Elon Musk has been a chronic also-ran for much of this competition. But an impressive chronic also-ran, displaying a wide range of stratagems seemingly designed to attract the spotlight—along with a gift for getting so much wrong, and so loudly. Yet he’s never won it all. Until now. This past week, you gave him 28.5 percent of your votes, solidly ahead of Dianne Feinstein (17.6 percent), despite her having drawn plenty of unwanted attention lately. Tied for third (13.2 percent) were 83-year-old expectant father Al Pacino and Texas politician Ken Paxton, who shrewdly played the impeachment card—his impeachment, that is. They were followed by Wagner Group headliner Yevgeny PrigozhinRussia’s Elon Musk, in terms of A.W.I. persistence—re-elected Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, King Charles III, and Martin Scorsese.

The nominees in this week’s edition of the Attention-Whore Index Poll are …



While Harry—sorry, Prince Harry, as we learned the erstwhile royal still prefers—comported himself well on the stand during his phone-hacking lawsuit against the Daily Mirror, cross-examination suggested that many of his cited instances of tabloid transgressions into his private life might have originated from official Palace press releases, or from interviews the unhappy prince had already given, not from any journalistic skulduggery. Well, that’s just hair-splitting. (Or heir-splitting … or, actually, spare-splitting.) The point is to end “the abuse, intrusion and hate that was coming towards me and my wife.” Bottom line: as the first high-ranking royal to testify in court in 132 years, Harry has again broken with tradition. Always complain, always explain.



Reviews of “It’s Pablo-matic: Picasso According to Hannah Gadsby,” a thin show co-curated for the Brooklyn Museum by the Australian comedian, have been uniformly, and justifiably, scathing—“juvenile,” in The New York Times, wasn’t even the worst assessment. (More? “There’s little to see. There’s no catalog to read. The ambitions here are at GIF level, though perhaps that is the point.”) Besides, Picasso’s misogyny was dealt with more wittily in 1976 by Jonathan Richman and his band the Modern Lovers (“Some people try to pick up girls / And they get called an asshole / This never happened to Pablo Picasso”).



Getting mighty crowded. Mike Pence, Doug Burgum, and Chris Christie officially join the race, one in which Ron DeSantis, Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, Ryan Binkley, Larry Elder, Asa Hutchinson, Perry Johnson, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Tim Scott are already charging about. More are expected. Say, how about you?



The defending champ. In the news again because Twitter’s ad revenues for a five-week period in April and May were down 59 percent from a year ago. “Twitter’s ad sales staff is concerned that advertisers may be spooked by a rise in hate speech and pornography on the social network,” reported The New York Times, “as well as more ads featuring online gambling and marijuana products.” It’s when the ads for X-Ray Spex start appearing that you really have to worry.



Wearing a black leather jacket—on its back an outline of the state of Florida, a drawing of an alligator, and the words WHERE WOKE GOES TO DIE—to a campaign appearance with her husband in Des Moines. It was 85 degrees outside. Critics, remembering a certain green jacket with I REALLY DON’T CARE. DO U? on the back, dubbed DeSantis a “Walmart Melania.”


Chris LicHt

The unpopular, unsuccessful head of CNN was abruptly fired after just 13 months on the job, though it felt more like a slow and steady exit. His legacy: network layoffs, poor financial performance, programming missteps, the notorious Trump town hall. Also a self-destructive profile in The Atlantic in which he credited his 50-pound weight loss to diet and exercise despite having apparently talked for years about the miracle of Ozempic. Well, anyway, he lasted longer than Liz Truss did.



Missed the debt-ceiling vote and characterized her absence as a “silent protest”—a curious declaration, as it followed a week of her noisy protests against the deal on Twitter and elsewhere. Unfortunately, just after this, a video emerged of Boebert rushing up the steps of the U.S. Capitol, apparently in a futile effort to get to the floor in time to vote. Oops.


Donald Trump

“I’m an innocent man. I’m an innocent person.” The Most Innocent Person in the History of our Country, he’ll probably add (maybe already has). It had been a long dry spell—more than two months since Trump’s last indictment—but now he’s come back strong: the first U.S. president to face federal charges.

The voting for this week has concluded. Check our latest issue for the results …

And now for this week’s Diary …

In an attempt to crack down on social-media fraud, the National Assembly here has passed a law regulating influencers. The new restrictions include requiring labels and disclaimers for all paid content, and restricting influencers’ promotion of crypto-currency, cosmetic surgery, and gambling. Violators risk two years in prison and fines of $330,000. France is the first European country to do this—making it an influencer, perhaps?

A tribunal has ruled on an age-discrimination claim brought against the former champion fencer Tim Belson, 72, by his ex-wife, Eleanor Belson, 60. She’d accused him of leaving her for a younger woman and of being “‘ageist’ by ending their marriage and making her redundant from the job she held with his [jewelry] company,” reported The Times of London. “Their split also featured accusations that she had an affair with an elderly neighbour who changed his will to benefit her by $1 million.” Eleanor won her claim of unfair dismissal, but the tribunal threw out the discrimination charge, noting that “she had left the marriage and that her husband’s new partner was in fact older than she was.”

Air New Zealand announced that it will be weighing passengers boarding its international flights, but please don’t jump to the conclusion that this is some sort of fat-finding mission: participation is voluntary, the recorded results will be invisible and anonymous, and, besides, it’s a “regulatory requirement,” as an airline spokesperson told the BBC. “By weighing in, you’ll be helping us fly safely and efficiently every time.”

China’s 26,000-mile high-speed-rail network has grown so fast it’s straining the limits of waste management. “Toilets on China’s high-speed trains are clean, spacious and often equipped with amenities such as electric-powered doors,” reported the South China Morning Post. “The waste is pumped out by machine to be processed at a waste treatment facility, usually located in a railway station. But the early designers of these facilities apparently underestimated the passenger flow.” Now scientists are themselves racing at high speed, working on new technologies to prevent a “system meltdown.”

A load of potatoes was found spilled on the westbound side of the Storebaelt Bridge, which connects two Danish islands, and a short time later another load of potatoes was found spilled on the bridge’s eastbound side. The two spills, and a subsequent third one on another bridge nearby, occurred on the same day the Danish Parliament passed a law taxing trucks with heavy loads. A 57-year-old truck driver has been detained. “We are working on two hypotheses,” said a police spokesperson. “It is either an accident or it is something that has been done deliberately.” Well deduced, Lestrade! —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 at AIR MAIL