In: Donald Trump. Even as yesterday the conversation among The Chattering Classes was partially about whether or not Donald Trump allowed his decades-old friendship with Joan Rivers to influence his "hiring" decision (also whether or not Wanda Sykes was profane), today is all about the Dickensian Trump and his other apprentice, Carrie Prejean. How does he do it? How does he continue to dominate the conversation, sucking up all the fucking oxygen in the room, even as questions about his personal finances evaporate? From TVNewser:
"The four cable news networks carried the news conference this morning fronted by this century's P.T. Barnum, Donald Trump. Riding the wave of the successful finale of Celebrity Apprentice 2 Sunday night (8.7 million viewers, ranking NBC #2 for the night), the Donald called a news conference to announce whether Miss California Carrie Prejean would be able to keep her title.
"In addition to taking over 30 minutes of cable TV time, promoting his pageant business over a competitor's, (while taking a shot at the Miss America organization for its lack of a broadcast network home), there was the matter of his decision, announced live on TV. Trump deemed those racy pictures of Prejean 'fine' and is allowing her to keep her title."
She kept her crown even as his "crown" -- see above picture -- thins.
Out: That Creepy Pope. There is something profoundly, profoundly creepy about this Pope and we are not quite sure if it is the repressed sexuality or the ultraconservatism -- or both. Maybe it is in the comparison to his predecessor, the Brian Lamb-mellow Pope John Paul II. Either way, lying is a sin, so Il papa might want to apply the backhand to the Vatican's press office. From the NYTimes' Rome correspondent Rachel Donadio:
"The Vatican on Tuesday sought to defend Pope Benedict XVI against criticism that his speech at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial on Monday was a disappointment coming from a German who experienced the Nazi terror firsthand.
"But in seeking to clarify the pope’s wartime past, the Vatican further muddied the waters, appearing to revise — then retract — Benedict’s wartime history in the middle of his first visit to Israel as pontiff.
"At a news conference on Tuesday, the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, seemed to contradict the pope’s own previous statements when he said that Benedict, growing up in Bavaria during World War II, 'never, never, never' belonged to the Hitler Youth.
Later in the day, Father Lombardi withdrew and clarified his comments, saying that Benedict had indeed been forced to join the Hitler Youth, a fact the pope, the former Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, had always openly said."