September 17, 2018

Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and Andre Previn, has given her first real interview since her scandalous affair and subsequent marriage to Woody Allen, who had been in a long-term relationship with Farrow until Farrow discovered the affair via nude snapshots of Soon-Yi on Allen's mantle. Previn spoke with writer Daphne Merkin at New York about how she and Allen grew close, how they have stayed married for 20 years, Dylan Farrow's allegations that Allen sexually molested her, and Previn's angry and unhappy memories of life with Farrow.

"I was never interested in writing a Mommie Dearest, getting even with Mia — none of that," Previn said. "But what's happened to Woody is so upsetting, so unjust. [Mia] has taken advantage of the #MeToo movement and paraded Dylan as a victim." She and Allen — who participates in many of the interviews — sound surprised their relationship has lasted so long, Merkin writes. "That's what Mia must be the most shocked by," Previn told her. "That is so foreign to her. She probably can't get her mind around that." She insisted, though, that their relationship wasn't about getting "vengeance at Mia."

Merkin, who has written skeptically about the #MeToo movement and related topics, acknowledged that she's "been friends with Allen for over four decades" and says she "can't pretend to know what actually occurred" between him and Dylan. Seven of Farrow's children released a statement defending Farrow as a loving and caring mother and standing with Dylan Farrow, and one of the seven, Ronan Farrow, released his own statement criticizing New York for publishing Merkin's "hit job." (A second of Farrow's 10 adopted children, Moses, sided with Previn's characterization of Farrow; three of the adopted children have died.)

You can read Previn's account of her childhood and relationship with Allen at New York. Peter Weber

September 16, 2018

Former Vice President Joe Biden raised the question of his 2020 ambitions with a speech targeting the Trump administration Saturday night at the Human Rights Campaign's annual dinner in Washington.

Former President "Barack [Obama] and I agreed we would be quiet for the first year to let the new administration get up and running. God forgive me," Biden said. "This is deadly earnest. We are in a fight for America's soul."

Both Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, who also spoke, described President Trump as a "bully," and there's "nothing that makes either of us more angry than a bully," Jill Biden said. Watch a clip of her comments below. Bonnie Kristian

September 10, 2018

CBS This Morning had a lot of news to cover Monday morning, including the hurricane threatening to wreak havoc on the Carolinas and an interview with Whitewater special counsel Kenneth Starr, "but we want to begin with this important news about this network and one of the most powerful executives in the entertainment industry," Norah O'Donnell said. Les Moonves, her boss, "was forced to resign last night," hours after "reports of seven new sexual misconduct and assault allegations against Moonves. Thirteen women now accuse him of harassment or abuse."

John Dickerson added that Moonves was reportedly offered a separation package of $80 million in stock, and Jericka Duncan explained that $20 million originally part of the exit package will go to groups supporting the #MeToo movement and "any severance payments to be made to Moonves will depend upon the results of an independent investigation and a board evaluation."

Moonves denied the allegations in a statement Sunday night. Duncan ran through the awful allegations. "This is really hard," O'Donnell said after the news was reported. Moonves had always treated her "fairly and with respect," she said, and it was "really hard to comment" on her boss being the latest, and arguably the most powerful executive brought down in the #MeToo reckoning, 10 months after she had to react on-air to the ouster of cohost Charlie Rose. There's no excuse for the alleged behavior, O'Donnell said. "Women cannot achieve equality in the workplace or society until there is a reckoning and a taking of responsibility." Watch below. Peter Weber

September 3, 2018
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Longtime acquaintances of President Trump's lead defense attorney, Rudy Giuliani, say they are startled by the shift in the man, who was heralded as "America's Mayor" after 9/11 but now makes headlines primarily for his bizarre appearances on talk shows in defense of the president. "He's making arguments that don't hold up," observed one judge, John S. Martin, to The New Yorker. "I always thought of Rudy as a good lawyer, and he's not looking anything like a good lawyer today."

The New Yorker, though, makes the case that Giuliani has long shown signs that he and Trump are more akin than what might initially meet the eye — "Giuliani's combative style of politics anticipated, and perhaps served as a model for, Trump's," writes Jeffrey Toobin. "He described his approach as mayor to me as 'provocative and not politically correct.'"

For his part, Giuliani does not care what people think about his tumultuous allegiance to Trump:

The problem for Giuliani is that his loyalty may not be reciprocated. Since Trump became president, his closest advisers have been humiliated (Tillerson, Priebus), disgraced (Sean Spicer, Bannon), prosecuted (Flynn, Rick Gates), or all of the above (Manafort). At one point, I asked Giuliani whether he worried about how this chapter of his life would affect his legacy.

