“Revenge,” the Telenovela, Still Drawing Big Audiences

Cheriss May/NurPhoto via ZUMA

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One of the impressive things about Donald Trump is his creativity in taking revenge on people. I mean, who else would have gotten the idea of using the presidential pardon power this way? And yet, it’s right there in the Constitution. He could write “Donald Trump Jr. is pardoned for everything” on a White House napkin and that’s all it takes.

Likewise, the president does have the power to remove someone’s security clearance, but I don’t think that even Richard Nixon ever came up with the idea of using it to get back at any of his enemies. But Trump has. It might not be the biggest deal in the world, but it’s a telling little humiliation for someone who’s accustomed to knowing all the little behind-the-scenes secrets.

Or, on the world scene, has any president refused to sign a pro forma communique with allies just because one of them said something he found slightly vexing?

Then again, what goes around comes around. Has any presidential aide ever roamed the White House routinely recording conversations in hopes of being able to use them for some kind of petty revenge against the president? Not that I know of.

It’s quite the telenovela we have going on here. But how will it do during sweeps week this November?

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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