, and later lied about it by defaming Carroll.

    Should a man who has been convicted be permitted to run for president? I hope CNN treats him like the convicted sexual abuser he now is. Given the values of the right wing, I doubt that will happen, but there can be no pretense that Trump has been wronged here. He is a liar who abused Carroll and probably many other women.

    Somerby's already begun attempt to rehabilitate Trump is an affront to Carroll, to women in general, undeserved by Trump, but most importantly, reveals Somerby to be a man who dislikes women and cannot tolerate justice when a woman is affirmed in her claims about what happened in a blatant sexual abuse situation involving a rich and powerful man (speaking of his money and political power, not his personal attributes, which are puny).

    Somerby should be ashamed to write this stuff, but a guy who would defend Roy Moore, clearly has no qualms about defending Trump (despite his pro forma explanation that Trump is deranged). Why would someone like Somerby work so hard to excuse a deranged candidate for president? You tell me.

    1. The jury didn’t believe E. Jean Carrol’s story about being raped, and that was her story. It was nothing else.

      So I love how everyone now is saying, “But she was never sure she was being raped!” when in fact she was adamant about it. The news stories all called it a “rape trial” as well.

      No, this was a very confused verdict. There was no more or less evidence for this one outcome than the other. Why didn’t they find enough evidence for the rape, but they did the other? It’s a very strange victory that people are positing for her.

    2. Carroll wasn't sure what Trump used, his hand or his member. Rape requires the member. The jury believed Trump was in that dressing room and that he assaulted her. Claiming otherwise is being ridiculous and lying, since the verdict is clear. It only took 2-1/2 hours to reach that verdict, which suggests there was no one defending Trump. The verdict was unanimous. You cannot have a defamation conviction without also convicting him of the sexual abuse charge.

      Trump is a liar and so are you trolls who come here to defend him.

      There is no defending the indefensible. A man cannot sexually assault a woman and still be elected president. Even the lowest Republican should see that.

    3. Hand or other, it would still be rape, She was adamant she’d been raped. It was called a rape trial!

      Come on guys. There as even “fluids” remember?

      I love the desperate backtracking going on now. This was a divided victory at best,

    4. From what I recall about the trial she said Trump had it in her for three minutes so yes that would be rape, I’m also wondering why the jury didn’t believe that part of her story. She said it was rape.

    5. Trump refused to supply a DNA sample.

      "For battery, Judge Lewis A Kaplan presented jurors with three forms under which Trump could be found liable: rape, sexual abuse and forcible touching.

      The jury did not find Mr Trump liable for rape under Judge Kaplan’s definition of sexual intercourse by force, including penetration.

      Jurors did find him liable for sexual abuse, defined as touching sexual or intimate parts by force."

      It appears the jury was not sure about the penetration. @11:01 seems to think this is just about the jury believing Carroll, but it is also about the evidence presented in the trial. Trump corroborated that he kissed and grabbed women, by his own statements, he didn't agree that he raped them. The two witnesses appearing for Carroll who also had complaints against Trump described being groped and kissed, not raped. Thus there was less evidence to support the claim of rape. That doesn't mean she wasn't raped. It means the jury considered the evidence and the evidence was weaker for rape than for sexual abuse (as defined by the judge).

      The jury did believe that Trump knew he was lying about Carroll when he defamed her and that he acted with malice toward her.

    6. “It appears the jury was not sure about the penetration. @11:01 seems to think this is just about the jury believing Carroll, but it is also about the evidence presented in the trial. Trump corroborated that he kissed and grabbed women, by his own statements”

      Which Trump never said by the way, and Bob has been brave enough to mention.

      The jury had no more reason to doubt the penetration story than the rest of it. And she said she’d been penetrated, which is rape.

      No, it was a weird and inconsistent, confused verdict. Get him on the whole thing. And what Trump said on that video is that women “let” big celebrities do those things. Let means accept, it means allows — and so it’s not assault. He’s saying they make it ok.

      Whether you agree with him or not, he’s saying that women validate this behavior from big stars. He’s not admitting that he assaults women because they have accepted and perhaps even welcomed that behavior.

      Get it, people? That video is not saying what everyone seems to be eager to think it says,

    7. Um, 11:32, the trial is over. The jury has spoken. It will be difficult for Trump to win an appeal. You don’t need to convince anyone here of anything.

    8. “Rape requires the member”

      Not so. Wrong.

      She said she was raped. The jury didn’t buy that. Her testimony was rape. It’s a very odd and confused verdict.

    9. "Not so. Wrong."

      It would be nice if that were all you have to say in order to be right about something.

      What is your evidence that penetration by the member was not required for the definition of rape. Please quote the judge's instructions to the jury or a NY statute of something more convincing than a simple denial.

      You may find the verdict odd, but that isn't troubling anyone else except Trump defenders who insist to the very end that their guy is the bee's knees.

      I personally believe she was raped, but I wasn't on that jury. If there are enough Trump trials, maybe I will be on one sometime soon. We live in hope.

    10. Does 11:32 or anyone else know what Carroll said under cross-examination, about the specifics of the rape? If so, please quote. It might clarify whether she said fingers or penis under closer questioning.

    11. Of course Trump is saying he grabs women and can't stop kissing them, and that he doesn't even wait. He is bragging about his own life to Billy Bush. That wasn't a philosophical discussion. Immediately before that he confesses to moving on a married woman "like a bitch." It is a fantasy to think that Trump isn't referring to his own exploits.

    12. We should note that, say, someone who had to settle something like the Trump University case/scam could never had been elected President (compare it to Clinton’s great sins in Whitewater) not so very long ago. Trump had changed much and left a.lot of our standards in the sewer.

    13. When you say "our standards," you must be referring to Republicans and independents, not Democrats. We on the left have always seen Trump clearly and we have not changed our standards or voted for him or excused him (as Somerby does). And recall that Trump has never won the popular vote, was elected through a suspicious combination of efforts including corruption of the FBI (Comey), interference by Russia, and a media campaign against Hillary.

    14. As a Republican, I’m not confused by the verdict. It was straightforward: the jury believed Trump had assaulted Carroll, yet there was not enough evidence to reach a rape verdict.

      As someone accustomed to binary thinking, I am able avoid struggling with this issue, unlike the Dem at 10:24 who seems to be drowning in nonsense nuance.

    15. Anonymouse 2:09pm, what evidence did they have for rape or assault?

    16. Republican trolls are pretending to use "binary thinking" to simply assert that Trump is exonerated because he wasn't found to have raped Carroll. I'm sure Trump wishes that could be true, but it isn't.

