Get me rewrite.

The Columbus Dispatch wasn’t a great newspaper when I worked there. After I left, it got better, a lot better. (I hope my departure didn’t have anything to do with that.) But even in the darkest days of being the Disgrace, as it was called, when the publisher commissioned hit pieces and the cartoonists drew ethnic stereotypes in cartoons and all the rest of it, I don’t think we ever did anything like this:

I mean, if I had written that headline, I’d have put a period after “Go get one.” There’s no sense in writing declarative-sentence headlines (of which I approve, btw) without properly punctuating them.

It’s kinda funny. The URL suggests the original headline was “Wendy’s Strawberry Frosty is out. Here’s how to order one” (again with no period). Maybe the powers that be thought that was stupid, because presumably the answer is, “Go to Wendy’s and say, ‘Gimme one-a them new strawberry Frosties.'”

Wendy’s is a local company; most Ohioans know that. When I was there, Wendy’s executives would sometimes leave the company and start their own fast-food restaurants, which led to an embarrassment of riches for people who, say, lived alone and didn’t cook much, i.e. me and sometimes Jeff Borden. There was one called G.D. Ritzy’s — their thing was griddle-style burgers and high-quality ice cream. Some of these efforts seemed to follow the Wendy’s founding model. Dave Thomas was a simple soul whose favorite food was hamburgers, so he set out to make a better one. Apparently the G.D. Ritzy founder loved smashburgers and ice cream for dessert. It didn’t succeed, but it was resurrected just a few years ago by the founder’s sons. One location, same basic menu, same idea. Fat and salt for dinner, followed by fat and sugar for dessert.

Then there was a place just a block or two away from the four-flat that Borden and I occupied, called Big Bite. It was pita-style sandwiches on flatbread. I always ordered the Big Natural, because it had more vegetables in it. Later I learned what the term “big naturals” means in the world of pornography, and I don’t think I could eat another one.

Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips had a big presence around town, and was one of Dave Thomas’ gigs before he started Wendy’s. Then there were the longtime brands — White Castle, and about a million other imitators. Can’t forget Skyline Chili, which oozed up I-71 from Cincinnati.

Back to this stupid story:

“We’re always listening to our fans and as the most-requested item, it was a no-brainer for us to bring the Strawberry Frosty to the menu this season,” said Carl Loredo, chief marketing officer for The Wendy’s Company, in a statement.

The Strawberry Frosty is available through July 3. Wendy’s is also offering a Summer Strawberry Chicken Salad, which combines sliced strawberries, bacon, grilled chicken, a crispy lettuce and spring mix. It’s topped with an Italian cheese blend, candied almonds and a sweet Champagne vinaigrette.

I like the way Champagne is capitalized, because surely this vinaigrette is only made with the real thing, from the Champagne region of France. Also, “a crispy lettuce and spring mix.”

It goes on and on like this. I give up.

Oh well.

And now we face Wednesday. I hope yours goes well. Why not order a refreshing strawberry Frosty? They’re only available for a limited time.

Posted at 10:00 pm in Media |
 

40 responses to “Get me rewrite.”

  1. Joe Kobiela said on June 7, 2022 at 10:20 pm

    Back in the day after playing Rugby in Cincinnati, Dayton, or Miami of Ohio we would often stop in Greenville Ohio on the way back and go to Maid-Rite, order a six and six at the drive up and out would come six dry sloppy joes sliders with onions and six Blatz beers, you would then stick your chewed gum on the side of the building and cruise north up 127.
    Pilot Joe

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  2. Hank Stuever said on June 8, 2022 at 12:09 am

    Totally agree about needing a period at the end. Makes me twitchy looking at it.

    I don’t know anything about USA Today et al’s CMS, but in my shop, we craft separate URLs on stories, which are never at any point the headline, but a searchy string of words, which this one is. Then we write a meta title with a digital summary (a deckhed, if you will), which is also not a headline, but a direct come-on for search engines.

    On top of all that we have the web headline (and optional deck), which is also supposed to be searchy and run at the top of the article itself, but ever so slightly more human, possibly elegant, grabby — whatever, so long as it doesn’t go over 70 characters and has the relevant terms, in this case Wendy’s strawberry Frosty.

    Then, of course, the real pros (the artists formerly known as copy editors) get a crack at it for print, if it’s going to be in print.

    This sort of stuff seemed poised to become a sticking point in that celebrity defamation trial you tried to avoid. Very frustrating to watch as attorneys and witnesses seemed to have no understanding whatsoever (or thought to research?) how a web headline and a print headline could be different and not written by the same person, and certainly not by the author of a submitted op-ed — and that none of them thought to call a witness from the profession who could slowly and carefully explain it.

