erik lundegaard

Friday March 31, 2023

Guess the Lede in the Trump Indictment

Here are the ledes that appeared last night from our various national publications when news leaked that Donald Trump had been indicted by the Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg. Can you guess which goes with which pub? Also, who nailed it? It's not like it was truly breaking news, after all. It was anticipated. 

  1. “Donald J. Trump was indicted in Manhattan on Thursday for his role in paying hush money to a porn star, according to five people with knowledge of the matter, a historic development that will shake up the 2024 presidential race and forever mark him as the nation's first former president to face criminal charges.”
  2. “NEW YORK — A Manhattan grand jury has voted to indict former president Donald Trump, making him the first person in U.S. history to serve as commander in chief and then be charged with a crime, and setting the stage for a 2024 presidential contest unlike any other.”
  3. “NEW YORK — Donald Trump has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury, prosecutors and defense lawyers said Thursday, making him the first former U.S. president to face a criminal charge and jolting his bid to retake the White House next year.”
  4. “Donald Trump is one step closer to being criminally charged, and potentially serving time in prison, after a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict him for his role in the 2016 hush money payout to porn star Stephanie Clifford a.k.a. Stormy Daniels. In a statement, a spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney's office said: 'This evening we contacted Mr. Trump's attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.'s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal. Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected.'”
  5. “NEW YORK, March 30 - Donald Trump has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury after a probe into hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels, becoming the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges even as he makes another run for the White House.”
  6. “In America, the freedom of the press is often exercised as the freedom to congregate in exactly the same place at the same time, not doing much. Two Saturday mornings ago, former President Donald Trump posted on his proprietary social-media platform, Truth Social, declaring that he would be indicted by the Manhattan District Attorney three days later—'on Tuesday.' That Monday, reporters from multiple continents and every major news network set up camp outside the seventeen-story Art Deco courthouse in lower Manhattan, where criminal defendants in the borough are taken for arraignment. Television cameras were planted...”


  1. The New York Times (I like that NYT doesn't use the NEW YORK dateline. Because New York.)
  2. The Washington Post
  3. Associated Press
  4. Vanity Fair
  5. Reuters
  6. The New Yorker, of course

I'm teasing The New Yorker but any preference among the others? The Post and AP didn't mention the charges, just the fact that he was charged, and the historical nature of that fact. The Times mentioned why he was indicted with the proviso “according to five people with knowledge of the matter,” while Reuters was adept at mentioning the indictment after the probe into the hush money scandal. So it got that in there. Anyway we'll know more soon. 

Later in the evening, The New Yorker also gave us this stellar lede by David Remnick:

“Former President Donald Trump, twice impeached, yet impervious to shame, was indicted Thursday on criminal charges related to the payment of hush money to a porn star. There was a time in American history, almost impossible to recollect now, when such a sentence, such a plot point, would have been beyond our imagining. That has not been the case for a very long time.”

I think about that a lot. I imagine 2003 me reading 2017-2023 headlines and thinking, “What bullshit dystopian fiction did that come out of?” Sadly, the one we're living in. 

Again, yesterday was a good day for rule of law. I hope to celebrate March 30 until the day I die.

Posted at 06:18 AM on Friday March 31, 2023 in category Media  
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