      Cecelia -- go do your own homework.

  8. Finally, a defense of what Trump did!

    "This afternoon, to speed things along, we'll discuss Philip Bump's report concerning The Case of the Blurry Photo."

    Is Somerby going to argue that Trump didn't sexually abuse Carroll? He wasn't wearing his glasses and mistook her for Marla Maples in that dressing room.

    Tacopina had his chance. All the weirdo conspiracy theories raised by the right wing about pixels and blurry photos won't change a thing about what Trump has been convicted of doing.

    Was Trump not wearing his glasses when he told Billy Bush that when you are a star, they let you do it, reaffirming that belief in his deposition? Does anyone really believe that "she wasn't my type" is an actual defense against a rape accusation? Trump tried a slippery lie and it didn't work.

    1. What evidence is there that he sexually assaulted her but didn’t rape her? It was the same evidence!

      I love how you guys are trying to scurry past this point in haste. Why didn’t the jury buy her story? They only bought part of it? Why?

      The evidentiary grounds for their decision makes no sense, They have no more reason to think it was assault than they do rape.

      Last week everyone was convinced he’d raped her. What happened?

    2. Meh. That's yesterday's news.
      I'm much more interested in seeing if if the Republican House of Representatives strategy of calling the United States of America a "bunch of deadbeats who can't even pay their own bills", will be an electoral winner.

    3. 10:38,
      Say what you will about Republican politicians, but you can't deny they hate America.

    4. 10;48,
      I think you are being unfair.
      Only about 25% of Republican politicians hate America. Another 40%, or so, pretend they hate America, to play-up to their base. The rest are on Putin's/ Russian oligarchs payroll.

    5. No, it wasn't the same evidence. But this is the same comment as you posted yesterday and it is just pitiful Republican spin.

      Trump bragged about grabbing women by the p***y, not raping them. Carroll didn't know for sure whether he had used his hand or something else. That made it difficult to prove penetration by his member, which was required to convict for rape. Sexual abuse didn't have that restriction. They convicted on the sexual abuse charge because they DID believe Carroll's story and placed Trump in that dressing room with her. Trump himself said he couldn't stop kissing beautiful women, that they let him do things (which does not constitute consent) because he was a star. He repeated that in his deposition. He claimed that Carroll told Anderson Cooper that she loved being raped by Trump, when she said nothing like that. And he behaved like a guilty man, by staying away from court and mounting no defense, by attacking Carroll and her attorney (and the judge) instead of just denying the accusations. Innocent men want to testify in their own defense. Trump went to Scotland. And Carroll had several witnesses who had experienced the same thing who testified in court and had also come forward to accuse Trump (independent of Carroll) and also two witnesses who corroborated that Carroll told them about Trump's assault around the time it happened, long before he ran for president. That is all evidence of the broader charge of sexual abuse, but not specifically of rape.

      I didn't scurry past that point yesterday and I am not scurrying today. You are not trying to reason anything out. You are repeating the Republican talking point about why this must be a victory for Trump instead of a conviction that should bar him from the presidency.

      I don't care about the technical difference between rape and abuse. They are both horrible crimes. Most rational people would have convicted Trump on this evidence. There were 6 men and at least 1 Trump supporter on the jury but the verdict was unanimous and came in within 2-1/2 hours, suggesting no dissent, no one arguing for Trump's innocence.

    6. This jury had no more reason to assess sexual assault than they did rape. The evidence was exactly the same, and it was HER evidence.

      She said she’d been raped. She was ADAMANT that she had been raped. She cried on the stand in defiance that she had been raped. She said he had it in her for three minutes or so she thought. The media all called it a rape trial.

      The jury simply didn’t buy her claim that she’d been raped. But they bought the rest of the story. Why?

      And no, I’m not a Republican. Hardly.

    7. Well maybe before you start posting you would make a stab at reading up on her case.,She says She was pushed to the floor, Trump layed on her and ripped off her panties, She could not be sure if He inserted fingers or his Penis into her sex. So that’s why they gave him a break on rape and it only cost him five million. What part don’t you understand??

    8. You are trying to reduce actual evidence to a he said/she said controversy. Trump undermined his own version in his deposition, where he admitted to the very things he was being accused of. And don't ignore that E. Jean Carroll had actual witnesses who supported her testimony. Witnesses are evidence, as are Trump's statements.

      And yes, you are definitely a Republican troll. How do we know? Where were you before the verdict? Not here. And you aren't defending Somerby, but defending Trump and trying to spin this verdict as a victory for Trump. No honest broker does that.

    9. The evidence was, given the circumstances, they believed her. As any sensible person would.,

    10. She said he pulled down her tights. Fingers make it not rape but sexual abuse.

    11. As Bob has pointed out, Trump never admitted anything in that video, and all penetration is rape.

      And my god, she said she’d been raped. She insisted that she had been raped. Everyone called it a rape trial.

      And now it suddenly might not have been rape (!) The big question though is that since it was all based on her word, why some words for the jury and not others?

      People are seriously backtracking here in order to make sense of this confused verdict. It’s kind of pathetic. Funny, but pathetic.

    12. “ Fingers make it not rape but sexual abuse.”

      Wrong. Ask any lawyer.

      She said she’d been raped. Three minutes I think.

      But now that the jury came back with this no-rape verdict, all of a sudden we want to ignore this complete discrepancy.

    13. "Carroll recounted how Trump allegedly shoved her against the wall despite her struggles and eventually inserted his fingers and then his penis inside her.

      She recalled the pain she felt in the back of her head and her vagina.

      Growing emotional on the stand, Carroll took a long pause as her attorney asked what she did after Trump allegedly forced himself inside her.

      “When you ask me what I did in that moment,” Carroll said, stuttering through tears, “I always think – I always think of why I walked in there to get myself in that situation. But I’m proud to say I did get out, I got my knee up and pushed him back.”

      Carroll was worried about retaliation if she went public Carroll said Trump’s alleged assault only lasted a few minutes, and that her adrenaline didn’t give her time to be afraid.

      “This is going to sound strange: I was almost too frightened to think if I was afraid or not, I was stamping (my feet),” she said. “My whole reason for being alive in that moment was to get out of that room.”

      “It was very stupid,” Carroll said on the stand, choking up. “It changed – I know people have been through a lot worse than this but it had – it left me – it left me unable to ever have a romantic life again.”

