What We’re Following
Global Votes: President Trump is getting backlash today for calling Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with congratulations on his recent referendum victory—a notably speedy move that seems to endorse the expansion of the authoritarian leader’s power. In Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim-majority country, Jakarta voters are divided over whether the Quran forbids their electing a Christian governor tomorrow. And in the U.K., Prime Minister Theresa May is calling for general elections on June 8, three years ahead of schedule. She’s hoping to gain a political mandate to negotiate Brexit—and to strike while public opinion is on her side.
Late-Night Politics: In the cover story for our May issue, Chris Jones goes inside Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of Trump on Saturday Night Live to ask: Can satire save the republic? It could, for instance, help Americans see their political reality more clearly. Stephen Colbert might have edged some viewers in that direction with a vivid parody of InfoWars’s Alex Jones on last night’s Late Show. But the liberal smugness stoked by late-night comedy risks alienating conservatives—and may have fueled Trump’s rise.
Town and Company: During a recent visit to Janesville, Wisconsin, Vice President Mike Pence described the former manufacturing town as an economic role model for America. But the city has struggled to rebound from the closure of its General Motors plant almost a decade ago. Meanwhile in North Carolina, state legislators have rolled back environmental regulations to make the state more business-friendly—and residents say that’s allowed companies to contaminate their drinking water.