So, The Mueller Report (or, lack thereof). If you’re as sick of hearing about it as I am right now, I apologize, and I promise I am only going to talk about it for a minute here. You can scroll down to non-political news if you just can’t right now, I am the last person who would blame you.
Back when Donald Trump was elected President, you might remember I was ALARMED and ANGRY and WORRIED and ranted about it here a lot. A whole lot. And if you’re friends with me on social media, you know FoolishWatcher wasn’t the only space where I was venting these feelings. But then Robert Mueller was appointed as a special counsel to look into whether or not the President of the United States conspired with a foreign nation — an adversary — to fuck with our election, and I took a deep breath. I didn’t expect Mueller to save us as a nation from a president I disagreed with, but I was relieved that someone was tasked with investigating the truth about what happened and this dangerous person who currently occupies the Oval Office. I remained angry and outraged, as I am sure you remember from many of my posts here, by all sorts of things the administration continued to do, but I also felt a bit of relief that someone was doing something, and that there were grownups in the room who would get to the bottom of President Comrade’s shady as fuck relationship with the Russians.
Fast forward to last week.
For most of March, the cable news networks were insisting that the Mueller investigation was concluding — but I didn’t really believe it because there were so many loose ends that had not been addressed, so many people who hadn’t been indicted, the grand jury hadn’t met since right before Roger Stone was arrested, and it seemed premature to be declaring it over. But then on Friday, sure enough, it was. And then on Sunday, Attorney General William Barr delivered a letter with his interpretation of Mueller’s report in which he only partially quoted the report four times. The letter declared that Mueller found there was no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. As to the question whether or not Trump obstructed justice, according to Barr, Mueller gave big ol’ shruggie emoji, writing that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” So instead of handing over the report to Congress to allow them to decide whether or not Trump obstructed justice in the way that counsels in both Nixon and Clinton’s cases did, Barr made the choice himself and declared that Trump, in fact, had not obstructed justice. So: no collusion; no obstruction. At least according to William Barr’s interpretation of Robert Mueller’s extensive report. That no one has seen. There is no timetable for Barr to release the full report to Congress or the public so that we can see all of this exonerating evidence for ourselves.
Now look. I am struggling against the impulse to embrace conspiracy theories, but I have to say this whole Barr letter stinks to high heaven to me. It sure feels like Barr, who was only sworn in as Attorney General in January after writing an unsolicited memo about how Trump shouldn’t even be investigated for obstruction, did exactly what he was brought in to do: end the investigation prematurely and exonerate Trump. But I am trying to resist those dark thoughts because until we see the Mueller Report, we will never truly know.
Of course, this didn’t stop President Obstructor and his minions from spiking the football at Sunday’s news, celebrating a “TOTAL EXONERATION” (when there was no such thing) and turning their attacks towards the media, which is where this story becomes relevant to this blog.
Yesterday, the Trump 2020 Campaign sent the following memo to TV Producers, basically demanding that they not book certain politicians and media figures, and insisting that if they do book them, that they ask certain questions.
IT. IS. SOME. BULLSHIT.
And, honestly, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the campaign would have such dangerous anti-First Amendment impulses when the head of the campaign is screaming, again, about the media being the “Enemy of the People” and that they are “scorned all over the world as being corrupt and FAKE.”:
Oh, and here’s Sarah Huckabee Sanders essentially calling for their political enemies to be put to death:
And I am sure you are as tired of me setting my hair on fire about how dangerous it is for the most powerful man in the world to be calling the free press the “enemy of the people,” and how it emboldens unhinged people to do dangerous things as I am of having to repeat it. But the other day my fourteen-year-old, in the wake of some other crazy news that broke (maybe it was about Trump lifting the sanctions on North Korea? or maybe it was the Ivanka and Jared story about their security clearances that I can barely remember? who even knows), sighed that we really are living in weird times, and I was reminded that we can not forget that this is not normal. No matter how many times this firestarter wants to make it seem like calling the Fourth Estate the enemy of the people is normal, or make it feel like his declaring his political enemies are treasonous should be acceptable, we must continue to recognize that it is not. We might be exhausted or even numb two years into this Hellish funhouse mirror of an administration, but we must never accept that this is normal, because it is not normal and it must never become normal.
In Other TV News
In yet ANOTHER twist in the Jussie Smollett story, all the charges have been dropped against him. WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL IS GOING ON?
Apple announcing its streaming service was the big TV news yesterday, and here’s what we learned: It’s going to be called AppleTV+; it will launch in the fall; and a bunch of other streaming services will be offered in a bundle (but not Netflix). We have no idea how much it will cost.
