It’s all in the family! The shark-obsessed Donald Trump; his NATO-bashing son-in-law, Jared Kushner; and Steve Bannon—a kind of honorary oddball uncle for the Trumps—among them received an impressive three-quarters of readers’ votes last week. (The breakdown: 37 percent, 24.4 percent, and 13.1 percent, respectively.) Even New York governor Kathy Hochul’s bold initiative to preserve Manhattan’s storied gridlock and distinctive vehicle-exhaust bouquet was good for only 10.1 percent and fourth place.

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



You remember him, right? The diminutive, robotic, right-wing Florida governor and one-time Republican presidential candidate with the political agenda based largely on whether something was bad for Disney? That one. DeSantis vetoed $90 million for the arts from the state budget of $116 billion, leaving Florida without any funding for cultural programs—even though, as the Sarasota Herald-Tribune noted, “economic studies have shown that every $1 spent on arts and culture programs generates about $9 more in related spending.” He also rejected the possibility that climate change had anything to do with last week’s devastating storms and flooding. “We don’t want our climate policy driven by climate ideology,” said DeSantis, who admittedly knows a thing or two about ideology-driven policies. Last month he took on “radical green zealots,” signing legislation that eliminated the phrase “climate change” from state statutes. Sounds like the feeble, early drumbeat of yet another run at the White House.



Challenged President Biden to take a cognitive test, in the process getting the name of his own White House physician wrong—twice. At least Trump reassured us all that the doctor, whatever his name was, “said I was the healthiest president, he feels, in history.” Then suggested that Biden would prep for Thursday’s debate with some cocaine: “He’s gonna be so pumped up, he’s gonna be so pumped up. You know all that stuff that was missing about a month ago from the White House? What happened? Somebody didn’t pick up hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of cocaine. I wonder who that could’ve been. I don’t know. Actually, I think it was Joe.”



The paper would much rather be reporting news than making it. But early this month, the executive editor, Sally Buzbee, resigned following reported clashes with the Jeff Bezos–appointed C.E.O.-publisher Will Lewis. Then came news that in 2004, Lewis, as business editor of The Sunday Times in London, had “used fraudulently obtained phone and company records in newspaper articles,” according to The New York Times (Lewis said that his “only involvement in the controversy was helping to root out problematic behavior after the fact.”) One of those articles was written by Robert Winnett—who was (but is no longer) to be the executive editor in Lewis’s re-structured, Buzbee-less newsroom. That news landed “with what one current Washington Post reporter called ‘a collective “holy shit,”’” said Politico. “We’re told Lewis started with lots of runway and goodwill. He sent notes to reporters when there were good and great stories. But at this point, there’s no question that he has lost the majority if not all of the newsroom.”



A typically low-drama week. An investigation by The Wall Street Journal revealed that roughly a decade ago Musk was in hot pursuit of several of his female SpaceX employees (one reported objective: Muskian progeny), allegations the company’s president, Gwynne Shotwell, rejected as false. And a former employee at Neuralink, in California, is suing Musk’s brain-implant company, claiming she was forced to work in unsafe conditions with monkeys carrying the herpes-B virus and was later fired after telling her supervisors she was pregnant. But Musk also had some good news: Tesla shareholders handed him a $45 billion pay package.



The state is really flexing its corrupt—allegedly corrupt—muscles these days. Already underway: the bribery trial of Senator Bob Menendez. Coming next month: the bribery trial of Nadine Menendez. Now George E. Norcross III and five others have been accused of racketeering in a 13-count indictment charging they benefited from illegal tax breaks, obtained waterfront property unlawfully, and influenced government officials. (George E. who? “An insurance executive who served on the Democratic National Committee … for decades the most powerful unelected political official in New Jersey”: The New York Times.) Not a good look for an already much-maligned state. Bruce Springsteen is going to have to tour indefinitely just to balance things out.


Steve Bannon

Prison looms, but Bannon made the most of his remaining free time naming, in a speech, some of Trump’s targets, if elected—Lisa Monaco, Merrick Garland, Jack Smith, etc. “And this is not about vengeance. This is not about revenge. This is not about retribution. This is about saving this republic!” Bannon added: “Are you prepared to fight? Are you prepared to give it all? Are you prepared to leave it all on the battlefield? Ladies and gentlemen, it’s very simple. Victory or death.”

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

And now for this week’s Diary …

Rod Stewart elicited jeers—as well as some applause—after images of the Ukrainian flag and President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared on a video screen during his concert here. Stewart has been a vocal supporter of Ukraine. Leipzig, the largest city in the German state of Saxony, “has embraced nationalism, electing a mayor from the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) in December,” the BBC noted. “There has also been neo-Nazi violence and attacks on migrants.”

A vaguely satirical copycat Web site using the same name as Meghan Markle’s new lifestyle venture, American Riviera Orchard, is selling adult coloring books, including one called Working Class Royalty: The Crowned Women of Everyday Majesty. There’s also something called RoyalWealth Reign: GlamSavings Edition, which promises “to empower women in their pursuit of financial independence” via “three luxurious savings sheets, meticulously crafted to infuse sophistication into your wealth management routine. Reign over your finances with confidence and style.” But telling the Web sites apart should be easy: the duchess’s is the one using strawberry jam as a business model.

Some unwanted attention for the deputy leader of the Green Party, Zack Polanski, in the form of a resurfaced article dating to one of his earlier careers, during which he suggested that hypnosis could increase a woman’s breast size. “In 2013, Mr Polanski, then working as a hypnotherapist in Harley Street, attempted to help a reporter from The Sun increase the size of her bust by harnessing the power of her unconscious,” reported The Independent. “He said at the time he could see it becoming popular ‘very quickly’ because it is ‘so safe and a lot cheaper than a boob job’. He has since apologised and distanced himself from his previous comments, while insisting it was not a service he charged for.”

A French woman is suing the telecommunications company Orange (formerly France-Télécom) for keeping her on a full-time salary for two decades but not allowing her to work. Laurence Van Wassenhove, who suffers from epilepsy and partial paralysis, has accused Orange of not having found her a suitable position, and through a lawyer has filed a complaint of discrimination and moral harassment. “Being paid, at home, not working is not a privilege,” she said. “It’s very hard to bear.” —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