Fox News settles election lies defamation suit for $787.5 million: The big-deal suit from Dominion Voting Systems ended… just before it got good Tuesday. A jury in Delaware was ready to hear opening statements from lawyers on both sides, who were lapel-clipped and everything! Dominion had originally sought $1.6 billion in damages after the network and its hosts repeatedly smeared the results of the 2020 election and the company's reputation. Fox’s lawyers acknowledged "some claims" were false, and added they were “hopeful that our decision to resolve this dispute with Dominion amicably, instead of the acrimony of a divisive trial, allows the country to move forward from these issues.” Yeah, we’re definitely all good now. Thanks for your concern.
Tragically, we won’t hear Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Maria Bartiromo, and Rupert Murdoch explain themselves, or all those private messages in the Dominion filings where they trashed Trump and admitted their coverage was garbage. I just think it would have been neat if the network were held more accountable for a misinformation campaign.
Seattle City Council approves a $10 late fee cap for renters: As Hannah reported last week, Council Member Kshama Sawant proposed a bill to cap fees that landlords charge renters for late payment at $10. A council committee voted to raise the cap to 1.5% of rent up to $50, because won't someone think of the landlords?!?!? Please!!
Anyway, yesterday Sawant gave the council another chance to keep the cap at $10. Before the full-council vote, about 50 progressives (in-person and on Zoom) criticized the council for raising the cap. This ruler-on-the-back-of-the-knuckles lambasting led to a vote restoring the original $10 cap. There was bickering. For more, read Hannah's live tweets and the story to come.
Nelson called this cap a "so-called renters rights" legislation. Girl, what the fuck.— Hannah Krieg (@hannahkrieg) April 18, 2023
Spokane City Council drafts plans to investigate its police chief. Emails show Craig Meidl shared police data with several powerful Spokane property owners when they asked for it. This “prolific email relationship” (oh la la) was discovered in a police ombudsman investigation. The draft resolution from the city council would direct the city’s attorney to uncover the full scope of Meidl’s conduct and determine if any other current and former city employees may have also shared information. Spokane City Council member Besty Wilkerson and others have shared concerns these property owners may have used privileged police information to advance a political agenda and attack progressive candidates, according to The Inlander.
Fun fact: Seattle's coldest & warmest April 19ths have occurred this century.— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) April 19, 2023
Not fun fact: we'll be much closer to the record low max temp today (45 in 2008) than record high (84 in 2016).
For us departing night shifters, it's excellent sleeping weather.😴 Buona notte! #wawx pic.twitter.com/KBGwV9K4SE
Congressional Democrats allege Justice Clarence Thomas violated ethics laws: A panel of federal judges will address these alleged omissions or errors in his financial dealings with Republican billionaire donor Harlan Crow. ProPublica found Thomas did not disclose travel and real estate deals with the Dallas businessman, including flights on his private jet and wildly expensive luxury vacations. Reporters later found Crow had bought three properties from Thomas and his relatives for $133,000. Thomas did not disclose this either, even though he is required to report any property sales over $1,000. So, he was only 133 times over the legal limit. It is still unclear how The Judicial Conference, which is chaired by fellow Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts, will proceed with these complaints from Democrats. No potential conflict of interest there, says Sen. Mitch McConnell.
Twitter is transphobic, officially: Twitter quietly removed from its Hateful Conduct Policy a longstanding transgender-specific rule against deadnaming and misgendering. Transphobes have celebrated their momentous free speech victory with schoolyard-style bullying. GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis says this rollback puts the social media platform even “more out of step” with its contemporaries, like Meta, Pinterest, and TikTok, who maintain policies that protect trans users. If you want to harass people on a dying website run by an edgelord, that’s truly your business.
Netflix is done mailing DVDs. The red envelopes will stop this fall. The Washington Post writes that a small fanbase will miss this service, namely people who prefer watching movies in a physical format, or those with weak internet connections who can’t rely on streaming. I collect VHS and physical media, and I didn’t know Netflix still mailed DVDs.
The Post also make a good point: Netflix’s dwindling, once-enormous library of films has stuff you won’t find on any streaming service. Our continuing, all-digital cultural shift raises the chances that streaming-only TV shows and movies will disappear, never to be seen again. It’s already happening to shows and movies that never got a physical release. Lucky for us in Seattle, Scarecrow Video has our back.