      Carroll recalled lingering pain and that it took her awhile to calm down that night, though acknowledged she didn’t seek medical attention. “I was extremely rattled, I didn’t know who I was, I couldn’t believe that it happened, I couldn’t believe that it happened to me,” she said.

      Carroll testified that she called her friend Lisa Birnbach when she left the store because Birnbach, she said, was the funniest woman she knew.

      “If Lisa thought it was funny then it was not a bad thing and I didn’t completely do a stupid thing,” Carroll recalled thinking. “I had not processed it. I had not processed what was going on.”

      Birnbach told Carroll, who was laughing on the phone, that it wasn’t funny, that Carroll was raped and should report the assault to the police, Carroll testified."

      Carroll's attempt to reframe this as a joke is obviously a defense mechanism to preserve her self of self and integrity. Many women decline to be thought of as a rape victim because they want to deny what happened to them and what it might mean about their value as a human being, their sense of control and safety in the world. Carroll's bravado does not mean she wasn't injured by what happened.

      Going through a court case in which questions are asked about whether Trump used fingers instead of his member is a reinjury given the desire to wipe the whole thing from her mind. That's why it shows courage to have brought rape charges against Trump. What the jury was willing to convict him of is beside the point but apparently it matters a whole lot to a bunch of Republicans.

    14. Face it — the only evidence for this was hers. Fine.

      But on what basis did the jury decide that part of the evidence was certain and credible but part of it wasn’t?

      There was no good reason for their discrimination here. That’s the problem with this decision — it makes no sense. It’s arbitrary. Why not buy the whole thing, if anything? She said she was raped!

    15. @11:55 illustrates once again why it is useless to try to talk to right wingers.

    16. 11:55,
      I'm surprised by the verdict, too. Trump obviously raped her.

    17. Anticipating the blurry photo, Bob’s technique is to point to a weak spot (it is possible too much is made of this) and try to sell it as definitive. As in, Hitler’s paintings might have actually been pretty good….

    18. That chick was begging for it.

    19. @12:22 Spoken like a true rapist (and troll).

    20. "11:55,
      I'm surprised by the verdict, too. Trump obviously raped her."

      That's exactly it. If her statements are true then I agree.

      So why did they think some were credible or strong and some were not? It was rape.

      Carroll had no doubt about it. And all penetration is rape -- there is no legal question about this.

      So I get a real kick here out of all the Bob-haters who are adamant that this verdict makes consistent sense. I think it calls into question the jury, really.

      You know too -- it IS possible that Trump was telling the truth as well. Or that nothing like this happened there. The verdict gives me no confidence as to what happened.

    21. 1:13,
      Trump's obvious guiltiness aside, sometimes juries don't see things as clearly as we do.

    22. Somerby, before the verdict, was starting to play up the issue that juries in civil trials don’t have to be unanimous, until he found out yesterday that they do in a federal trial. Undoubtedly, he was going to try to equivocate on a yes verdict but with a split jury in order to soften the blow to Trump.

      When there isn’t physical evidence, juries have to deal with uncertainties, so the verdict is a perfectly reasonable decision based on the evidence.

    23. @1:13 -- I asked you to post support for your statement that all penetration is rape, and for Carroll's unambiguous claim to be raped. You ignored that.

      Now you are accusing people here of claiming that the decision made "consistent sense" when consistent is not a word anyone has used, nor one that makes any sense itself. Consistent with what? The jurors chose "sexual abuse" from three options. They said that Trump defamed Carroll on the basis of his own deposition about that 5-minute video he put together attacking her, and his other public statements about her. The jury decided he knowingly lied and showed malice. That might have been inconsistent if none of the battery charges were affirmed, but that isn't what happened.

      I get it that you don't want to think Trump did this stuff, but it is pretty clear he did. Actually the defamation verdict means that the evidence reviewed by the jury suggests that Trump knew he was lying about Carroll and defamed her anyway out of malice. That knowledge of truth is part of the jury's verdict.

      You have the right to believe whatever you want, but you cannot justify your own rejection of the verdict on jury misconduct. You don't like the verdict. Neither does Trump. But that is reality that you both need to live with, or let go of reality.

  9. You feel like Bob’s heart isn’t quite in the same old Poor Trump, Poor Trump, Poor Trump, Poor Trump He’s gonna win! Bullshit, I guess that’s to his credit.
    One comment that will no doubt go unnoticed today is Juanita Broaddrick’s. She attacks Carroll as a liar, as She has accused all of the women who have come forward against BST Trump, an obvious degenerate. Many on MSNBC were registering disbelief that Trump was elected after the Access Hollywood tape. But did the press glorification of this venal crackpot Broaddrick (and Paula Jones) put Trump over the top, aided by people like Michelle Goldberg who insisted Bill Clinton must be treated as a pariah for the rest of his days? It certainly put Hillary Clinton in a tough spot, and the key demographic She lost was White Women. (Broaddrick was kicked off Twitter several times, She is now safely back with Musk) Are Goldberg and the Times escaping their share of damage done to women by getting Trump elected?
    Were they about to repeat this mistake again weeks before the 2020 election with creepy fraud Tara Reid?“This story is not going away!” Intoned Chris Hayes. When it did, the cuckolded Host did not tell his viewers why. If you wanted to make a case that these people are self righteous nuts, I’d start here. But Bob says nothing, he’s too busy defending the odious Donald Trump.

    1. BST is some kind of typo,But I guess “Big Stupid Tit” works.

    2. I love how the cultural MSNBC-ish buzzwords have gone from pedophile to racist to degenerate.

    3. Republican voters don't care about pedophilia or degeneracy, although it may not stop them from pretending they do. They care about bigotry and white supremacy. Everything else can be negotiated away.

    4. Please. Compared to Republican politics pedos are a passing interest at MSNBC.,

    5. Anonymouse 10:23am, Broaddrick called Carroll a liar because of the statement Carroll made about rape being considered sexy

      Broaddrick (and Trump) determinedly misinterpreted Carroll’s remarks in the same way that Nicolle Wallace did with Trump.

      You cheered Wallace.

    6. Apparently, Cecelia, the jury agreed with Wallace.

    7. So what? The jury agreed with Rittenhouse and Zimmerman.

      That has nothing to do with media people acting responsibly.

    8. Cecelia, Carroll did not say that rape was sexy. She said the opposite. Somerby's false equivalence between what Wallace said and what Broaddrick said is wrong, given that Wallace wasn't talking about Carroll's actual remarks but Trump's mistaken memory of them. Wiley clarified Carroll's actual remarks (when she supposedly contradicted Wallace) by telling the audience what Carroll actually said on Anderson Cooper's show, not Trump's mangled misunderstanding of what she said -- which Wallace plausibly construes as a confession. Trump's claim that Carroll enjoyed being raped is found in Trump's deposition transcript. Go back and look at the MSNBC show transcript Somerby posted and look at the comment I made (with links to Trump's deposition) yesterday.

