Editors' Blog

Oy, Fox

Police reportedly shot a black man in Baltimore within the last few minutes ... in front of a Fox News correspondent, who is reporting that the man was running away when he was shot and that he didn't see the man make any aggressive moves. Watch the video here.

Late Update: Baltimore police are saying no one was shot at that location, period.

Later Update: Fox in full retraction mode now. Wow, this was just an epic failure. Shep Smith is prostrating himself before viewers with a full-on apology for the mistaken reporting.

An Embarrassment

From our piece on the notorious anti-Muslim extremists behind last night's Muhammed cartoon contest, this nugget from Matt Duss: “Even among people here in Washington that promulgate these ridiculous claims about the insidious Muslim menace in America, Spencer and Geller are seen as kind of an embarrassment."

Chat BridgeGate & Jade Helm 15 with TPM's Catherine Thompson, 1 PM Eastern Wednesday

TPM's Catherine Thompson will visit the Hive (sub req) to talk about her recent coverage of the BridgeGate scandal and the conspiracy theories swirling around “Jade Helm 15,” a U.S. military exercise that Texas right-wingers fear is cover for the implementation of martial law. Catherine will answer questions about her recent reporting and what it’s like to cover domestic politics from TPM’s New York office. She’ll also offer her take on a wide array of current events.

Get your questions in now and then join us Wednesday in The Hive.

— Joe Ragazzo

Really Important Favor I Need to Ask

As long time readers know, each year we do a big annual survey of our readers. It takes about ten minutes to fill out. It's really basic questions. And it is a huge help to our whole organization, because it goes right to our bottom line, how we pay staff and all the expenses that keep this small independent publication going. We're going to be running the survey later this week. So when you see my post announcing it, please take a few moments to fill it out. We really appreciate it.

After the jump, more information about why it's important and how we protect your privacy.

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More on America and the Car

Last week in the first installment of our series Nona Willis Aronowitz looked at America's faltering love affair with the car. Fewer men see cars as a key way to define their identity, technology has become a new focus of conspicuous consumption, energy prices are (at least usually) high and in many big cities cars simply aren't necessary. Today, in part two of our series, we look at the other side of the equation. Outside of a few big cities - and in many cases even within them - a car (something that is often out of reach for the working poor) remains a key element of economic survival or the possibility of decent life. Read part two here.

A Couple Quick Thoughts on Geller in Texas

When George Lincoln Rockwell, the American Nazi Party leader, was shot and killed in 1967 it was wrong. Same with George Wallace (who was gravely wounded and paralyzed, not killed) in 1972 or with Meir Kahane in 1990 - precisely because as a society we value free speech and we also don't allow civilians to kill people they don't like. But just as with these other worthies, we should prosecute the offenders (perhaps difficult in this case since at least the two on the scene are dead) without valorizing people who run hate groups. It's really that simple. There is zero contradiction between the two judgments. Pam Geller is a cancerous presence in the US political conversation; same with her pal Geert Wilders, the flamboyant and parodic far-right, racist Dutch parliamentarian she brought for her Muhammed cartoon event down in Texas. Political violence is the greatest corrosive of free and ordered societies. But a hate group is a hate group the day after someone takes a shot at them just like it was the day before.

BREAKING on Bridgegate

TPM's in-house Bridgegate-a-palooza expert (and expert on so much more) Brian Murphy is down at the court house in Newark watching today's Bridgegate developments. And I just got off the phone with him to get a read out on what was discussed in the court room proceeding today about just what David Wildstein is pleading guilty to and factual claims he is making as part of his plea.

Here are the key points

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Bridgegate Went Right Into Christie's Office

The Bridgegate scandal is being blown wide open by prosecutors in New Jersey this morning. David Wildstein as expected pleaded guilty and admitted that the scheme to close the bridge was revenge against the mayor of Fort Lee.

Wildstein also admitted to conspiring with two other Christie allies, Bill Baroni at the Port Authority and Bridget Kelly, who was Christie's deputy chief of staff. Baroni and Kelly have reportedly been indicted, too, the NYT is reporting.

That hissing sound is the remaining air coming out of the Christie 2016 balloon.

More soon ...

American Rorschach

There's so much good in Catherine Thompson's write up on the different far-right theories about just why President Obama is plotting the military takeover of Texas and the rest of the Southwest and just what he plans to do with it after he takes it over. My theory that he's going to establish Obamacare exchanges by force if the Supreme Court throws out subsidies doesn't seem to have caught on at all. But by far the best - and I mean best - is the theory that the mysteriously shuttered Walmart big box locations are being prepped to serve as staging areas for the Chinese troops Obama brings in to take away people's guns or transit points for the US occupation army with underground tunnels connecting the different locations. When I first talked to Katie's editor about the piece I was told that part of the theory was that the shuttered Walmarts were going to be used as detention centers for patriots. And I thought, wtf?: is this whole thing just one big lay up for critical theory professors with too much time on their hands? (We've got constitutional conservative patriots on aisle 9, LOTS OF 'EM!) Alas, it turns out the detention center part wasn't true. Which is to say, not true in the sense that it was not a bona fide conspiracy theory/fantasy we were able to find in our research but rather a miscommunication among TPM editors. And that's unfortunate because it should be true. But there's so much other good stuff in Catherine's piece you should read it right now.

Big Day In Bridgegate Saga

The first criminal charges in the Bridgegate scandal are expected later this morning in federal court in Newark. Those proceedings are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. ET, and the U.S. attorney has scheduled a 1 p.m. ET press conference.

Old Chris Christie chum David Wildstein is reportedly going to plead guilty to as yet unknown charges, but the New York Times reports that others are expected to be charged today as well. Whether Christie himself will be implicated is the big unknown.

Stick around for all the latest as it comes down today. In the meantime, a look at what the Wildstein plea could portend.

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