Image by Tara Jacoby, featuring the shade artist at a young age.

My goodness, what a week. What a treasure trove! I can honestly say that I was bombarded with shade-related content and it was both wondering and stressful. In wading through a very large caseload, many were left behind, but please, do not, by any means, take this as a suggestion to stop presenting your cases. I am but one judge, but I’m here to serve the people.

In this week’s Shade Court, Drake flexes, the New York Times scalds, and we still need to talk about the debate.

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000184

Images via Getty

The Case: Despite feeling like some horrible burrito-before-bed nightmare, it remains true that Hillary Clinton is actually running against Donald Trump for the office of President of the United States. While I skipped the debate to try out a deluxe sample of a very expensive face mask, sip some wine and lie to myself about the state of our world, 84 million people tuned in to witness the farce into which our country is descending.

Speaking of farces, Fox News was obviously on the ground reporting from the debate and Megyn Kelly showed up as she continues the long, slow march towards the end of her contract. Her coworker Sean Hannity took a break from shining Donald Trump’s shoes to ask him a few questions following the debate. Megyn narrated the scene for viewers:

“We’ve got Trump speaking to our own Sean Hannity. We’ll see whether he speaks to the journalists in this room after that interview.”

The Defendant: Mediaite, Samantha Bee

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Megyn Kelly. Oh Megyn Kelly, the most evil person who I inexplicably love. The black pit of my heart. The confuser of my conscience. She is truly pulling a Chingy on me because every time I try to leave her, something keeps pulling me back.


I mean, Megyn Kelly would be good at throwing shade and this was excellent. The subtext, of course, being that everyone else in the room is a journalist except for Sean Hannity, which has the thrill of being both rude and completely true. One thing I’ll say about Megyn Kelly, she’s awful, but she rarely shies away from hiding her utter contempt for most of the idiot men she works with. The fact that she threw her shade while footage of him was rolling is just, *TWENTY CHEF’S KISSES*.

Still, this beautiful moment is somewhat tainted by Mediaite and their goddamn “serious shade” bullshit. When are my constant reminders against this going to stick? Look, I get it. You need a punchy headline, but this is like when someone says “expresso” or pronounces the “l” in salmon. You’re almost there—mostly there—but dear God, it’s like a million stiletto nails scratching a million chalkboards while a Creed cover band plays in the background. For the sake of my blood pressure, enough.

Samantha Bee, on the other hand, as always, nailed it.

The Ruling: Shade

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000185

Images via Getty.

The Case: In an interview with Elle, Miley Cyrus was asked a rather innocuous question about a remark she made as a judge on The Voice, which she then twisted like a desperation pretzel into criticism of Mariah Carey.

During filming earlier, you said to a contestant that not everyone can be Mariah Carey.

I’ve never really been a fan, because it’s so much about Mariah Carey. That’s part of her shtick; I can see through that. That’s part of what makes her a gay icon; like, it’s about Mimi! It’s about what she’s wearing, and it’s about her. What I make isn’t about me. It’s about sharing my story; it’s about someone being connected to what I’m saying.

The Defendant: CNN, Perez Hilton

The Evidence:



Like many of Cyrus’s interviews, it’s difficult to even parse out what she’s trying to say or what possesses her to keep going after women who outmatch her by a thousand tons in talent and clapback ability.

Further, the gall of Miley “give me a black sound” Cyrus to fault someone for having a schtick is richer than the soil of Oprah’s Santa Barbara garden.

Images via Getty

Please, do tell me more about not making things about you.

Images via Getty

You know what Mariah’s schtick is? Five octaves.

The only good thing about this is now we get to countdown to Mariah Carey’s inevitable response to this foolishness, which will no doubt be actual shade thrown by a diva who knows what she’s doing.

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000186

Image via Getty and the New York Times

The Case: The New York Times’s Michiko Kakutani recently reviewed a new Hitler Biography which many felt was simply a thousand word description of Donald Trump. The Washington Post and Slate dubbed it a, “thinly veiled Trump comparison” and a “Trump Subtweet,” respectively. Still, most readers and many of the responses I saw on Twitter, went ahead and threw down the shade card.

The Defendant: Everyone

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: As I received this submission over and over, it’s not that I didn’t believe everyone, but I did wonder how good it would actually be. Then I read the review and wept tears salted by the exquisite pettiness of this shade.