      Wallace accurately described Trump's misunderstanding (see his deposition). Wiley accurately described what Carroll actually said to Cooper (not contradicting Wallace but Trump). Broaddrick is lying. You can see that Wallace did not misrepresent what Trump said by looking in his deposition.

    9. No, Cecelia, the juries in those cases found that a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt was not possible. Juries don’t “agree” with criminal defendants.

      In this case, the jury agreed with Wallace’s interpretation of Trump’s remarks, and that interpretation is not misguided. They found that a preponderance of the evidence weighed in Carroll’s favor.

    10. Cecelia.. nothing in Broaddrick’s tweet supports what you say, and She has insulted ALL woman being sex abuse claims against Trump and Kavanaugh. So you are wrong. When The Atlantic very gently pointed this out, She insulted them.,

    11. My point isn’t that the standards of criminal trials are the same as civil ones.

      However, that media people should act logically is a standard that shouldn’t be malleable whether you’re Wallace or Carlson.

      You can be fans of either one of those guys and still understand that it’s not unreasonable to critique them when they go off in the woods.

    12. Broaddrick, a Trump supporter, seems to selectively want women who accuse Democrats to be believed.

    13. Or, Cecelia, you could opine about Carlson’s mental health, brought on no doubt by his mother “abandoning” him, but not once do that for Wallace, who, like Carlson, was a Republican for much of her life.

    14. Anonymouse 12:23pm, I said that Broadderick determinedly misinterpreted Carroll. In other words, she willfully misconstrued Carroll’s remarks.

      How is that a defense of her?

    15. Anonymouse 11:59am, if you read my post as defense of Trump’s version of what Carroll said about rape, then you are essentially being Nicolle Wallace.

      If I give you the impression that I’m defending that take on Carroll’s remark then it would certainly be clear why would you think that Trump’s remarks on Carroll’s view of rape was an ode to his overall attitude toward rape.

      Even a New York jury stopped short of determining that Trump committed rape. They stuck with the contemporaneous witnesses to Carroll’s claim, and less logically, with the remarks Trump’s made over a decade later about women falling over for famous men.

      Wallace went wild and riffed that Trump’s nonsense argument that Carroll had rape fantasies and had glued one on him to help sell a book, was tantamount to a Trump confession.

    16. "In this case, the jury agreed with Wallace’s interpretation of Trump’s remarks, and that interpretation is not misguided. They found that a preponderance of the evidence weighed in Carroll’s favor."

      It seems more like the jury convicted Trump on the tape and not on Carroll's words/evidence. Which raises some serious questions I think.

      And too, Trump is not saying on that tape what everyone here thinks he's saying. He's not admitting that he engages in sexual assault. Quite the opposite. He says they let you do it, which means agrees.

      Bob's right about the tape, and I'm glad he's brave enough to say something.

    17. Grabbing women you never met by the pussy is sexual assault you donkey.

    18. mh, it’s a great mystery to me why you and the anonymices consider mental illnesses to be some sort of mild criticism of people who make their living as sages or decision makers in public life.

      Which is more professionally redeemable for a politician or media - “President Biden and Jake Tapper are lying corrupt sons-of- bitches” or “Pres. Biden and Jake Tapper are mentally and emotionally disordered”?

    19. Cecelia, I don’t consider a charge of mental illness a “mild” criticism. On the contrary. It’s irresponsible.

      But you missed my point, surprise, surprise. Somerby is willing to imagine Carlson is somehow damaged, emotionally or mentally, which means he rarely if ever engages in substantive criticism of Carlson. It’s a way of not taking Carlson‘s argument seriously. he does not extend the same treatment to people at MS NBC such as Nicole Wallace, who just like Carlson was a Republican.

    20. Somerby, like all Conservatives, media reporters and pundits, and even our our own Cecelia here, KNOW only the Left has agency.
      The entire modern Conservative movement is propped-up on non-existent expectations.

    21. The reason why right wingers like Republicans are obsessed with notions like grooming and pedophilia is, in large part, because they are people suffering from unresolved childhood trauma, often sexual in nature.

      Sadly, this kind of traumatic abuse is cyclical and generational in nature.

      One of the ways we can break the cyclical chain is to revive mental health funding that the Republicans have cut, starting with Reagan.

      Another way we could progress past this circumstance is to diminish the knife edge existence aspect of our capitalistic and hierarchy oriented society.

    22. mh, so you think when Bob says that Carlson is a mentally disordered lost boy who needed to be taken off air, he’s going easy on Carlson because Bob takes the time to refute Wallace’s arguments?

      That is definitely diametrically opposed to the anonymouse argument that Bob is giving Tucker publicity by talking about him.

      I don’t who is the premier psychoanalyst, you and the anonymices, or Bob.

    23. No, Cecelia. When you call someone crazy, you discount their opinions. It’s a way of ostracizing the person and their ideas. In fact, he does go easy on Carlson, but not on Wallace. The criticism of Somerby’s posts about Carlson is that his only argument is that Carlson is “disordered”, despite his views gaining wide acceptance within the Republican Party. Somerby’s criticism of Carlson is unserious.

    24. Somerby is not a carefully selected mental health specialist. He has no foundation for calling anyone disordered or disturbed or anything else.

      Wallace didn't say anything that needed refutation.

    25. Somerby was pro Carlson all the way until it was revealed that Carlson detests Trump, finds him a “demonic force” and a “destroyer”. Then Somerby turned on a dime.

      You can’t operate as a right winger with any level of integrity.

      Somerby’s premier psychoanalyst was Dr Bandy Lee all the way until her recent comments on Republicans: she says they are sick with something she calls Trump Contagion, that this pathology results in them being stuck in survivor mode such that reasonable persuasion has no effect, that they are leading our country down a death spiral. Since this assessment, Somerby has dropped mentioning Dr Bandy Lee.

      For Republicans like Somerby, everything can be a tool weaponized, everything is reduced to a means to an end; the end being a pernicious and empty goal of owning the libs, of attaining some sense of dominance.

    26. I’ll make it easy for you Cecelia. There is no Guilty by reason of insanity. Only innocent. That is the disordered game Bob is playing.

