Who Is Taylor Swift's The 1 Really About?

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is known for layering her music with meaning. And that's just what she did when she released her eighth studio album,  Folklore ,  on July 24, 2020. There's surely a significance to the name of the album itself, which fans have already been deftly dissecting. Meanwhile, the video for " Cardigan " was filled with suggestive and telling details  that viewers are undoubtedly drooling over. But what about the song " The 1 ," which some eager and enthusiastic listeners have chosen as their top pick from the star's whimsical collection of tunes?

"I guess you never know ... / And if you wanted me, you really should've showed / And if you never bleed, you're never gonna grow," Swift sings . She later continues, "But we were something, don't you think so? ... And if my wishes came true / It would've been you ... / But it would've been fun / If you would've been the one." *Sniffle*

While those are certainly touching lyrics, there are some theories out there as to what this song is really about. Or rather, who this song is really about.

Is 'The 1' about Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, or their famous exes?

"In the first track on the album, Swift is reflecting on a lost love," E! News notes while breaking down Folklore , including "The 1." But who is that lost love? Was the singer motivated to write about her own failed, romantic relationships — perhaps, one in particular — or was she inspired by another doomed romance? That of Selena Gomez and The Weeknd ?

"In #folklore's opening track, 'the 1,' Taylor sings 'in my defense, I have none/for digging up the grave another time' in the last verse, which then sets the tone for the rest of the album, much of which seems to be about a certain old flame that she thinks of sometimes in dreams," one Twitter user wrote.

While others pointed out the fact that Swift seems to have written about her ( ex? ) boyfriend,  Joe Alwyn, on Folklore — and maybe even secretly worked with him on the album — someone else on social media wondered if the song was about another ex — Harry Styles .

And then, there's that other theory. "'But also writing about or from the perspective of people I've never met, PEOPLE IVE KNOWN, or those I wish I hadn't,'" a fan quoted Swift on Twitter , adding, "Is this an Easter egg relating to Selena's 'people you know' ???? Did she write the 1 for Selena??" That's not even mentioning the similarities between Swift's "The 1" and Gomez's "Fun."

Who do you think "The 1" is about?

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The 1 by Taylor Swift

the 1 analysis

Songfacts®:

  • "The 1" is a nostalgic song where Taylor Swift looks back at a lost romance. She addresses her ex in a conversational tone as she contemplates what her life would have been like if they had stayed together. It would've been fun If you would've been the one Though sad that their union never worked out, Taylor takes the positive from their breakup, explaining it helped her to grow.
  • Taylor Swift wrote the song with Aaron Dessner. Swift is a fan of Dessner's band, The National, and she included their tracks "Light Years" and " Rylan " on a May 2019 playlist of Songs I'm Loving Right Now. Swift texted Dessner the following April, asking if he wanted to collaborate, to which he readily agreed. The pair worked on 11 of the 16 tracks on Folklore over the next several months. "We were pretty much in touch daily for three or four months by text and phone calls," Dessner recalled to Pitchfork . "Some of it was about production and restructuring things but a lot of it was just excitement. We both felt that this was some of the best work we have done."
  • "The 1" is the opening track of Folklore . It, along with the record's closing track "Hoax," were the last tunes Swift and Dessner laid down for the set. The National band member told Vulture they thought the record was complete, but then Swift dived back into Dessner's folder of ideas. She wrote "The 1" and "Hoax" in a space of a few hours and sent them to Dessner in the middle of the night. When he woke up in the morning, he told Swift, "These have to be on the record." She agreed adding, "These are the bookends, you know?"
  • Aaron Dessner played the keyboards, synth bass and electric guitar on the track. The others who pitched in were: Synthesizer: Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman). Percussion: Jason Treuting. Violin and viola: Yuki Numata Resnick. Engineer: Kyle Resnick (a regular The National collaborator, he is the husband of Yuki Numata Resnick). Mixing engineer: Jon Low (Aaron Dessner's National engineer). Orchestration: Bryce Dessner (Aaron Dessner's The National bandmate and twin brother).
  • Though Folklore mainly focuses on fictional perspectives outside of Swift's usual first-person narratives, some Swifties believe she's singing here about former boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal. The lyric, "And if you wanted me, you really should've showed," may be about the incident she recounts on " The Moment I Knew " when the actor missed her 21st birthday party.
  • When reports emerged on April 8, 2023 that Taylor Swift and her longtime boyfriend, British actor Joe Alwyn, had broken up after over six years together, it sent shockwaves among the superstar's fans. Swifties are known for their astute observation skills, so they were quick to pick up on some subtle changes in Taylor's Eras tour setlist. The " Love Story " singer had swapped out " Invisible String " for "The 1" starting at her Arlington, Texas show on March 31. While "Invisible String" reflects on the serendipities that brought Swift and Alwyn together, "The 1" takes on a more melancholic tone, hinting at the possibility of the reported breakup that was to come just over a week later.
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Song Meanings and Facts

