Greg Gianforte's sentence is an outrage
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So Greg Gianforte, Montana's congressman-elect cum thug, "pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of misdemeanor assault after body-slamming a reporter from The Guardian on the eve of Gianforte's election to the U.S. House" and got a six-month deferred sentence and no jail time.
Lucky guy. If only he'd inhaled nail polish remover on a street corner in Cheyenne, Wyoming, as opposed to hurling a guy to the ground in Bozeman, Montana! He'd be in bigger trouble than merely bashing bespectacled Ben Jacobs.
For starters, "According to Whitney Bermes, a reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the judge initially gave Gianforte four days in jail, where under the terms of a jail work program he would be able to spend two of those days working." (Montana Public Radio)
"After consulting with prosecution and defense lawyers, the judge changed the initial sentence minutes later, Bermes reported: 'NO jail time for Gianforte. But has to do 40 hours of community service, 20 hours anger management.'"
Well, my perusal of the vagaries of Wyoming law came across this legal treatise that was urging a variety of reforms. Along the way, it informed:
"Wyoming law criminalizes inhaling nail polish remover and deodorant. A Peeping Tom, if prosecuted, will be a felon. It is a misdemeanor offense to ski on a snow slope posted 'closed.'"
"Charging a person a fee to use the toilet in Wyoming is a crime. If school administrators fail to conduct a fire drill once a month they are subject to a sentence in county jail for not less than three nor more than six months."
Well, it's not way much better in Montana, where it's you can get five years in prison for guiding sheep onto a railroad track with intent to injure the train; having more than one alarm clock ring simultaneously; throw something across a street; or operate a billiards hall where the pool tables aren't visible from the street. (Only in Your State)
Poor Jacobs. He'd been better off if Gianforte had led him to a hidden pool table in a billiards hall, then thrown him to the ground. Then the congressman-elect might have done some time.
J.P Morgan Chase pulls ads
J.P. Morgan Chase is apparently not happy with an upcoming Megyn Kelly interview with right-wing provocateur Alex Jones for her new NBC News show. Her first effort, an interview with Vladimir Putin, was not a creative success but got lots of attention, as would this for sure. (The Wall Street Journal)
The financial firm should not be associated with the term "moral indignation" but is yanking NBC News ads until after the show airs Sunday. NBC defends the news value of the show in what's a smidgen short of a surprise. (CNN)
Facebook to hawk print subs
"Facebook Inc. may soon help its users do something unfamiliar on the platform: pay for news." (The Wall Street Journal)
"I think this is like a chicken soup thing," Alan Mutter, a newspaper industry analyst and journalism teacher at the University of California, told Poynter about the deal Monday. "It couldn't hurt, but it's not going to be a transformational business model for publishers to sell subscriptions through Facebook."
Detroit Free-Press columnist Mitch Albom and wife just endured one of life's seemingly unbearable losses: the death of a child whom they adopted from a Haitian orphanage while knowing she had an incurable cancer.
That razor-thin line between the greatest joy and heartbreak are found in this epic personal saga of a childless couple that's invested great energy and passion in Haiti — and a wonderful 7-year-old girl whom they brought back home. If you read one story today, this is it. And make sure to hug your own kids, if they're around, or give them a call if they're not.
General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt got rich through poor performance, a point noted as his retirement was disclosed. In particular, there was the godawful state of the company's stock during his tenure, all the more reason folks at NBC and MSNBC should knock on wood that Comcast bought them from GE.
All in the family
First, PBS host Judy Woodruff got Trump chum Chris Ruddy to say that, yes, Trump has mulled canning special counsel Robert Mueller. Then, her spouse Al Hunt columnized on the revelation, and its obvious Watergate-era resonance, for Bloomberg.
Art and politics
The Tony Awards did not allude to the controversy over a new New York production of "Julius Caesar" inspired by Trump. But the hubbub, and a smart look at clashing artistic critiques, are found in a New York Times opus that notes:
"But the production is also explicit and graphic, featuring a blond, Trump-like Caesar in a red tie, whose bloody stabbing is seen as offensive and inappropriate to some who have seen it. They, along with Breitbart News and Fox News, have driven a campaign on social media against the Public that has prompted two corporate sponsors — Delta Air Lines and Bank of America — to withdraw their support of the production, and a third, American Express, to distance itself."
Dwindling access to abortion
HBO's "Vice News Tonight" did a solid job last night on how only a single abortion clinic remains in the states of Missouri, Kentucky, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, West Virginia and Mississippi. And it previewed today's Democratic gubernatorial primaries in Virginia, with the question whether mainstream candidates will be upended by pro-Sanders forces on one side, pro-Trump ones on the other.
