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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

To be trite, the NFL has punted.

Rather than reach a compromise between stuffy white owners and socially-concerned players hoping to continue making their voices heard, the league recently voted to ban all kneeling for the national anthem. Teams who choose to protest during the anthem, state the new rules, must do so by remaining in their locker room. It’s an obvious cave-in to President Trump’s position.

In today’s clip, comedian Michelle Wolf (who famously needled Trump’s underlings at the White House Correspondence Dinner) nails the NFL for the move, claiming that owners are scapegoating the protests for a downturn in ratings. Wolf jokes that blaming the kneelers instead of a clunky schedule or overpriced TV packages is like “making sure JFK was wearing his seat-belt.”

Wolf goes on to opine about what the NFL could do instead of demonizing its own athletes, a short-but-epic rant that is well worth a minute of your time. A minute of game-time, even.

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)