    27. mh, oh, I get it. By ostracizing a person as being mentally disordered, you call into question their ability to make realistic observations and to come to rational conclusions. You negate their utility to society.

      You've gone easy on them.

      However, when you challenge and engage public voices from your own party with arguments and mental forensics as to their thinking, you’re not helping them or anyone, you’re merely trying to rough up the wrong person.

      That’s brilliant.

    28. mental forensics?

    29. Somerby is not a liberal and most likely not a Democrat. I doubt Somerby thinks that terrorizing a woman into holding still for rape means she’s given consent by letting him do it. They had in-service training on that, even back when Somerby was working for a living.

  10. Creative Paraphrase Drift— I love that! It sounds like much of what we’ve been hearing around here lately.

    “It’s a rape trial ! It’s a rape trial! Donald Trump raped E. Jean Carroll!

    “Er … it wasn’t a rape trial!”

    I hope Bob goes into how MSNBC is doing this today as well — paraphrasing backwards from their previous position in order to make sense of this very odd verdict from the jury.

    1. Boy you and Trump really caught us there! Any serious person understands what the trial was about and what it means for Trump. I’m sure, for you,it only increases your admiration….

    2. I’m not a Republican.

      Again, I love all the backtracking going on right now over this verdict. “But, it wasn’t a rape trial!”

      “She wasn’t sure what happened!”

    3. If you aren't a Republican then you are a paid political operative working at a troll farm. You aren't fooling anyone here.

    4. Based on the evidence, Trump obviously raped Carroll.
      And I say that, even though I don't think Trump is as big of a piece of shit as most Republicans.

    5. Anonymouse 12:00pm, anonymices know a fellow professional when they see one.

    6. I think the jury got it right. Even though the charges of treason against Trump were a more open and shut case.

    7. 11:43, “She wasn’t sure what happened” do you really feel the confused aspects in her account are worthy of mockery? You are something of a POS,,yes?,

    8. “ a fellow professional”…you for example. Yep.

    9. "1:43, “She wasn’t sure what happened” do you really feel the confused aspects in her account are worthy of mockery? You are something of a POS,,yes?,"

      No one's mocking her. If anything, it's you guys who are saying that she's confused.

      She said she was raped. Maybe she was. What she described was INDEED rape. She was adamant that she was raped. It lasted for three minutes supposedly.

      But when the jury comes back with an odd and inconsistent decision where they weren't sure if she was raped -- but were sure that she had been assaulted, based upon the exact same statements of hers -- all of a sudden people want to ridiculously backtrack and claim that it wasn't necessarily a rape trial.

      And all in order to make some kind of retroactive sense of a verdict that really doesn't make any sense at all given the stated evidence. She said she was raped.

      I mean, come on. Maybe she was. So how come the jury didn't buy it?

      Because the truth is that they didn't. There wasn't enough evidence for it. So where was the evidence on the other?

      It was the same evidence! Nothing extra.

    10. 12:46: so what are you gonna do? Proclaim endlessly how Trump was “wronged”? At the Daily Howler, no less?

    11. "12:46: so what are you gonna do? Proclaim endlessly how Trump was “wronged”? At the Daily Howler, no less?"

      No one is saying that Trump was wrong. Just that she wasn't "righted" as much as some people are urgently trying to claim she was.

      The verdict was flaky. There was no more reason to believe one outcome than the other. So why believe any?

      The jury was obviously not thinking, and that calls the whole thing into question.

    12. Again, you weren’t on the jury, you can grouse all you want at the daily howler, and you can impugn the jury, but that doesn’t change the outcome. Trump can appeal. I doubt he would win. What are you trying to accomplish at this little-read blog?

    13. Are you stupid or what? She truthfully testified that she could not be sure if he had penetrated. Therefore the jury gave t the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, trump was too much of a coward to go to the trial to defend himself. I don't call him Donald J Chickenshit for nothing you know.

    14. Too late. To make Carroll "righted" she would have to have been not sexually assaulted by Trump in the first place.

    15. "If you aren't a Republican then you are a paid political operative working at a troll farm. You aren't fooling anyone here."


      Like Bob, I'm an old liberal, and I very often agree with him. MSNBC has a very bad habit of over-starting everything now, and that's not good.

      I also agree that the Access Hollywood tape actually asserts the opposite of what everyone thinks it does. Trump is not at all saying that he has permission to assault women, nor that he does it .

      It says they "let" you do it. Which means consent.

      That's NOT assault.

      Like it or not, that's what Trump is saying. Women agree to let you do it when you're a star.

    16. 1:23, How would he know?

    17. Trump also said he starts kissing them. He IMPLIES that the woman consents, him being a star and all, but never says that he actually obtains their consent. He is justifying his own actions by this made up idea of implicit consent.

    18. 1:23,
      This is the same Trump who ran for President saying the economy was rigged for the Establishment elites, which is undoubtedly true.
      Once he won the Presidency, he put those same elites in his cabinet and gave them a HUGE tax break. Your take on the Access Hollywood tape is akin to you pulling Trump's finger, because he told you to.

    19. @1:23 -- You obviously have never read any of the 25 statements by other women who claim to have been assaulted by Trump. One was waiting for an elevator in Trump Tower. Trump came by and grabbed her and kissed her on the mouth (shoving his tongue down her throat, because that's what he does). She didn't know him, had never been introduced to him. She was there with clients from her work and was deeply embarrassed by the incident, not least because she was diminished in the eyes of her customers.

      There are many stories of incidents like that. These make your assertion that trump doesn't actually do the things he talks about in the Access Hollywood tape sound ridiculous.

      Today there is an article about Stephanie Grisham (Trump's press secretary) working hard to keep one of her staff from being alone with Trump because she was afraid he would assault her. She said Trump kept inventing pretexts to see the staff member and requesting that she be sent on trips with him, even when it was not her turn to go (such opportunities are rotated). It is bad when your own staff knows the boss is a hound.

    20. 1:23 even considering your ridiculously excessive literalism, your views on consent are disturbing and betray any claim you are liberal.

      Trump’s point was that he could get away with abusing women due to his status and the resulting power imbalance.

      You should seek help.

  11. Republicans should support statehood for Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

    1. The Republicans here won't read your comment unless it has the word rape in it.

    2. Republicans rape Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

  12. It’s all so stupid, this defense of Trump, who would rather mock and insult via Twitter rather than show up in court and simply testify under oath “I didn’t do it” and subject himself to cross examination.

