The Potomac River made news over the weekend thanks to Fox NewsTucker Carlson. In an interview with the Atlantic, Carlson blames immigrants for polluting the Potomac River:     

“I hate litter,” he said. For 35 years now, he said, he has fished in the Potomac River, and “it has gotten dirtier and dirtier and dirtier and dirtier. I go down there and that litter is left almost exclusively by immigrants, who I’m sure are good people, but nobody in our country—”

“Wait,” I said, cutting him off, “how do you know they’re—”

“Because I’m there,” he said. “I watch it.” 

Setting aside the fact that Carlson is conflating nationality and race—seeing as it’s hard to tell if someone’s an immigrant just by looking at them—Carlson is scapegoating immigrants (yet again). AsMedia Matters points out, “this unlikely Potomac anecdote is yet another data point in Tucker Carlson’s white nationalist campaign.”

But let’s take this racist remark as an opportunity to learn something about the Potomac River. 

Firstly, the river is the cleanest it’s been in years. The clean water advocacy group Potomac Conservancy gave the Potomac River a “B” rating—the highest grade it’s earned ever!—for improved pollution levels and healthier river life. The report credits decades of hard work in decreasing the amount of trash in the river and protecting endangered fish populations. 

The director of the Mayor’s Office of the Clean City tells the GW Hatchetthat laws like the “tax on plastic bags and the ban on styrofoam foodware also led to a sharp decrease in the amount of plastic pollution in the Potomac, including a 72 percent reduction in plastic bags found at stream cleanups.” 

Let it be known that Carlson has repeatedly mocked efforts to regulate plastic uses—namely as a way to dig at Democrats like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) who’s trying to pass sweeping legislation to combat climate change. Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? Email

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez:

  • ICYMI: When D.C. schools use restraint or seclusion, no laws govern them. Allegations of abuse are piling up. [WCP]

  • About 16,500 District residents could lose food assistance thanks to the Trump administration, which changed the SNAP rules last week. [WAMU

  • A year-long rent strike ended with tenants hand-picking new developer. [DCist]

  • This building in Southeast shows how complicated school real estate can be. [Post]

  • Education deputy mayor reiterates he is not naming the six schools where substantiated instances of sexual abuse occurred. [Twitter]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips?

  • The full D.C. Council will vote tomorrow to schedule final action on Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans’ expulsion. [DC Council]

  • Saturday afternoon shooting delays Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie en route to a meeting on gun violence. [Post]

  • Gov. Larry Hogan cancelled a vote on the addition of toll lanes to Capital Beltway and Interstate 270. [Post]

  • Former D.C. cops are suing the department for alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. [WTOP]

  • An audit found the University of Maryland Medical System’s board of directors didn’t even read the $500,000 worth of children’s books it bought from former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh. [WBJ]

  • A tussle of public v. private interests in a publicly owned recreation field turned into a “woke-off of Washington’s well-off.” [Post]

  • Democratic D.C. shadow rep announced bid for citywide Council seat. [Twitter]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? 

  • Trailblazing D.C. chef Bob Kinkead has died. [WBJ]

  • Will D.C. start seeing yak on the menu? [DCist]

  • A lawyer got tipsy and then lied in Tom Sietsema’s chat about a review exposing her partner’s affair. [Post]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips?

  • 63 Up is another profound entry into the film series following a group of English people. [WCP

  • The Sleigher: Jonas Brothers, “Like It’s Christmas” [WCP]

  • How local Ethiopian jazz supergroup Feedel Band makes its mark at Bossa Bistro + Lounge. [DCist

  • The Post turned the Muellerreport into a graphic novel. [Washingtonian]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips?

  • Despite rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr.’s best game as a pro, the Washington football team dropped to 3-11 with a 37-27 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. [Hogs Haven]

  • Georgetown men’s soccer upset University of Virginia to win the 2019 College Cup national championship title—the program’s first. []

  • Turns out ex-Nationals star Anthony Rendon really, really wanted to go to the White House and hang out with Donald Trump. [USA Today]

  • The Wizards play in Detroit tonight looking to snap a four-game losing streak. [AP

MAKE PLANS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full To Do This Week newsletter here. Tips?

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