On Wednesday…[DOT 3/5/23]

My best friend’s mom finally let me in their family’s Wordle chat! Yes, that is the highlight of my day.

How about you, Deadsplinterati?

This article is gifted if you’re behind a paywall.

Zelensky says White House told him nothing about Discord intelligence leaks

Confused as to all that is going on here

A convicted sex offender and 2 teenage girls believed among 7 bodies found at his Oklahoma home

If I were of child bearing age I wouldn’t set foot in Florida

Because of Florida abortion laws, she carried her baby to term knowing he would die


House Democrats maneuver to force a debt-ceiling vote as default looms


That’s not job quittin’ money

Lottery player tries to work after jackpot win in Iowa. He ‘lasted about five minutes’

Today in Turtle Content:

Have a great day!



  1. That Iowa lottery winner story is such a strange non-story. Yahoo News picks up a story from the Kansas City Star. Is ChatGPT already upon us?

    The guy won ~$21K. I’m sure Iowa and the Feds took their cut, probably left him with maybe $15K (in New York he’d probably end up owing money). He’s so excited he asked his boss for a little time off, but like what, the rest of the day?, and then presumably returned to work.

    It must be a very dull place to live, Mason City, IA, where the lottery winner is from, and to have this picked up by the Kansas City Star, and then for Yahoo to harvest this. I’d much rather read more about this.


  2. To use the term ironically but correctly, this is literally unbelievable: https://www.cnn.com/2023/05/03/media/tucker-carlson-text-message/index.html

    The “we saw his racist text messages and got the vapors” is maybe the least likely reason possible for Tucker’s firing. He’s said more racist stuff live, on air. Unless of course they got squeamish about him admitting his opposition was human and didn’t deserve to get to get murdered. That isn’t great for the brand!

    Speaking of, there’s a word for this, and it’s called murder. It’s real weird that nobody is calling it that, though: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/man-30-choked-death-headlock-29872246


    • …so…they’re really saying that, then?

      …saw a bit of twitter-y stuff & wasn’t sure if it was a made-up screenshot…the guy was dogwhistle central for anything up to & including the great replacement & they had no issue with the abbott grinding the immigrants-are-evil monkey-organ the other day…so it isn’t for being over those lines

      …which leaves a toss up between the part that would invalidate the lion’s share of their reason to exist as a channel

      If I don’t care about those things, if I reduce people to their politics, how am I better than he is?”

      …or the part that might kindle some shame in their primary demographic

      Jumping a guy like that is dishonorable obviously. It’s not how white men fight.

      …don’t get me wrong…they sound very much like things he’d say…& probably even think…& maybe we’re talking straws & a camel’s back…but if that’s the other shoe we’ve been waiting to hear drop…it seems a little light?

      • I was very perplexed reading the coverage. A lot of news outlets treated those texts as a real big story, breaking news and all that, and it’s like … how? Why? Have you ever actually watched the show? This isn’t even worse, it’s quite possibly tamer than the things he’s said about immigrants in the past!

        Which is why I did idly wonder about the second bit, showing mercy for the enemy, being an issue. I don’t think it is, if only because the chasm of cognitive dissonance between what conservatives think they believe in and what their actual words and actions show they believe is always ginormous. It’s kind of hard to believe that hearing Tucker’s real words would somehow bridge that. These are the people who plaintively wail on Facebook that they don’t understand why their brainwashed woke libtard kids don’t invite them to Christmas anymore. “Getting it” isn’t a thing that generally happens in that crowd. But Fox feels trapped right now, so maybe they are concerned? Who knows.

        • …it feels a little bit like a variation on the theme of throwing shit at the wall to see if anything sticks?

          …like…they really, really don’t want to provide further incentive for anyone to take the path dominion settled for not going all the way through with…but something brought them up short enough that they punted tucker…& good move or not that hurt…maybe less than him still being on payroll when there’s talk of witnesses being called…but up there with the settlement in terms of the hit the stock price took at least in the short term…so they want there to be a different thing he did that people hadn’t heard the specifics of to point to as a proximate cause

          …which is a bind…because they let him say any old shit for years while patting him on the back & ruffling his hair affectionately…so it has to be pretty bad to really register…but on the other hand he’s an execrable excuse for a human being so that trove of discovery is chock full of horrifying statements made un-ironically…of which this is the latest one they’ve pushed as being a big deal…& largely the bait has been risen to…but I don’t think it sets the hook?

