Apr 20, 2017

CNN's Jake Tapper — A rising star

Evan Agostini / AP

The May issue of GQ has a four-page spread on CNN's Jake Tapper as "The Hardest-Working Brow in the Business," by Taffy Brodesser-Akner:

[T]he Jake Tapper WTF Face [is] that unique look through which he transmits his seeming disbelief and outrage... There is the JTWTFF that is a mere frown ... a hood over his downward-turning, disappointed eyes... My favorite Jake Tapper WTF Face is the one where his eyebrows arch but also corrugate into small bowl-shaped caterpillars...
Tapper allows an incredulousness, and maybe even a smidge of disgust, to sneak on through. In those moments, when he augments the standard newsman persona to include his own come-off-it realness, he has a way of embodying all of us.

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Obama praises young protesters, urges mayors to pursue police reforms

Former President Barack Obama called on all mayors to review their use-of-force policies and commit to policing reform in a virtual town hall Wednesday hosted by the Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keepers Alliance.

Why it matters: Obama has addressed the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed on social media and in a Medium post, but this was his first time speaking about the past week's events on camera. His voice will add weight to the growing pressure on local, state and federal officials to pursue policing reforms.

James Mattis condemns Trump as a threat to the Constitution

Mattis on Fox in Septemnber 2019 in New York City. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis condemned President Trump for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in a statement to The Atlantic on Wednesday, saying he was "appalled" at the president's response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Why it matters: Trump’s former defense secretary had refrained from publicly criticizing his former boss since resigning in 2018.

American society is teetering on the edge

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The COVID-19 pandemic, record unemployment and escalating social unrest are all pushing American society close to the breaking point.

The big picture: Civilizations don't last forever, and when they collapse, the cause is almost always internal failure. Even in the midst of one of our darkest years, the U.S. still has many factors in its favor, but the fate of past societies holds frightening lessons for what may lie ahead.