TV | There's a good chance you're not reading this because you already discovered Netflix's MAKING A MURDERER, and as a result no longer participate in any activity not directly related to watching this unfathomably captivating real-life crime drama. The gist: a poor, uneducated guy named Steven Avery was convicted of sexual assault in 1985 and spent 18 years in a Wisconsin prison before being exonerated by DNA evidence that pointed to a different man. Avery sued the bumbling small-town sheriff's department that railroaded him in that investigation, but as folks were being deposed in that suit, wouldn't ya know it, Avery suddenly was a suspect in a fresh murder case. Unlike NPR's Serial or HBO's The Jinx, which relied on digging into the past, Making a Murderer had a documentary crew following Avery as these new allegations came to light a decade ago, giving the series a very present-tense feel.
TWITTER | Fans of good journalism know Charles P. Pierce as a tough reporter in the Boston area and then a deft sports columnist. Now at age 62, Pierce may have found his best gig yet as Esquire's political columnist during the impossibly bizarre 2016 presidential campaign. At the handle @ESQPOLITICS, you'll find quips from Pierce and links to his writing, much of which points out corporate media's inability to handle Donald Trump as his ego-fueled hate machine continues to spiral further and further into the depths of insanity. Pierce's commentary digs and twists deep into the soul of America.
BOOZE | Folks with Oregon connections know Townshend's Tea Company for their cozy teahouses and artisanal drinks. So you may do a double take when you see the Townshend name in your liquor aisle. THOMAS & SONS, the distillery spin-off of the tea company, has just brought two varieties of their liqueurs into Washington. We tried both the Sweet Tea and the Smoke Tea, and didn't know what to think of these tea-leaf-distilled creations at first — other than they really taste like tea. It was a visit to their website, where we found a recipe for a gin-and-Sweet Tea cocktail called the Robert Palmer, that converted us. ♦