We are in the same tent as the clowns and the freaks — that’s show business.
— Edward R. Murrow
You’re under arrest. And unlike the former president arraigned on Tuesday, you are not free to return to your normal life until proven guilty. The handcuffs the media shackled on your wrists will not be unlocked. Your perp walk is perpetual as the coverage will be perpetuated 24/7. Just when you thought you were out, they pulled you back in. And what are you being pulled into? The circus has come to town — the town of New York and the town of your unconscious — and this time the ringmaster is joined by the likes of MTG and George Santos. It’s showtime at the Apoll-OMG. My mugshot shows me grimacing with my eyes shut tight. I would pay hush money to get the cable outlets to STFU. I want asysum from the asylum.
But asylum will not be granted. Even if Trump remains free, you won’t be. After all, this is just the first day of what could be a year-long process — one that the ringmaster will use to raise money and increase polling numbers. Yes, along with the legal coverage will be the alienating daily reminders that millions of your fellow Americans love this treacherous creep. The greatest gift the judge in this case could give is to continue to keep cameras out of the court and gag-order everyone involved, from the defendant, to the lawyers, to the media, to the person at the next table over in a restaurant who will not stop talking about this garbage. We’ve had enough of our lives dominated by this criminal. And remember, this is just the first (and most minor) of Trump’s legal challenges. The circus is nowhere near maximus. In short, he’s baaaack.
It could be worse. You could be someone whose daily gig includes consuming and regurgitating the daily news, which now, like those awful four years we already experienced, will include physical regurgitation, too. It’s too late for me, but there’s still time to save yourself. Take my friend Dahlia Lithwick’s sage advice (even though she won’t follow it herself), and just Let Donald Trump Cry It Out. “What is called for here, really, is the Ferberizing of the former president.” If you can’t Ferberize him, consider anesthetizing yourself. If you won’t do it for personal mental health, do it out of spite. He wants your attention. Hell, he even brought his own videographer to document his big day. For the self-flagellaters who can’t look away from the slow motion car crash, let me dust off my inner-Maddow and provide a brief wrap of what happened at the arraignment (in case, you know, you missed it).
+ AP: Trump pleads not guilty to 34 felony charges. “The case is unfolding against the backdrop not only of his third campaign for the White House but also against other investigations in Washington and Atlanta that might yet produce even more charges.” The felonies charges are all related to falsifying business records. You can read the full indictment here.
+ “Prosecutor Chris Connolly did not ask for a gag order but did ask Justice Juan Merchan to address recent public statements and what he called threatening communications from former president Donald Trump. He said that Trump made irresponsible social media posts that threaten ‘death & destruction.’ He also pointed out that those posts directly threatened the district attorney’s office, including Trump’s post about using a baseball bat that led to public safety measures around the D.A.’s office in the past few weeks.” After surrendering to authorities, Trump posted the words SURREAL and WOW. This is the first time we’ve ever agreed. Here are some photos from the scene, and the latest from NPR, the NYT, and WaPo.