Virginia Heffernan · @page88 🚶 106.3K 🚶
contributing editor @WIRED / columnist @latimesopinion / DJ @realTrumpcast / tv @MSNBC / MAGIC + LOSS / ph.d. fwiw
Elizabeth Holtzman astute on @allinwithchris : When Trump won’t work with the legislature, he’s essentially resigning and should swear Pence in.
Mnuchin’s got a Louise Linton $20 in the works and that gets priority. Also she’s gonna be on the new penny and all credit cards
With his usual foresight @JasonLeopold filed a FOIA for Moby’s 1999 dating records in 2013. Just came through
The bear ate me. While Avenatti's symmetrical features did indeed blind me to his venality, @waltshaub has only once noted the physical charm of anyone: AOC ("lovely"). To add this up: Walt was charmed by the principled intellectual supernova AOC & I was by...MICHAEL AVENATTI doh
I’m didn’t really buy @RadioFreeTom ‘s Death of Expertise as relevant to our times. But watching the apparatchiks in 1986 USSR and 2019 USA defy scientists, investigative journalists, ethicists, legal scholars, FBI & prosecutors for Lenin or their party—yes. I get it.
And finally the 1m roentgen Mueller Report which—in spite of Trump’s bellowing—shows nothing but collusion & obstruction. 100s of federal prosecutors have called this an unparalleled emergency & said the president shd be indicted. But Congress still says Too soon; we got this.
: no one has seen this much political radioactivity before. But medical professionals, ethicists & federal prosecutors and the special counsel all have instruments that work. Impeach.
Secular ethicists and conservative Christians alike—everyone from @waltshaub to (once long ago) Mike Pence to dozens of former cabinet members & officials—have sounded alarms about his sanity, his judgment, his lechery, his venality, his idiocy & his soulessness.
2.5y ago a distinguished slate of neurologists, forensic psychiatrists, psychologists, & other mental-health experts urged an evaluation of Trump on grounds that he showed symptoms of florid psych disorders. DAG Rosenstein et al consider 25A removal so they can’t have disagreed.
Some proof: Remember when the “nuclear option” was a government shutdown? We blew past that to longest in history. Now we have a natl emergency, a militarized border, Doomsday Clock at 11:58p & a constitutional crisis. & still we’re dithering & “concerned.”Take your iodine, folks
Pelosimeter says 3.6 — dangerous but not catastrophic. Amashometer, Warrenometer and Tlaibometer are clicking up...slightly faster, and higher. And doubling by the minute. #democracysbonemarrow
H/t @MollyMcKew for the Chernobyl rec and this whole conceit
Lesson from “Chernobyl”: present perils are only seen to be as great as instruments can measure. Right now political radioactivity is clocking in at 3.6 roentgen bc our dossimeter only goes that high. Time for a better meter to measure the ions now chewing thru our bone marrow
@page88 I would love to send you a copy of @LifescaleU . 😊 I was lost. I found a way forward. ✌️
Volume I making a comeback
Thank you, @Mstreshinsky!
Does that @sexymichaelcohen account still exist? Because the time is now
That time the leisure class got tired of just looking like jackasses in Tom Ford & Yeezy—and tried to simulate the achievements of the tryhard middle class. My piece @WIRED on Photoshop, Veblen, shallowfakes and the college admissions scandal.
Very smart: Barr’s Rules, by @waltshaub, spells out what Trump’s latest fixer does. More than enough to make you miss the clumsier, dopier, less democracy-devastating stylings of Michael Cohen.
@a_cormier_ and @JasonLeopold were right.
Until someone like Daniel Goldhagen writes the sociology of this “obligation” so many abused men feel toward Trump, it will be among the darkest & most damaging mysteries of our time.
“What I want from a president is the rest of the world to go, ‘Don’t mess w/that guy.’ I don’t want some female that wants her agenda.” When “failing to connect with the working class” means not seducing this person, maybe the fault’s not w/Harris, Warren, Klobuchar, Gillibrand
Thinking one nominee, one as VP, and most of the rest in the cabinet.
The “heartbeat” kabuki is a flat-out abortion ban. Sorry — I’m slow realizing this.
I’ve been pregnant 4x. I just realized: each time I home-tested after a missed period, got positives & went to my OB, who heard the heartbeat in that 1st appointment — when I was 4 wks from conception. So by the time I first learned I was pregnant it wd be too late to abort.
Another A+ @davidenrich piece, feat. new whistleblower Tammy McFadden. Seems the last 3 years have been people like McFadden saying “These Trump people are bent as hell” & some Barr-like fixer saying “Nah, they’re fine. But you should be locked up.”
