This week the National Football League (NFL) owners finally confirmed what was long understood but never concretely confirmed: their utter contempt for football fans. Despite the open hatred shown by fans for Commissioner Roger Goodell for years, the owners agreed to a five-year contract extension worth nearly $40 million a year. It has long been assumed that Goodell was a handy shill for the owners in taking actions that were distinctly anti-fan. Goodell has taken the criticism while the owners kept their distance. Now however they have established that they were behind Goodell’s unpopular actions all along and cemented the NFL as the most hostile business toward its own customers in the world. As a lifelong football (Bears) fan, I have been torn between my growing dissatisfaction with the NFL and my love for the game. Like many fans, this move at least brings clarity to the position of the owners.
Below is my column in USA Today on the ethical and practical implications of the controversial tweet sent out by Trump counsel John Dowd. In my view, Dowd should now remove himself from the litigation. Notably, the failure to remove or fail Dowd will likely fuel theories that he is covering for Trump. If Trump did not know that Flynn had lied to the FBI before speaking with Comey, the Dowd tweet would usually result in a quick and rather angry response to a lawyer compromising his client in this fashion. However, various media sources are reporting that White House Counsel Don McGahn did inform Trump that Flynn likely misled the FBI in his interview before Trump spoke with Comey. Whatever the truth of the matter, the Dowd tweet could not be worse in its timing and content.
Here is the column:
Below is my column in the Hill on the latest twitter controversy. While Trump counsel John Dowd has insisted that he merely used “sloppy” drafting, news organizations are reporting that White House Counsel Don McGahn told Trump (before the firing of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn) that Flynn had misled FBI agents in his interview. In yesterday’s press conference, Sarah Sanders refused to say when Trump first learned that Flynn had lied to the FBI. That brings us back to Dowd and the breathtakingly dumb mistake in sending out a tweet to millions with an admission against interest under the President’s name.
Here is the column:
As spokesperson for Roy Moore, Janey Porter may have hit on a brilliant strategy to distract people from the bizarre statements of your candidates . . . make even more bizarre statements. Porter was on CNN this week when she told pregnant anchor Poppy Harlow that Moore’s opponent Doug Jones basically wanted to kill her eight-month old unborn baby. Now there’s a catchy campaign slogan: Vote Moore Or Jones Will Kill Your Baby.
She also shocked many by calling all of the women accusing Moore “criminals.” That’s right, criminals for alleging sexual assault or molestation.
It is not clear what Justin Thompson, 29, has struggled with more: guilt or gravity. When police came to his girlfriend’s house on a warrant for assault and harassment, Thompson hid in the ceiling . . . only to fall in front of the officer in his kitchen. What was notable (beyond the means of apprehension) was one of the crimes charged against Thompson.
Former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has reportedly scuttled his own deal to secure release from home confinement under a deal Manafort with prosecutors. Prosecutors learned (from an unspecified source) that Manafort was working with a ghostwriter on an opinion piece on his case. The second man reportedly had ties to Russian intelligence — hardly ideal for a man at the center of the Russian investigation. The work was deemed to be in violation of a court order for all parties to refrain from “trying the case in the press.” However, the order raises a long-standing question of the need and constitutionality of orders limiting the free speech of defendants and counsel. While once the exception, gag orders have become the rule with many judges. Yet, Manafort is presumed innocent and the order prevents him from responding to those questioning his loyalty and honesty.