CLAN: "What would you give in exchange for your soul?"

FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2024

The Wreck of The Old #4: Friends, how well are you served by the works of your clan?

The issue arose yesterday at the start of Deadline: White House. 

Two of the original seven Trump jurors had now been dismissed by Judge Merchan. We speak of the original Jurors #2 and #4. As of the end of day Tuesday, they had both been placed on the original list of seven approved jurors.

No jury election occurred on Wednesday. As of 10 o'clock yesterday morning, Politico had laid out some new facts concerning the case of Juror #4: 

Headline included, this is the way matters stood a full six hours before Nicolle Wallace took her "favorite reporters and friends"—her clan—on the air at Deadline: White House:

Prosecutors looked into one of the jurors. A man with the same name was arrested in the ’90s for tearing down right-wing political posters.

Jury selection hit another snag this morning: Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass told the judge prosecutors conducted research that potentially calls into question the veracity of a number of juror No. 4’s responses to the questionnaire.

Prosecutors found information that a man with the same name as the juror, an IT consultant, had been arrested in the 1990s for tearing down right-wing political posters in Westchester County.

If it's the same person, his wife was also involved in a corruption inquiry and entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. The juror did not disclose either of these facts during the selection process.

The judge plans to question the juror today to determine if he should be excused.

That's where matters stood as of 10 a.m. To their credit, the prosecutors had brought this matter to Judge Merchan's attention. The judge said he planned to question the juror about what the prosecutors had found,

CBS News takes it from there. This report had been fully updated as of 12:40 p.m.:

What to know about the jurors in Trump's "hush money" trial in New York


Now dismissed, Juror #4 said he was from Puerto Rico and reads The New York Daily News and The New York Times. He cited "my family" as his hobby. An IT consultant, he described Trump as "fascinating and mysterious." 

In court on Thursday, prosecutors said they discovered information about someone sharing the person's name who was arrested and potentially involved in a corruption investigation in the 1990s. Juror #4 said he had never been accused or convicted of a crime under questioning earlier in the week.

The man was briefly questioned by attorneys in front of the judge, out of earshot from the court's microphones. Merchan ultimately decided to dismiss him, but ordered the details of the questioning sealed, saying the information discussed was personal in nature.

Juror #4 had been called into question by prosecutors, and then was dismissed by the judge. 

Was it true? Had this juror been "arrested in the ’90s for tearing down right-wing political posters?" Had he lied about this history during the original questioning which landed him on the jury?

As far as we know, those questions remain unanswered. As far as we know, Judge Merchan hasn't said what he came to believe when he questioned Juror 4.

That said, this was the fully understood state of play as of 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon. Three hours later, Nicolle Wallace went on the air and offered a highly selective clown show, pleasing members of Blue America's clan in the process.

Lisa Rubin played along, even though she had to be aware of the confusion the Wallace conflations had caused. Indeed, Rubin was the reporter of record on the first of these three posts about Juror #4 posted by NBC News:

Merchan raises concerns about "the veracity of Juror #4’s answers"

After discussion about the gag order, Merchan said he had concerns about one of the jurors and how truthfully the person had answered questions.

One of the questions on the juror questionnaire asks if the juror or any of their family members were accused of a crime.

Joshua Steinglass of the DA's office told Merchan that they discovered an article featuring a person with the same name who was arrested in Westchester in the 1990s for tearing down political advertisements. 

Juror 4 has arrived

The person previously seated on the jury has come into the courtroom. He is going to be asked about crimes he or his wife are alleged to have committed, after they were unearthed by the DA's office.

Merchan excuses Juror No. 4

After they had a conference with the juror, Merchan announced he's excusing juror No. 4, who had previously been seated and sworn him [sic]. His prior arrest was questioned by the DA.

Long story short:

The judge decided to dismiss Juror #4. It's possible that the juror had lied about his past behavior.