Song Meanings and Facts

  • Taylor Swift

“The 1” by Taylor Swift

by SMF · Published July 24, 2020 · Updated August 6, 2020

“The 1” finds Taylor taking a long journey through the world of nostalgia. And in the course of the journey, she remembers a lost romantic relationship. In one instance, she even wonders how life would have been today had her relationship with said former lover survived into the present. She’s apparently not in the happiest mood that said love didn’t work. However, she’s not going to let that cripple her. Actually the sad incident made her grow. And she explains that perfectly with the following line from the pre-chorus:

“If you never bleed, you’re never gonna grow”

At the end of the day, Swift is trying to let her listeners know that in life, not everything would go our way. We’ll bleed at some point. However, we need to shed that blood in order to grow. We simply can’t grow and become better versions of ourselves if we don’t go through certain hurtful episodes in life.

“The 1” is the first track on the track listing of Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” album.

Owing to the 2020 pandemic, Taylor worked on this song (writing and recording) in total isolation.

On Friday, the Twenty-Fourth of July, 2020 “The 1” was officially released by Republic Records. It was released along with Taylor’s entire “Folklore” project. This wasn’t a single, for “Folklore” was marketed with the release of three singles. And they are as follows:

  • “ Cardigan ”

Swift composed “The 1” in collaboration with its sole producer, Aaron Dessner.

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The Importance of Being Earnest

By oscar wilde, the importance of being earnest summary and analysis of act i, scene 1.

Act I - Part 1:

In Algernon Moncrieff 's stylish London flat in 1895, his butler, Lane , arranges afternoon tea. After playing piano in an adjoining room, Algernon enters. He says that while he does not play with accuracy, he plays with "wonderful expression." He asks Lane if he has prepared the cucumber sandwiches for Lady Bracknell 's arrival, then takes two of the finished sandwiches and sits on the sofa. They discuss marriage and Algernon expresses the opinion that it is "demoralising" before he excuses Lane. After he muses on the lower class's inability to set a good example for the upper class, Lane brings in Ernest Worthing (who is listed as "John Worthing" in the cast list and "Jack" in the body of the play, although both Lane and Algernon believe his name is Ernest), who has just returned from the country.

When Jack discovers that Lady Bracknell--Algernon's aunt--and Gwendolen, her daughter, are coming to tea, he reveals he has come to London to propose to her. Algernon ridicules the notion of marriage, vowing he will never marry, while fending Jack off from the cucumber sandwiches (which Algernon gladly eats). Jack joins him on the sofa, and Algernon says before Jack can marry Gwendolen, he has to clear up the issue of Cecily. Algernon calls Lane to bring in Jack's cigarette case; he shows that the inscription is from someone named Cecily. Jack says she is his aunt, and that he wants the case back. Algernon is doubtful, since she has written "'From little Cecily, with her fondest love to her dear Uncle Jack.'" Jack says his name is Ernest in town and Jack in the country. Algernon says he has always suspected Jack was a "Bunburyist," and now he has proof.

