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September 14, 2017

On Wednesday night, after eating Chinese food with President Trump at the White House, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that they and Trump had "agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that's acceptable to both sides." White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders immediately tweeted that "excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to," getting pushback from Schumer's spokesman, who clarified that Trump "made clear he would continue pushing the wall, just not as part of this agreement."

Unlike Trump's last deal with Schumer and Pelosi, last week, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs did not celebrate this one.

He wasn't alone. Breitbart News, Fox News host Sean Hannity, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), and others expressed their displeasure on Trump's favorite medium, and it wasn't necessarily the Mexico border wall part they were angry about:

Breitbart's "Amnesty Don" headline is a special cut, reporter Maggie Haberman explains.

A large percentage of America, and even a majority of Trump voters, support DACA, even if his most ardent base does not. Still, Ann Coulter, another anti-immigration hardliner in the MAGA crowd, at least found comfort in Trump's lack of fealty to his word. Peter Weber

February 8, 2017
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If that little black screen installed a few precious inches from your face is the only thing that keeps you from losing your mind every time you buckle in for a long flight, you're in for some bad news: Last month, American Airlines announced it won't be installing seat-back entertainment systems on its new Boeing 737 planes — about 100 new passenger jets it plans to have in use by the end of the year.

And that might just be the beginning: "Most aviation watchers expect that the technology will become obsolete at some point in the coming years, as more people fly with their own devices," The Economist reports.

American Airlines says about 90 percent of passengers now carry their own smartphone or tablet with them on every flight. The screens cost about $3 million to install per jetliner, and the added weight from wiring and bulkier seats — which together can add as much as 600 extra pounds per plane — makes the aircraft less fuel-efficient. Instead, the airline's new fleet will include power outlets and free access to an online library of movies and shows during the flight — as long as you pay for the Wi-Fi, about $16 plus tax for the day. Kelly Gonsalves

October 9, 2016
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The graphic audio clip of Donald Trump released Friday is not the only recording of the GOP nominee speaking in sexually explicit terms. Archival audio from Trump's many appearances as a guest of shock jock Howard Stern hear the candidate discussing, among other topics, his daughter Ivanka's body, whether to have sex with women during their menstrual cycles, and threesomes.

In one exchange about Ivanka, Stern suggests she "looks more voluptuous than ever," and inquires whether she has had breast implants. "She's actually always been very voluptuous," Trump replies. "She's tall, she's almost 6 feet tall and she's been, she's an amazing beauty." The conversation ends with Stern asking Trump if he can call his daughter "a piece of ass," and Trump gives his approval.

Meanwhile, on Saturday afternoon, Bill Pruitt, formerly of Trump's Apprentice reality show, posted a tweet alleging there are "far worse" comments from Trump in the show's private archives.

The Apprentice tapes are owned by another producer — not NBC — who can choose whether or not to release them. Bonnie Kristian

July 26, 2015
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The Emmy-nominated Comedy Central sketch comedy show Key & Peele will end after the current season, Keegan-Michael Key told The Wrap in a story published Saturday. He said the decision to stop after five seasons was his and his co-star Jordan Peele's, not Comedy Central's.

"It was just time for us to explore other things, together and apart," Key said of himself and Peele. "I compare it to Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. We might make a movie and then do our own thing for three years and then come back and do another movie."

No word yet on how President Obama will fare without his anger translator. Julie Kliegman

June 30, 2015
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After 10 years of marriage, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are calling it quits, People reports.

"After much thought and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to divorce," the pair told People in a joint statement. "We go forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting our children whose privacy we ask to be respected during this difficult time. This will be our only comment on this private, family matter. Thank you for understanding."

The couple, who have three children together, originally met on the set of 2001's Pearl Harbor, and became involved two years later when they were costars in 2003's Daredevil. They were married in 2005 and celebrated their tenth anniversary Monday. Stephanie Talmadge

June 22, 2015
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Hannibal, NBC's highly stylized horror-drama, has been canceled.

The show, which follows the renowned and devilish Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), never achieved particularly huge viewership, but it has garnered a devoted cult following and a good deal of critical praise. However, season three, which is currently airing, saw ratings plummet to series lows.

Creator Bryan Fuller left the door open for the show to get picked up on another network in his statement regarding the cancellation. "Hannibal is finishing his last course at NBC's table this summer, but a hungry cannibal can always dine again. And personally, I look forward to my next meal with NBC," he said. Stephanie Talmadge

November 17, 2014
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Start hoarding those Hershey's Kisses and stockpile your Snickers: The world could soon experience a chocolate shortage.

Mars Inc. and Barry Callebaut, two of the world's largest chocolate makers, say that's the path we're headed down. They cite a perfect storm of factors: Less cocoa is being produced as more and more people are devouring chocolate.

In 2013, consumers ate about 70,000 metric tons more cocoa than was produced, The Washington Post reports, and that deficit could go up to 1 million metric tons by 2020. The Ivory Coast and Ghana produce more than 70 percent of the world's cacao beans, and both countries are experiencing dry weather that limits growth. To make things worse, a fungal disease called frosty pod has destroyed 30 to 40 percent of global cocoa production.

The world's appetite for chocolate isn't going away, and some countries, like China, are starting to consume more and more of the sweet treat. Dark chocolate is also rising in popularity, and that takes much more cocoa to create. Although researchers are trying to create trees that can produce more cacao beans than traditional trees, there's one catch: Chocolate made through this process loses its delicious taste. The only solution is to buy in bulk now and hide your stash where no one can find it. Catherine Garcia

April 2, 2014

It's a common conservative lament: When a Republican gets in trouble, his party affiliation is shouted from the rooftops; when a Democrat becomes embroiled in scandal, however, partisan status becomes less noteworthy.

These media bias tropes are always with us. But are they true? Based on recent examples, I'm starting to wonder. Take for example, a March 26 AP story, titled: Big city mayors caught up in recent scandals. The report chronicles the crimes, alleged crimes, and various sins of former mayors Ray Nagin (New Orleans), Tony Mack (Trenton), Bob Filner (San Diego), Kwame Kilpatrick (Detroit), and Larry Langford (Birmingham).

Aside from being "big city mayors caught up in recent scandals," these men all happen to be Democrats — not that you would know it from reading the AP's story.

... But hey — at least these stories got media attention, right? That's not always the case. Take for example, Glenn Harlan Reynolds' account of a recent story the media should have found utterly irresistible about a California Democrat:

California State senator (and, until last week, candidate for secretary of state) Leland Yee was well-known as an anti-gun activist. Then, last week, he was indicted for, yes, conspiring to smuggle guns and rocket launchers between mobsters and terrorists in exchange for massive bribes. [Bold mine.]

Covering this story should have been a no-brainer for a cable news network, right? According to Reynolds, however: "CNN, home (also until last week) of Piers Morgan, whom Yee had praised for his anti-gun activism, didn't report the story at all."

In this case, Reynolds might be a tad too rough on them. I mean, they only have 24 hours to cover the news, and Flight 370 is still missing. Matt K. Lewis

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