By Ellen Huet
By John Hechinger
In the hinterlands of central Massachusetts, Seun Adedeji works the crowd with an evangelist’s flair. “We’re here to get you guys medicated and elevated,” he says. At his store’s grand opening this month, he and his customers — some in khakis and leaning on canes, others in psychedelic T-shirts and ripped jeans — greet each other with pandemic-friendly elbow bumps.
Adedeji is a cannabis entrepreneur. In his skinny suit, T-shirt, and wing tips with no socks, he looks the part. His shop, not so much. It’s a low-slung brick building that used to be a gas station in the former mill town of Athol, population 12,000. It still could be mistaken for one, except for the bright green marijuana leaf balloons hanging from the ceiling, the pre-rolled joints under the counter, and the rainbow of artisanal glass pipes on top. …
By Felix Gillette and Gerry Smith
Dan Ball, a host for One America News Network, looked disgusted. It was Tuesday, Sept. 29, and the first debate between President Trump and Joe Biden had just ended. Across social media, people were criticizing the moderator, veteran Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, who’d struggled to control the proceedings. Now Ball wanted to take a whack for OAN, a slavishly pro-Trump cable channel that’s been positioning itself as more loyal to the MAGA cause than Fox News.
Ball pulled out a box of tissues. “I brought something with me for Chris Wallace,” he said. “Chris should use that to get the brown stuff off of his nose.” For the next half-hour, OAN’s panel of analysts piled on. Wallace, they agreed, had been incredibly favorable to Biden, failing to fact-check his falsehoods, parroting Democratic talking points, and letting him interrupt and insult Trump. Still, the commentators said, Trump had performed admirably. He had better points to make and more specific facts. He was more natural onstage and stronger on the economy, voting fraud, taxes, crime, and the coronavirus. …