Jack explains that Thomas Cardew, who adopted him, willed Jack to be guardian to his granddaughter, Cecily. Cecily now lives at Jack's place in the country under the guidance of her governess, Miss Prism . Since Jack must maintain a high level of morality to set an example, he needs an excuse to get into town. Therefore, he has invented a ne'er-do-well younger brother named Ernest who lives in Albany. "Ernest's" constant problems require Jack's attendance. Algernon confesses that he has created an invalid friend in the countryside, Bunbury, for when he needs to get out of town. Jack insists that he is through with "Ernest," but Algernon maintains that he will need him more than ever if he marries.

Algernon's throwaway quip to Lane that "anyone can play [piano] accurately but I play with wonderful expression" is a good thumbnail of Wilde's philosophy of art. Wilde was heavily influenced by Walter Pater and the other aesthetes of the Victorian age. They believed art should concern itself only with its aesthetic qualities, that art should exist for art's sake alone. Therefore, art should not be a straightforward representation of reality--it should not be "accurate," as Algernon would say--but rather it should be an extension of its creator's artistic styles. Hence, it should have "wonderful expression."

Wilde, through the skeptical Algernon, makes an immediate critique of marriage as "demoralising," and throughout the scene the best bon mots are reserved for mocking that most traditional romantic covenant. Wilde is the master of the epigram, a concise, typically witty or paradoxical saying. His skill lies not only in coining wholly new epigrams, but in subverting established ones. For instance "in married life, three is company and two is none" captures the monotony of monogamy by playing it against the commonplace "two is company, three's a crowd."

That Wilde chose "Bunbury" as the name for double identities may prove telling. Wilde is one of history's most famous homosexuals, convicted in 1895 for homosexual sodomy with Lord Alfred Douglas ("Bosie"). Prior to that, Wilde made greater attempts to hide his sexual orientation, even marrying a woman. Does Wilde connect his characters' need to Bunbury to his own dual identities: the public heterosexual and the private homosexual? Some critical attention has been given to the word "Bunbury." Separating "bun" and "bury," some read it as a description of male-to-male intercourse. Indeed, it has been confirmed that there are several allusions to London's homosexual world intended for Wilde's contemporary, homosexual audience. However, we can read a homosexual subtext into many of the lines now: "Nothing will induce me to part with Bunbury. A man who marries without knowing Bunbury has a very tedious time of it." Aside from continuing the motif of intercourse with the word "part," Algernon clearly relates the need for an alter ego to the oppressive sexuality of marriage.

Another staple of the play is its humorous depiction of class tensions. Lane, the butler, is given his fair share of droll sayings, and even Algernon seems to recognize that the lower class has more power than they seem to: "If the lower orders don't set us a good example, what on earth is the use of them?" But this is not a serious play, and all the conflicts are quickly resolved through humor; when Algernon is upset over his depleted supply of champagne, Lane deflates the discussion of class and turns the topic to marriage.

We see two great symbols of the upper class here. The sofa is the center of the leisure class's idleness, a comfortable place to while away the afternoon without work. Wilde himself would spend hours in deep thought upon his sofa, but in this play he makes the sofa a place for social chatter. The cucumber sandwiches also become a motif for the hedonism of rich. Algernon supposedly saves them for Lady Bracknell, but he cannot resist devouring them himself.

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The Importance of Being Earnest Questions and Answers

The Question and Answer section for The Importance of Being Earnest is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.

What happened as a result of the following situation?

When Jack tells Lady Bracknell that Cecily will be a rich woman, Lady Bracknell immediately changes her mind about Cecily and decides that she will be a suitable wife for Algernon.

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Algernon's throwaway quip to Lane that "anyone can play [piano] accurately but I play with wonderful expression" is a good thumbnail of Wilde's philosophy of art. Wilde was heavily influenced by Walter Pater and the other aesthetes of the...

What can I say about the NARRATIVE TECHNIQUE ?

The play, The Importance of Being Earnest , does not have a narrator.

Study Guide for The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest study guide contains a biography of Oscar Wilde, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

  • About The Importance of Being Earnest
  • The Importance of Being Earnest Summary
  • Character List

Essays for The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of The Importance of Being Earnest.