Though few details were revealed yesterday, io9 does a nice job of rounding up all the genre shows AppleTV+ will offer, including Amazing Stories and See. Here are details on Apple TV’s previously untitled series, including Truth Be Told; Home Before Dark; Mythic Quest and Servant. Oprah also mentioned a couple of projects she is working on with Apple.
Interesting: Maisie Williams suggests that Game of Thrones‘ season one is the season that most informs the final season. Of course, we don’t know if that’s just for Arya or for all of the characters, but there you go. Go binge season one.
“After reading the scripts I went back and watched season one again because so much of it refers back to that season,” Williams said. “There are so many scenes that will look similar. And also I watched just to remind myself of the arc I’ve taken already. I wanted Arya to go full circle and try for some kind of normalcy like when she was younger.”
I obviously don’t know anything about what will happen next season, but one thing I know for sure is that Arya isn’t going to have any normalcy.
“This year it’s like she has a dual personality — there are so many emotions and memories that come flooding back when you’re with your family and the things that you fight for become very different, yet she’s also remaining on this path to try and kill Cersei and remembering her list and getting closer to that. So there’s this split with Arya between trying to be who she wants to be — getting back to the naïveté and innocence with her family — and unfinished business.”
Oh, and Arya thinks that Jon is thinking with his dick and will call him out for it:
“It’s not often you see a character siding with Sansa who’s not manipulating her,” Williams notes. “Last season it was really tough for Sansa because Jon was thinking with his penis and it kind of made Sansa look bitter. This season you see Arya teaming with Sansa and sometimes calling out Jon.”
And here we go again: Kit Harington is warning us that the ending of the series is going to be “divisive.”
The fourth throne has been found. There’s only two left, SO GET LOOKING.
As we noted yesterday, Supernatural is coming to an end next year after 15 seasons. A few reactions:
A long piece about my beloved Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph, their relationship, time on SNL and their upcoming Netflix movie, Wine Country if you’re into that kind of thing.
- 9-1-1 and The Resident have been renewed at Fox.
- Asunda is being developed as a series at HBO.
- Charmed is changing showrunners and “creative direction” in season two.
- Kate Bosworth is working on a teen docuseries? Sure.
- Netflix has bought three more French documentaries and one feature.
- Tommy Dewey will star in NBC’s Village Gazette with Amber Ruffin.
- Art Malik will star in the Hannah Simone pilot at ABC.
- Lindsay Mendez and Ruthie Ann Miles are joining the CBS pilot Courthouse.
- Anthony Chisholm, Armen Garo, and Caleb Castille have joined the cast of Wu-Tang: An American Saga on Hulu.
- Vinny Chhibber has joined Animal Kingdom at TNT.
- Birgundi Baker will recur on Station 19 on ABC.
- Marquise C. Brown is joining the cast of Strange Angel on CBS All Access.
- Betty Gilpin is joining this Damon Lindelof film, The Hunt.
Mark Your Calendars
The Twilight Zone will premiere on CBS All Access on April 1.
- Special will premiere on Netflix on April 12.
- Chambers will debut on Netflix on April 26. It’s a horror series starring Uma Thurman.
- Vida will return on Starz on May 23.
- The Disappearance of Susan Cox Powell will debut on Oxygen on May 4.
- Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party will return on VH1 on April 3.
- Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal will premiere on Lifetime on May 27; Pride & Prejudice: Atlanta will premiere on June 1; and Adriana Trigiani’s Very Valentine will premiere on June 8.
- Bargain Mansions will premiere on HGTV April 15.
- The NFL’s 100th season-opening game will air on NBC on September 5 with the Packers and Bears.
Joseph Pilato, Actor and voice actor
Michael Lynne, Producer and former New Line CEO
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills: Denise Richards gets married to someone who hopefully will not go on a crack-fuelled bender later down the road. 8 p.m., Bravo
Miracle Workers: This delightful little show which has received ZERO love from the louder TV critic voices ends its first season. I can’t recommend this series enough — you can watch it on TBS.com if you’ve missed the first 7 episodes. 9:30 p.m., TBS
What We Do in the Shadows: The original hilarious movie that the upcoming FX series is based on. Hey! That debuts tomorrow night! 5 p.m., FX
Nate Bargatze: The Tennessee Kid: If you’re unfamiliar with Nate’s comedy,👇 Netflix
- The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Keri Russell, Martha Stewart, Conan O’Brien
- The Late Late Show with James Corden: Kobe Bryant, Cara Delevingne, Tom Walker
- Jimmy Kimmel Live: David Harbour, “Science Bob” Pflugfelder, Rodrigo y Gabriela
- The Daily Show: Bobby Hall
- Watch What Happens Live: Erika Jayne, Paul Scheer
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