Clammy Billionaire Peter Thiel Charms the Republican National Convention With Extremely Fast Speech

Brendan O'Connor · 07/21/16 09:07PM

CLEVELAND — Like pretty much everything else this week, Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel’s speech at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday was not glaringly evil but mostly...pretty boring. “When Donald Trump asks us to Make America Great Again, he’s not suggesting a return to the past,” Thiel told the convention. “He’s running to lead us back to that bright future.” So: boring and incoherent.

What Does Peter Thiel Want?

J.K. Trotter · 07/21/16 04:59PM

Tonight, in Cleveland, Silicon Valley billionaire, Facebook board member, and Donald Trump delegate Peter Thiel will address thousands of party members and journalists at the Republican National Convention. Although he has never concealed his own fringe political views—such as his contention that human freedom and representative democracy are incompatible—Thiel’s open embrace of Trump has inspired some soul-searching in the proudly progressive technology sector. Among that crowd, he’s typically considered a brilliant if mercurial oracle, while the broader public has, for the most part, treated Thiel with confusion and fascination, most recently over his years-long covert campaign to bankrupt Gawker Media. Thiel, who has styled himself as a deep, innovative, and strategic thinker about the big questions facing the world, will, tonight, have the biggest audience he has ever had. So what is he going to ask for?

Little Evidence to Support Police Explanation of Flag-Burning Arrest Outside RNC

Brendan O'Connor · 07/21/16 12:54PM

CLEVELAND — Longtime free-speech activistGregory “Joey” Johnson, who took his fight for the right to burn flags all the way to the Supreme Court, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct following a flag burning outside the Republican National Convention on Wednesday. Police said he accidentally set himself on fire, prompting them to take action to extinguish the fire and disperse the crowd, but eyewitness accounts as well as photo and video evidence seem show a different story.

Bush Lied, Ape Died

Alex Pareene · 07/21/16 10:30AM

CLEVELAND — Despite the massive police presence outside the convention site, some free-thinkers are still out here on the streets telling brave truths.

Gawker Goes to a Punk Show

Brendan O'Connor · 07/21/16 10:15AM

CLEVELAND — On Wednesday night, as Senator Ted Cruz provided the Republican National Convention with its first true spectacle of the week, Cleveland’s punks gathered at Now That’s Class, a dive bar on the city’s west side, to vent their frustration. Vermin Supreme was in attendance, though he did not throw down in the pit.

The Flag Burning That Pretty Much Wasn't

Brendan O'Connor · 07/20/16 05:28PM

CLEVELAND — Late on Wednesday afternoon, on the doorstep of the Republican National Convention, a small group of unassuming communists pulled black shirts out of their bags and over their heads, locked arms, and made a small, circular space for a flag burning.

Undocumented and Unafraid, Immigration Activists Give Trump His Wall

Brendan O'Connor · 07/20/16 02:15PM

CLEVELAND — On Wednesday, a coalition of leftist groups, led by organizers from the Latinx group Mijente, raised a handmade wall—a series of long, spray-painted, cloth signs held aloft, stretching, in segments, several hundred (and maybe thousands) of feet across—in front of the Republican National Convention. This made life very difficult for delegates trying to get in or out of the Quicken Loans Arena.

Trump Eats Farts

Brendan O'Connor · 07/20/16 01:20PM

CLEVELAND — Trump eats farts lol.

In Tamir Rice's Cleveland, Donald Trump and the RNC Are a World Away

Andy Cush · 07/20/16 10:15AM

CLEVELAND—Take a 15 minute ride on Cleveland’s RTA Red Line, westbound from the hubbub of downtown and the Republican National Convention, and get off at the West Boulevard station. Go up a flight of stairs, step outside, and cross Detroit Avenue, turn left at the Palazzo, an Italian restaurant that looks like it was pretty cozy and romantic before it closed down. Walk about a half a block, and you’ve reached the border of the Cudell Commons and Recreation Center, where a Cleveland police officer shot and killed Tamir Rice seven months before Rice’s thirteenth birthday, in November 2014.

Did the GOP Invite the Wrong Chris Cox to Their Convention?

Hudson Hongo · 07/19/16 08:37PM

Tuesday evening, chief NRA lobbyist Chris Cox appeared at the Republican National Convention to speak about guns, guns and guns, which was kind of strange, really, given the night’s official theme was “Make America Work Again.”

Liveblogging Tiffany Trump's First Brave Steps Into the Outside World

Ashley Feinberg · 07/19/16 08:15PM

Welcome to evening two of the Republican National Convention, where Ben Carson will be sewing Chris Christie’s head onto Mike Pence’s body and Tiffany Trump is allowed the rare opportunity to be seen with the rest of her family as she delivers her very first campaign speech. We’ll be coming to you live from Cleveland for prime time at the RNC.

Armed Agents of the State Escort Alex Jones Away From Shouty Communists

Brendan O'Connor · 07/19/16 08:15PM

CLEVELAND — It’s getting warmer here at the Republican National Convention, and tensions are rising. On Tuesday afternoon, right-wing conspiracy theorist and radio host Alex Jones strode into a crowd gathered in Cleveland’s Public Square, drawing the attention of Trump supporters, the media, and members of the Revolutionary Communist Party, who screamed in his face: “Off our streets, Nazi scum.” Caught in a scuffle on the stone steps leading up to the speaker podium at the south end of the square, Jones was quickly and unceremoniously ushered out of the scrum by police.

Wow, I Guess They're Really Doing This

Hudson Hongo · 07/19/16 06:13PM

On Tuesday, the Republican National Convention held a roll call vote to officially nominate Donald Trump as their party’s candidate for President of the United States. Goddamn.

Bret Baier on Roger Ailes Ouster Report: "Ugh"

Alex Pareene · 07/19/16 03:54PM

CLEVELAND — Earlier this afternoon, Ashley and I stumbled upon Fox News’s Bret Baier and Chris Wallace livestreaming a discussion from a Facebook booth adjacent to the convention center, where most of the campaign press work when not in the arena.

Veterans Reject "Singularly Shameful" Donald Trump

Brendan O'Connor · 07/19/16 01:49PM

CLEVELAND — It is a great American tradition, especially during presidential campaigns, for political candidates to deploy military veterans and active service members as evidence of both their robust patriotism and their qualifications to be commander-in-chief. Donald Trump, of course, is neither a patriot nor qualified to be commander-in-chief, and on Tuesday morning a group of veterans gathered in the public square here to make that very point.

Cleveland Teen Says: "Make Memes Great Again"

Brendan O'Connor · 07/19/16 11:42AM

CLEVELAND — In the public square on Tuesday morning, as the Patriotic Millionaires spoke out from the podium against money in politics, local teen Zach Alberty unfurled a sign asking Americans to Make Memes Great Again.