  • Maxims and Masks: The Epigram in "The Importance of Being Earnest"
  • Paradox through Pacing in Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest"
  • Sincere Triviality: The Comedy of Oscar Wilde
  • Structural Stereotypes of the Characters in The Importance of Being Earnest
  • The Institution of Marriage in Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” and Susan Glaspell’s “Trifles”

Lesson Plan for The Importance of Being Earnest

  • About the Author
  • Study Objectives
  • Common Core Standards
  • Introduction to The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Relationship to Other Books
  • Bringing in Technology
  • Notes to the Teacher
  • Related Links
  • The Importance of Being Earnest Bibliography

E-Text of The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest e-text contains the full text of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.

Wikipedia Entries for The Importance of Being Earnest

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the 1 analysis

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, best summary and analysis: the great gatsby, chapter 1.

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Book Guides

feature_tablesetting.jpg

In The Great Gatsby, Chapter 1, the table is set, both figuratively and literally. Figurative table setting includes meeting our narrator, Nick Carraway, and getting a sense of the wealthy Long Island neighborhood where the novel will take place. Literal table setting—well, that’s the dinner Nick has with his cousin Daisy, her husband Tom, and their friend (and Nick’s eventual love interest) Jordan Baker.

Keep reading to learn more about what happens in this chapter, understand how it touches on the novel’s main themes, and see close readings of key quotations!

Quick Note on Our Citations

Our citation format in this guide is (chapter.paragraph). We're using this system since there are many editions of Gatsby, so using page numbers would only work for students with our copy of the book. To find a quotation we cite via chapter and paragraph in your book, you can either eyeball it (Paragraph 1-50: beginning of chapter; 50-100: middle of chapter; 100-on: end of chapter), or use the search function if you're using an online or eReader version of the text.

The Great Gatsby Chapter 1 Summary

Nick Carraway introduces himself as a nonjudgmental observer of other people who has recently returned to his home in a wealthy Midwestern family from the East Coast after a devastating disappointment. This disappointment is the story he is about to tell, which happened two years before.

After graduating from Yale, and fighting in WWI, Nick decides to become a bond trader and moves near NYC.

Nick rents a house in West Egg, a Long Island suburb that is less fashionable than East Egg, which lies across the Long Island Sound. His tiny, cheap bungalow is next to Gatsby’s enormous, tacky mansion.

Nick goes to have dinner with his cousin Daisy and her extremely rich husband Tom Buchanan, whom he knows slightly from Yale. Their house is overwhelmingly decorated. Tom is gruff, aggressive, and physically intimidating. Daisy and her friend Jordan Baker are wearing white dresses that look like balloons in the breeze. Daisy laughs a lot and speaks in a low, extremely appealing voice. Their conversation is scattered and shallow, and everyone talks over each other.

During dinner, Tom suddenly reveals himself to be a racist, influenced by a book that argues that the “dominant white race” is in danger of being overwhelmed by minorities. The phone rings for Tom. After he goes to answer it, Daisy seems upset and leaves the room. Jordan tells Nick that the phone call is from Tom’s mistress in New York. The rest of dinner is tense and awkward and makes Nick feel like he should call the police.

After dinner, Daisy takes Nick aside and tells him that she has become cynical. Nick asks Daisy about her two-year-old daughter. Daisy doesn’t seem to have any maternal feelings. When she found out that she had given birth to a daughter, Daisy’s first reaction was to cry. She hopes her daughter will grow up to be a “beautiful fool” (1.118). Despite the fact that Daisy seems to be baring her soul to him, Nick thinks this display of misery is some kind of an act.

Daisy and Nick rejoin Tom and Jordan, and Nick realizes that Jordan is a relatively famous professional golfer. He’s seen her in magazines and has heard an unpleasant story about her.

After Jordan goes to bed, Daisy matter-of-factly tells Nick to start a romantic relationship with Jordan. Tom, meanwhile, tells Nick not to believe anything Daisy told him when she took him aside. Tom and Daisy ask Nick about a rumor that he was engaged. Nick denies it. This rumor is actually one of the reasons he has come East.

Nick leaves the house confused about why Daisy doesn’t simply take her daughter and leave Tom. However, he can see that she has no intention of doing so.