RT @davidmweissman: My interview with @page88. I get more in depth and personal in this interview and tell all hoping you have a better und…
Oops. Here's mine originally from @latimesopinion :
Brilliant. Thank you, @tburages. This is a public service. Get the Mueller report out in every form possible. Threads. T-shirts. Flyers. Ads. Audio. PowerPoint. VR experiences. Skywriting. BECAUSE IT'S ALL THERE.
SOS: Family harmony in danger. My dad @jamesheff39 regularly gives me criticism but today he took the paternal blowback public & published a full-on refutation of my anti-Bidenism in @VNewsUV. Maybe Twitter shd decide? Me: Dad:
Links are the same, I think...
Ran out of page views on Valley News it on LAT?
RT @davidmweissman: If you haven’t yet please check out my segment on Trumpcast with @page88.
Every year I work on the Peabody Awards show, & the work that’s honored tonight blows me away. It’s a rare & truly un-debased prize. Congratulations to the winners working in broadcast in the public interest—from @lizgarbus to @hasanminhaj to @Hannahgadsby to amazing @bingliu89.
With even Pelosi and Nadler thinking only about impeachment’s effect on Dems in 2020 I just can’t stop saying I don’t care. It’s not politics; it’s crime. If facts and law are just political poses, we as a nation have become insane.
When students & faculty at an evangelical college in Indiana reject a national-headlines commencement address by an evangelical Vice President and the state’s former governor, a tide has to be turning.
It seems like telling people seized by disinfo to question these beliefs because they're counter-adaptive—will bankrupt you, will kill you, will make sure you never have sex again—is like telling a chainsmoker than smoking is bad for them. They're on a suicide mission.
The Internet routes around damage.
Newly confused that so many delusional beliefs now are counter-adaptive. Anti-vax. Climate denial. Guns are great. Impale "invading" immigrants. Old American superstitions—"all men are created equal," "if you think it you can become it"—were energizing, life-loving, adaptive.
It's way over the line for the abortion extremists to get into paroxysms of fake fury abt zygotes right now. Consider: the heaped, caged kids at border—and Trump's bloodthirsty fantasies of impaling immigrant families on his wall. And ask yourself what "pro-life' is. My column.
My 2008 piece on internet language (contains at least one completely misunderstanding of the internet by me). Quotes NYT’s first public editor @okrent.
This is less than a third of Hillary's launch day crowd, on a similarly sunny day. Crowds aren't everything, but this is the reason so many Dems have piled into the race; they see voters interested in Biden's electability, not fired up by him.
Wait but I thought the relentless media knock on Hillary was that voters weren't "fired up" by her?
Interesting ethical problems come up. Ex: How to handle typos in internet speech? There are protocols for handling dialect in traditional reporting. You try refrain fr/mean use of [sic] & don’t drop gs or write “aiiight.” When quoting tweets, tho, do you clean them up? use [sic]?
Here’s the book (or as they say on Instagram: link in bio).
That’s fine but guys like him should stick to their plans to quit. And go back to writing about climate denial, abortion and whether ootids and zygotes have legal rights.
Bret Stephens is a truly unspeakably bad Twitter player. Like many at the NYT, he seems to panic around it. And then he projects his panic onto the platform itself and the “millennials” he sees as beating him at it.
The argument of my book (if I may) is that the internet is not life. It’s best seen as art—& specifically a massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Reporters on Twitter are actually critics. Like all game critics, they have to *play* to have anything to say about the game
The NYT kinda went for that. I also asked if we could call news performers by their character names — “Mika” and “Hannity” — rather than Ms and Mr — and that went less well.
One way I discovered this was in how to refer to people in reality shows. Do you use their honorifics — “Mr. Pratt” for Spencer on “The Hills”? As if he’s a real person and not an actor playing a more or less scripted, directed, manipulated part?
Digital non-natives often or always mistake the internet for real life. They report on Twitter as if they’re doing war reporting and observing actual events among actual people. Instead of a stagy set piece between @anarchist105 and @cutebadger157.
The first decision a writer has to make is whether he is essentially watching TV—news & fiction—when he reports on the Internet. Because I came to the internet from 80s networks as well as TV & literary criticism the Internet seemd very obviously a role-playing game to me.
When I was at the NYT I tried—sometimes successfully, sometimes not—to persuade the masthead that we needed professional standards for reporting on/writing about the internet.
Since the antiabortion crowd is talking “personhood” again, it’s well worth asking whether a Twitter account can even be described as “someone” who “writes.” And ffs for a columnist to attribute ideology & a *generation* to a random Twitter account warrants disciplinary action.
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