Look — it’s a weird week. It’s premiere week for the networks, and as such, there is not much “news” out there as no one wants to put out anything interesting, lest it drown out publicity for the premieres of new and returning shows. So, instead of TV junk, I’m going to lead off with some more not-TV news: the ongoing whistleblower drama that is taking down the Trump presidency. (HOPEFULLY.)
SO. After the transcript (“transcript”)* of the call was released yesterday — and it was H’OH BOY REALLY GOOD — the whistleblower report was shown to members of Congress in a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) and they came out looking pretty ashen, but unable to discuss it.
But then this morning, the Truth Fairy paid us all a visit and the whistleblower report was declassified and released to all of us. And y’all, it is so delicious. Go read it for yourself, it’s only nine pages long and worth 5 minutes of your time.
But let’s go through it together because NOM NOM NOM, THIS TASTES SO GOOOOOOD.
Paragraph Number Fucking One:
In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election. This interference includes, among other things, pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the President’s main domestic political rivals. The President’s personal lawyer, Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, is a central figure in this effort. Attorney General Barr appears to be involved as well.
The next part of the report talks about the phone call we discussed yesterday, but then there’s this gem in the report:
White House officials told me that they were “directed” by WhiteHouse lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which such transcripts are typically stored for coordination, finalization, and distribution to Cabinet-level officials.
Instead, the transcript was loaded into a separate electronic system that is otherwise used to store and handle classified information of an especially sensitive nature. One White House official described this act as an abuse of this electronic system because the call did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective.
Oh, so we’re hiding shit now? That is some consciousness of guilt, motherfuckers. Also, how drunk on Chardonnay is Hillary Clinton RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND?
So then, there’s a whole long timeline detailing New York City gargoyle Rudy Giuliani’s attempts to squeeze the Ukrainians. (And by the way, there is an interesting side story about how this whole meshugaas began because Giuliani and Trump were looking for some way to justify a pardon for Paul Manafort, and so they started in Ukraine where Manafort had done a bunch of work before coming to the Trump campaign. It’s fascinating and it ties the whole thing back to the Russia collusion story, BUT I CAN’T GO DOWN THAT PARTICULAR RABBIT HOLE. Just know, Manafort knows more than he said and Giuliani and Trump were clearly interested in keeping him quiet.)
This part leads to this alarming note:
During this same timeframe, multiple U.S. officials told me that the Ukrainian leadership was led to believe that a meeting or phone call between the President and President Zelenskyy would depend on whether Zelenskyy showed willingness to “play ball” on the issues that had been publicly aired by Mr. Lutsenko and Mr. Giuliani.
Oh! And the report includes this little nugget, which I forgot to mention in yesterday’s roundup: “On 13 June, the President told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he would accept damaging information on his political rivals from a foreign government.” YEP. HE SURE DID.
Finally a few other items in this report that should make every American FREAK THE FUCK OUT:
I learned from U.S. officials that, on or around 14 May, the President instructed Vice President Pence to cancel his planned travel to Ukraine to attend President Zelenskyy’ s inauguration on 20 May; Secretary of Energy Rick Perry led the delegation instead. According to these officials, it was also “made clear” to them that the President did not want to meet with Mr. Zelenskyy until he saw how Zelenskyy “chose to act” in office.
SO, WAIT, PENCE IS GETTING DRAGGED INTO THIS, TOO? Oh shit, Nancy Pelosi is gonna be President, isn’t she?
According to multiple White House officials I spoke with, the transcript of the President’s call with President Zelenskyy was placed into a computer system managed directly by the National Security Council (NSC) Directorate for Intelligence Programs. This is a standalone computer system reserved for codeword-level intelligence information, such as covert action. According to information I received from White House officials, some officials voiced concerns internally that this would be an abuse of the system and was not consistent with the responsibilities of the Directorate for Intelligence Programs. According to White House officials I spoke with, this was “not the first time” under this Administration that a Presidential transcript was placed into this codeword-level system solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive-rather than national security sensitive-information.
“‘Not the first time’ under this Administration that a Presidential transcript was placed into this codeword-level system solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive-rather than national security sensitive-information.” HOLY SHEEEEEEIT. WHAT ELSE ARE THEY HIDING? THIS IS SOME WATERGATE-LEVEL SHENANIGANS, Y’ALL! To quote Andy Cohen, “IT’S TIME TO OPEN THE VAULT!”
OK, so to make this sorta about TV, the acting DNI, Joseph Maguire, the man who made the decision to not release the whistleblower report but instead, took the report first to the White House and then to the Department of Justice — you know, to the people this whistleblower report WAS ABOUT — testified to the Intelligence Committee this morning on the teevees. It was basically a Cover Your Ass session, Maguire claiming that he was just trying to make sure he did the right thing procedurally. Then the Democrats yelled at him for not handing the report over to them, while the Republicans tried to spin some Deep State conspiracy bullshit or claimed that this testimony shouldn’t be public in the first place or twiddled their thumbs and stared off into space because Jesus Christ, this is bad for them.
Oh! and a point that I forgot to include yesterday: Rudy Giuliani, the center of this bullshit hurricane, he has been going on Fox News making all of this SO. MUCH. WORSE. He’s claimed that the State Department directed him to pressure the Ukrainians, and went on Laura Ingraham’s show to wave his phone around saying that he has the emails proving it RIGHT HERE.