Back at his house, Nick sees the figure of Gatsby outside his mansion. Nick thinks about introducing himself, but refrains when he sees Gatsby stretching his arms out toward a green light on the opposite shore of the bay.

body_northernlights.jpg

Key Chapter 1 Quotes

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since.

"Whenever you feel like criticizing any one," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had." (1.1-2)

The opening lines of the book color how we understand Nick’s description of everything that happens in the novel. Nick wants to present himself as a wise, objective, nonjudgmental observer, but in the course of the novel, as we learn more and more about him, we realize that he is snobby and prejudiced . In fact, it is probably because he knows this about himself that he is so eager to start the story he is telling with a long explanation of what makes him the best possible narrator.

Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men. (1.4)

This is how Nick sums up Gatsby before we have even met him, before we’ve heard anything about his life. As you read the book, think about how this information informs the way you’re responding to Gatsby’s actions. How much of what we see about Gatsby is colored by Nick’s predetermined conviction that Gatsby is a victim whose “dreams” were “preyed on”? It often feels like Nick is relying on the reader’s implicit trust of the narrator to spin Gatsby, make him come across as very sympathetic, and gloss over his flaws.

"Well, it's a fine book, and everybody ought to read it. The idea is if we don't look out the white race will be—will be utterly submerged. It's all scientific stuff; it's been proved."

"Well, these books are all scientific," insisted Tom, glancing at her impatiently. "This fellow has worked out the whole thing. It's up to us who are the dominant race to watch out or these other races will have control of things." (1.78-80)

Tom says this at dinner about a book he’s really into. Tom is introduced as a bully and a bigot from the very beginning , and his casual racism here is a good indicator of his callous disregard for human life. We will see that his affinity for being “dominant” comes into play whenever he interacts with other people. At the same time, however, Tom tends to surround himself with those who are weaker and less powerful—probably the better to lord his physical, economic, and class power over them.

“I'm glad it's a girl. And I hope she'll be a fool—that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” (1.118)

Daisy tells Nick that these are the first words she said after giving birth to her daughter.

This funny and depressing take on what it takes to succeed as a woman in Daisy’s world is a good lens into why she acts the way she does. Because she has never had to struggle for anything, because of her material wealth and the fact that she has no ambitions or goals, her life feels empty and meaningless to her. In a way, this wish for her daughter to be a “fool” is coming from a good place. Based on her own experiences, she assumes that a woman who is too stupid to realize that her life is pointless will be happier than one (like Daisy herself) who is restless and filled with existential ennui (which is a fancy way of describing being bored of one’s existence).

But I didn't call to him for he gave a sudden intimation that he was content to be alone—he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and far as I was from him I could have sworn he was trembling. Involuntarily I glanced seaward—and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock. (1.152)

The first time Nick sees him, Gatsby is making this half-prayerful gesture to the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock . This is our first glimpse of his obsession and his quest for the unobtainable. Gatsby makes this reaching movement several times throughout the book , each time because something he has strived for is just out of his grasp.

body_demotivation.jpg

Chapter 1 Analysis

Now, let's discuss the way this chapter works with the novel's themes, and also which major character events are key to take away from it.

Themes and Symbols

Society and Class. Right away, we see the difference between West Egg, the town of the vulgar nouveau riche and those driven by ambition to become them, and East Egg, the place where the old money elite lives in more classy luxury. Nick is hyper-aware of class differences when he has lunch with Daisy and Tom. Everything about them, from their house and its decor, to the way Daisy and Jordan flop on the furniture in carefree boredom, shows how incredibly wealthy and pampered they are. At the same time, Daisy’s half-joking remarks about her boredom and her cynicism show the darker side of having whatever you want whenever you want it—there stops being much point to life.

Love and Relationships . Nick has several insights into Tom and Daisy’s dysfunctional marriage. First, that Tom is having an affair so indiscreet that everyone including Jordan knows about it. Second, that Daisy is clearly miserable about Tom’s cheating. But finally—and most importantly—that Daisy simply will not leave no matter how terrible she feels about his behavior. Their relationship, however flawed, works for the two of them —something Nick figures out almost immediately when he sees them standing next to each other as he leaves. This foreshadowing is crucial to keep in mind as we watch Gatsby’s attempt to win Daisy over.