That's where these matters stood as of yesterday afternoon at 1 o'clock. Now for the rest of the story:

Two days earlier, on Tuesday afternoon's The Five, Jesse Watters had made this statement about the jury selection process. Later, he tweeted the statement, along with some videotape from The Five:

They are catching undercover Liberal Activists lying to the Judge in order to get on the Trump Jury

So tweeted Jesse Watters. At that point, Watters wasn't referring to Juror 2 or to Juror 4. But Donald J. Trump then retweeted the Watters tweet, an action which may have violated the gag order he is supposed to be obeying.

Yesterday afternoon, Wallace started with that tweet by Watters and with the Trump retweet. Already completely lost in the weeds, Wallace offered this at 4:02:

The ex-president also posted a quite from that guy--his name is Jesse Watters--calling jurors quote "undercover liberal activists." It is of course a blatant but strategic lie.

That's what she said at 4:02. It wasn't clear how she could know that there were no such liberal activists trying to worm their way onto the jury, but she also knew that the statement was a blatant lie.

By 4:06 p.m., her conflation was complete. According to Wallace's thoroughly bungled representation, Watters' tweet had been an attack on Juror #2, a claim which was plainly false.

By 4:15, Wallace was saying that Watters had "smeared" Juror #2, thus forcing the juror to ask to be removed from jury duty. This representation was factually bogus, a cri de coeur emanating from deep inside a clan.

By 4:16, it was Susanne Criag to the attempted rescue! Wallace had been emoting all day. The New York Times had already offered this accurate thumbnail concerning Juror #2

The woman excused from the jury said she had been concerned about public reports about her. She is an oncology nurse and her employer had been widely reported. Her friends, colleagues and family told her she had been identified as a potential juror, an alarming development that she said prompted her to reconsider whether she could serve.

Why had Juror #2 asked to be relieved of duty? "She is an oncology nurse and her employer had been widely reported," the Times had accurately said. 

In fact, Watters hadn't done either of those things, though many others had. Craig tried to calm the discussion down, but Wallace kept conflating.

For once in his life, Watters hadn't done the inappropriate things, but so what? Wallace continued with her targeted, inaccurate bombast, deeply in thrall to the clan.

Long story short:

When Wallace went on the air yesterday, she emoted about Juror 2, who had been released from duty at her own request—a matter which didn't seem to have anything to do with anything Watters of Trump had done.

Emoting hard, Wallace said that this is why our democracy is in danger. She reported that two (2) jurors had been released, but she never mentioned the shaky circumstances surrounding the release of Juror 4—and when Rubin arrived to comment around 5:30, she offered no clarification.

Readers, let us ask you a question:

"What would you give in exchange for your soul?"

That was the opening lyric of the first hit record by Bill and Charlie Monroe. It was a bit hit in the Carolinas in 1935. You can hear Bill Monroe provide the background just by clicking here.

What would you give in exchange for your soul? The song began this way:

Brother you're far from the savior today
Risking your soul for the things that decay...

Back in 2004, Wallace started risking her soul in the attempt to outlaw same-sex marriage. 

By now, she's been NeverTrump for a long time. But in her pursuit of that wholly sensible agenda, she began to lose control over her fairness and balance a very long time ago. 

We agree with her general view of the ongoing Trump years. Along the way, assuming minimal competence, she seems to have abandoned the requirement that conflations, distortions and pleasing misstatements shouldn't be thrown on the air.

The original statement by Watters was a typical bit of silly-boy horseplay by the slithery new Fox star. When Trump retweeted what Watters had said, he may have violated the terms of the prevailing gag order.

That will be decided next week. Yesterday, Wallace rushed on the air and—assuming minimal competence—began to dissemble and conflate. 

She emoted about Juror 2, never mentioned Juror 4. 

She pretended that the plight of Juror 2 had somehow been caused by Watters and Trump. Simply put, we know of no evidence that that's the case.

Along the way, the persistently slippery Watters had possibly called his shot! Judge Merchan had decided to release Juror #4—a juror who actually may have lied to the judge in order to get on the jury!

That would possibly make him a type of anti-Trump "stealth juror." By the rules of the clan, none of this could be allowed to go on Blue American air.

Within our clan, we're shielded from ever hearing such things. Within our clan, we hear about potential stealth jurors from Red America, not about their possible opposite number from Blue.

