The Slatest for Feb. 1: Fani Willis Really Could Have Handled This Better

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Nothing has been proved about the misconduct allegations against Fani Willis, the prosecutor who charged Trump and 18 alleged co-conspirators with crimes related to interfering in the 2020 election. But with stakes this high, the Fulton County district attorney has already made some clear missteps in dealing with the fallout. “The people prosecuting Trump need to be not only above partisan politics, but above even the appearance of impropriety, self-dealing, and nepotism,” Jill Filipovic writes. She reflects on how Willis has played right into Trump’s hands.

Plus, in case you missed it: What Next considers the implications of this scandal.

Joe Biden frowning, photoshopped in front of the border wall with Mexico.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images and Ariana Drehsler/AFP via Getty Images.

So many people are calling for Joe Biden to “shut down” the border to stop immigration. There’s a big problem—​​there is very recent evidence it would not work! Ben Mathis-Lilley spoke to an expert about a glaring issue with the Senate’s bipartisan border bill.

Plus, in case you missed it: Jim Newell wrote about why Mike Johnson is praying for the bill to fail.

No, really! You should see if you’re eligible for an IRS pilot program that will be rolled out in 12 states this year. Tax professor Adam Chodorow explains how it could make life easier for up to 20 million taxpayers.

The logo for The Messenger with part of it obscured with a black smear so it reads "The Mess."
Illustration by Slate

A buzzy news startup basically vanished from the face of the Earth overnight. You might think it says something about the future of media. But hold on a second! Alex Kirshner explains what we can learn—and what we can’t learn—from the collapse of the Messenger.

Plus: Slate editor-in-chief Hillary Frey shares what it was like to live through a media disaster once herself.

A $120 farmers market bag has galvanized the internet. Jenny G. Zhang argues that everyone is thinking about it all wrong.

Side-by-side of Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images and Jason Koerner/Getty Images for E11EVEN.

The Nicki Minaj and Megan Thee Stallion feud has reached a new low—and it’s taken a lot of twists and turns along the way, involving an injured foot, red flowers with symbolism, and … Megan’s Law? Nadira Goffe helps us make sense of how things spiraled so quickly.

… much like a football player who has already won two Super Bowls, and has a reputation for being a ham, ending up dating a celebrity and making it to another Super Bowl.

Thanks so much for reading! We’ll see you back here tomorrow.