    Now, no one is ever required to testify in his own defense. Indeed, given Trump’s responses in his deposition, his attorneys probably told him not to. I don’t know how Somerby thinks he can parse the true meaning of a deranged man, but an insanity plea was not offered by his attorneys.

    It still seems odd that a person wouldn’t even show up at his own trial, but then, that allows him to rail at the supposed corrupt nature of it. Win win.

    1. Except Trump lost lost.

    2. No one's defending Trump. Just questioning this weird verdict where the jury "parsed" the evidence one way and not the other.

      The whole story she had was that she was raped, but now not necessarily? Why believe the one part but not the other? It makes no sense.

      And Bob is not explaining Trump. He's questioning the media -- particularly MSNBC -- on their always bad habit of embroidery and misrepresentation.

      The Trump video for instance does not say what most people think it does. The only thing he "admits" is that some women let some men do things voluntarily. Meaning willingly. They accept it.

      Agree with him or not, that's what he's saying. Which is totally different than saying that he attacks them sexually. He never even says he grabs them by the pussy anyway.

    3. Go ahead, 12:35. Relitigate the case if it makes you feel better. Perhaps you can file an amicus brief if and when Trump appeals.

    4. You guys just won't admit that this partial verdict is not only pretty weird, it also points out a problem with the case itself. You also don't want to admit that the Access Hollywood video is not quite the guilt instrument that you think it is. Bob's totally right -- Trump's not at all saying what most of MSNBC thinks he is.

      And no, I'm not a Trump supporter. I just wish this had been a better case against him. It's very flaky, and so was the verdict.

    5. There is nothing "weird" about the verdict. The jury was given the option. Just like choosing between first degree murder, and whatever options the judge agreed to allow in his instructions.
      As far as I am concerned, this is a legal technicality. What he did to that woman was rape, whether the state of NY defines it that way or not.

    6. 12:59 -- thank you, I agree

    7. 12:54,
      The much clearer case against Trump was for treason against the united States of America. Unfortunately, even though there might be 10 Republicans who believe treason against the United States of America is wrong, none of them were Senators (the jury, if you will) at the time.

    8. semichorus -- if you are not a Trump supporter, why are you supporting him? And repeating the Republican line? And why have you just appeared at this blog and where were you when Somerby was discussing Wittgenstein and not a sexy-time rape verdict that reflects badly on dear leader?

    9. "semichorus -- if you are not a Trump supporter, why are you supporting him? And repeating the Republican line? And why have you just appeared at this blog and where were you when Somerby was discussing Wittgenstein and not a sexy-time rape verdict that reflects badly on dear leader?"

      Not supporting him at all. It's just that why did the jury believe some of her statements and not them all?

      It makes no sense. They should have gotten him on rape! What she was saying was either true and accurate or it wasn't.

      Maybe then it wasn't? This verdict tells us nothing reliable.

    10. "The only thing he "admits" is that some women let some men do things voluntarily. Meaning willingly. They accept it."

      No, consent is not the same as letting a man do something to them. That is explicitly not OK for men to do.

      Here is the definition of consent under law:

      "Consent means that a person voluntarily and willfully agrees in response to another person's proposition. The person who consents must possess sufficient mental capacity. Consent also requires the absence of coercion, fraud or error."

      Here is what consent looks like:

      "Consent is agreement or permission expressed through affirmative, voluntary words or actions that are mutually understandable to all parties involved, to engage in a specific sexual act at a specific time:

      1. Consent can be withdrawn at any time, as long as it is clearly communicated.
      2. Consent cannot be coerced or compelled by force, threat, deception or intimidation.
      3. Consent cannot be given by someone who is incapacitated, as defined below.
      4. Consent cannot be assumed based on silence, the absence of “no” or “stop,” the existence of a prior or current relationship, or prior sexual activity."

      #4 is where you have a problem. If you grab someone and they say nothing, that is NOT consent. For one thing, if you start kissing someone and cannot stop because a woman is beautiful, as Trump describes, referring to himself -- he says "I" explicitly, how is a woman with Trump's tongue down her throat supposed to tell him to stop? And is she really letting him do it? She wasn't asked about it and may be too stunned or frightened to say anything. But she will not be doing anything encouraging either. Kissing back would be consent. But would a guy like Trump even notice her reaction, especially if it is not about the kiss but about domination and power -- taking what you want?

      If there are guys walking around thinking that it is OK to kiss women as long as they don't say no (e.g., let you do it) you need to rethink that before you get into serious legal trouble. Many states have enacted these sorts of consent rules into law.

    11. semichorus,
      The treason charges against Trump were more of an open and shut case,
      Juries? Am I right?

    12. "What she was saying was either true and accurate or it wasn't."

      This is called black and white thinking. The jury was asked to decide based on the preponderance of the evidence, not beyond a shadow of a doubt. There was a great deal of evidence presented by E. Jean Carroll's lawyers. It included (1) her testimony, (2) Trump's sworn testimony via deposition, (3) technical and expert witnesses, (4) witnesses who were told about the rape by Carroll AT THE TIME IT HAPPENED, (5) witnesses who had similar experiences with Trump themselves who testified to his M.O. (his pattern of behavior), (6) videos of Trump making statements not under oath (7) the 5-minute video Trump published on social media defaming her and other statements made about her in public. Although not presented as evidence, jurors may also have drawn conclusions based on: (1) Trump's failure to supply DNA to rule himself out, (2) Trump's unwillingness to testify, (3) the absence of Trump and Melania from the trial itself as observers, (4) statements and behavior Trump engaged in during the trial on Truth Social, although asked by the judge to desist, (5) the behavior of Trump's attorney during cross-examination of Carroll, (6) the lack of respect shown by Trump for the proceedings and the judge and Carroll's attorneys (such as threatening Kaplan with many lawsuits and calling her too ugly to rape).

      It is true that in reality either Trump raped Carroll or he didn't, although there might be quibbles about what constitutes rape. But we cannot go back be flies on the wall to know what really happened (assuming no disputes abut what witnesses were seeing). So, Jurors need to use these many sources of info to make a decision the best they can. That's what they did. They apparently did not feel the evidence was sufficient to conclude Carroll had been raped, but they felt the evidence supported her being sexually abused and defamed. Those were all separate charges and the jurors considered the evidence provided for each charge. It was not an overall, all-or-nothing decision and the question was about whether the evidence supported concluding that Trump had done each one.

      Given the difficulty proving rape claims, the unanimity and quickness of this decision suggest strong support for the sexual abuse and defamation claims, but not for rape. That doesn't mean there was no rape. It means there was less strong evidence of rape. Had Trump supplied DNA, that might not have been true. Why do you suppose he refused, when it could possibly have exonerated him? I would have wondered that, had I been a juror. He doesn't have to provide a sample, but why wouldn't he do so?

