Slate Plus

Wow, This Very Unconventional Week

The Slate Plus Digest for July 22.

Balloons and confetti are seen at the end of the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
Balloons and confetti are seen at the Republican National Convention on Thursday in Cleveland.

Photo illustration by Slate. Images by John Moore/Getty Images and Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Hi there! Gabe Roth is your usual host in this primetime newsletter slot, but he Kasich’d the entire week, refusing even to Rubio-cast it in, leaving me, Jeff, a lesser Slate Plus name, to provide testimony of Slate’s unconventional week.

From Slate

Before Gabe disappeared, he and Chris Kirk and Ian Prasad Philbrick cataloged 141 ways that Trump has disqualified himself from the presidency. This is their way of saying, “Don’t give Trump a volume discount for being a prolific offender.” If Trump rolls into next week with a post-convention polling bump, we should remember and revisit this stark bit of antidotal accounting. I also enjoyed the way this feature let me explore how Slate’s conservative and liberal readers differed in ranking Trump’s transgressions.


Have you read about Trump’s weird Russia thing? Frank Foer has been all over that, even declaring Putin “The Real Winner of the RNC.”

Slate sent more reporters to Cleveland than it’s sent to any previous convention, and they killed it—you should have seen the proud email our editor-in-chief Julia Turner sent around the office this morning. Your support helps make coverage like this happen, so thank you! Read all of the amazing dispatches from Jamelle, Jim, Michelle, Seth, Jacob, and everyone else here.

Nonconvention reading you may have neglected:

  • A remembrance of Qandeel Baloch, the Pakistani social media star killed by her brother.
  • How an expert who studies moral slogans explains the “All Lives Matter” versus “Black Lives Matter” conflict.
  • The story behind “Show me the receipts,” the catchphrase Kim Kardashian used to torch Taylor Swift’s week.


Not from Slate

Jessica Winter recommends Rebecca Traister’s brief New York interview with two women who were buying a “Hillary Sucks But Not Like Monica” T-shirt.

Mallory Ortberg recommends this Los Angeles Times profile of Jarrett Hill, the laid-off journalist who was the first to identify plagiarized lines in Melania Trump’s speech.


If you need to escape Cleveland, you could start with Rachel Aviv’s New Yorker profile of philosopher Martha Nussbaum, which former Slatester David Haglund, now of the New Yorker, calls “an instant classic.”

Or read what Isaac Chotiner called an “incredible” piece in the Guardian about an Indian policeman who killed more than 100 people.

Or try this Medium essay recommended by Felix Salmon about the sexism of expense policies.


Very Short Q-and-A

This week’s Q-and-A is addressed to Aymann Ismail, a Slate video producer and editor.

At the 00:38 mark of your amazing, quixotic dispatch from Cleveland, “What Happened When a Muslim Tried to Explain Shariah at the RNC,” a convention-goer in a tricorn wants to know how you treat “the women,” you being a Muslim and all. You answer: “I love women. I just got married last week.” It sounds like you’ve had an eventful week?


I got to spend six days with my bride before making my way to Cleveland for the RNC. I was waiting in a line for the first media event with the Slate team, and someone aggressively asked me if I was a Muslim. Tommy Craggs and Seth Stevenson captured some of that exchange on their phones, which I used at the start of the video. After that, the entire team encouraged me to document these kinds of interactions during my four days at the convention.


What did your family and wife make of your trip to Cleveland?

My family is always excited for me when I get to travel. Sometimes we make the obvious “don’t get beat up out there!” joke, but that’s just having fun. My big sister always reminds me to use my head and stay calm. That’s something I carry everywhere.

Now what?

The day the video was released I was messaged by several people who had a genuine interest in learning more about Islam. That’s the craziest thing to come out of this experience. And now I’m headed to Philly for the DNC, but I’ll be cutting that trip short for a cross-country road trip with my new wife.


Thanks Aymann! And congrats!

And as usual, thank you for your membership, which helps make our coverage possible.

—Jeff Friedrich

Correction, July 2, 2016: An earlier version of the digest misspelled Slate politics editor Tommy Craggs’ name. Sorry, Tommy!