    All the years we spent insisting to people that REPORTERS DON’T WRITE THE HEADLINES. Well, erm, today that isn’t always true, especially online. Some of the writers are extremely good at it.

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  3. David C said on June 8, 2022 at 6:15 am

    I spent this weekend visiting my parents. My dad, at least, seems open to moving into an independent living apartment in a continuing care community. He’s been in the hospital three times in the past year with heart problems and my mom has a bad short term memory problem. They need to be somewhere else other than a biggish house with an acre of lawn. So it’s great news that dad has seen that the current situation can’t be sustained. Once they decide to sell the house the big work of getting rid of sixty-five years worth of stuff that won’t fit in an apartment starts. I don’t look forward to that but I really look forward to them being able to live a better life without the burden of that house.

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  4. alex said on June 8, 2022 at 6:32 am

    I saw that very same headline somewhere other than the Columbus Dispatch, but can’t remember where, when I was clicking around yesterday. It messed with my sensibilities too

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  5. Lou Gravity said on June 8, 2022 at 7:15 am

    I was expecting you to drop the period after limited time

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  6. Dorothy said on June 8, 2022 at 7:18 am

    David that’s good news. I’m sure you know that it’s more than half the battle won because your dad has agreed to this. It took a lot of cajoling to get my dad on board in 2005 to move to assisted living. He’d fallen several times and my mom had to call paramedics to help get him up. He had bypass surgery in 1999 which really seemed to weaken him very much instead of helping him. And despite the fact that we assured him my siblings and I would help to pay for the rent, he got so terribly upset about it that he had some serious heart issues and was hospitalized less than a week after they moved into the new place. He died about 10 days later. Your dad accepting this reality is really very positive, and I hope the transition will be much better for him and your mom than it was for my dad.

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  7. Mark P said on June 8, 2022 at 9:18 am

    I just turned 72, and a couple of weeks ago, prior to my recent health issue, I couldn’t imagine moving into assisted living. I mean, after all, that’s basically the last step before funeral arrangements. Now I have a deeper internal understanding that I’m on the tail end of my life. We don’t have children to usher us into anything like that, so the decision will be entirely mine. I can’t see myself making that choice voluntarily, but, as I learned, life can make those decisions for you sometimes.

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  8. RB said on June 8, 2022 at 9:29 am

    Crafting headlines is a tricky art, usually constrained by the space available (“All the News That Fits”)
    Back in the 70s, the campus weekly I worked on drew a “We are not amused” reprimand from the administration for the following headline about a controversial psychology class: “Sex education professor comes under heat.”

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  9. Julie Robinson said on June 8, 2022 at 12:14 pm

    Copy editors? There are still copy editors? I don’t see much evidence of their existence.

    There was an infamous case in the Fort many years back concerning a certain restaurant chain known for food violations and Nancy’s morning competitor. IIRC the story said there was evidence of rodent droppings but the headline said rats, and the restaurant’s owners sued for libel. The paper’s lawyers weren’t able to prevail on that one, and I believe a hefty sum was paid.

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  10. Dave said on June 8, 2022 at 1:23 pm

    As of April, I also became 72, starting to sound like I might be reaching an advanced age. The neighbor across the street woke up one morning, went down and made coffee, started wondering why her husband hadn’t gotten up yet after a little time had passed, went up to discover that he’d passed away sometime during the night, no warning, no health problems that were alarming either of them, but they attributed it to his heart. There was no autopsy. He was 72.

    You just never know, my cousin, a 48 year old female, had a heart attack about three weeks ago, no warning until about three days before, she started feeling some unusual pain and finally thought she’d better see about it. She’s an RN, too, and a slender lady.

    My father, in his final years, was quite willing to consider assisted living, his older sister was living in such a place and Dad thought it was a nice place and made a lot of sense. My stubborn mother, however, would get very upset, she wasn’t leaving the home she’d lived in for 60 plus years and why would she ever want to. Dad passed on and mother lived another four years in a memory care/assisted living home, a very unpleasant time for all of her children.

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  11. Deggjr said on June 8, 2022 at 1:30 pm

    I think the lack of a period comes from texting etiquette.

    “What Periods Communicate in Text Messaging
    In the context of texting, other linguistic researchers have suggested that the period reads as final—as shutting down a conversation—and that it is more commonly used at the end of a sentence that is meant to convey unhappiness, anger, or frustration.”
    https://www.thoughtco.com/leave-period-out-of-text-messages-4022990

    It probably goes with eliminating two spaces after a sentence within a document, a way to separate the cool kids from the non-cool kids.

