What We’re Following
Subpoena Surprise: Sam Nunberg, an attorney and former Trump campaign aide, called in to MSNBC to declare that he would refuse to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Yet that announcement is likely only to draw Mueller’s attention toward Nunberg—especially as Nunberg added that he thinks President Trump “may have done something during the election. But I don’t know that for sure.” Here’s what Nunberg might be trying to do.
At the Oscars: As many critics predicted, Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy film The Shape of Water was the big winner of 2018, receiving the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director, as well as two others. This year, the celebration of film’s greatest artists was undercut with a critique of the industry’s inequities—the gender pay gap, racial representation, and most prominently, sexual harassment. (President Trump, an easy target for last year’s political speeches, was rarely mentioned.) Yet these calls for equality, diversity, and unity were filtered through the Oscars’ gauzy aesthetic—and may have been diluted in the process.
Gun Reform: Two weeks after the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, the political momentum stoked by student activists is still strong, yet it also remains unlikely to prompt substantial legislative change. Part of what makes the debate so intractable could be a shift in America’s gun culture, which has grown more partisan and more combative in the past two decades. Some conspiracy theorists have gone so far as to claim that the teenage survivors of the massacre are actors—presenting worrying signs for the future of American democracy.