As expected, Donald Trump took top A.W.I. honors last week, his third straight win, pretty much confirming his status as the gold standard—or make that gold-plated standard—for Attention Whores. Though it wasn’t quite the landslide one might have expected: Trump got 36.6 percent of your votes, and was followed by Gwyneth Paltrow (22.6 percent), Harry and Meghan (12.8 percent), Emily Ratajkowski (12.3 percent), and, finally, a trio of politicians—Vladimir Putin, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Giorgia Meloni.
It’s up to all of you, but with no royals in sight Trump would seem to be the odds-on favorite to repeat this week, what with all the fingerprinting and arraignment activity. Is anyone else needy enough?
The nominees in this week’s edition of the Attention-Whore Index Poll are …
Busy, busy. Looked defiantly pouty while being charged with 34 felonies at his Manhattan court appearance, like a child caught in the act and assessing his remaining chances of somehow getting away with it. Didn’t get his desired mug shot so his campaign created one to sell on T-shirts. Returned to Mar-a-Lago for an “arraignment party” and his customary mendacious ranting. “I have a Trump-hating judge with a Trump-hating wife,” he told supporters. He might have a Trump-hating wife of his own: as was widely noted, Melania was absent from New York and from his Mar-a-Lago speech, at which he did not thank her. (Ivanka was a no-show as well.)
The automated-driving buff called for a pause in A.I. development. Plans to visit China soon, where he wants to meet Premier Li Qiang. Stripped The New York Times of its “verified” badge on Twitter because the newspaper won’t pay for its Twitter Blue service. Tweeted: “Big reckoning coming due to low birth rate.” Tweeted: “I eat a donut every morning. Still alive.” Truly.
The gazillions-selling author, whose latest book failed to make the New York Times best-seller list, wrote a letter to the newspaper accusing them of “cooking the books on their best seller lists.” Patterson called their sales-counting methodology “bonkers,” and was astonished when the newspaper refused to publish his screed. Patterson is a friend and Palm Beach neighbor of Donald Trump, which may explain his reaction to his loss.
The French politician, a government minister, appeared on the cover of Playboy—wearing an off-white dress—in connection with an interview about L.G.B.T.Q. and women’s rights. Some within Schiappa’s own party deemed it inappropriate, even though she kept her clothes on. Ditto the decision by her boss, President Emmanuel Macron, to give an interview, in the midst of a tumultuous social and political crisis, to children’s magazine Pif. He, too, kept his clothes on.
MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE
Started the week with a demure appearance on 60 Minutes. When Lesley Stahl mentioned Greene’s earlier claim that “Democrats are a party of pedophiles,” she replied: “I would definitely say so. They support grooming children.... Even Joe Biden, the president, himself supports children being sexualized and having transgender surgeries. Sexualizing children is what pedophiles do to children.” (Stahl’s reaction pretty much summed it up: “Wow. OK.”) Traveled to New York to yell inaudibly through a megaphone for a few minutes across the street from the Manhattan Criminal Courts Building, where Trump was to be arraigned, before being “whisked away” by security. Compared Trump to Nelson Mandela and Jesus.
The not-yet-officially-a-candidate, who according to recent polls is circling the drain, called the Trump indictment “un-American” and accused “the Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney” of “stretching the law to target a political opponent.” Still won’t speak Trump’s name, though.
A judge ruled that he “would not quash” a hypothetical subpoena for the Fox Corporation chairman to testify in the $1.6 billion Dominion defamation case against Fox News going to trial this month. Also, Murdoch’s whirlwind engagement to Ann Lesley Smith turned into a whirlwind breakup—”whirlwind” being a sensible approach to all things when you’re 92!
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
The environmental lawyer turned anti-vax extremist and free-range conspiracy theorist is running for president and will challenge Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination. At last, a gauntlet thrown down to Republicans: See, you’re not the only major political party to speak up for loony wing nuts.
And now for this week’s Diary …
In Saint-Omer …
TRUTH TO POWER
A woman in northern France will go on trial in June for calling President Emmanuel Macron “filth” in a Facebook post (“This piece of filth is going to address you at 1:00 pm”). The woman, who is in her 50s and was arrested, detained, and questioned, is charged with “insulting the president of the republic” and faces a potential fine of $13,000.
In Ukraine …
An intelligence update from the U.K.’s Ministry of Defence notes that “while Russia has suffered up to 200,000 casualties since its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, a significant minority of these have been due to non-combat causes” including “extremely high numbers of incidents, crimes, and deaths linked to alcohol consumption.”
In Copenhagen …
When it comes to artificial insemination, Danish sperm banks “are dominant in Europe,” according to Euronews. One woman from the Netherlands told the television network, “Whereas Dutch sperm banks only allow you to select for four external traits, being hair and eye colour, ethnicity and posture, Danish sperm banks provide you with much more extensive profiles, including a baby picture, handwriting, and voice sound.”
In Kawasaki …
Meanwhile, here’s a clarification from the organizers of the annual spring fertility fête Kanamara Matsuri (Festival of the Steel Phallus). While penile paraphernalia abounds at the festival, which draws some 50,000 people, “we do not officially recognise the costumed mascot called Gachachin, which is being treated as an official mascot on the Internet, in any way whatsoever. The maker of the costume performed without permission.” According to the U.K.’s Metro, the unauthorized-mascot is“a spine-chillingly realistic penis complete with lifelike colour and, unfortunately, texture.”
In London …
TURN BACK TIME
“Owning a watch has become more important to every third Millennial and Gen Z, and it’s not just smartwatches,” according to the annual Deloitte Swiss Watch Industry Study, which found that 23 percent of Gen Z–ers are wearing traditional watches. Analog lives! —George Kalogerakis
George Kalogerakis, one of the original editor-writers at Spy, later worked for Vanity Fair, New York, and The New York Times, where he was deputy op-ed editor. A co-author of Spy: The Funny Years and co-editor of Disunion: A History of the Civil War, he is a Writer at Large for AIR MAIL