    And don’t put ketchup on your hot dog.

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  12. Dorothy said on June 8, 2022 at 1:32 pm

    My daughter is a copy editor and a damn good one. Many smaller papers, though, make do without them. I’m glad my daughter doesn’t work for a small paper anymore.

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  13. Deborah said on June 8, 2022 at 2:24 pm

    I thought I commented earlier but maybe I misspelled my name again. Anyway what I wanted to say was that I love it when Nancy, Hank and other journalists explain their craft because even though I’ve been reading newspapers all my life I have no idea how it’s done.

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  14. Jeff Gill said on June 8, 2022 at 3:20 pm

    I appreciated Hank’s detail on the tech side, which I only know indirectly, but I would say for the last seven or eight years most of my “filler” headlines end up used on the final online & print product, 9 out of 10 or more often . . . and that most emphatically was not formerly the case. As a “contributor” I just send an email to my editor, but in that same period I’ve realized what I put in that email is going 100% copy/paste into the mothership, so I look it over much more carefully than I did, say, twenty years ago.

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  15. Deborah said on June 8, 2022 at 4:13 pm

    There are some similarities of journalism and graphic design regarding the hierarchy and process. Journalist have investigators which may be equivalent to designers who do up front research, then investigators write stories based on what they find out. Similarly graphic designers start a series of explorations of how to convey visually what they have researched. Then in journalism editors fine tune what investigators have written, similarly design directors or creative directors review what designers have come up with to convey visually the meaning of whatever they are producing be it an advertisement, a magazine article, a Brochure, an exhibit, a built environment story, architectural signage etc etc. then in journalism copy editors refine and correct what the writers have produced. While in graphic design production people prepare the designs that have been produced by designers for print or digital outcomes.

    Is that at all the way it happens in journalism? I know there are many more details and ins and outs, as there are in GD.

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  16. Deborah said on June 8, 2022 at 4:22 pm

    I should also add that graphic designers also work closely with fabricators, illustrators and photographers, as well as interactive programmers to help convey the meaning of what they are trying to communicate visually and emotionally.

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  17. basset said on June 8, 2022 at 10:17 pm

    I remember Arthur Treacher’s in Bloomington, Indiana years ago, and GD Ritzy’s a few years later in Bowling Green, Kentucky. No White Castles in Wichita, Kansas, when we lived there in the early 80s, although it got started there and the original building was still standing. The local sandwich in Wichita was the Nu-Way, and the Maid-Rite that Dave mentioned sounds a lot like it… pretty much a sloppy joe with no sauce.

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  18. basset said on June 8, 2022 at 10:51 pm

    Topic change… been looking for podcasts to listen to on an upcoming long drive, and ran across the BBC’s “Inheritance Tracks.” https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02pc9my/episodes/downloads

    Interesting concept – name a song that has been handed down to you from an older generation and means a lot to you, and one that you would like generations after you to hear.

    Alice Cooper, for example, named the Yardbirds’ version of “Train Kept a-Rollin” and Thunderclap Newman’s “Something in the Air.” Rick Wakeman picked Phil Harris’ “Woodman, Spare That Tree” and Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf.”

    I have no idea who most of the current contributors are – if anyone’s familiar with Brindley Sherratt and Shobna Gulati, help me out here. Would be interesting to hear what our group might select, though.

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  19. Dexter Friend said on June 9, 2022 at 2:49 am

    Arthur Treacher’s near Laycoff’s Tavern on North Clinton in Fort Wayne was a go-to place for me. There were 2 bicycle shops nearby, Denny’s Bike Shop and I think Koehlinger’s, so I was frequently going to that area anyway, and that fish was great. I probably ate a ton of it. I still have yet to try Big-Eye Fish, but it’s supposed to be pretty good. I just never get to Fort Wayne anymore.
    Back in the early 80’s, mountain bikes were not available yet. I had read about them and was surprised when the first one arrived at Denny’s Bikes. It was a Univega Uno, and on display. I bought it for like $339. I got it home and began riding it. The handlebar began coming loose, the chain de-railed, the derailleur was drooping, the crank began spinning . I was so pissed off; I took it back as junk and demanded my money back. No dice. They apologized, saying the sales-kid never should have sold it as it was just a prototype, having no bearings or any parts making it fit to ride. They just said to come back in a few days and they’d fix it up right. They did, but I only kept it a little while and traded it for a Schwinn Mesa Runner at Koehlinger’s. https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-7JniqObIxVM/UuPRBIP960I/AAAAAAAAAlQ/zGfdAQq04z4/w945-h709-no/smr+%25281%2529.JPG

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  20. alex said on June 9, 2022 at 6:21 am

    I don’t know whether Uvalde will be a turning point or just another statistic, but I’m not the only one who sees parallels between the tobacco and gun lobbies and the potential for loosening the stranglehold of the former:

    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/feature/guns-cigarettes-shootings-regulation

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  21. Jeff Borden said on June 9, 2022 at 10:18 am

    My memory is that anti-smoking laws were driven by the recognition of second-hand smoke as a workplace safety issue. Non-smoking wait staff at bars and restaurants contracting lung cancer. Same for non-smoking office workers, etc.