Rudy Giuliani: "I never talked to a Ukrainian official until the state department called me and asked me to do it" pic.twitter.com/kvPIbPTApQ
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) September 25, 2019
Mike Pompeo right now:
Time to subpoena that phone, Adam Schiff. (You’re gonna want to rub some
And then there is this hilarious moment in which Rudy becomes completely unhinged:
Rudy Giuliani attacks Fox guest: "I should sue you for libel… Shut up moron! Shut up! Shut up! You don't know what you're talking about, idiot!" pic.twitter.com/zeXMzGMjDI
— Contemptor (@TheContemptor) September 25, 2019
Oh, Rudy. You deserve everything headed your way, buddy.
But before we leave this topic, going back to the “transcript” — we know what was released yesterday wasn’t the actual verbatim transcript. Apparently, the actual conversation lasted some 30 minutes and what we saw yesterday was not 30 minutes of conversation. So if you’ll allow me to adjust my tinfoil hat for a moment, if this is the transcript (“transcript”) that the White House thought was safe to release JUST THINK WHAT MUST BE ON THE REAL TRANSCRIPT. Gimme. GIMME.
Alright, a few TV things
Michael Ausiello has some teases about pretty much every TV series you can think of that is returning this fall.
Hey, classic Twilight Zone fans: to celebrate the series’ 60th anniversary, six classic episodes will play in theaters on November 14. The episodes that will be included are: “Walking Distance,” “Time Enough at Last,” “The Invaders,” “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street,” “Eye of the Beholder,” and “To Serve Man.”
This is just a great collection of unlicensed Halloween costumes. “Supportive Burger Wife,” and “Unusual Events” are the best TV knock-offs, but “Juice Demon,” is pretty hilarious, too.
For those of you who have watched the delightfully upsetting horror series, Marianne, on Netflix, this is a fun look into the demonology at the heart of the mythology of the series. This piece has spoilers! Be careful!
- In Contempt has been canceled at BET after one season.
- The Talented Mr. Ripley is being turned into a series at Showtime and it will star Andrew Scott — The Hot Priest from Fleabag.
- A thirtysomething sequel is in the works.
- Fox is working on a DEA drama.
- Queens, a police drama, has been bought by CBS.
- Last Summer, a drama, is being developed at Freeform.
- Ghost Rider is not going forward at Hulu.
- Food Network Kitchen, a project teaming up Amazon’s Alexa and the Food Network, is coming. It will cost $6.99 a month.
- John Stamos and Graham Phillips are joining The Little Mermaid Live! on ABC.
- Ken Marino will return to The Babysitter on Netflix.
- Guillermo Diaz has been cast in the ABC series United We Fall.
- Molly Gordon, Rob Morgan, Spencer Garrett, Kirk Bovill, Delante Desouza are joining HBO’s Lakers series.
- David Corenswet will star in Hollywood at Netflix.
- Justice Smith, Michael Johnson, Chloe East, Uly Schlesinger, Nava Mau, Haley Sanchez, Nathanya Alexander, Lukita Maxwell, and Chase Sui Wonders have been cast in the HBO Max series Generation.
Mark Your Calendars
- Saturday Night Live returns this Saturday.
- The Real Housewives of New Jersey returns on Bravo on November 7.
- Rhythm + Flow debuts on Netflix on October 9.
Jo-Jo Anderson, Talent, marketing and television development executive for many musicians
Grey’s Anatomy: Meredith, Richard, and Alex are fired from Grey’s Sloan. Season premiere. 7 p.m., ABC
Superstore: The crew meets a robot co-worker who might replace them. Season premiere. 7 p.m., NBC
Young Sheldon: Mary worries for Sheldon’s mental health after Dr. Sturgis has a nervous breakdown. Season premiere. 7 p.m.., CBS
Perfect Harmony: A former Princeton music professor takes over a small-town church choir. Series premiere. 7:30 p.m., NBC
The Unicorn: A widower decides to start dating again. Series premiere. 7:30 p.m., CBS
The Good Place: Eleanor becomes the architect. Season premiere. 8 p.m., NBC
A Million Little Things: Delilah goes into labor. Season premiere. 8 p.m., ABC
Mom: Bonnie struggles to enjoy her honeymoon. Season premiere. 8 p.m., CBS
Carol’s Second Act: A woman decides to start a new career as a doctor. Series premiere. 8:30 p.m., CBS
Sunnyside: A former city councilman helps a group of immigrants chase the American dream. Series premiere. 8:30 p.m., NBC
Evil: A forensic psychologist is hired by the Catholic church to investigate paranormal events. Series premiere. 9 p.m., CBS
How to Get Away With Murder: Laurel and Christopher’s disappearance upsets everyone. Season premiere. 9 p.m., ABC
Law & Order: SVU: The Harvey Weinstein story gets the SVU treatment. Season premiere. 9 p.m., NBC
Creepshow: A reboot of the classic horror anthology series. Series premiere. Shudder
- Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Michael Che, Colin Jost, Robert Irwin, Pusha T
- Late Night with Seth Meyers: Woody Harrelson, Kieran Culkin, Bobby Flay
- The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Sen. Bernie Sanders, Brittany Howard
- The Late Late Show with James Corden: Sen. Kamala Harris, Mike Colter
- Jimmy Kimmel Live: Viola Davis, Christian Slater, Gary Clark Jr.
- The Daily Show: Jameela Jamil
- Conan: Al Franken
- Lights Out with David Spade: Matt Walsh, Ian Edwards, Tim Dillon
- Watch What Happens Live: Brooke Shields, Dylan McDermott
- A Little Late with Lily Singh: Jim Gaffigan, Antoni Porowski
|A Million Little Things
|How to Get Away With Murder
|Carol’s Second Act
|FOX||Thursday Night Football
|The Good Place
|Law & Order: SVU