Hello, all. Let’s just right into things because it’s been a rough day and I’d like to give everyone enough time to load up at the Trader Joe’s wine section and toast to the end of this week.

In this week’s Shade Court, Donald Trump is a dumb dumb, feuding newspapers and Caitlyn Jenner earns another gold medal.

Shade Court Docket #2015JZ000089

The Case: You probably don’t care, but it seems that the New York Times and the Washington Post have a bit of a rivalry going on—probably because they keep showing up to all the same parties wearing the exact same font. Zoinks!

Apparently said rivalry manifests itself in stealing each other’s scoops (I dunno, probably) and snarky tweets about how totally lame-o the other publication is. The latest throwdown came from Carolyn Ryan, the Washington Bureau Chief and Political Editor for the New York Times.

The Defendant: Dylan Byers/Politico

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: I have an knee-jerk reaction to seeing any publication with the world “politics” or “finance” calling something shade. The reason being that A) there’s an enormous chance they’ll be using it incorrectly and B) they’ll be using it incorrectly in front of an audience of mostly old white people and they’re confused enough as is trying to figure out what a Trap Queen is.


But look at that! Look how big his head is in that picture! He must be smart. Lucky for Dylan Byers, he’s been observing the media scene long enough that he has honed his eye and ear for petty jabs.

Now, this could have been slightly more effective on Ryan’s part if she had deleted the “hmmm” at the beginning. Starting an online statement with “hmmm” all been ensures that a smart-ass comment is about to follow. Don’t give away your shade before it’s thrown!

When planning your shade, try to follow that old fashion tip of taking off one accessory before you leave the house. It’ll keep your message crisp. Solid effort, nonetheless.

The Ruling: Shade

Shade Court Docket #2015JZ000090

The Case: Caitlyn Jenner revealed her fabulous self on the cover of Vanity Fair this week. Amongst the tsunami of hoopla, one of the details that stood out the most was the fact that Caitlyn chose to spell her name with a “C” instead of the Kris Jenner doctrine of branding everyone in her path with a “K” name.


Many noticed this almost immediately and soon after, the shade accusations were abound.

The Defendant: Caitlyn Jenner

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Oh boy, what a case. Situations like these don’t come around often and that’s because rarely does a shade attempt strike that perfect cord of being both trifling and profound.


On a basic level, yes this was extremely shady. However, as I ruminated on her decision throughout the week, I realized that this goes even beyond shade. Let’s be clear, shade is powerful. Shade can ruin your life in a single one-liner. Shade can send you back to the Ice Age and generally cause you to reexamine where exactly things when wrong in your life.

Still, there is a certain pettiness in shade—and I don’t mean that to diminish it because petty insults are hilarious and effective. Oftentimes, shade is basically a way of saying: “Oh, you thought you looked good today?” Or, “You ain’t me but you wish you could be.” Or simply: “I don’t see it for you like that.”

Caitlyn isn’t just shading the Kardashian brand, she is rejecting it—or at least distancing herself from it. The act itself is shady, but the true meaning of it goes deeper. She’s not just throwing daggers hoping to prick the overblown egos of the Klan. She’s dropping bombs. This wasn’t just shade, this was an eclipse.

The Ruling: Beyond shade

Shade Court Docket #2015JZ000091

The Case: Donald Trump is running for president again (????) and is continuing his exasperating habit of real terrible shit-talking. Most recently, he aimed his water gun at Mitt Romney, Ross Perot and every presidential candidate ever.


New York Times technology reporter Farhand Manjoo called out Trump’s idiotic words and classified them as shade. I’m going to give Manjoo the benefit of the doubt (ALTHOUGH I’M NOT SURE HE REALLY DESERVES IT) that he was mostly referring to Trump’s barbs at Mitt Romney.

The Defendant: Farhand Manjoo/New York Times

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: I will begrudgingly admit that Trump’s little Gucci store line gave me a chuckle but in no possible way is this shade.


Donald Trump isn’t even capable of shading someone. The man couldn’t grasp the concept of subtlety if the ability to grow real hair depended on it.

The Ruling: Not shade

Shade Court Docket #2015JZ000092

The Case: Diana Ross joined Twitter this week with all the glory that setting up a new social media account can provide. As she dipped her toe in the Twitter cesspool waters, she began with a modest “Following” list that included only her children.

However, depending on how you look at it, Diana Ross has more than just five children when you count all the people who have been lucky enough to marry into her family.

The Defendant: New Now Next

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: I’ve made no secret of my annoyance that Ashlee Simpson, of all people, has the honor of being Diana Ross’ daughter-in-law. I’m not the least bit interested in or attracted to Evan Ross. I just think it’s a crime that Ashlee “Saturday Not So Live” Simpson gets to have access to Diana Ross’ closet and is probably allowed to touch her hair on holidays.


So I would love nothing more than Diana Ross letting the world know that while I’m sure she likes Ashlee, here is my arm and this is it’s length. However, during a closer investigation, I discovered that Ms. Ross isn’t following any of her children’s significant others. With that in mind, it’s hard to see this as a direct jab at Ashlee.

But fear not, this was still a shady move. Like it or not, Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross are married. Ashlee is legally a part of that family. So excluding her and all of her children’s spouses is sort of telling. You may be in the fam and you may even have changed your name, but you still ain’t a Ross.

Of course, there is also a good chance that the social media consultant who is most likely running this account for her just didn’t know who her children were married. We’ll ignore that.

The Ruling: Shade

Contact the author at kara.brown@jezebel.com.

Images via Getty; Vanity Fair. Top image by Tara Jacoby, featuring the shade artist at a young age.

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