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CHARLIE SYKES: Fahrenheit 2022: A Spasm of Book Banning
THE SECRET POD: Masculinity Panic 🔐
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New from me: Steve King Finds the Low Road Is a Lonely Road.
Steve King wants to settle some scores. The former GOP congressman, who was defeated in 2020 after his public remarks about white supremacy cost him his committee assignments and his fundraising, has been bitterly watching from Iowa as Kevin McCarthy, the House GOP leader, jumps through hoops like an inept gymnast to defend Republican representatives who are at least as rhetorically provocative as King was.
Between Lauren Boebert, Madison Cawthorn, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, among others, McCarthy has gotten quite a workout. If King were still in Congress, it is safe to say that McCarthy would be defending him, too.
In Walking Through Fire—a quasi-memoir released last month by Oliver North’s Fidelis Publishing—King sets out to demonstrate that he is not a racist. He also wants to write his political epitaph, which he rightly is worried the media will do for him.
Sorry, Congressman, you don’t have that option: You can choose your headstone, but you can’t choose your headline.
By making so many endorsements, Donald Trump is turning himself into a factional leader rather a leader of his party; Plus: Why do both parties pursue losing strategies? The American Enterprise Institute’s Yuval Levin joins Charlie Sykes on today’s podcast.
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JVL: Musk Twitter: Same Toilet, Different Plunger.
Twitter can, occasionally, be a force for good. People can use it to raise money for good causes. Sometimes friendships are made on the platform. Twitter has made war reporting from Ukraine faster and expanded our scope of knowledge of what has been happening on the ground there in some ways.
Everything in life is a cost-benefit analysis. And against those benefits, the distinguishing feature of Twitter—as opposed to, say, an RSS news feed—is that it beams the stupidest and most hateful comments from the worst people in the world directly onto your retinas.
Why would you do that? Why would you volunteer to be an ad-watching, revenue generator for a service that does this? Maybe, if Twitter were paying you $1,000 a year to have a-holes say mean things to your face, it might be worth it. But every time you use the platform, you are paying Twitter. You reward the company with your engagement, which it then monetizes.
Also, every time you use Twitter you are playing Russian roulette with your career. I do not believe that “cancel culture” is a large-scale threat to American society. But it is simultaneously true that:
1) People have lost their jobs after becoming the object of unfair Twitter mobs.
2) Twitter mobs can’t hurt bad actors—they only punish innocents or people who make one-off mistakes. Justine Sacco had her life ruined by Twitter. A guy like Mike Cernovich will never pay any sort of price for saying vile things on Twitter.
Happy Tuesday from windy Virginia… My plans for a Perini Ranch Steakhouse dinner were thrown in a bit of a loop due to the wind, so the steak cooking will have to go indoors on the cast iron. You can buy it here and get some free recipes here. Honestly, it’s one of the best cookbooks I own, but that’s probably because I am picky. (Read about the crazy local paper in Buffalo Gap, where the ranch is, that I wrote about last year.)
The Mar-a-Lago machine. The Trump operation, run out of the Florida club, he has a faux oval office and a war chest twice the size of the RNC.
Congrats, Jared! On winning the Pride of Jersey Award, Mercenary Edition.
It’s like Trump is trying to lose the Republicans elections! Thanks, I guess?
Seven goals in one period. The Blues lit up the Preds, but the last goal has to be the most disheartening one I’ve seen in a while.
Flechettes being used in Ukraine… Thankfully nobody was hurt by this one, it seems, but innocents may die due to their indiscriminate ability to kill.
Breaking news… Bill O’Reilly is still a hot head. (And yes, he is that freakishly tall in real life.)
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