Slate's 5 Worst (Best?) Hot Takes of 2017

Twitter: @Slate

Ahh, 2017. You’ll be known as the year we all realized it’s nearly impossible to distinguish between a real news headline and satire – and Slate’s steaming piles of doo-doo hot takes had a lot to do with that.


It was an extremely difficult (and cringe-inducing) process, but I present to you the Top 5 Slate Hot Takes of 2017 – in no particular order.

1. Betsy DeVos Press Release Celebrated Jim Crow Education System as a “Pioneer” of School Choice

After Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos met with leaders of Historically Black Colleges and Universities at the White House her office released a statement that, among other things, congratulated those institutions as “pioneers of school choice.” It was definitely inartfully worded, saying that they “started from the fact that there were too many students in America who did not have equal access to education” without acknowledging that they didn’t have equal access to education due to Jim Crow laws.

Slate’s hot take, though:

“[T]his official 2017 federal government press release celebrates legal segregation (!!!) on the grounds that the Jim Crow education system gave black students “more options.”

Ah, no, that’s NOT what she said.

2. Why it’s Misleading to Say that Houston Showcases America at its Best

The original hot take tweet generated such negative response that it was deleted and replaced with this:


Not buying it, Slate.

Sure, people were helping each other in incredible ways, but let’s not forget all of the “bystander syndrome,” etc., that happens in our everyday lives, okay?

“These findings put a frame around the cooperative society that has lately emerged in Houston: It is a beautiful anomaly, a liquid note of silver momentarily liberated from its sheath of rust.”

In Slate’s world, one is not allowed to celebrate the good without admitting every other bad thing.

3. The Bombing at a Manchester Ariana Grande Show Was an Attack on Girls and Women

No. It was an attack on western civilization by a depraved terrorist using religion as a crutch.

Any questions?

4. Vegas Shooting Demolishes the NRA’s “Good Guy With a Gun” Argument

I’m not even going to wade into the details about what exactly happened in the shooter’s room, in the hallway, and inside the Mandalay Bay during that approximately 30-minute time frame, because no one really knows exactly what happened in there (or the people who do aren’t talking). But, when a shooter is on the 32nd floor of a building and shooting into a crowd, it’s a pretty difficult situation for a good guy with a gun to stop.


5. How Calling Kevin Spacey a Pedophile Hurts the Gay Community

Story after story was breaking around November 1st about Kevin Spacey’s egregious history of sexual harassment and assaults – with at least a couple of them directed at young teenage boys – but hey, let’s not “play into pedophile panic.”

Earlier in the year the author wrote about Milo Yiannopoulous and that Milo was the “wrong voice on the real complexity of age, sex, and consent,” which makes his take on Spacey’s statement unsurprising:

The situation was lose-lose for Spacey, as perhaps it must be when one cannot outright deny aggressive sexual behavior directed at a teenage boy.

Yeah, we’ve all had those times when we cannot outright deny such behavior, right? (That’s sarcasm.)

But wait,  where’s Trump, you might be asking?  Well, with Trump Derangement Syndrome reaching pandemic levels, Salon’s Trumpian hot takes needed their own category. There are only four of these, mostly because I was unable to go on due to the huge bruise on my forehead brought on by banging my head on my desk.

1. Hallmark & Trump’s White Nationalist Christmas


First – seriously, what’s up with the sexual obsession?

Though Hallmark movies have been predictably profitable and popular for years, this guy thinks that because they’re popular in “Trump strongholds” and had huge ratings increases in 2016 and 2017, they signal a new attack from the right against the “War on Christmas.” In this war, the author says:

“No battalion has fired more rooty-toot artillery for[Trump] than the Hallmark Channel.”

Then says the 21-movie lineup equals:

“42 hours of sugary, sexist, preposterously plotted, plot hole–festooned, belligerently traditional, ecstatically Caucasian cheer.”

As our Brad Slager noted, this boy was so upset by it all that he watched all 42 hours of it. It sounds like he doth protest too much, and in order to cover up his Hallmark movie love he had to make fun of it. (How positively 2nd grade!)

2. “Trump’s Newfound Militarism Shows Why We Need a War Tax.”

Ah, how predictably statist – there’s no behavior a little tax increase can’t change. (This logic is as flawed as their gun control arguments.)

2. Racial Resentment Explains Trump’s Attempt to Undermine the ACA


This hot take is part of a podcast, which I won’t spend my time listening to (hey, that’s time I’ll never get back) but the hot take is enough. Lame!

3. Maybe What Russia Wants From Trump is Permission to Launder its Dirty Money

A Bloomberg story contains the line:

“The roots of Mueller’s follow-the-money investigation lie in a wide-ranging money laundering probe launched by then-Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara last year.”

So a Slate writer attempts a connect-the-dots of Rorschachian proportions to gift us with this very hot take.

Thank you, Slate. During 2017 you’ve made the hashtag #NotTheOnion extremely popular. We look forward to seeing how you can reach new heights in 2018.


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