What Happened at Slate This Week?

The one story that trumped them all.

Photo illustration by Slate. Illustration by Charlie Powell.

Slate Plus members, hello. You are the best! Thank you so much for supporting all we do at Slate, including writing about magenta armpit hair, playing softball, and climbing through each other’s windows.

Of course, we do important stuff too. This week, we ran an eye-opening Leon Neyfakh piece about the crazed bail system that kept Sandra Bland in jail for three days. The indispensable Jamelle Bouie explained why a world in which cops command unqualified deference should make us very, very nervous. Fred Kaplan poured his usual brilliance all over the optics of Republican opposition to the Iran deal. And Alison Griswold published a fascinating, thoughtful, carefully reported opus on Handy, the home cleaning startup with its own messes to vacuum. (Ali has such an eye for the telling detail. I was particularly chilled by her description of Handy’s early office culture: flowing with beer, “Wheel of Fellatio” pinned to the board, big herds of employees unceremoniously fired in glass-walled executive suites.)

Speaking of cleanliness, you should also plunge into Lily Newman’s hilarious, high-handed, wildly incorrect essay on why baths are better than showers. And if you’ve been as mesmerized by the Gawker blowup this week as I have, rejoice: Justin Peters trekked through what the company’s been and what it might become; Gawker staff writers reflected on their time there with trademark acidity. Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan is back in the news for racist comments—take a moment and reread Amanda Hess’ excellent accounting of the Gawker-Hogan sex tape scandal for context, and another perspective on the magazine’s vision and principles.

Now I have a confession.

I cannot stop reading about the Donald.

Everything he says, does, or miraculously perceives to be an appropriate surface upon which to emblazon his name or face. Every time he insults a war hero, or announces a fellow Republican’s cellphone number, or doubles, triples, and quadruples down on his characterization of Mexicans as monstrous thieving rape-devils.

John Dickerson wrote a lovely, wry essay about how Trump lacks a trait central to the historical and philosophical meaning of the presidency: modesty. Jamelle argued that his hubris wouldn’t hurt him. Josh Voorhees has been heroically covering every step in the Trump clown-trot, from his Texas visit to his financial disclosures to his spectacular (or not) Iowa ovations to his ascent up the GOP polls. Josh also made a tremendously smart, counterintuitive case for treating Trump like a legitimate candidate.

Finally, here’s how Dickerson begins a a piece called “A Jackass in a Hailstorm:” “We interrupt the Donald Trump cavalcade to present you with a story you will not read. It’s about Ohio Gov. John Kasich and not Donald Trump. It’s not that I don’t want you to read it. I just fear that what’s true of the polls is true of readers. Trump sells, as the Washington Post’s Philip Bump points out. So this piece might suffer the same fate candidate John Kasich faces for the moment. It’s going to languish at the bottom of the rankings—Trumped.”

Slate Plus friends, thanks to my colleagues’ wise, witty coverage, I am thoroughly Trumped.

Send help.