          • Yeah, I still think it’s somewhere between “he was just more hassle than he was worth” and “Rupert’s girlfriend thought he was the Messiah” as being the most likely options. I’m just not entirely sure why they feel compelled to make such a obviously transparent case against him, especially in “unfriendly” media. (Ha ha, kidding, of course.) I’m just confused about who they’re trying to reach with this, unless there’s an absolute slam-dunk lawsuit-losing text in there somewhere they’re afraid is going to come out. Which even still, I mean, we already have ones that are like that we got already from the first suit, so …

            I don’t really think it matters why, and the number of stories that will come out about it and time spent reporting it are all going to be mostly a waste. It’s the sort of thing that media people care about a lot but most people don’t (similar to the Hollywood insiders being gossipy about so-and-so losing a role, but most viewers don’t care at all.)

            • …a lot of sound & fury signifying nothing does sound like the most likely prognosis…& I’d agree that for the most part it either doesn’t or shouldn’t matter so the waste seems like another valid charge…but I think there might be a case to be made for a least a couple of ways the actual why, whether or not it ever comes to light, might be of import?

              …the first is largely a practical matter from over here in the consumer end of the news industry…which is that, to run with the common analogy, these things are in the context of a horserace…&/or horse trades…made up of smaller & smaller versions like a chaos fractal…or if you prefer, turtles all the way down…& to the extent that treating it as a horse-race/-trade turns it into one…it helps to know what the form guide says about the runners, riders, stables & trainers if you want to understand how the odds are being laid

              …& the other is more of an amorphous but acute concern in the line of the this-is-fine meme…for some years now carlson has been a spot-lit bell-weather for a particular…dunno if it deserves to be called a cause but let’s go with that…if he goes off to be alex jones in a bow-tie on twitter…or the “thinking man’s” joe rogan on the podcast circuit…that’s probably something to be ignored at peril…so knowing what kind of rubicon got crossed it would help in the sense of being that much better able to triangulate the relative positions of those parties in that landscape?

              …in my most wishful thinking I’d like a legal macguffin that would domino the whole murdoch conglomerate in a contaigon-like fashion that could go viral & bootstrap multinational campaign finance reform while whittling down the wealth & influence of mercers, kochs, thiels & musks, zucks & sundry other fucks

              …but rationally…it’s almost certainly about financial implications &/or liabilities, would be my guess…that’s what tips the needle for that sort of board…not some hastily drawn line in the shifting moral sands they deal in, isn’t it?

              …& lachlan did drop that goliath sues david for defamation suit against crikey down in oz

              …the hull looks weak & there’s a lot of ice-bergs out there…shedding tucker maybe gets you a bulk discount on caulk?

              • I don’t think Fox could sink Tucker’s future career even if they desperately wanted to. If anything, that gives credence to his admission of slight mercy being the problem — the only way he could blow it with fans is if it suddenly admitted minorities or trans folks aren’t dangerous or, conversely, that armed white guys with beards ARE dangerous.

                There are just too many avenues to have your own media whatever to really prevent him from starting something else. Moreover, if he was costing Fox money, they’d have led with that! Because that is the only thing that could, potentially, put a damper on who might take a chance on him later on. But even then, he’s rich as hell, and he could spend a year doing a podcast or YouTube stream for free to rebuild/restore his audience without any loss of lifestyle. He’s already got a studio in his house!

                • …which makes this all broadly compatible with a mutually amicable parting of the ways…more so than any kind of daggers drawn falling out, anyway…or at least it looks that way when I squint at it?

                  …be nice if he sank with less trace than ranting & raving on truth social…or whatever the hell happened to glen beck & bill o’reilly…the blaze seemed to be a lot of blowing smoke & very little spark or fire, last I checked

                  …seems more likely he’ll stay afloat like an unwelcome turd in the press pool…but unless there’s some cunning multi-dimensional chess move deal in play that’s lost on me…kicking him loose was the play they switched bets to & that feels like a sea change of some sort…so…I can’t say I’m not curious about what looked different on their weather report…however many of these teapot-scale storms they point to, even added together they don’t seem worse than stuff they’ve weathered for years?

