Lead story: No matter what you think of Gawker – love ‘em or loathe ‘em – the blog had a huge day Thursday when they went all WikiLeaks on the Romney campaign and dropped a sprawling investigation into Romney’s finances while at Bain Capital. The report comes after staffers at the blog sifted through almost 1,000 pages of documents to map out the convoluted way in which Romney clears his fortune to avoid paying taxes. Of course, the backlash was almost instant as Fortune called the report “worthless” and tried to pick it apart piece by piece. Still, as Amy Davidson points out over at the New Yorker, the final worth of the contents doesn’t matter as much as the fact that folks are out there finally digging through Romney’s financial trail because of the his refusal to be upfront about his tax returns and other business dealings. And as Kevin Roose at New York Magazine says, “The important point about Gawker's data dump is not that it shows that Romney was lying about his finances, or that he has made millions of dollars from evil investments. It's that it illuminates the huge gap between the average Gawker reader and Mitt Romney when it comes to matters of money.”
Whether anyone beyond the media cares, though, is another matter. The saying goes “a person is smart, people are stupid” and that applies to the public’s reaction to financial matters during an election. No matter how thorough the Gawker report is, it’s going to be hard to make average Americans care that much. Even if it sticks and somewhat threatens Romney’s campaign, waving around these numbers will only overwhelm the general populace like a fussy puppy.
Also: Michelle Obama was in Wisconsin yesterday to meet with survivors and relatives of victims from the deadly shooting at a Sikh temple earlier this month. While she didn’t take questions from the media, she did spend time with the victims and offered them her condolences. It’s the second time this summer the First Lady has visited victims of a deadly mass shootings, having already visited victims of the Aurora, Colo., theater shooting. While President Obama visited the Aurora victims and has publicly denounced the Wisconsin shootings, he’s yet to pay a visit to the Sikh temple victims, something that bothered some survivors.
And then: Rev. Jesse Jackson is in Oklahoma this week hoping to bring attention to the case of Darrell Williams. Williams is an Oklahoma State athlete originally from Chicago who Jackson says was wrongfully convicted of groping two women at a party. He was convicted in July of sexual battery and rape by instrumentation, for allegedly reaching his hands inside their pants. Williams maintains his innocence (he even passed two lie detector tests) and was convicted solely on testimony of the two women. There was no physical evidence, a fact that has some questioning the validity of the verdict. Besides having to register as a sex offender, Williams also faces jail time; the jury recommended two years minimum. Williams attended Dunbar Career Academy High School in Chicago and his older brother was killed here a few years ago. Things are tense: Williams’ supporters have alleged racial bias in their attacks on the case, pointing out that no African-Americans served on the jury. And yet, two women have adamantly claimed to have been sexually assaulted and their case risks being obscured by the ongoing debate. As both sides seek justice, the case teeters on the edge of a disaster in which no one gets the justice they seek.
Extra, Extra: Late Thursday CTU president Karen Lewis confirmed she will not issue the ten-day strike notice in time to prevent school from starting on time September 4. There's still a possibility of a strike, Lewis told WBBM radio Friday morning, but it would come after the school year started. She also noted she might issue the ten-day notice but that doesn't mean a strike will come to full fruition, either.
Welcome back: Maulik Pancholy to the role in which he belongs: Jack Donaghy’s assistant Jonathan on the NBC comedy 30 Rock. Pancholy had left 30 Rock to head to another NBC comedy, Whitney, but a creative make-over on that show has sent Pancholy back to Tina Fey and company just in time for the show’s final season.
This “Call Me Maybe” lipdub by members of an Army infantry unit is oh-so-right that it makes up for all of the horrible ones that came before it. [via The Daily What]