Bill and Charlie Monroe recorded that first hit in the throes of the Great Depression. It was a big hit in the Carolinas, where money was rather scarce.

Today, Wallace is paid millions of dollars to drive Blue America's narratives. The Monroe Brothers' hit ended like this:

More than all silver and gold of this Earth
More than all jewels the spirit is worth
God the creator has given it birth
What would you give in exchange for your soul?

Wallace is paid millions of dollars. Eagerly, she joins Watters in pursuit of this ancient assignment:

Keep clan alive!

This afternoon:  Has any human being ever made a dumber statement? (Tim O'Brien Deadline watch)

Also, Acyn rides again! A look at who we secretly are, here inside our clan


  1. How well served am I by the works of my "clan"?

    Today's offering by Stephen Robinson of Public Notice reminds us of the ways in which Trump botched the covid response. Trump started by dismantling the Pandemic Response planning established and maintained by previous presidents. He did that pre-pandemic, immediately upon taking office. How well did that serve my clan or yours? The other horrors of his response are described here:

    Robinson says: In a sane country this would disqualify him from ever holding office again. Why aren't we sane? Somerby provides a good example in his own behavior today.

    1. In a sane country Trump would be in jail along with all his autogolpe plotters.

    2. In some of our clans, people died because of Trump's ineffective covid response. We were unable to hold funerals for them and we grieved at a distance from each other, unable to hug and console family in our grief. Survivors lived in fear because we had seen first-hand what covid did in its end stages. Our clans were devastated by Trump because he couldn't figure out how to make denial work as people died.


  2. "We agree with her general view of the ongoing Trump years."

    Wait a second. Are we talking about Nicolle Wallace here, who Glenn Greenwald describes as:
    "From her days as a professional liar for the Bush/Cheney White House and 2004 campaign, now as a beloved-by-liberals MSNBC host, Nicolle Wallace has for two decades been the Typhoid Mary of Disinformation. Nobody spreads official campaigns of deceit and lies more casually, frequently, aggressively or destructively than she."?

    If she is the Typhoid Mary of Disinformation and plural you "agree with her general view", then what does it make you, Bob? Something a dupe, I guess.

  3. This is nothing more than a hit piece on Wallace. It is unclear why Somerby has singled her out for mistreatment, but perhaps it is because she is a never-Trumper. Or maybe it is because she is female and Rachel Maddow isn't around much any more.

    If a juror really really doesn't want to serve, judges usually let them off, regardless of the reason given. An unmotivated juror isn't going to do a good job (as is true for any occupation in life). Such dismissals don't rely on digging out the facts about what a juror did years before with some lawn signs. With an endless supply of prospective jurors, there is no reason to give a seat to someone whose qualifications are in any doubt. Obviously, this doesn't reveal the sort of plot Watters claimed was happening, but it does show how hard the Trump defense is working to eliminate anyone they consider unfavorable to Trump's chances. The juror who asked to be let go had been contacted by friends and relatives in response to Watters statements, not because Watters outed her. But the ease of the guesses of such people scared her.

    It is unclear why Somerby has switched from referring to red and blue tribes to red and blue clans. The words do not mean the same thing:

    Clan definition: "A clan is an extended family. Your clan might include your parents and siblings, but also your cousins and second cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents. Families that are related to each other, whether through marriage or as distant cousins, are members of the same clan."

    Tribe definition: "a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader"

    I am not related to Wallace, nor is she related to her coworkers on MSNBC. Clan is the wrong word unless you are using the word family very broadly. People working with each other within an organization are not a clan.

    In the same way, Democrats and Republicans are not examples of tribes. Those groups, formed by political voting affiliation only, are not anything like a tribe.

    By misusing these definitions, Somerby emphasizes the differences between us, not the similarities. If the members of a so-called clan or tribe are not even related in the ways specified, how can either clan or tribe be related to other clans or tribes in our society? In a way, that cooks the books in favor of Somerby's argument about polarization.

    But I am also wondering why the usual ways of referring to people by political choice is insufficient for Somerby's purposes. We are not families and we do not share the same culture and yet we all choose for vote for Biden (Democrats) or Trump (Republicans). Why not use political terms to talk about political choices? Perhaps Somerby prefers to deepen the us/them divide even as he rails against it? And who benefits from that? Not my clan.