The Green Light . This chapter marks our first encounter with one of the most important symbols in the novel : the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock to which Gatsby assigns almost indescribable value. This light stands for everything that has been driving him over the past five years: the desire to be with Daisy, the quest for enough money to marry her, and the delusion that she has been as obsessed with him as he has been with her.

The American Dream . More universally, this desire to obtain something that is forever just out of reach—and arguably can never actually be reached —is true for many of the novel’s characters as they pursue their versions of the American Dream (the idea that hard work alone will guarantee success).

body_reach.jpg

Crucial Character Beats

  • Nick moves from the Midwest to West Egg, next door to Gatsby. He’s sick of his boring Midwestern life and wants to recapture some of the excitement of fighting in WWI.
  • Nick has dinner with Daisy and Tom. They are rich, and their lives seem totally meaningless. Tom displays his racist ideas and Daisy displays a total lack of maternal feelings.
  • Nick learns that Tom is having an affair, he figures out that Daisy is unhappy but will never leave Tom, and he meets Jordan Baker, who will become his romantic interest.

What’s Next?

Wondering why the book starts the way it does? For example, what does Nick’s dad’s advice mean? And what’s with that strange poem Fitzgerald uses as an epigraph? Check out the explanation of the novel’s beginning .

Did you know that this wasn’t Fitzgerald’s first choice of title? Learn more about the history and meaning of the title .

Move on to the summary of Chapter 2 or go back to the overview of the whole novel .

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points? We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

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Anna scored in the 99th percentile on her SATs in high school, and went on to major in English at Princeton and to get her doctorate in English Literature at Columbia. She is passionate about improving student access to higher education.

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D.C. snow updates: Snowy night expected, with 5 inches in some areas

Snow could fall very heavily, up to 1 to 2 inches per hour, much of it overnight.

4:25 p.m. — Precipitation approaching West Virginia, Pennsylvania; snow should reach D.C. region around midnight

Radar shows our storm system progressing through the Tennessee Valley and it’s spreading snow from southern Illinois through Ohio. Flakes should start to fly in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia over the next hour or so.

The snow should reach the Interstate 81 corridor around 11 p.m. and then sweep into the Washington region over the following two hours or so from west to east. This onset time is a little later than some earlier forecasts but should allow anyone out this evening to safely return home before the serious snowfall begins.

Models still show the potential for a very heavy burst of snow between about 1 and 5 a.m. before the storm exits to the east.

Because of the limited duration of snow, some of the newer model information suggests amounts may err toward the lower end of our predicted ranges, especially from the District and to the south, but we make that statement with low confidence.

Our next update will post between 7 and 7:30 p.m.

Original article from midday

The holiday weekend is likely to get off to a snowy start in the D.C. area Friday night.

We have increasingly high confidence in a quick-hitting, accumulating snowfall starting Friday evening and winding down before sunrise Saturday. The overnight timing and the likelihood of a few hours of moderate to heavy snow means that roads could be snow-covered and hazardous, even though temperatures will start out above freezing. However, any travel disruptions should ease by mid- to late Saturday morning.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for most of the region Friday night and says to “plan on slippery road conditions.” A more serious winter storm warning is posted for northern Fauquier, northwest Prince William, Loudoun, Montgomery, Howard and Baltimore counties and points west. The Weather Service says “travel could be very difficult.”

The entire region could see snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour for a time between midnight and 5 a.m. under the heaviest snow bands, and visibility could be reduced to less than half a mile at times, the Weather Service said. There’s even an outside chance of thundersnow — when thunder and lightning briefly occur as flakes pour down.

Accumulation forecast

We’re forecasting 3 to 5 inches across our northern and western zones, including Northwest Washington. Precipitation of mostly or all snow and slightly colder temperatures in these zones should enhance snow accumulation. A few spots could top out around 5 to 6 inches.

We’re forecasting 2 to 4 inches around downtown D.C. and to the south and east, except only a coating to 2 inches in southern Maryland. In these zones, precipitation could start as rain or a rain-snow mix, and slightly warmer temperatures should keep accumulations down a bit.