"I don't care about my legacy," he told me. "I'll be dead." [The New Yorker]

Read more about how Giuliani got to this point at The New Yorker. Jeva Lange

September 2, 2018

Rob Tibbetts, the father of Mollie Tibbetts, the Iowa college student whose alleged murderer is in the U.S. illegally, implored immigration hawks to stop using his daughter's death for political purposes in a moving Saturday op-ed:

At the outset, politicians and pundits used Mollie's death to promote various political agendas. We appealed to them and they graciously stopped. For that, we are grateful.

Sadly, others have ignored our request. They have instead chosen to callously distort and corrupt Mollie's tragic death to advance a cause she vehemently opposed. I encourage the debate on immigration; there is great merit in its reasonable outcome. But do not appropriate Mollie's soul in advancing views she believed were profoundly racist. [...]

Please leave us out of your debate. Allow us to grieve in privacy and with dignity. At long last, show some decency. On behalf of my family and Mollie's memory, I'm imploring you to stop. [Des Moines Register]

Latino people in Iowa report they have been subject to racist robocalls and verbal abuse since Tibbetts was killed. "Our community members are very afraid," a community leader named Joe Henry told a Des Moines CNN affiliate. "We had young people last week who were confronted even walking in parks."

"To the Hispanic community, my family stands with you and offers its heartfelt apology," Rob Tibbetts said in his op-ed. "That you've been beset by the circumstances of Mollie's death is wrong." Read Tibbetts' full plea here, and read The Week's Shikha Dalmia on the despicable politicization of Mollie Tibbetts' murder. Bonnie Kristian

September 1, 2018

"He was a great man," Meghan McCain said of her father, the late Sen. John McCain, at his funeral Saturday. "We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness. The real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who lived lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served."

"The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again because America was always great," she continued, in a more explicit swipe at President Trump, who has repeatedly criticized Sen. McCain and deferred the draft to fight in Vietnam, where McCain suffered torture as a prisoner of war.

Watch a clip of Meghan McCain's remarks below, or see the full service here. Bonnie Kristian

August 28, 2018
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What has happened to Rudy Giuliani, the sharp anti-mafia prosecutor of the 1980s and inspiring New York City mayor on 9/11? That's a matter of much speculation, as Dan Barry, Benjamin Weiser, and Alan Feuer lay out in The New York Times. Is President Trump's lawyer and PR man letting loose in his golden years or suffering from mental decline? Several old friends and associates give their opinions in the article, but Giuliani's soon-to-be third ex-wife, Judith Giuliani, had no comment. And what a no-comment it was:

According to a statement issued by her lawyer, Bernard Clair, Ms. Giuliani "prefers to maintain her silence about the reasons for her filing and the causes behind the behavioral changes of her husband that have become obvious to even his most ardent supporters." [The New York Times]

Rudy Giuliani married Judith after informing his second wife, Donna Hanover, that he was divorcing her in a 2000 press conference. His current relationship with Republican fundraiser Jennifer LeBlanc caused some consternation in the White House when he waded into a Louisiana congressional race on behalf of a candidate LeBlanc was working for, as Politico explained.

"Look, he survived prostate cancer and just got out of a tough marriage," one close Giuliani friend explained to the Times. "I think he's feeling a little emboldened now." Judith Giuliani doesn't seem to be a shrinking violet, either. Peter Weber

August 23, 2018

President Trump pretty clearly and demonstrably lied about paying off porn actress Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal in the months before the 2016 presidential election. But you didn't hear that from White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, despite Chris Cuomo's best efforts on CNN Thursday night.

Cuomo began by noting that President Trump's former divorce lawyer, Jay Goldberg, told him Wednesday night that he doesn't think Trump faces any criminal exposure from the Paul Manafort conviction or Michael Cohen guilty pleas, but Trump obviously lied about Daniels and McDougal and the public will hold him to account. Does Conway agree? "The president has said that he has not lied, and the president has said no charges were filed against him in either the Manafort or the Cohen matters," she said, and also, where's proof of Russian collusion? "You've got to ask [Robert] Mueller, he's not done with his investigation," Cuomo said.

"The truth is, [Trump] lied about this, you guys should own it, and move forward," Cuomo tried again. Conway slammed CNN, played the "don't embarrass your mother" card, countered the damning Cohen-Trump tape by asking about the Cohen-Cuomo tape, and when Cuomo circled back to the lie, she returned to Russia. "Where in the Manafort trial is Russia-collusion-Trump?" she asked. "I don't care," Cuomo said. "The president lied about what he knew about these women, he should not lie to the American people in their face time and again." Conway repeated that Trump says he isn't lying.

"You should admit he's lying, and you don't, and that's why people don't trust you," Cuomo said. "Maybe your audience doesn't," Conway said. On that they could both be right. Peter Weber

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