He’s taught them well. Post-verdict, a “very innocent” Donald Trump, back infesting the campaign trail, finished second in the Attention-Whore Index last week (27.6 percent), and the only people to outpoll him were his protégés, that aggregate of shameless toadies—Republican politicians, billionaire donors, MAGA head cases, and Trump-family members—who, as the Enablers, topped the voting with 33.2 percent. Third place went to Jennifer Lopez on the strength of her numerous and very public setbacks (22.4 percent).

It’s worth noting once again just how tough this competition has become. Hunter Biden, Tucker Carlson, and Rishi Sunak all had good (which is to say bad) weeks, presenting for our consideration an impressive buffet of criminal trials, inane ravings, and impolitic political instincts—yet none could break out of the single digits.

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



So much well-earned antipathy here already. Now more fodder: Kushner will build an anti-NATO monument at his luxury hotel in Serbia. His firm, Affinity Partners, announced a $500 million deal with the Serbian government “to develop a real estate project in Belgrade on the site of an army building destroyed in the 1999 Kosovo War,” part of which will include a memorial that “alludes to the NATO bombing campaign launched amid massacres of ethnic Albanians,” reported the Daily Beast. Retired General Wesley Clark, then NATO’s supreme allied commander, called the Kushner agreement “a betrayal of the United States, its policies and the brave diplomats and airmen who did what they could to stop Serb ethnic cleansing,” adding, “This is part of a broader Russian intelligence movement to split, discredit and weaken NATO. It’s Russian imperial pushback.”



New York’s governor caught everyone off guard when she put the kibosh on a long-planned congestion-pricing plan just weeks before it was to take effect. Hochul, who has frequently trumpeted both her commitment to fighting climate change and her gift for leadership, displayed little evidence of either. Instead she guaranteed the status quo of traffic gridlock and vehicle-exhaust pollution in Manhattan for the foreseeable future and deprived the city of billions in much-needed revenue that was earmarked for subway improvements. What a great victory for surcharge-averse suburbanites who occasionally drive into the city, at the expense of millions of actual New Yorkers who rely on the transit system and breathe the air every day.



Trump jumps the shark. Recounting a conversation he had with a South Carolina boatbuilder: “I say, ‘What would happen if the boat sank from its weight? And you’re in the boat and you have this tremendously powerful battery and the battery is now underwater and there’s a shark that’s approximately 10 yards over there?’ By the way, a lot of shark attacks lately, do you notice that, a lot of sharks? I watched some guys justifying it today. ‘Well, they weren’t really that angry. They bit off the young lady’s leg because of the fact that they were, they were not hungry, but they misunderstood what … who … she was.’ These people are crazy. He said there’s no problem with sharks. ‘They just didn’t really understand a young woman swimming.’ Now it really got decimated and other people do a lot of shark attacks. So I said, so there’s a shark 10 yards away from the boat, 10 yards or here, do I get electrocuted if the boat is sinking? Water goes over the battery, the boat is sinking. Do I stay on top of the boat and get electrocuted, or do I jump over by the shark and not get electrocuted? Because I will tell you, he didn’t know the answer. He said, ‘You know, nobody’s ever asked me that question.’ I said, ‘I think it’s a good question.’ I think there’s a lot of electric current coming through that water. But you know what I’d do if there was a shark or you get electrocuted, I’ll take electrocution every single time. I’m not getting near the shark. So we’re going to end that.”



At the senator’s bribery trial, Jose Uribe, a New Jersey businessman who has already pleaded guilty, testified that he’d bought Menendez’s wife, Nadine, a Mercedes-Benz in exchange for her husband stopping criminal investigations into a couple of his associates, and that he’d promised Menendez up to $250,000 in bribes. Entertaining detail, via Politico, from Uribe’s testimony about a meeting he’d had with Menendez in Nadine’s backyard: “Uribe said the senator called out ‘mon amour’ and rang a little bell that summoned his then-girlfriend from her house. After that, Uribe said she brought out a piece of paper that Uribe used to write down the names of the people he wanted the senator to disrupt an investigation into.”



Lake, a former newscaster who lost (but never conceded) the gubernatorial race in Arizona in 2022 and is now the Republican Party’s proud election-denying candidate for Senate, gave a campaign speech at a store in Show Low, Arizona, in front of a Confederate flag. The Trumped Store, as it’s called, “sells a variety of pro-Trump and 2020 election-denier merchandise as well as the Confederate battle flag and the Confederate national flag,” reported The New York Times.



The Trump propagandist, who described his podcast as “a military command center for MAGA” that won’t be stopped “until we achieve final victory,” is going to be AWOL from HQ when he starts serving a four-month federal prison term on July 1. His appeal of his 2022 conviction for contempt of Congress in defying a subpoena regarding the January 6 insurrection failed, and a judge ordered him to report to the clink. “There’s not a prison built or jail built that will ever shut me up,” Bannon promised. Fine, but is there a prison built or jail built that will allow him to wear all those layers of shirts?

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

And now for this week’s Diary …

The Anant Ambani–Radhika Merchant wedding isn’t until next month, but the pre-nuptial celebrating has been in high gear for some time already. In March, there was that soirée for 1,200 thrown by the groom’s father (and the world’s 11th-richest person), Mukesh Ambani, in Jamnagar, India, for a reported $150 million. More recently, a $175 million party cruise for 800 on the 17-deck Celebrity Ascent, which—having just obliterated tiny Portofino down the coast—pulled into this Italian port city pre-dawn the other Sunday morning, sound system blaring. Classy. Other targets in the understated young couple’s festive, bulldozing itinerary include Rome, Palermo, and Cannes. The main event will be held in Mumbai, and will probably be audible pretty much everywhere.

Japan ranked 142nd out of 142 countries when it came to helping strangers, Japan Today reported. In the 2023 Charities Aid Foundation World Giving Index, “21 percent of the population had helped someone they didn’t know in the past month. That’s compared to 83 percent of the population in the top-ranking country, Jamaica.” It would be interesting to know where the citizens of that floating nation-state Celebrity Ascent might have ranked.

At this swinging town on France’s Mediterranean coast, to which “tens of thousands of couples head.... from across Europe every year to swap partners,” a fortune teller and the mayor are under investigation for, respectively, embezzlement and corruption, the BBC reported. Sophie Martinez put Gilles d’Ettore in touch with his late father, but it’s alleged that her ventriloquism skills were not limited to séances, and that over four years the mayor “received thousands of mysterious calls from ‘voices’ of the dead including angels, some of them urging the mayor to help the fortune teller”—specifically by using public funds to send her on family holidays to Polynesia and Thailand, hiring her relatives, and renovating her home. (Though we doubt even a clairvoyant could summon up a reliable contractor.) —George Kalogerakis

George Kalogerakis, a Writer at Large at AIR MAIL, worked at Spy, Vanity Fair, and The New York Times, where he was deputy op-ed editor. He is a co-author of Spy: The Funny Years and a co-editor of Disunion: A History of the Civil War