On this date in 1758, infamous scandalmonger James Callender might have been born. We don’t know his exact birth date, but his life provides a moral lesson to all about dirty politics.

After Callender exposed Alexander Hamilton’s affair with Maria Reynolds in the press, Thomas Jefferson hired him to attack John Adams. Callender obliged, and was jailed for his writings under the Alien and Sedition Acts. After Jefferson won the election of 1800 and pardoned Callender, Jefferson had little use for the “journalist” anymore and refused his demands to appoint him as a postmaster.

The vengeful Callender then turned his poison pen on Jefferson, exposing the world to his rumored affair with his slave Sally Hemings. Less than a year after publishing the Hemings story, Callender was found dead in three feet of water - apparently too drunk to save himself.

Though he has faded into obscurity, James Callender is the reason we’re still talking about Sally Hemings – and a great warning about what can happen to both your life and your legacy if you wade in the world of dirty politics.



  • scandalmonger details the reynolds affair, which AS YOU KNOW was the very first sex scandal in american politics. what hamilton the musical doesn’t quite cover is that the ~SCANDALMONGERS~ in the press had a BIG ROLE in what led up to “never gon’ be president now” 
  • JAMES THOMSON CALLENDER is the titular scandalmonger. he’s a newspaper man. newspapers didn’t so much report news as publish impassioned political diatribes in line with the views of the ~scandalmonger~ in charge and it’s GREAT
  • (JTC is really into DESTROYING PEOPLE’S POLITICAL CAREERS pretty much regardless of their political affiliations, what’s not to like???)
  • MARIA REYNOLDS shows up, so many times, she is central
  • the dialogue is constructed almost entirely from actual letters written by these historical figures (which means that whenever two characters are portrayed in the novel as being in the same room where it happens they’re actually across the country from one another but it’s FUCKIN COOL nonetheless) 
  • safire comes across on the side of thomas jefferson a little bit but mostly on the side of this bastard son of a whore and a scotsman (”immigrants: we get the job done”). how can you love such a guy? well, he’s a lil bit despicable but read the book & find out!!!!

rina-san28  asked:

Concept: Les Amis de l'ABC Annual MarioKart Tournament

  • Who leads during the race until they end up last due to a twist of fate? Bossuet. It gotta be Bossuet
  • Who’s a little red shell throwing little bitch? Courfeyrac and Enjolras. They’re ruthless. They’ve not come here to make friends.
  • Who’s looking at the wrong screen all the time? Marius
  • Who doesn’t press the right button to start? Courfeyrac! And he scandalmongers enough to restart the race all over again
  • Who makes alliances to secure their places on the podium? Joly, Bossuet and Grantaire, but it raaaaarely works. Joly avoids throwing shells at them, or anybody really. He’s there for the love of “sports”
  • Who always hits bullseye with their item and everybody hates them for it? Combeferre. The guy sure can shoot straight for someone who isn’t
  • Who wins without even trying? Feuilly. It’s ridiculous. Everybody is busy with booby trap and he just??? Drives?
  • Who’s surprisingly competitive? Jehan and Enjolras. Enjolras? Fair enough, that was expected. But JEHAN? Jehan is RUTHLESS. Jehan will fuck you up. Jehan came here to WIN.
  • Who selects Rainbow Road? Bahorel. He’s that guy.
  • Who comments the race like it’s a football match? Grantaire.

The Parallel Julieverse is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the great Marni Nixon at the age of 86 on Sunday 24 July. A talented soprano with a long and illustrious career as a classical recitalist, Nixon is best known as the ‘ghost singer’ behind a string of classic screen musicals. Nicknamed ‘the ghostess with the mostest,’ Nixon provided the singing voices for Deborah Kerr in The King and I (1956), Natalie Wood in West Side Story (1961) and, most famously, Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady (1964). It was not long after completing the latter film that Nixon made her one and only credited screen musical appearance as Sister Sophia in The Sound of Music (1965).

With Julie having been controversially passed over for the film version of My Fair Lady, gossip columnists and scandalmongers of the time were busy predicting fireworks when she and Marni Nixon finally met face to face on the set of The Sound of Music. But, as Tom Santopietro (2015) recounts, the truth could not have been more different:

In Nixon’s recall, when the two women met on set for the first time, Julie “just walked right over, put out her hand and said, ‘Marni, I’m such a fan of yours!’”
That generosity of spirit carried over into the next week, when, a scant two weeks into filming, Andrews, with the weight of the entire multimillion-dollar production on her shoulders, took the time to help Nixon prepare for her audition as Eliza Doolittle for the New York City Center revival of My Fair Lady:
“I said to Julie that I was having trouble with one of the scenes–that I didn’t know how to perform it properly, couldn’t find the proper beats. I was being so dramatic and too strong in the scene. Julie said, ‘I bet I know which scene it is’–and she was right. She knew exactly! It was so fortuitous–you just couldn’t plan it better–that she was there and took the time to help me. I’ll never forget Julie, standing there in her underwear, telling me how to throw that slipper!” (114-15)

Requiescat in pace, Marni Nixon (22 February 1930-24 July 2016)


Santopietro, Tom. The Sound of Music Story. New York: Random House, 2015.

This election has represented the worst of American post-truth politics. The media sensationalism and false balances. The focus on personalities rather than policies. The fearmongering, scandalmongering, and mudslinging. The refusal to listen, to empathize, to compromise. The disregard for reason and nuance. The finger-pointing and hysteria. The self-righteousness. The confirmation biases.

All that is left for us now is to try to understand.

Watch on

This awesome band, fortunately made up of some fabs friends of mine, is The Scandalmongers