    1. This article is clearly a supportive piece praising Wallace's integrity. It's obvious why Somerby has chosen to highlight her virtues; it's because of her balanced views, not her political affiliations. Furthermore, her gender plays no role in the critique, as Somerby's analysis is purely based on her professional conduct, just like Rachel Maddow’s.

      When it comes to jury duty, judges are notoriously strict about letting people off the hook; they require solid, justifiable reasons. A disinterested juror is exactly what the system tries to avoid, as their lackluster performance can critically undermine a trial's integrity. Judges meticulously scrutinize a juror’s background, including trivial past activities such as what they might have done with lawn signs years ago. Given the limited pool of suitable jurors, every seat must be filled by the most qualified individuals, without exception. This rigorous selection process clearly supports the claims made by Watters about a plot to influence the jury, showcasing the desperation of Trump's defense team to dismiss any juror they deem slightly unfavorable.

      As for the usage of "clans" versus "tribes," it's evident that Somerby has thoughtfully shifted his terminology. 'Clan' and 'tribe' are essentially interchangeable in the context he uses them: both suggest tightly-knit groups, not necessarily linked by blood but by strong associative ties like those found in workplaces or among MSNBC colleagues. This change in terminology is apt as it highlights the close connections and shared objectives within groups, whether they are familial or professional.

      Contrary to what was claimed, Democrats and Republicans can indeed be seen as modern tribes, formed not just through voting but through shared ideologies and collective social identities that mirror traditional tribal structures. By employing these terms, Somerby isn’t exaggerating differences but rather accurately depicting the deeply entrenched societal divisions.

      The broader terminologies of 'clan' and 'tribe' used by Somerby enhance the discourse around political identities, offering a richer, more nuanced view than mere political affiliations could. This approach doesn't widen the us/them divide; instead, it provides a more profound understanding of our complex social fabrics. Clearly, we all benefit from this enriched dialogue—it unites us across diverse backgrounds, enriching our collective political discourse.

    2. 1:04: “clearly a supportive piece praising Wallace's integrity.”

      You’re joking, right?

      Somerby’s “praise” includes the following:

      Wallace gave a “highly selective clown show”

      And a “thoroughly bungled representation”

      “This representation was factually bogus, a cri de coeur emanating from deep inside a clan.”

      “Wallace is paid millions of dollars to drive Blue America's narratives.”

      “she joins Watters in pursuit of this ancient assignment:

      Keep clan alive!”

      The AI algorithms aren’t quite up to the task, apparently, as evidenced by 1:04’s comment.

    3. The complaints against various jurors made by Trump's lawyers are part of a larger strategy to request that the trial be stopped because a fair jury cannot be assembled. They have already made that motion.

  4. "...Long story short...." No, Bob. As always, short story long.

  5. I don’t know what Watters specifically said, but according to the AP:

    “On Fox News Channel Wednesday night, host Jesse Watters did a segment with a jury consultant, revealing details about people who had been seated on the jury and questioning whether some were “stealth liberals” who would be out to convict Trump.”

    “Judge in Trump case orders media not to report where potential jurors work”

    1. There does appear to be at least one Trump fan on the jury, a hung jury can still provide some positive impact towards motivating people to vote for Biden based on Trump's corrupt nature.

    2. In the Manafort case, a Trump fan voted to convict sadly because She had to vote the evidence.

    3. Quaker in a BasementApril 19, 2024 at 9:24 PM

      Great Scot!

      Here's Watters' segment on the first seven jurors.

      Our Host says: "[Wallace] pretended that the plight of Juror 2 had somehow been caused by Watters and Trump. Simply put, we know of no evidence that that's the case."

      Here's what Watters and his "jury expert" guest had to say about Juror No. 2, labeled in the on-screen graphic as an oncology nurse, on Wednesday:

      Watters: "Number 2's the nurse. This nurse scares me if I'm Trump. She's from the upper east side, master's degree, not married, no kids, lives with her fiance. Gets her news from the New York Times and CNN." (Grins into camera and chuckles)

      Jury Expert Susan Constantine: "Yeah."

