2016 Watch
March 14, 2014
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It used to be that Democrats would view Fox News with a mixture of disdain and awe. Disdain for the channel's casual relationship with the facts, and its GOP-line-toeing under the motto "Fair and Balanced"; awe at its megaphonic ability to spread its feverish narrative to a huge audience that is deathly serious about politics and shows up at the polls.

But in the last election it became apparent that Fox News may be doing the Republican Party more harm than good, casting the entire party as insular, intolerant, and more than a little crazy. At least that is one of the themes of The Loudest Voice in the Room, Gabriel Sherman's book about Fox head Roger Ailes, which was reviewed by Steve Coll in the latest issue of The New York Review of Books. As Coll writes:

Here lies the problem in the alliance between Fox News and the Republican Party that Ailes has constructed. Fox owes its degree of profitability in part to its most passionate, even extremist, audience segment. To win national elections, the Grand Old Party, on the other hand, must win over moderate, racially diverse, and independent voters. By their very diversity and middling views, swing voters are not easy to target on television. The sort of news-talk programming most likely to attract a broad and moderate audience — hard news, weather news, crime news, sports, and perhaps a smattering of left–right debate formats — is essentially the CNN formula, which Fox has already rejected triumphantly. [New York Review of Books]

It's common for people to describe Fox News as being an arm of the Republican Party. But with the 2016 race starting to take shape, and the network doubling down on its reputation as the channel of old white men, it might more accurately be described as a huge thorn in the GOP's side. Ryu Spaeth

don't mess with arthur
1:27 a.m. ET

A would-be robber in Manchester, New Hampshire, picked the wrong man to mess with over the weekend when he tried to take the wallet of a 95-year-old World War II vet, who ended up whacking the criminal repeatedly with his cane, forcing him to flee.

Arthur Kamberis was walking home after he picked up his wife's prescription from the pharmacy when a man confronted him and attempted to get his wallet out of his pocket. Kamberis said he offered him some change, but the man was adamant about getting the wallet, something Kamberis refused to hand over. "I had my credit card, my license, my grandchildren's pictures in there and all sorts of stuff it would have been wicked for me to replace," he told WMUR.

That's when Kamberis began to clobber the man with his cane. "I was very nervous," he said. "I hit him three or four times on the arm, and then, you know, what the cop told me, 'You should have hit him on the head.'" A bystander came up to help and the wannabe robber ran off, but police say they were able to get a picture of him from a surveillance camera, and they are actively searching for him. The incident took place just a block away from a police station, and Kamberis said he thinks if he had his cell phone with him that day to call 911, "we could have nailed that guy." Catherine Garcia

Watch this
1:14 a.m. ET

The joke is pretty obvious from the beginning: Seth Meyers is doing a terrible bit called "Seth the Snoop," where he digs through packages purportedly left in a 30 Rockefeller mail graveyard, and Jack Black gets all outlaw-country on him with a song ridiculing the skit. It's still funny, and if we're trying to be high-minded, a nice meta-commentary on some of the more tired conventions of late-night comedy. Maybe let's stick with "funny." You can watch below. —Peter Weber

music brings us together
12:42 a.m. ET
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The secret's out: Prince will play a surprise concert in Baltimore on Sunday, with proceeds from the event going to youth charities based in the city.

The "Rally 4 Peace" concert will take place at Royal Farms Arena, and tickets will go on sale Wednesday at 5 p.m. Other major artists are set to join Prince and his band 3RDEYEGIRL, and it's expected he will debut the protest song he wrote last week, entitled "Baltimore." In a statement, organizers said they hope the concert will be a "catalyst for pause and reflection following the outpouring of violence that has gripped Baltimore and areas throughout the U.S.," and asked attendees to "wear something gray in tribute to all those recently lost in the violence." Catherine Garcia

last night on late night
12:30 a.m. ET

David Letterman, for some reason, decided to pay Reese Witherspoon a compliment by showing a picture of her and her 15-year-old daughter on Tuesday's Late Show. "Actually, coincidentally, she was born the first year I was on this show," Witherspoon said. Letterman immediately started clearing his throat and pulling a face, but it took a few moments for Witherspoon to get the implication. Finally, after Letterman deadpanned, "Well, that's an interesting coincidence," she said "no" a lot of times, adding: "I was having a blonde moment. I have a lot of them lately." Well, that or Letterman and his band members have dirty minds. Watch. —Peter Weber

Germanwings Crash
12:11 a.m. ET
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The co-pilot suspected of purposely crashing his Germanwings plane into the French Alps March 24, killing everyone on board, practiced a controlled descent on a flight earlier that day, the German newspaper Bild reports.

Sources close to France's BEA crash investigation agency told the paper that on Wednesday, BEA plans to publish an interim report that states the incident lasted a few minutes during a flight from Dusseldorf to Barcelona. The source said there was "no aeronautical justification" for this action, Reuters reports. Catherine Garcia

Finally
May 5, 2015

It took 56 years for the law to finally catch up with Frank Freshwaters.

In 1957, Freshwaters was convicted of manslaughter for killing a pedestrian with a vehicle, and he was given a sentence of 1 to 20 years in prison. He violated his probation by obtaining a driver's license and was sent to prison, but he didn't stay long; in 1959, Freshwaters simply walked away from the Ohio prison farm where he was incarcerated. In 1975, he was arrested in West Virginia, but the governor would not extradite him, so he fled again.

U.S. Marshals from Ohio tracked him down to Florida, and with assistance from local deputies, came up with a ruse so he would sign papers. After matching the fingerprints with an old sample from Freshwaters, he was taken into custody at his home. "We couldn't go with a picture and see if it's that guy," Maj. Tod Goodyear told The Associated Press. "You look different than you do 50 years ago." Goodyear said that Freshwaters was a retired truck driver who lived off of Social Security benefits in a remote trailer. "It's a nice place to kind of hang out by yourself if you don't want people to know you're there," he added. The Brevard County Sheriff's Office said that Freshwaters was booked under the name Harold F. Freshwater, and he is being held without bond. Catherine Garcia

This week in Washington
May 5, 2015
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On Tuesday, the Senate passed a GOP-backed joint budget resolution, the first approved in five years.

Republicans say that the Senate Appropriations Committee will now start to draft spending bills cutting $496 billion in non-defense spending over the next 10 years, The Washington Post reports. The budget framework complies with domestic spending caps included in the 2011 Budget Control Act, commonly referred to as the sequester, and also uses almost $40 billion in off-budget funds to increase defense spending to more than $563 billion.

No Democrats voted for the resolution, and they said they would block cuts to medical research, housing programs for low-income workers, food stamps, and federal Pell Grants. "We're not going to sign on to a bill that goes to the sequester levels," Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) said. "There is no reason for us to support these funding levels on the domestic side." Catherine Garcia

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