The Most Ridiculous Story So Far?

Dave Pell
2 min readDec 5, 2017


Life comes at you fast. Trump news comes at you faster.

Stories that would ordinarily spend weeks in the headlines get lost in the blur of today’s nonstop blockbusters. During Trump’s tenure, the one thing that’s been normalized is abnormality. I’m still trying to figure out what a covfefe is, and that was like 15,000 top stories ago.

We’re overwhelmed with the Trumpian tidal wave of stories that flow into a storyline so complex it makes Ulysses seem like a beach read. But just focus on this one story for a second.

Federal prosecutors say they have evidence that Paul Manafort has been trying to sell a ghost-written, non-factual editorial to certain news outlets in an effort to shift public opinion in his favor. It’s what his former boss might refer to as fake news (except in this case, it actually is fake).

It’s amazing enough that a non-agorophonic guy under house arrest — and facing a bond hearing to try to free himself from that restriction — would do something as reckless as this. But there’s more. He had a co-writer on the piece. And that co-writer has ties to … drumroll … Russian intelligence.

Paul Manafort has more ties to Russian intelligence than Sergey Kislyak and all the characters on The Americans combined.

Simply writing an op-ed would break Manafort’s agreement with the court. But for good measure, he added in the participation of someone with Russian ties and the content in the op-ed was not truthful. Or as federal prosecutors explained:

It compounds the problem that the proposed piece is not a dispassionate recitation of the facts.

That sums up 2017. I wonder if it’s too long for a t-shirt?

To summarize:

While under house arrest for being a liar who was working with the Russians, Paul Manafort worked with a Russian to spread lies.

OK, on to the next story…

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Dave Pell

I write NextDraft, a quick and entertaining look at the day’s most fascinating news.