A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.
Here We Go All Over Again
CNN announced that it will give a live, unfiltered, primetime platform to Donald Trump next week in the form of a “town hall” with New Hampshire voters.
The bullshit “town hall” format is supposed to give the patina of public service and civic virtue to what is nothing more than the usual cable news network “get” of a high-profile interview – except it’s worse, as I’ll explain in a moment. Calling it a “town hall” is just a way of packaging and promoting CNN’s convening authority as if it were the League of Women Voters or some other nonpartisan, nonprofit, do-good org.
Let’s be clear that CNN is doing this for CNN.
“The [Trump] adviser said CNN executives made a compelling pitch to Trump,” ABC reported.
CNN reached out to Trump to do this, the same way Fox News or Newsmax would.
“A person familiar with the discussions said CNN approached the Trump campaign several months ago, and talks between the two sides continued on until Monday, when the plans were locked down,” according to Politico.
But unlike a sit-down interview – which can be recorded and edited, presented in context, coupled with fact-checking and expert commentary – the live “town hall” format (unless CNN unexpectedly mixes up the usual form) enables Trump and those like him free rein to spew misinformation, falsehoods, and half-truths unhindered by any mediating journalistic considerations.
This is not new. We’ve been over all this before. Frankly, it’s a tiresome argument to have – except that news outlets keep effing it up.
One final point: If your response is news outlets have no choice but to cover Trump … [lemme take a long, slow, deep breath because we’ve been over this 1000 times, yall]: How they cover him matters. The format, the news judgment (whether the format even allows for news judgment), the context … it ALL matters.
- The announcement itself:
- A sample of the reasonably annoyed reaction:
“So what do you say to those who say you’re a rapist, terrorist fraudster,” the hard-hitting questions will go.— emptywheel (@emptywheel) May 2, 2023
Not, “what documents did you steal and why?” “what did you say to Mike Pence before you sent 10,000 of your rabid followers to assassinate him?’
- Vanity Fair: Donald Trump Tossed NBC Reporter’s Phones During Tirade Aboard Campaign Plane
- Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin will not run for president.
- Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX) is planning to announce he’ll challenge Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
- Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) will not seek re-election.
Biggest News Yesterday
The news Monday with potentially the biggest long-term consequences: The Supreme Court is going to a revisit its decision in Chevron, a critical bulwark of administrative law that is much-loathed by conservatives seeking to dismantle the “administrative state.” Undermining Chevron is a Holy Grail of the conservative movement nearly on par with overturning Roe.
A Manufactured Crisis Of Epic Proportions
The debt ceiling could be hit as early as June 1, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Monday. Among the latest developments:
- Biden invited the top four congressional leaders to a May 9 meeting at the White House, but insists he will still not negotiate over the debt limit.
- Josh Marshall: Why DC’s and Wall Street’s conventional wisdom doesn’t understand this debt limit fight
- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will take advantage of the GOP-controlled House’s recess this week to launch a messaging campaign against the House bill.
Judge Denies Trump Request For Mistrial In Carroll Case
A federal judge quickly denied Donald Trump’s request for a mistrial in E. Jean Carroll’s rape and defamation trial.
Carroll completed her testimony Monday. It had stretched over three days. Carroll is expected to call witnesses to testify beginning Tuesday, including two women who claim Carroll shared her story about allegedly being raped by Trump at the time it happened.
No Proud Boys Verdict
In a note to the judge, jurors suggested they could be deliberating into next week.
Politico: Leonard Leo used Federalist Society contact to obtain $1.6 billion donation
Zephyr Sues Montana
Montana state Rep. Zooey Zephyr (D), the state’s only transgender solon, is suing to overturn her ban from the House floor, accusing GOP lawmakers of violating the state constitution’s free speech and equal protection clauses.
Oklahoma Bans Gender-Affirming Care
The state enacted a new anti-transgender law making it a felony to provide gender-affirming care.
DeSantis Board Sues Disney
A week after Disney sued Florida, the board appointed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) that oversees Disney is suing the entertainment giant. The DeSantis board is furious that the prior board signed long-term Disney-friendly contracts to preempt the new board from retaliating against Disney at DeSantis’ behest.
Minnesota Man Charged In Mosque Arsons
The feds announced the arrest of a Minnesota man suspected of committing arson at two Minneapolis mosques in April. Back in January, the same man was allegedly involved in harassing Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), including spray painting graffiti on her district office.
Hollywood Writers Go On Strike
The Writers Guild of America voted to strike beginning last night at midnight.
Gordon Lightfoot, 1938-2023
The Canadian legend is dead at 84.
Point Of Order!
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