Noisy zillionaires Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg do very well in this competition flying solo. Harnessed together, as they were last week with all that talk of a Las Vegas cage match [sic], they’re unbeatable. Even runners-up Harry and Meghan couldn’t get near them, polling 24.8 percent to the Muskerberg duo’s 37.1 percent. Jonah Hill was third (14.9 percent), followed by New York mayor Eric Adams, the resurgent 1950s, Joe Biden, and King Juan Carlos of Abu Dhabi—sorry, of Spain.

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



Apparently anti-Semitism and bigotry are the new strings in his bow: “COVID-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people. The people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese. We don’t know whether it was deliberately targeted or not but there are papers out there that show the racial or ethnic differential and impact.” But the presidential candidate’s growing arsenal of tin-foil-hat theories has believers, among them Eric Clapton, who tried to donate $5,000 to Kennedy’s campaign (rejected—over the legal limit for foreigners).



The ex-couple’s legal battle shows no signs of winding down. Pitt claims Jolie sold her shares in Château Miraval, their vineyard in the South of France, without his knowledge, evidence of a “hostile takeover,” and his attorneys have called her “vindictive.” Jolie’s attorneys have called Pitt “a petulant child” and accused him of “looting” Miraval’s assets. But it’s still early in the game: the couple only split in 2016.



In a kind of save-the-date announcement on Truth Social, said he expected to be indicted again: “Deranged Jack Smith, the prosecutor with Joe Biden’s DOJ, sent a letter (again, it was Sunday night!) stating that I am a TARGET of the January 6th Grand Jury investigation, and giving me a very short 4 days to report to the Grand Jury, which almost always means an Arrest and Indictment.” And by week’s end there was another, specific date to save: May 2024, the start of Trump’s document-hoarding trial.



Continues to tank in the polls. The Financial Times reported that only 15 percent of DeSantis’s fundraising comes from small donors and that most of his big contributors have maxed out. Laid off campaign staffers. Recruits for his re-activated Florida State Guard are quitting or getting fired after “complaining that what was supposed to be a civilian disaster response organization had become heavily militarized,” according to The New York Times. His CNN interview, intended to reboot his campaign, didn’t: Trump’s (delayed) announcement overshadowed it.



Had himself driven to the home of Gilgo Beach serial-killer suspect Rex Heuermann to give investigators at the crime scene “a lead they seem to have rejected,” in his words. Pathetic and odd? Not at all! “Mayor Rudy Giuliani — one of the most effective federal prosecutors in American history — was on scene to cover this heinous crime as part of his hit new livestream show, ‘America’s Mayor Live,’” Ted Goodman, Giuliani’s political adviser, explained to the New York Post.


Marlène Schiappa

When the French Cabinet minister posed (clothed) for the cover of Playboy a few months back, some regarded it as a feminist statement, some as the opposite. Almost everyone agreed it was a distraction—France was then in upheaval over President Macron’s new pension law. More distractions followed: charges that Schiappa had mismanaged the Marianne Fund, which she’d set up to fight religious extremism. Perhaps inevitably, the axe has now fallen, with Macron reshuffling her right out of his Cabinet. On the bright side: she’s making headlines again.


Harry and Meghan

Far-fetched rumors that they were splitting up were probably irritating enough, but more humiliating (and credible) were reports that after the Queen’s funeral they tried to hitch a ride back to the U.S. with the Bidens on Air Force One and were rebuffed. A case of their grasping exceeding their reach.


Henry Kissinger

Traveling to China at 100? For a meeting? That’s just showing off.

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

And now for this week’s Diary …

Russia’s Ministry of Health has approved a plan to immediately begin opening sex clinics “with dildos and vibrators” in major cities around the country. According to the Daily Star, one Russian psychiatrist was quoted in pro-Kremlin media saying she believes the plan is intended to “help people cope with the stress of war.”

Among the things that Coutts & Co., the “banker to the Queen”—and to many discreetly unnamed, extremely wealthy clients—has been morally unconcerned about doing: transferring $970,000 from Selman Turk, the Turkish businessman/alleged fraudster, into Prince Andrew’s bank account; managing offshore services for a Brunei royal accused of stealing billions from his country; violating money-laundering rules and getting fined $7.5 million by Switzerland of all places! But Coutts can draw the line. They booted Nigel Farage, the right-wing politician and architect of Brexit, off their books, allegedly for a lack of funds. However, recently revealed internal memos show Farage was debanked because his political views did not “align with [Coutts’s] purpose and values’.” A pretty damning judgment considering the pedophiles, Russian oligarchs, and former dictators who remain clients.

A spectator taking a selfie during Stage 15 of the Tour de France grazed one of the passing cyclists, the American Sepp Kuss, causing a peloton pileup involving dozens of riders. (Suggestion: If you must take a selfie, don’t do it at bike races, or during concerts, or in front of that Van Gogh people are trying to look at—you’re better off standing near the edge of a cliff, on a windy day.)

Not much love online for the influencer who was filmed pretending to pick up beach litter here while she made an instructional video on “how to look like you care for the environment.” The first step is to “get your friend to film you filling up rubbish bags.” The last, evidently, is to leave the black trash bags behind you on the litter-strewn beach as you stride off to influence further.

Beginning in October, the French government will pay a bonus to citizens who choose to have their clothing and shoes repaired rather than chuck them, hoping “to cut down on the 700,000 tonnes of clothes thrown away by French people each year, two-thirds of which end up in landfills,” Le Monde reported. “Under the scheme, customers will be able to claim €7 [$8] for mending a heel and €10-€25 [$11–$28] for clothing repairs.”

“A new hot wedding trend just dropped,” Bon Appétit reported. (Impressive: just dropped, yet it’s already hot and trending.) “Getting married under the golden arches.” McDonald’s Indonesia will be making a wedding-catering package available, “complete with a steaming spread of chicken nugs (100 packs of them), chicken sandwiches, and McFlurries.” The cost for this particular destination wedding, not including airfare or accommodations, is 3.5 million Indonesian rupiahs (about $230).

Speaking of binge eating, a restaurant in Sichuan Province is under investigation for violating laws prohibiting the squandering of food—all because of a competition to see who could eat 108 spicy dumplings quickest. Authorities felt the dumpling challenge “‘misled’ people into ordering excessively,” said the BBC. “At least 34 million tonnes of food are wasted in Chinese restaurants every year, according to a 2020 survey.” Local governments are getting into the spirit of things: “Some restaurants even weigh customers before their meals to determine how much food they should be given.” —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