                  • The lawsuit-adjacent timing and the suddenness are the things that make people give it a second look. That and Tucker hiring a noted attorney immediately after. It says “something happened” but to your point, I don’t think it has to be something more salacious that they/Rupert got sick of him.

                    • …& there’s different shades of “sudden”, too…it was sudden to us, sure…but it could have been a long time coming to the boil…which wouldn’t necessarily even need a big thing to trip whatever last fuse left him on the outs

                      …except…for the slow-boil thing to be the answer you’d have to assume a watched pot of some sort…in which case what made it something that couldn’t simmer on a back burner for long enough not to boil over salaciously close to them “folding” in the lawsuit with dominion

                      …it beggars belief that they think those things being paired by an accident of timing is a feature not a bug…at least to me…so…I keep shaking this shitty magic 8-ball & all I get is “all signs point to something sketchy & probably not good”

                      …I think I want a refund but I don’t know who to yell at?

    • It’s to CNN’s credit that they include a quote from the ADL highlighting that this is NOT a surprise to anyone. I agree with your “unbelievable” take and I can’t see how Fox execs would have gone wonky over this but not other things that were going to be the focus of the trial.

      If you go to the NY Times article which is the source, you get this hopelessly credulous headline:

      Carlson’s Text That Alarmed Fox Leaders: ‘It’s Not How White Men Fight’
      The discovery of the text message contributed to a chain of events that ultimately led to Tucker Carlson’s firing.

      Then you get the bylines: Jeremy Peters, Michael Schmidt, and last, Jim Rutenberg.


      Like I said in the last big Times article on the texts, Rutenberg is the only straight shooter in the bunch. He was the lead reporter in the previous article, which was far more open ended. Rutenberg reports through a different set of editors than the other two, who are also closely tied professionally to Carolyn Ryan.

      This time around, it’s Peters who is the lead reporter. He and Schmidt are guys you run to at the Times when you want a smokescreen and misdirection play.

      Peters is the guy who recently wrote the idiotic “analysis” saying Musk somehow wasn’t a right winger. Schmidt is the guy who embarrassed the Times by running with the right wing leak in 2016 that Clinton was about to be charged (which obviously never happened) and Ryan was the editor who first tried to sneak modifications into the article without noting them, then blocked a correction.

      If you want to know what’s rotten in that Times article, look for the source for that headline and all of the claims.

      Keep looking. There is not one source cited for *anything* in that article. Not for the board, not for Fox execs — Peters and the Times are expecting us to believe that this specific text caused an uproar at the highest levels of the company and cite nothing beyond two people claiming knowledge.

      This isn’t reporting. This is being a friendly partner to a damage control operation.

      • …if you take the stuff he says…which is fairly histrionic description of something hideous but, people being what they are, not altogether uncommon scenario…& then strip out all of the contextual elements both fox & carlson have substantial on-the-record form with respect to being on-board & even comfortable with…you’re pretty much left with a guy saying “I saw three dudes stomp this one guy & my first instinct was to root for the three dudes – then I felt a bit icky because in the imaginary fights I have in my head with lots of people I’m always the stand up guy who takes on overwhelming odds single-handed…not the overwhelming odds beating down the little guy”…& then experiencing a twinge of empathy the way alcoholics talk about “a moment of clarity”

        …even brushing up against the introspective minefield of the question of how exactly, from a historical perspective, “white men fight” isn’t likely to penetrate layers of cognitive dissonance that shed logic faster than water off the proverbial duck’s back…but empathy…apparently that’s a fire-able offence level of trafficking in banned substances

        …can’t say as it makes sense to me…but that seems to be where I wind up if I follow the logic as I understand it to have been presented?

        • There is no logic.

          This is someone like Irina Briganti in Fox’s PR coming up with a leakable text and a cover story, going to Peters and saying I can get you a board member to go on background in agreement with my cover story, and you can have this “scoop.”

          This is like Judith Miller’s methodology on WMDs. Cheney or someone like him goes on background to her saying “Bush administration is increasingly alarmed by Iraq and here is this unconnected rando document that says nothing.”

          The point of Cheney and Miller wasn’t to advance any logical  argument in any way whatsoever. It was them knowing that putting a “leaked” document into the same word cloud as a cover story would push forward the PR offensive.

          The non sequitor was a part of the process. It was to get the rest of the pack scurrying to find what they wanted to see, to come up with some kind of possible reason why this might be true, instead of jumping on the absolute lack of connective tissue.

