When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Mauricio Macri, politically incorrect
Mauricio Macri, politically incorrect
Benjamin Witte

-Analysis-

From Washington to Tehran to Pyongyang, the world's attention this week has been consumed by nuclear diplomacy (and lack thereof). Talk of bad manners and misbehaving politicians, in light of such high stakes, might seem beside the point. And yet ...

Yesterday, in a closed-door meeting at the White House, special assistant Kelly Sadler reportedly had this to say about Sen. John McCain, who recently announced his opposition to President Trump's nominee for CIA director:

"It doesn't matter, he's dying anyway."

Yes, he is. Of brain cancer — after a more than 30-year career as a dedicated member of the U.S. Senate. Before that he served as a naval aviator in the war in Vietnam, where he was shot down, taken prisoner, tortured and held for several years.

You'd think McCain's illness alone would compel people to treat the veteran lawmaker with a bit more respect. But no. It's doesn't matter, apparently.

Sadler isn't, of course, the only person in the White House who thinks it's okay to besmirch anyone of their choosing. The boss himself has made these kinds of crass insults a basic part of his mojo. Trump's mockery of a disabled reporter comes to mind as a particularly egregious example, but there are countless others.

The disregard for any basic measure of decorum isn't just a Washington thing either. In the UK this morning, at a BBC radio studio station, a pair of politicians got into a heated argument about previous comments allegedly made about the other's "missus."

"I didn't realize there were any strippers in the place," David Moreland, home affairs spokesman for the right-wing home affairs spokesman UK Independence Party (UKIP), is reported to have said about the wife of fellow UKIP member Chris Walch.

Shouldn't spouses, like disabled people and cancer sufferers, be off-limits? What about children? Turns out they're fair game too, as Argentine President Mauricio Macri demonstrated yesterday when he met a young fan of the recently relegated River Plate soccer team.

"You were doing well until you put on that River Plate soccer jersey and dropped to the B league," the president told the boy. Macri is a known supporter of River Plate's traditional rival, Boca Juniors.

Politics is, as they say, a contact sport. But both on questions of domestic decorum and nuclear diplomacy, we are reminded that any political match requires both rules and boundaries.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

New Probe Finds Pro-Bolsonaro Fake News Dominated Social Media Through Campaign

Ahead of Brazil's national elections Sunday, the most interacted-with posts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Telegram and WhatsApp contradict trustworthy information about the public’s voting intentions.

Jair Bolsonaro bogus claims perform well online

Cris Faga/ZUMA
Laura Scofield and Matheus Santino

SÂO PAULO — If you only got your news from social media, you might be mistaken for thinking that Jair Bolsonaro is leading the polls for Brazil’s upcoming presidential elections, which will take place this Sunday. Such a view flies in the face of what most of the polling institutes registered with the Superior Electoral Court indicate.

An exclusive investigation by the Brazilian investigative journalism agency Agência Pública has revealed how the most interacted-with and shared posts in Brazil on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Telegram and WhatsApp share data and polls that suggest victory is certain for the incumbent Bolsonaro, as well as propagating conspiracy theories based on false allegations that research institutes carrying out polling have been bribed by Bolsonaro’s main rival, former president Luís Inácio Lula da Silva, or by his party, the Workers’ Party.

Agência Pública’s reporters analyzed the most-shared posts containing the phrase “pesquisa eleitoral” [electoral polls] in the period between the official start of the campaigning period, on August 16, to September 6. The analysis revealed that the most interacted-with and shared posts on social media spread false information or predicted victory for Jair Bolsonaro.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