    There are considerable obstacles to suing gun makers for liability thanks to the cadre of bought and paid for politicians owned by the NRA. That sack of vomit Jockstrap Gym Jordan, while offering crocodile tears for Buffalo and Uvalde, quickly pivoted to his fear Dems would “destroy” the Second Amendment.

    If only we could.

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  22. Icarus said on June 9, 2022 at 11:19 am

    In 2014, when I was blogging more regularly on ChicagoNow, I wanted to write about this topic. Obviously, I never got around to it, but here are some notes.

    Why are Gun Advocates afraid of Smart Guns?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/a-german-gunmakers-quest-for-a-smarter-weapon-infuriates-us-gun-rights-advocates/2014/08/06/4c78fd82-18cb-11e4-9349-84d4a85be981_story.html?wpisrc=nl_politics&wpmm=1

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/we-need-the-iphone-of-guns-will-smart-guns-transform-the-gun-industry/2014/02/17/6ebe76da-8f58-11e3-b227-12a45d109e03_story.html?tid=pm_pop

    The concept: the iP1, can be personalized so it only fires if the gun’s rightful owner is wearing a special watch connected wirelessly to the weapon.

    The National Rifle Association and other gun groups fiercely oppose smart guns, in part because of a New Jersey law mandating that all firearms sold in the state be smart guns within three years of such weapons being sold in the United States.

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  23. Julie Robinson said on June 9, 2022 at 11:22 am

    basset–I honestly can’t think of a song, since my folks weren’t into pop music and my grandma played awful stuff like Yellow Rose of Texas. I can think of a few hymns, which won’t interest this crowd. How about Ode to Joy, the last movement of Beethoven’s 9th symphony? I heard it played frequently as a kid, sang in it myself, and then there’s the memory of Leonard Bernstein conducting it at the fall of the Berlin Wall. It’s also used as a hymn, so it checks lots of boxes for me.

    Maid-Rites, of which there is an entire chain in Iowa, is/are nothing more than fried hamburger pieces on a bun. Yet somehow it was always a big deal when someone said they were serving them, as if they were a very chic invention. That’s Iowa for you.

    Read a new pivot on AR-15’s, via South Dakota’s John Thune: they are useful for clearing out varmints (yes, he used that word) like prairie dogs. The National Parks Service pointed out that prairie dogs weigh 1-3 pounds and two of their five species are endangered. Can there be any doubt they’re just stalling and hoping people will forget? Not in my mind.

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  24. Mark P said on June 9, 2022 at 11:30 am

    I read somewhere someone said that if your first response to something like the Uvalde shooting is that you can’t come for my guns, we don’t have a difference in politics, we have a difference in morality.

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  25. Connie said on June 9, 2022 at 11:32 am

    https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/local/2022/06/09/fbi-arrests-republican-candidate-for-michigan-gov-ryan-kelley/

    The leading candidate of the remaining Michigan GOP Gov primary candidates has just been arrested by the FBI.

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  26. basset said on June 9, 2022 at 12:27 pm

    Thanks for the response, Julie. The way I understand it, the older song or whatever doesn’t have to be passed down through your family, just something from an earlier time that particularly speaks to you… and the newer one is something you think future generations should hear.

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  27. Dave said on June 9, 2022 at 12:52 pm

    I’ve considered writing to all of these senators and telling them what lowlifes I think they are but what would that get me? I’m down to name calling and telling them they’re evil because I’m out of words. I read Thune’s remarks last evening and thought it as ridiculous a response as anyone could muster.

    I don’t know about music that influenced me to be passed on to future generations but I will always have the entire soundtrack of South Pacific, the movie version, living with me. My parents loved that soundtrack and played it so many times that when I hear it, I know all the songs, the words, every nuance even when I know I had not heard it for decades until I played it via Amazon music one day.