Oklahoma Sheriff and friends says it was illegal for reports to record them talking about killing two reporters and lynching Black people after a public meeting. The Oklahoma Sheriff’s Association unanimously voted to suspend McCurtain County Sheriff Kevin Clardy, Sheriff’s Investigator Alicia Manning and Jail Administrator Larry Hendrix. Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt called on all three to resign along with County Commissioner Mark Jennings. The McCurtain County Gazette-News wrote that all four made racist statements and threats on tape. The sheriff’s office claims the recording was “illegally obtained” (bruh, it was after a public meeting) and altered (they didn’t explain how). The old-school paper, which has no website, stands by its work and says it will release the full recording Thursday. Before the recording, the paper had already taken McCurtain county officials to federal court.
The 84-year-old white man who shot a Black teenager in Kansas City turned himself in. Andrew Lester was released after posting a $200,000 bond. He faces two felony charges for allegedly shooting Ralph Yarl, 16, in the head and arm after he rang the wrong doorbell to pick up his siblings. On Tuesday morning, hundreds of Yarl’s classmates from Staley High School marched in protest. The racial component to this crime is obvious, but it is still unclear if prosecutors will bring federal hate crime charges. There are some serious questions, like why was Lester allowed to walk free while Yarl lay in a hospital bed? Would it be the same story if the shooter was Black and the victim was white? Why did he think a teenager ringing his doorbell was a thief?
Andrew Lester, the suspect in the shooting of 16-year-old Ralph Yarl, has been released from custody after posting a $200,000 bond, authorities said. @perezreports has the latest. pic.twitter.com/v1oaBOfT7x— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) April 19, 2023
All… off-board. Slow Boat Tavern is closing :’( Get your rotating tap beers from around the world while they’re still here! The Hillman City bar closes its doors on April 29. Owner Ken Provost told The Seattle Times that everything is OK, he’s just ready to float on and pass his lease to someone else. Some industry folks from Loretta’s Northwesterner and other bars plan to open a new place called Mimi this summer. Provost said he’ll be at the grand opening, and he is excited to see what will become of his space.
Mukilteo School District cuts 100 positions. It’s the latest local district to do so, citing declining enrollment and a $23 million budget shortfall. Administrators are cutting 31 teachers and paraprofessionals, 24 support staff, and 55 administrative staff, office workers, janitors and Virtual Academy staff. The district said in an email to parents it hopes to hire people back if enrollment rebounds. Fox 13 reports 600 students left during the pandemic. Declining enrollment and budget shortfalls appear to be regional trends, with districts in Shoreline, Edmonds, and elsewhere facing similar issues.
An appeals court reinstated a $98.5 million verdict for Susan Powell’s parents. In 2013, Powell’s parents Chuck and Judy Cox sued the Washington Department of Social and Health Services for the murder of their grandsons, Charlie and Braden Powell, during a supervised visit with their son-in-law, Josh Powell. During the 2012 visit, Powell locked the attending social worker out of a house he was pretending to live in, killed his sons with a hatchet, and set the house on fire. Powell was a suspect in his wife Susan’s 2009 disappearance. Prior to the boy’s deaths, Chuck and Judy Cox fought Powell for custody.
It’s-a-Me, Debt. A man sentenced to three years in a Seattle federal prison for a scheme to sell devices to hack consoles may have been released early, but he still owes Nintendo some serious money. Fifty-three-year-old Gary Bowser (yes, really) told podcaster Nick Moses that he’ll pay the company about 25-30% of his monthly salary... forever... to pay off his $10 million civil settlement.
The modchips Bowser sold, along with the other two members of Team Xecuter, allowed people to download Nintendo’s games for free. Polygon reports Bowser paid off $175 of his settlement working in the prison library and kitchen, a dismal appraisal of unfair prison labor practices. Bowser told Moses that he is returning to Canada, where he’ll at least have health care and disability coverage. Nintendo of America is based in Redmond.
P.S. Some of you Slog readers have commented that I didn’t introduce myself. Hello, I am Vivian! Yes, I am a staff writer! Nice to meet you :).