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Hi. (Depending on your mood, you can read that “hi” in the voice of Ross Geller from Friends [pathetic and whiny] or President Fitzgerald Grant from Scandal [powerful and sexy]. Although, the more I think about it, Ross and Fitz are very much alike; both are needy man-babies who don’t deserve the accomplished women in their orbit, and even though they’re both next-level the worst, I’d French either one of ’em. And while I’m not proud of my TV fantasy crushes, and may later regret sharing that, my heart has been torn up and taped back together an awful lot in the last few years, so it’s more porous than it once was.)

Ahem. Hi. Here’s some stuff that’s happening!

Witch Hunt Yields More Witches

The ongoing investigation into the Trump team’s alleged collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election is looking less “alleged” by the minute! Last Friday, Trump advisor Roger Stone was arrested and indicted on a variety of charges, including lying to Congress and some jazz about Wikileaks and stolen Clinton campaign emails. None of this is all that surprising, but I love this story because of this: According to the New York Times, Stone describes himself as a “dirty trickster” and has a back tattoo of Richard Nixon (what) and uses old-timey mobster insults like “stoolie” (what?) and threatened a colleague’s fluffy white therapy dog, Bianca (WHAT?!). Not to be out-ridiculoused, fellow disgraced Trump associate Michael Cohen also had some recent articles written about his idiocy. For example, the Wall Street Journal reported that Cohen previously hired people to pretend he’s attractive and tweet that he’s a “sexy pit bull terrier.” (Again: what? There’s so much “what?” in the world right now!)

Reacting to the Stone arrest on Twitter, Trump wrote, “Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country!” I’m gonna have to agree with Donald for the first time ever: This is a great witch hunt! It’s a fucking awesome witch hunt. Like, Roald Dahl couldn’t have written better witches. These witches are hilarious. And sexy. Like pit bulls, I guess? With back tattoos. Woof!

And Women Will Save Us

As the garbage fire of the 2016 election continues burning bright, we’re already gathering tinder for the 2020 campaign. And by “tinder” I mean “candidates,” several of whom happen to be women. Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Kamala Harris have already thrown down. The media, having learned from the harm caused by its sexist coverage of Hillary Clinton in 2016, has kicked off this campaign cycle with level-headed nuance and... LOL, I can’t even finish writing that joke sentence! Many outlets have gone straight to questioning these women’s “likability,” which is a pretend question asked by men who don’t like bossy women. Samantha Bee dialed in on what bullshit this is. “We are not off to a good start!” Bee rightly said. “When we frame women candidates like this right off the bat, it becomes impossible to actually discuss them with nuance down the line.” Preach, Sam! And because I guess I’m in the media, let me throw out a small counterbalance to that noise by stating for the record that I think bossy women are extremely likable. But also, let’s not act like candidates truly have to be likable—what with Donald freaking Trump (who lost the popular vote by 2,864,974 votes) being our president right now.

Radioactive Puppies and the Death of New Media

According to Buzzfeed, several puppies born in Chernobyl—the site of one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters—have been adopted by families in North America and will soon bring their Soviet-era toxic glow to our shores. Buzzfeed reports: “The whirlwind of viral stories about the dog program sometimes play up their radioactivity to the point of inaccuracy... the puppies are not radioactive.” Crap, okay, please disregard the first part of this section’s title. The story goes on to report that if the dogs have had any contact with radioactive material, it’s “usually... just on their butt, if they sit in something.” Okay! New title:

Puppies WITH RADIOACTIVE BUTTS and the Death of New Media

Enjoy your radioactive puppy butt news while you can get it, because Buzzfeed just laid off 15 percent of its staff. The site, which grew in popularity thanks to cat memes and personality quizzes, had become a journalistic powerhouse that should still be riding high from breaking major news about Trump’s ongoing attempts to build a tacky skyscraper in Moscow. Instead, the consolidation of Google and Facebook’s online power has led to tons of layoffs across digital publications in recent days. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is metaphorically killing a diverse media landscape with a knife and a laser gun—just like he literally killed a goat in 2011 for a dinner with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey (that’s true!). Thanks for the cats and radioactive puppy butts, Buzzfeed! (I’m using an exclamation point and bringing up the puppies again to make this not seem like a huge bummer!)

Delicious Classic Gossip

Sometimes there’s a story so perfect that it’s gotta be fabricated by gossip writers desperate for something to write about, and I’ve got that story right here: Charlize Theron and Brad Pitt are dating! Well, maybe they are! Okay, the original source is the very unreliable UK Sun, and the generally correct People said, “They have not been out together recently, and were never dating. Reports of them being involved romantically are false.” No! Now I’m sad again! Pitt and Theron have both done humanitarian work; their next project should be to actually date because we’re hanging on by a thread out here and we need this. *Puts fingers in ears, unfollows People on Twitter.*

In other “classic gossip,” the Academy Award nominations came out last week, which is only fun because it’s a mess. First they lost Kevin Hart as host. (Bye!) Now, only a few years after expanding the Best Picture category to 10 nominees, this year it only nominated eight. And in a super misguided attempt to keep the telecast short, only two of the five Best Song nominees will be performed, which disappointed famous nice person Lin-Manuel Miranda, who tweeted: “If true, and Poppins’ song won’t be performed, truly disappointing. Hostless AND music-less? To quote Kendrick: Damn.” The ceremony will be on February 24, which means we can expect to see plenty more PR disasters between now and then. Awards shows are dumb and I love them, especially when they are extra dumb like this. I mean, there are real live people who are upset that Bradley Cooper wasn’t nominated for Best Director. We share the planet with people who think Bradley Cooper should have an Academy Award for Best Director. Bless this mess.

The Last Word

See? How am I supposed to resist the loving yet problematic fictional arms of Ross Geller and President Fitzgerald Grant with *gestures at America* all of this happening? Shit is TENSE. I’m going to—well, not exactly forgive my sins (have you watched Friends recently? Ross is truly awful), but definitely ignore them for a while. I’ll ignore your problematic faves, too. We’re doing our best, probably. Okay. Bye.