Hello and thank you for joining me for another session of Shade Court, where I do my part to rid the world of false shade accusations and bring justice to those shade throwers who truly know their craft.

This week, I tackle my first submission (a reader wondering if she's been shaded), the Pope makes an appearance (always fun), and we ask ourselves if E! Online will ever learn (the answer, of course, is no).

Shade Court Docket #2014JZ000005

The Case: This is a submission from an individual who wants to know if she has, in fact, been shaded. For context, our shade enquirer saw a picture on Instagram of two of her friends visiting a museum. Wondering why she wasn't invited, she commented on the photo, wanting to know what the hell was up. Later she received the text presented in evidence.

The Defendant: Anonymous

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: I'm borderline in love with this text. It's a simple message that says so, so much. Whether they know it or not, this individual is at least an intermediate shade thrower who on this case expertly rose to the occasion. They found just the perfect way to say, "I never considered taking you to a museum before because I assumed you were an uncultured clod who would rather stay home and watch a marathon of Bar Rescue."

The Ruling: Shade, of the highest order.

Shade Court Docket #2014JZ000006

The Case: "Cool Pope" Pope Francis made some remarks about capital punishment and mass incarceration to the International Association of Penal Law. (Let's just say, Pope Francis is not down with the PIC.) New York Magazinefelt that this was his underhanded way of calling out America for our massive and embarrassing problems with these exact issues.

The Defendant: New York Magazine

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: The author Katie Zavadski calls Pope Francis' comments "pointed." It's hard for something to be both "pointed" and also shady, as the former implies a lack of ambiguity that the latter sneakily avoids. When one is throwing shade, all pointedness is inferred.

However, I do applaud Pope Francis for going the "I'm not going to name any names buuuut.... America, obviously" route. That is really more shaming than shade, which is, for the most part, a fairly petty enterprise. I don't think Pope Francis is trying to be rude and petty, because of his role of supposedly being God's conduit and his practice of letting randos take selfies with him. I barely condone selfies with people I know and care about. Clearly Pope Francis is a nice guy.

He is coming from more of a place of concern than rudeness.

The Ruling: Not shade. However, as a consolation, I would like to give New York Magazine a special shout-out for this perfect and hilariously shady headline:

Shade Court Docket #2014JZ000007

The Case: Conan O'Brien tried to pull some funny out of that mound of hair on his head by cracking a joke about former Secretary of State and walking bad bitch alert Madeleine Albright. Ms. Albright, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and speaker of four languages, graciously took time out of her day to respond to Conan.

The Defendant: E! Online

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: Madeleine Albright is, indeed, a queen of sorts. Her tweet was a perfect retort to a not-that-funny joke: stern, while still showing that she has a sense of humor.


However, this is more of what we would call a "clap back" than shade. For graduate level examples of clap back, Google "Rihanna Twitter feuds" and study all her tweets.

The Ruling: Not shade. Also E! Online loses major points for not learning from last week's negative shade ruling and also for writing, "Don't come for Madeleine Albright unless she sends for you!" LU-AME. Chillax, and stop watching episodes of Fashion Queens.

Shade Court Docket #2014JZ000008

The Case: In an interview with Vibe, rapper Tyga (don't worry about pausing to Google him, it doesn't matter) took shots at Young Money/Cash Money label mates Nicki Minaj and Drake. He told the magazine: "I don't like Drake as a person. He's just fake to me." The story now goes that Drake responded to the comments by Instagram stalking Tyga's baby mama/possibly maybe ex-girlfriend, Blac Chyna, and "liking" five of her photos.

The Defendant: Global Grind

The Evidence:

The Deliberation: What I love so much about this case is the level of nosiness that would have to occur for Tyga to realize he's been shaded. One, he'd have to follow Drake on Instagram. Two, he'd have to check his "Following" tab to even see what was going on. (Of course there are also gossip sites to let him know what happened, but I'm trying to think of Drake's original intent here.)


So even if Tyga decided to confront Drake about the fact that he's been creeping on the mother of his child, Tyga would either have to admit that he pays way too close attention to other people's Instagram activity, or else he'd have to sound like a paranoid and petty drama queen who freaks out over the social media activity of his enemies.

Because of our commitment to fairness here at Shade Court, we must acknowledge that there are few things Drake loves more than Instagram models with fat asses, and there's a possibility this was completely innocent.

The Ruling: SHADE. And the fact that it came from Aubrey "I was looking forward to a nice tuna sandwich on a bagel" Graham makes it that much better.

Got a shade-related question for Kara? Email her.

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