Slight shifts in the forecast are still possible as new information comes in.

Storm timeline

9 p.m. Friday to midnight: Snow arrives from west to east, possibly starting as rain or a rain-snow mix around downtown Washington and to the south and east, and becoming moderate to heavy to the west. Temperatures: mid- to upper 30s.

Midnight to 4 a.m. Saturday: Snow could be moderate to heavy at times across the entire region, accumulating on roads. Temperatures: upper 20s to mid-30s.

4 a.m. to 6 a.m. Saturday: Snow tapers from west to east. Temperatures: upper 20s to low 30s.

6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday: Improving road conditions on main roads and highways. Side roads could still be snowy or slick; lingering snow shower possible. Temperatures: low to mid-30s.

Temperatures described above will be lowest in areas north and west of downtown Washington and highest to the south and east.

Storm impact

The storm rates as only a low-end Category 2 out of 5 (and a Category 1 in our far-southern areas) on our Winter Storm Impact Scale . It’s occurring at one of the least disruptive times possible — in the middle of the night before a long weekend. And, outside of a lingering snow shower or two, it will be over by the time most people are waking up.

If you’re among the few to be on the roads between midnight and 5 a.m. Saturday, however, driving will be very hazardous because of the snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour and low visibilities. Roads will quickly become snow-covered and slick.

If you have Saturday morning plans, they may be disrupted until crews can treat and plow neighborhood roads, assuming you’re not comfortable driving on a bit of snow. We imagine major roads will be cleared pretty quickly Saturday morning. There could be delays and some cancellations at airports, so check your flight status before heading out.

By Saturday afternoon, snow will be steadily melting, and the area should be able to return to normal pretty fast. Lingering wet and slushy areas will refreeze Saturday night, so watch out for icy patches overnight into early Sunday. With highs well into the 40s on Sunday and sunshine, a lot of the snow will be gone by Sunday night.

How could the forecast go wrong?

There’s a pretty solid model consensus that most places, except areas south of Prince William and Prince George’s counties, should see at least 2 to 3 hours of moderate to heavy snowfall. However, amounts could end up on the low end of forecasts or in our “bust” range if precipitation intensity is a little lighter than simulated and temperatures are on the warm end of predictions. The risk of a bust is highest around downtown Washington and to the south, where above-freezing temperatures could eat into amounts. Also, if the snow moves through more quickly than forecast, that would also reduce totals. Some models show just a couple of hours of moderate to heavy snow.

On the flip side, amounts could end up at the high end of forecasts or in boom territory if the snow is on the heavy side of model predictions, which will cause temperatures to fall faster. Also, if the steady snow manages to linger a little later than 4 or 5 a.m. — when some models cut off — that could add an inch or so above the most probable amounts.

Expert analysis

“A quick-moving storm is likely to produce a narrow zone of particularly heavy snow Friday night. Where this band develops and stays in place the longest is where we could see amounts toward the high end of our snowfall forecasts, especially if it occurs in our typically colder locations north and west of the city,” said Wes Junker, Capital Weather Gang’s winter weather expert. “Areas that miss out on such a heavier band could see accumulations on the lower end of the forecast range, especially in our typically warmer locations from downtown D.C. to the south and east.”

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Trump Georgia case hearing on motion to disqualify Fani Willis continues

By Jason Morris, Nick Valencia , Zachary Cohen , Ryan Brooks and Dan Berman , CNN

Georgia hearing over efforts to disqualify District Attorney Fani Willis concludes. Here's what to expect next

From CNN's Hannah Rabinowitz, Holmes Lybrand and Devan Cole

The evidentiary hearing in Georgia over whether to disqualify Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has concluded for the time being, a judge said Friday.

The attorneys will likely have to return in the next few weeks to discuss outstanding issues, including whether Nathan Wade, the special prosecutor Willis hired to lead the case, can still assert attorney-client privilege over some testimony and evidence from his former law partner and divorce attorney, Terrence Bradley.

Both defense attorneys and prosecutors also will have the opportunity to file additional legal briefs as they see fit.