    13. "This verdict tells us nothing reliable." -- semichorus

      Actually, it tells us that 9 jurors, including 6 men and 3 women and 1 bona fide Trump supporter considered the evidence sufficient to affirm that Trump committed sexual abuse and defamed Carroll, and to award Carroll $5 million dollars.

      This should get Trump where it hurts -- his bankroll. He thinks he is clever when he commits fraud or breaks a financial law -- this should convince him it is stupid to grab women because it will cost him money in the long run.

      Never mind that it is wrong to hurt other people, even women.

    14. ""Consent means that a person voluntarily and willfully agrees in response to another person's proposition. The person who consents must possess sufficient mental capacity. Consent also requires the absence of coercion, fraud or error.""

      Trump never said in that tape that there would be coercion there. He said they let you do it.

      Meaning voluntarily. Willingly. So your hair-splitting legalese doesn't apply in this case. What he was talking about didn't involve a coercive element.

      But what your language DOES apply to is the Carroll testimony and trial. What she claimed on the stand was indeed rape under the law, and coercive, and so why didn't the jury buy it as sufficient?

      It's a big problem for the case. And the credibility here of everything.

    15. Him saying they let you do it is a pretext that he has invented to allow him to kiss women without obtaining their explicit consent.

    16. ""This verdict tells us nothing reliable." -- semichorus

      Actually, it tells us that 9 jurors, including 6 men and 3 women and 1 bona fide Trump supporter considered the evidence sufficient to affirm that Trump committed sexual abuse and defamed Carroll, and to award Carroll $5 million dollars."

      What the verdict tells me is that the jurors didn't think all of the evidence was reliable. Which apparently it wasn't. Fair enough.

      So why was any of it? Was Trump being convicted on the rape allegation of E. Jean Carroll's, or the old Access Hollywood tape?

      It seems more the tape. Why did they believe some of what she said, but not all of it? It should have been all!

      So why was any of her evidence credible? They got him on the tape, right?

      But that wasn't her case!

    17. “ the jurors didn't think all of the evidence was reliable.” No, they thought the evidence was reliable enough to affirm that Trump sexually assaulted Carroll, but not enough for rape.

    18. semichorus,
      Agree, there is no reason for anyone, never mind a jury, to believe anything Trump says in a he said/ she said case. Or any situation for that matter.
      BTW, you could have saved us all a lot of time just said that, and moving on.

  13. "Politico reports that "the Trump campaign is expected to fundraise off the Carroll decision," despite the fact such a verdict seems highly unlikely to help Trump win over suburban women and other key demographic groups he'll need to win the 2024 election.

    However, political strategist Sarah Longwell tells Politico that she doubts the verdict against Trump will have any impact on his popularity among Republican primary voters."

    Trump has no shame and neither do his Republican followers.

    1. It's almost like Republican voters only care about bigotry and white supremacy, without the "It's almost like" part, of course.

  14. Speaking of Rittenhouse, did Somerby ever critique Carlson on that, or was he too busy critiquing “blue tribe” reporting?

    It seems to me that Somerby essentially agreed with the Fox News take.

  15. Defund the Supreme Court.

  16. It is interesting how the jury has to remain anonymous because of the lunatic magat base. I'm sure DinC agrees.

  17. Boy, there sure are a lot of Bob Somerby haters here! Why do all you people even read him then?

    When it comes to the Trump Trial, I think what this all boils down to is that the jury's partial verdict calls into question the credibility of all the evidence, of the entire case.

    The jury says some of the evidence is reliable, and other parts are not. Why then is any of it?

    People here are actually defending this verdict as being somehow incredibly meaningful? I really wish it had been.

    1. "Why do all you people even read him then?"

      We feel obligated to correct Somerby's lies and misinformation, chiefly that he is some sort of liberal.

      When Somerby stops lying, we will leave. It only perpetuates our presence when a shitload of trolls show up to help Somerby defend Trump's assault on women.

      "The jury says some of the evidence is reliable, and other parts are not. Why then is any of it?"

      Can you really be this stupid? If some evidence comes from an eyewitness and some comes from a sworn deposition, why should the two both be equally reliable? There is no reason why all evidence must be thrown out because some part of it is thought to be unreliable (by the jury).

      This verdict means that Trump is now a convicted sexual abuser who defamed the woman he assaulted. If that isn't a big deal to you, I suggest you go on voting for Trump -- he is the main candidate on the sex crimes ticket. I assume you won't care about any of the other charges in the trials coming down the pike. Or perhaps you don't like women much (Somerby doesn't) and his fraud, grift, treason and theft of classified docs might catch your attention.

      This reaction to the verdict says as much about Trump's supporters as it does about Trump himself.

    2. “ some of the evidence is reliable, and other parts are not. Why then is any of it?"

      Anyone saying this as a potential juror would get rejected, by both the prosecution and the defense, if not the judge.

    3. All Bob has to do is to admit that he’s a lying misinformation spewing witch.

      He does that and anonymices are out of here.

      Who could be more reasonable than an anonymouse?

    4. I think you’d be out of here, too, if he said that.

    5. Carroll's either a reliable witness or she's not. Not just an eyewitness. So why weren't her words all believed by the jury?

      She said she was raped. The jury said there wasn't enough evidence for that. GIven the evidence that SHE produced, that makes no sense. Why pick and choose? And there was nothing in that deposition of his that corroborated anything. All he said was that big stars can do it because they're allowed to do it.

      That same dep. then should have been used to get him on rape, given all the evidence. Why wasn't it?

      The verdict makes no sense given the evidence that was produced. It's arbitrary and inconsistent. If Carroll was a reliable witness then there was no more reason to rule one way than the other.

      He should have gotten rape!

      What's "stupid" is that so many people don't seem to see the logical problem here. It calls into question the judgment of the jury and -- yes -- the possible credibility of all the evidence.

    6. "I think what this all boils down to is that the jury's partial verdict calls into question the credibility of all the evidence, of the entire case."

      There was no partial verdict. There were two parts, one cocerning battery and the other concerning defamation. The jury reached a decision on both parts, so no partial verdict.

      I really think that the difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans are stupid enough to believe these "serious concerns" you guys keep raising, about either all the evidence is good or it must all be thrown out, or if Trump wasn't convicted of rape, then Carroll was wrong and Trump should be exonerated, or no one should comment at a blog if they don't agree with everything the blog author says.