          • …it might be more by way of a cynical calculus than any sort of paragon of pure logic…so I could see calling it a parody of logic…or just regular-levels of twisted…but I don’t think there’s no logic to it…it’s more a lot of conflicting & conflicted logic mixed up with a cocktail of competing rationales & interests?

            …they need (for whatever clutch of suddenly-worth-clutching-pearls-over reasons) distance from a son so favored he’s still too busy waiting for them to kill another fatted calf to have gotten around to being clear what he thinks exile looks like

            …they don’t want to damage what’s still basically an asset they invested heavily in or antagonize his audience…which has been the subsidiary asset until this recent heel turn…so that kind of “revelation” plays either side of the #teamfox #teamtucker divide by painting their home team as the side of the angels without harming either’s credentials with the credulous right & their fragile sense of outraged grievance

            …if it wasn’t real they’d have to make it up, almost

            …& you don’t push a thing as hard as that has been if you don’t think it has legs…but a cynic might think nobody would care overmuch that the thing with legs was a headless chicken…so…I don’t like it…but that logic holds together a lot better than that of the implied moral calculus that lent that statement even a facade of last-straw weighting

            …ymmv & all the standard caveats…but I think an abundance of logic that’s bad enough to be able to conflict with itself is arguably a worse look than a genuine absence of logic?

      • I’m sure their sources, members of the Fox board, legitimately told them it caused an uproar among them, their sources, the members of the Fox board talking to them.

        But if that’s the best they have on Tucker, I mean, why are you even trying to spin this? Just say he sexually harassed someone and this time it bothered you. It’s worked before!

        • I think Fox wanted something, anything they could leak because they know reporters like Peters and editors like Ryan foam at the mouth over “leaked” documents no matter how much a tangent to the real thing. That was the deal with things like the Podesta emails, which turned out to be overwhelming stuff like risotto recipes.

          They were limited to what was redacted, and this was probably the least consequential thing they could come up with.

          If Peters was a remotely respectable reporter — the Times even has them on staff, like Rutenberg — he would have written something like “Reason behind Carlson firing still not known. Fox PR arguing it was racism. By the way, this document was leaked by someone which is only a 5/10 on the Carlson scale compared to on air statements X, Y and Z.”

          But Peters wants to maintain his reputation as a PR outlet, so he just contributed to the smokescreen.

    • Everything he says on air is in code, so he has plausible deniability.  Everyone knows what he’s saying, but it’s wink-and-nudge.  This new stuff is right in your face.

  3. I just assumed those Tucker texts were why he got fired because it has the pretense of having a slight bit of empathy and critical thinking. Like it wasn’t racist enough for them?

    • This post gets to the heart of how this specific text is a distraction:


      After Fox’s board saw all of the unredacted texts, it decided to hire a law firm to investigate Carlson’s behavior.

      This text’s relatively minor display of racism mixed with a tiny bit of backing away isn’t remotely close to what’s needed to hire a law firm to investigate. If all you want is a bit of face saving, you hire non-experts to write up a boring pseudo mea culpa.

      In fact, hiring a law firm on a weak pretext like just this text hurts your ability to take action and gives Carlson leverage to counterattack in ways he wouldn’t have if you just let, say, the HR department do the investigation. You only go to the outside law firm if you have a serious issue.

      Subcontracting to an outside law firm may have been part of a coverup, to be clear. That’s what Baylor University did with Ken Starr and Art Briles. But it’s only something you do if you want to cover up a serious problem, not this specific text.

      The text is a red herring. It only means something as a part of a pattern, and on its own its content is almost certainly completely misleading.

      • …speaking of patterns, issues & possible red herrings…someone pointed out a detail I’d skipped clean over on the timing front…the message is time-stamped in “UTC”…at a little after 4PM…so…gone midday in new york…on jan 7th in the year of our lord 2021

        …in terms of context about idle musings about a beatdown “a couple of weeks ago” in what is presumably the other “Washington” or some barely-made-the-headlines thing in DC…that seems like something I ought to have clocked before it was pointed out to me?

  4. on wednesdays i wear whatever i have thats still clean as my washing machine exploded earlier

    smoke coming out of the drum and everything

    in my professional opinion its safe to say its dead jim…


    sooo….today has been expensive…

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