Tom Price, left, and Tiffany Trump, right. (Photos: ALM/Shutterstock.com)
Alternative facts. Alternative reality. Whatever. Any way you look at it, it’s been surreal for the past two months.
In that spirit, here’s my latest compilation of weird but true (and maybe fake) news.
1. Dentons sends an “Oopsy” Letter to CNN. Well, this is embarrassing.
First, CNN ran a story questioning purchases of a bio company’s stock by Tom Price, Donald Trump’s pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services. Then, Dentons blasted a letter to CNN demanding a retraction on behalf of Price. As noted by The Washington Post and sibling publiciation The Litigation Daily, that letter was not too friendly:
“It used language suggesting that Price may be contemplating legal action against CNN, warning the network against repeating the claims … and arguing that such repetition ‘can be treated as a knowing publication of false statements and as potentially defamatory communications.’”
Then, Dentons said it was a mistake to send that letter because, gosh, it forgot a really important client: CNN. The firm wrote to CNN in a letter published by the Post: “On behalf of the firm, we apologize for the letter, which should not have been sent by Dentons given our representation of CNN.” To make its allegiance clear, Dentons also added that it would stop representing Price in connection with CNN.
Messy, right? But then Trump’s transition spokesman, Phil Blando, made it worse.
Though both CNN and Dentons confirmed the authenticity of the letter, Blando insisted to the Post, “The letter is not authentic.”
But all is cleared up—sort of. “Blando says his ‘not authentic’ comment pertains to any letter that would allege a withdrawal of the presidential transition team retraction demand, not the demand from the Dentons lawyers,” reports the Post.
In sum, an “authentic” document might not qualify as “authentic” under the Trumpian lens, much the same way that facts might not be facts.
2. Tiffany got into Harvard Law School! Maybe not. Yet.
Remember when Tiffany Trump was spotted at HLS with secret service agents in tow after the election? According to the Santa Monica Observer (no relationship, I assume, to New York Observer, which, until very recently, was owned by Tiff’s brother-in-law, Jared Kushner), the non-Ivanka daughter has been accepted by HLS!
Finally, a Trump goes to Harvard!
Not so fast. Though HLS does have a rolling admissions policy, there’s no evidence that Tiffany has been admitted. First, HLS won’t confirm the story. Its representative told me: “We don’t discuss applications with anyone, except the applicant.” What’s more, it seems that the SM Observer might be a fake (or is it “alternative facts-based”?) news site that dispenses some outlandish stories
But here’s the mystery: Why bother with (fakey) news about Tiffany going to HLS? Could it be there’s a secret Tiffany lobby that’s suggesting she is actually the brainiac of the litter?
Who knows? Considering that Trump has been trashing the Ivy Leaguers on the Supreme Court, maybe it’d be wise for HLS (and all the other elite schools) to curry favor with the new administration by admitting Tiffany.
3. This Skadden associate knows how to party.
It was billed as the UNaugural ball with proceeds to support the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, the NAACP and the Natural Resources Defense Council. I thought it was going to be sort of an evening of protest with people discussing Obamacare, abortion rights, immigration and other causes while downing strong alcoholic drinks.
Well, the drinking part was in evidence. But it was first and foremost a party with pulsating music, flowing cocktails, networking and flirtation. The celebratory tone was what made this anti-Trump event a bit surreal.
Packed into New York’s super hip Bowery Hotel, the sold-out party, which was attended by nearly 500 people, was spearheaded by seven millennial professionals, including Skadden Arps associate Bill Scarpato. According to Scarpato, the idea came from political discussions with friends who were shocked by the election results.
“For me the election was a huge wake-up call that it’s time to stop taking our democracy for granted,” says Scarpato. “I want to demonstrate to my peers that we can and must get actively involved in our political process.”
The party, according to Scarpato, netted about $50,000 for the four organizations.
OK, so I didn’t sense much political consciousness at the ball, but it was a fun party. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose.
Contact Vivia Chen at email@example.com. On Twitter: @lawcareerist.