      Watters: "Good bye."

      Constantine; "It sounded really good until I hear the CNN part of it, and auto, automatically strike that one."

      The following day, the juror asked the presiding judge to excuse her from the trial, The Washington Post reported that the juror told the judge that media reports had identified her profession and employer. Judge Merchan appealed to the media generally to refrain from publishing identifying information about the jurors.

      So is there really no evidence that Watters report was responsible for juror No. 2's sudden reluctance?

      Meanwhile, Watters and his jury consultant love, love , LOVE erstwhile juror No. 4. I suspect we may know more of his story soon, as he's been popping off to a couple of media outlets following his dismissal from the jury.

    4. The Washington Post further reports that NBC News and Newsweek had revealed juror No. 2's employer. However, the version of the stories currently available online at both outlets do not specifically identify an employer. Newsweek's report refers to her workplace as "a cancer center."

    5. Somerby is just shameful at this point.

  6. Watters' ratings are way down compared to who he replaced, Tucker Carlson, so he ramps up the outrage throwing out red meat nonsense. Interestingly, Somerby rushes to his defense when Watters is called out, like some White Knight hero - it is pathetic.

    Fox News still dominates in the ratings war because it knows how to manipulate its viewers who are seeking an emotional high, whereas viewers of other corporate media are seeking information.

    1. Kevin asks a question:

  7. Yes Bob, the crux of this will be decided next week. But make no mistake today, Bob Somerby
    is firmly on the “clan” with Trump and Watters.
    who are going after the jurors, and they
    don’t care who gets hurt.
    Don, Jesse and Bob, three very
    sick people.

    1. Crazy to me Somerby attacks imperfect media folks like Wallace, while covering for the man who plotted to overthrow America's Democracy and appoint himself leader for life. What is the question here?

  8. And the question is begged: somewhere
    along the line Bob stopped asking for
    contributions from readers and swung
    WAY into the arms of the Red Clan.
    Though of course, he still votes
    blue. Perhaps we need speculate on
    how much Bob got for his own sad

  9. Quaker in a BasementApril 19, 2024 at 2:14 PM

    I'm perplexed.

    Our Host has long belabored the idea of red and blue tribes or clans. Today, we consider the work of Nicolle Wallace, a one-time communications director for a Republican presidential administration and a senior adivisor to the campaign of another presidential aspirant.

    Somehow, this long-time Republican operative has become part of Our Host's "blue clan." Is it because she (as he notes) has joined the Never Trump forces? Is it because she appears on a purportedly "blue" cable channel? Or is it merely because she's not an obvious member of the red clan?

    Dividing the world with binary rules raises some problems. If one sees only red and blue in the world, then anything not red must necessarily be judged blue.

    And vice versa.

    Did Ms. Wallace make a wrong assessment about juror number 2? Our Host finds no evidence that she didn't and that's sufficient for today's exercise.

    But "not red" isn't always blue. Failing to present the news with the requisite conservative bias isn't automatically liberal bias. And being a Republican who hasn't become allied with Trump doesn't make one a Democrat or a liberal.

    Did Ms. Wallace make a big, fat mistake by conflating Jesse Watters' phony accusation with information exposed about a juror? Maybe. We "have no evidence" that isn't the case. (This leap of logic has problems all its own.)

    I can't accept that a possible error by an estranged "red" is automatically evidence of incompetence by anyone else.

    Disclosure: I don't watch Fox. Or MSNBC. I don't have cable. I don't know much about the current crop of cable TV political yakkers, red or blue.

  10. Kevin complains:

  11. Start your work at home right now. Spend more time with your family and earn. Start bringing 85$/hr just on a laptop. Very easy way to make your life happy and earning many dollars open This Link……> > > 𝐖𝐰𝐰.𝐒𝐦𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐏𝐚𝐲𝟕.𝐜𝐨𝐦

  12. Playing bridge is a better use of your time than trolling. You can play online:

  13. Trolling brings deep spiritual rewards.

  14. If you're trolling a troll.

  15. You lack empathy.

    I am Corby.