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Growing TPM

I mentioned on Friday that after the election we plan to expand our team and focus that expansion on more original reporting. Our iterative style of reporting is the centerpiece of what we do. But more staff capacity will allow us to go deeper, dog more stories at once. Building our Prime membership is a critical part of allowing us to do that. On Friday, we were coming up on 15,000 subscribers. With your help, we pushed through that milestone and now have 15,127, as I write.

We've set ourselves an extremely ambitious goal of getting our subscriber base to 20,000 and we hope to do that by the end of the calendar year - a very tall order but not an impossible one. To get there, we are going to shoot for getting to 16,000 by next Monday. So if you're a regular reader and ready to join us, get a better TPM experience and make it possible for us to expand our operation, please take a moment to join us right now. Just click here.

Late Update: Now at 15,170. Just thirty more to get to 15,200 tonight!


In her first post-sexual assault story interview, Melania Trump ventured out of the Fox News safe space and on to CNN to tell Anderson Cooper that the 'grab' tape was Billy Bush's fault.

I will say that if this were the Clintons and there was any analogue, the idea that Trump or the Trump campaign sent Melania out to clean up Trump's sexual assault mess ... well, we'd never hear the end of it.

Will There Really Be a Trump TV?

The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza has a short piece out today throwing cold water on the idea that there's really going to be a 'Trump TV' after the 2016 election. My take is that I largely agree with Ryan.

Trump TV has always been a sort of Trump's Razor test case or ultimate example. Could it really be so ridiculous as the whole campaign was just a vehicle to launch a low-information TV news and propaganda channel? Everything is ultimately a grift for Trump. So it's totally plausible. Trump's Razor suggests that Trump TV is not only possible but probable. Indeed, the news out today suggests that Trump's mini-me and campaign general Jared Kusher (Ivanka's husband) has been talking to possible financial backers.

But here's why it's probably a dubious proposition.

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Wait, What?

If your eyes are popping out at what seems like a dramatic contraction in the spread between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the PollTracker Average, well, yeah, me too. So let me try to explain.

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Predictable and Dangerous

This attack on a GOP campaign office in North Carolina is a very serious situation. Any kind of election related violence is always serious. But it is especially so in a campaign which has already seen more incitement and incendiary than in almost half a century and arguably much longer. Predictably, Donald Trump has publicly blamed Hillary Clinton and cited the attack as a reason that "now we have to win." In other words, Trump is now arguing that victory is either necessary as payback for the fire or that victory is necessary to defend supporters against future attacks.

The ATF is involved in the investigation. I think it is wise not to make too many assumptions about the intentions or identity of the arsonist. On its face, the attack looks like it is anti-Republican in nature. But recent elections have also witnessed a number of incidents, either attempted or otherwise in which supporters of one party carried out attacks either on themselves or their own partisans in an effort to tarnish the other party. In other words, false flag attacks, usually of an extremely clumsy and quickly discovered nature. Lots of places have surveillance cameras these days. I don't say this is likely, only that it is a real possibility based on recent history. With federal law enforcement involved there's a good chance we'll know more soon.

Democracy at Stake in a New Mexico Race for Secretary of State

In warning about voter fraud, Donald Trump is following in the footsteps of more respectable Republicans like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. For decades, Republicans have used charges of fraud to enact legislation that would make it more difficult for predictable Democratic constituencies (minorities, the young) to vote. A key battle this November will be the Secretary of State’s race in New Mexico. It’s a doozy, with a truly scary Republican candidate.

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