A headline of the day
"The latest trend I loathe in restaurants: No space between tables" (The Washington Post)
Earth to Jeff Sessions
Approving the proposed sale of the money-losing Chicago Sun-Times to Tronc, owner the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, shouldn't be hard, especially given pre-existing Sun-Times/Tribune dealings.
But, as noted here yesterday, the Justice Department antitrust division wants more time to pursue a late offer from another group. On Monday Sun-Times Editor-Publisher Jim Kirk told staff:
"We are working through the due diligence phase of the process with interested parties. That work will continue through this week. We have agreed with the Department of Justice that bids for the company would be due at the end of business on Monday, June 19."
But perhaps Sessions can take time off from losing immigration appeals to fish or cut bait on this melancholy, even easier matter.
Best video of the day
It's got to be Danny DeVito demonstrating how he peels and eats a rough egg while saying his lines during the Broadway production of Arthur Miller's "The Price."
Lying about a liar
No, that was a fake Time magazine cover making the rounds of the internet with a "Liar in Chief headline" over Trump's picture.
Well, there's this unrelated good news for Time's parent: "Time Warner cable actually made itself less awful — now it’s called Spectrum, and customers suddenly love it. What happened?" (Bloomberg)
Wagering on changing sports habits
Tom Rogers, former boss of Tivo, now heads WinView, which is an app that would let you answer questions and compete for cash prizes as you watch live sports events. Such interactions, which are not called gambling, are well-known in Europe, with mobile devices synced to TVs and significant revenues generated by an advertising-backed business model.
This is direct competition to sports gaming sites like DraftKings, has accumulated a lot of early investment and the support of Major League Baseball. Rogers explained all yesterday on CNBC before briefly interrupted by the live look-in at the start of Trump's cabinet meeting.
Sports journalism at its finest (not)
Amid the disclosure that Oregon State Beavers pitcher Luke Heimlich, considered the best pitcher on the best college team, sexually abused a young family member in Washington as a teenager, "some news outlets are trying to find appropriate ways to cover the story." (Oregonian)
"Sports news website Deadspin has obtained an internal memo from the Pac-12 Networks instructing employees and on-air personalities not to discuss anything regarding Heimlich. The memo even goes as far as suggesting ways to avoid the discussion."
"Under the header 'Your messaging and positioning:' the first line instructs reporters, 'Do not engage in the discussion.'"
The New Yorker's Michael Schulman is funny on how Kevin Spacey, a last-minute pick to host the Tony Awards, ran amok creatively.
"It was like being at a workshop of his multi-character solo show: there were uncomfortable jokes about being 'in the closet,' endless references to his movie credits, and even a Bobby Darin song to close out the evening. When the announcer introduced Jill Biden, to talk about a veterans’ initiative with the musical 'Bandstand,' you may have been relieved to discover that it was actually her, not Spacey in a wig."
The morning babble
Fox's "Trump & Friends" (a better name) beat up on Obama-era Attorney General Loretta Lynch in its alternate universe (no initial mention of perhaps booting Robert Mueller), heralded Ivanka Trump heading to Wisconsin with weenie Speaker Paul Ryan on the topic of jobs, while wondering if Attorney General Jeff Sessions will invoke the Fifth Amendment during testimony today (we get exclusive post-Badger State interview with Ivanka tomorrow!). Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg mulled Democrats' working class challenges, while the show beat up on that "Julius Caesar" production.
Amid a fair bit of unproductive cross talk among pundits, CNN's "New Day" did touch upon Mueller dismissal rumors before moving to Sessions in the Senate dock, with New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman suggesting little will surface about Sessions' contacts with the Russian ambassador. New pundit Chris Cillizza, whose energy can override his insight, contends that Sessions' loyalty to Trump will be manifested in what will not be "Comey II."
MSNBC's "Morning Joe" devoted itself to the same themes as the others, notably Sessions, but did a drive-by of legislative substance, like a healthcare bill. It evinced a sense that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will strain to push forward a bill different than the House's version in coming weeks.
Obama's big memoir
With thanks to Publisher's Weekly:
"Saying the finished work would become the 'definitive take' on his time in the White House, Barack Obama reportedly submitted a collection of pages from his presidential graphic novel, 'Barack Obama: Renegade,' to publisher Image Comics on Thursday."
Well, it may wind up in Publisher's Weekly. For now, it's in The Onion.
Correction: An earlier version of this story erroneously said that Greg Gianforte was the congressman from Wyoming. He is from Montana.