      Where is the logic bot when we need it?

    7. @2:14 -- keep on believing. Also, send Trump all your money. He really really needs it.

    8. @2:01 PM - a minor quibble. Trump was found liable for sexual abuse and defamation, which is a civil-law determination. Conviction or acquittal is a criminal-law determination.

    9. You guys who are troubled by this verdict should go on Netflex and watch the film The Accused. It has Jodie Foster when she was young. You might understand more about difficulties of evidence and attaining justice when women are attacked by men (sexually or otherwise).

    10. 2:14,
      I'm much more concerned with the logic of having the corporate rich fund a representative democracy.

    11. Life is not a movie.

    12. No, but movies allow authors to present topics in a specific context that can explore the nuances in a way that viewers can understand and think about, especially the emotions and motives of the characters. A well-acted movie (as with Jodie Foster's films) can be very moving too. Life is often too complex to zero in on what is important at the time, especially when you don't yet know how things will turn out.

      Somerby talks about movies a lot here. Being new, you might not realize that.

    13. mh, and you and the anonymices are thinking that if you dunk Bob enough he’ll admit he’s a witch.

    14. I am not an anonymouse, and I am merely critical of Somerby’s posts. I don’t give a shit if he ever “admits” anything.

    15. I am not an anonymouse, and I am merely critical of Somerby’s posts. I don’t give a shit if he ever “admits” anything. (That last comment was erroneously posted as anonymous)

    16. 2:39 that movie is based on a true story. Interestingly, the initial test screening for the film resulted in much of the audience indicating that they thought the victim deserved the rape! This isn’t too far off from what the troll in the comments is essentially saying.

      This blog started off as mostly an attack on how the media coddled the Republican’s agenda. That’s why most of the readers/commenters are of the blue tribe, that’s who provided Somerby with the success that he had. Then when Somerby shifted to supporting the Republican agenda, those same commenters reasonably stuck around to correct his nonsense.

    17. Cecelia, Somerby is older than I am. I fully expect that when Trump loses again, he'll hang up his spurs. Meanwhile, why should he refuse whatever they are paying him when all he has to do to earn his pay is annoy a few libs? Maybe then he'll have time to read a few other books written by Willa Cather. I've heard that Tolstoy has written other stories too.

    18. Somerby admits his political orientation with every sentence he writes.

    19. Anonymouse 4:16pm, if that’s the case what will anonymices then do for money?

  18. The conundrum that Somerby has created for himself is to assert that Trump is deranged, and yet still try to parse what he says or means in his deposition. You cannot have it both ways, and credit Trump with clear intent and meaning in some cases, but in others to deny that.

    Why isn’t it as plausible to say “Trump truly believed he won in 2020, so he isn’t lying” as to say “Trump truly believes he didn’t assault E Jean Carroll, so he isn’t “lying” about that?”

    1. mh, “disordered” doesn’t mean psychotic and therefore unaccountable for your actions and harboring false conspiracy theories and conclusions doesn’t make you a liar.

      AND before you jump to conclusions, I know Trump is a NYC builder and real estate agent. My statements do not constitute a denial of that fact…

    2. Someone psychotic isn't automatically unaccountable for their actions. That is a determination made by a forensic psychiatrist. Obviously, someone who harbors false theories and conclusions can ALSO be a liar.

    3. Anonymouse 5:33pm, all you have just said is indisputable truth. I wasn’t speaking in absolutes and my point is that Bob doesn’t do that either.

    4. He calls Carlson disordered. He calls Trump mentally ill. Those are absolute statements.

    5. Cecelia, I can say those absolute things about mental health because I have the training in the field (two advanced degrees) that you and Somerby lack. You and he don’t know what you are talking about.

    6. mh, those terms aren’t absolutes in the sense that they render anyone as being unaccountable. You argue that they confer that status.

      I argue that they are meant to render a person as being unsuitable for public office in a way that being blind would prohibit you from bus driving.

    7. Being blind is a measurable, physical condition. “Disordered” might be nothing more than Somerby’s word for when he doesn’t want to examine the broader implications of Carlson’s rhetoric, for example. It is imprecise and susceptible to abuse by unscrupulous people. Well, Carlson is just disordered. Thus, I can dismiss his meaning. Republicans call Biden senile, or disordered. Surely you understand the harm to society were people to start indiscriminately throwing terms around like disordered or mentally ill.

    8. Anonymouse 6:48pm, anonymices are always the only authorities qualified to render up an argument, whether it’s about being mentally “disordered” or the propriety of using a Neil Diamond song about the blues/depression as a metaphor for blue tribe thinking.

    9. mh, please. You’ve argued that “disordered” is exculpatory of Tucker and the comparisons to him are indicting of the mentally ill. Even as Bob has insulted Carlson, talked of his family history, and wanted him booted from the public arena.

      Just go with the “I’m an expert, you’re not, so shut up” anonymouse offering.

    10. Somerby spent way more time trying to get rid of Rachel Maddow.

    11. You made some incorrect statements out of ignorance and now you’re complaining because your BS doesn’t fly.

    12. Cecelia, for God’s sake, take a minute to listen to the song. You don’t have a metaphor without some similarity (beyong the word blue).

    13. I have not a

    14. I have not argued that “disordered” means “exculpatory.” You cannot find me saying that. I am saying that it ignores the content of what Carlson says. It is a way for Somerby NOT to discuss Carlson’s actual views. He would rather attribute Carlson’s views to his mother abandoning him, or whatever. He wants only to discuss Carlson’s so-called mental state, which Somerby has no access to.

    15. Anonymouse 9:22pm, the title of the song is the metaphor.

      When anonymices tout their degrees and professional occupations I wonder how it is that they would have the inclination or the time to sit on a blog all day and denigrate a blogger.

      If there was the slightest indication that they were telling the truth, I’d be so alarmed for their clients or students.

    16. mh, from Carlson’s former show, what particular views or topics has Bob failed to address?

    17. Mh you don't have access to Somerby's so-called mental state. So you have no way to determine or weigh the accusations you've made against him. So what's the point? Who cares about your unprovable fever dreams?

  19. Carl Tucker's sonMay 10, 2023 at 9:08 PM

    "CNN's Kaitlan Collins has drawn the task of moderating the event. We became a major fan of Collins during the first Covid year, when she broke from an otherwise somnolent pack and pushed Trump to answer basic questions during his interminable, daily Covid-based "press events."

    Pull the other one Somerby:

    Try and keep up.