In reviewing the book, Kakutani expertly draws the most accurate portrait of Donald Trump via descriptions of Hitler and never mentions his name. There really are too many excellent passages to highlight, but this is one of my favorites.

Some have focused on the social and political conditions in post-World War I Germany, which Hitler expertly exploited — bitterness over the harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles and a yearning for a return to German greatness; unemployment and economic distress amid the worldwide Depression of the early 1930s; and longstanding ethnic prejudices and fears of “foreignization.”

Other writers — including the dictator’s latest biographer, the historian Volker Ullrich — have focused on Hitler as a politician who rose to power through demagoguery, showmanship and nativist appeals to the masses. In “Hitler: Ascent, 1889-1939,” Mr. Ullrich sets out to strip away the

The give here is how Kakutani sort of goes out of her way to include a contrast to the book’s portrait of Hitler. Yes, other books said XYZ about Hitler but this book is saying something else. Meaning, she didn’t necessarily need to highlight past descriptions, but did so anyway because, shade.

Hitler was often described as an egomaniac who “only loved himself” — a narcissist with a taste for self-dramatization and what Mr. Ullrich calls a “characteristic fondness for superlatives.” His manic speeches and penchant for taking all-or-nothing risks raised questions about his capacity for self-control, even his sanity.

The line drawn between Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump is both obvious and invisible—like it was etched using a thick black marker with ink only the sane can see.


In the review, Kakutani pulls from the book and basically just lists a bunch of examples of how Hitler became Hitler, which, again are not really all that necessary to the review. Further, this is rather long for a New York Times book review and for good reason.

As I mentioned, I received approximately infinity emails about this piece but I wasn’t the least bit bothered because, truly, I was very proud of you all for correctly identifying the shade. We’re getting there, people.

The Ruling: Shade

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000187

Images via Getty

The Case: For this case, we must recall one of the greatest clapbacks in the history of clapbacks. Matt Barnes is a very alright NBA player who once allowed a camera to film him bragging about how he and Rihanna are friends and that there is a real possibility that they’ll become more than friends one day. In response, Rihanna scorched the Earth with an Instagram post shutting down the rumors, which included the hashtag #defamationofcharacter.


Now, fast forward a couple years. Matt Barnes and his wife, (yeah, he was married when he said that) have broken up and she has moved on with his former teammate, Derek Fisher. Barnes decided to solve the problem like any man with an erratic, stereotypical definition of masculinity: He drove to his ex-wife’s home and got into a fistfight with Fisher.

Back to the present: Rihanna finally let Drake claim her publicly. Drake is currently on tour and during a stop in Los Angeles, he wore a Derek Fisher Laker’s jersey and later posted a picture with the caption: “SOMETIMES IT CAN GET GRIZZLY.”

Until recently, Matt Barnes played for the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Defendant: Global Grind, Barstool Sports

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: This is so rude, hilariously petty and completely uncalled for. Not only did he go out of his way to get a Derek Fisher jersey, but you know he specifically tasked some photographer with capturing the perfect shot. Of course, he doesn’t mention Barnes by name, but the Grizzly reference is just enough to get his point across.

The Ruling: Shade

Shade Court Docket #2016JZ000188

Images via Getty

The Case: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump participated in a “debate” wherein Hillary Clinton calmly tried to rationalize with American citizens that, Jesus Christ, you cannot elect this man to be president.


The Defendant: Romper (I’m using this poor site as the scapegoat, but in the spirit of fairness, just know that they are paying for the crimes of so, so, so many of you).

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Guys.


What are you doing?

We’ve all seen a presidential debate before, right? Yes, Hillary’s retorts were great, but it’s also 2016 and that’s what people do during presidential debates now.


Hillary Clinton was openly taking shit to Donald Trump’s face. She was calling him out on his lies slowly and in the plainest language possible. It’s almost like she pulled together a list of all his bullshit and weak points and sat down with a team of people to craft clever, pithy jabs and comebacks. OH RIGHT BECAUSE THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT SHE DID.

To be fair, there are probably a few moments that one could argue were shade, but the overwhelming majority were not. Besides, she wasn’t trying to shade him! That’s what Twitter is for. She’s debating a buffoon! To some degree, she has to match his buffoonery. If anything, Hillary Clinton was reading him in front of the American people because this is no time for subtly.

The Ruling: Not shade