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  28. Deborah said on June 9, 2022 at 1:22 pm

    LB and I just got back from buying green hightop Converse in memory of one of the little girls who got shot in Uvalde, Maite Rodriquez. Her body was only able to be identified by her shoes. She had drawn a heart on the toe of her right shoe so we’re going to do that too. I didn’t know Maite but her story got to me. I hope people ask me about my shoes so I can tell them about Maite and her classmates and teachers, most people know about the Uvalde massacre, but maybe not a personal story of a child who died there. Matthew McConaughey told her story among others when he spoke at the Whitehouse press event a couple of days ago and showed some shoes like hers. I can’t draw the heart just yet because my hands are too shaky right now. I hope this catches on.

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  29. Icarus said on June 9, 2022 at 1:26 pm

    and my comment is in moderation because I put in two URL links

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    • jcburns said on June 9, 2022 at 2:29 pm

      Two really long links from the Washington Post. Yep.

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  30. Jeff Gill said on June 9, 2022 at 3:29 pm

    I need jcburns to look into my karma, which is currently in moderation (which is a nice way of putting it). You can fix anything! You’re like coffee.

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  31. Bitter Scribe said on June 9, 2022 at 4:30 pm

    Anyone hear about the frontrunning candidate in the Michigan GOP primary for governor got his house raided by the FBI for participating in the Jan. 6 riot? Asshole actually thinks that’s a badge of honor.

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  32. Deborah said on June 9, 2022 at 5:37 pm

    This is an excellent “Why is This Happening” Chris Hayes podcast about the gun industry, very worth the time to listen to it https://open.spotify.com/episode/4hWeQL7D1dDzqBAVNNgSNL It doesn’t have to be listened to on Spotify, it’s available on other podcast platforms.

    LB had a Dr appointment this afternoon and she wore her green Converse and people asked her about them and when she told one person they cried.

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  33. Julie Robinson said on June 9, 2022 at 5:57 pm

    Bitter, as Connie mentioned at #25, he was arrested. And yes, the MAGAts will probably love him even more.

    The green Converse shoes is a beautiful idea. I saw a check someone wrote to a politician with “thoughts and prayers” in the amount areas. They hoped their check would help with his reelection as much as his thoughts and prayers helped prevent gun violence.

    And there’s another mass shooting today at a business in Maryland. Tally not in yet.

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  34. ROGirl said on June 9, 2022 at 6:13 pm

    Another Michigan republican running for governor is flooding media with an ad about the democratic zombie voters he is trying to stop.

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  35. Deborah said on June 9, 2022 at 10:31 pm

    I watched the first day (evening) of hearings, I thought it was interesting how focused the whole thing is on Trump. I mean I knew that was the undercurrent but I missed that Trump is going to be front and center in the whole event. It’s damning for Trump to watch it being spelled out minute by minute in front of our eyes. really, to some degree we’re not really seeing anything new, or anything we didn’t already know, but when one sees it all laid out chronologically is compelling. will this change anyone’s mind? I think so, the vast middle can be reached and convinced. Of course no one on the far right is going to change their minds but that’s not who will hear and see this stuff. They won’t watch it because it’s not on Fox News. I had a hard time figuring out how to watch it, we no longer have cable in Santa Fe and Xfinity makes it impossible to watch regular TV if you no longer have cable with them, so I ended up watching it live on CNN online. I would rather have watched it on MSNBC but I couldn’t figure out how to make that possible. My husband who’s in Chicago tonight wasn’t planning to watch it at all but will probably see clips of it online tomorrow.

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  36. Dexter Friend said on June 10, 2022 at 2:32 am

    Rachel and Nicole and Chris and Joy were astounded at the hearings’ reports last night. I have never seen them all so full of life. Ivanka’s statement topped it off. She believed Barr’s “bullshit” statement over her dad’s position. It was really something to watch. Liz Cheney is at the top of her game here with this. Yeah, she’s a right wing person, but she is really great in this reveal of Trump’s real criminality, even though we all know nobody has the guts to bring Trump to court on criminal charges.

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  37. Connie said on June 10, 2022 at 7:29 am

    Deborah, I have Xfinity’s free Flex box for streaming, it includes Peacock (NBC) for free. They were showing MSNBC. Which was what I watched.

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  38. alex said on June 10, 2022 at 7:34 am

    Leaving for a 4-day weekend in Chicago. Trying to pack appropriately without taking too much clothing, and also to not forget any of my multitude of meds. Will be taking in the Andersonville Midsomerfest and no doubt lots of insulin.

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  39. susan said on June 10, 2022 at 10:38 am

    Deborah @35. I watched the hearing live last night, on C-Span, on my computer. C-Span also has a mobile-phone app you can use. I like C-Span because they don’t use blabbers.

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