The evidentiary hearing included a tumultuous two days of testimony, including from Willis herself. Before the hearing concluded, the district attorney’s office sought to undermine Bradley’s credibility, including by raising an allegation of sexual assault by an employee of his former law firm. Bradley denied the allegation.

Bradley testified earlier Friday that he left the firm following a “disagreement,” but said the details of the disagreement were privileged. During cross examination, Bradley was pressed on whether he left because of a disagreement over a sexual assault allegation made against him.

“That is not correct,” Bradley said, but confirmed that he was accused of sexually assaulting a member of the firm.

The judge presiding over the case, Scott McAfee, questioned whether Bradley had been properly interpreting the privilege he had previously asserted over communications with Wade, given his testimony on the allegation.

Wade’s former lawyer acknowledged reviewing motion to dismiss Willis and said it looked "good"

From CNN's Holmes Lybrand, Hannah Rabinowitz and Devan Cole

Witness Terrence Bradley looks on from the witness stand during a hearing in the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump at the Fulton County Courthouse on February 16 in Atlanta.

Defense attorneys have continued to try to get information from Nathan Wade’s former law partner and one-time attorney about Wade’s relationship with District Attorney Fani Willis — specifically over the timing of when their relationship began. 

Terrence Bradley, Wade’s former divorce attorney, has repeatedly asserted attorney-client privilege when asked about information he learned from Wade. The judge presiding over the case has acknowledged the privilege exists and has limited what attorneys can question Bradley about.

Bradley did, however, acknowledge that defense attorney Ashleigh Merchant sent him a copy of her motion to dismiss Willis days before she filed it in January. The filing leveled allegations that Willis and Wade engaged in an improper romantic relationship from which Willis financially benefitted.

“I said, ‘looks good,’” Bradley said of his response via text to Merchant regarding her motion, adding that his answer was based on privileged communication with Wade.

Bradley had split from the law firm where he and Wade were partners, saying it was over a “disagreement.” When pressed on what the disagreement was about, Bradley said it was also privileged information and that “the disagreement is mine to know.”

The hearing has now wrapped up for the day.

Several prominent Georgia Democrats have attended the hearings in show of support for Willis

From CNN’s Zachary Cohen, Nick Valencia and Jason Morris

Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and current Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens talk amongst themselves as they sit in the gallery during a hearing in the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump at the Fulton County Courthouse on February 16, in Atlanta.

Several prominent Georgia Democrats and local political heavyweights have been present in the Fulton County courtroom over the last two days to support District Attorney Fani Willis as she faces potential disqualification in former President Donald Trump's election interference case.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, a Democrat, was sitting close to the front row behind the DA's team Friday morning. “After seeing some of coverage last evening, the Mayor felt compelled to walk over to the Courthouse in a show of solidarity and have a presence there," Dickens’ press secretary said in a statement to CNN. 

At a news conference from City Hall after the hearing took a lunch break, Dickens said, “Women are under attack across this country, and she does not need to feel like she is alone.”

"We know who’s on trial, and it’s not her. It’s Donald Trump for attempting to steal an election," Dickens said. 

Asked if he believes that Willis has the support of Fulton County after her Thursday testimony, Dickens told CNN: “Yes. And certainly the City of Atlanta.”

Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, the first woman to hold the post, and Charlie Bailey, a 2022 candidate for Lt. Governor, also have attended the court proceedings.

African Methodist Episcopal Bishop Reginald Jackson, a spiritual adviser of Willis and head of an historic black church in the Atlanta area, also was seen in court on Friday, as was Gerald Griggs, president of the Georgia NAACP.

Judge limits testimony of prosecutor’s former law partner in Georgia hearing

From CNN’s Holmes Lybrand, Devan Cole and Hannah Rabinowitz

Witness Terrence Bradley looks on from the witness stand during a hearing in the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump at the Fulton County Courthouse on February 16, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Fulton County Judge Scott McAfee has ruled that defense attorneys in the Georgia election subversion case can’t ask Nathan Wade’s former law partner, Terrence Bradley, about what Wade told him about his relationship with District Attorney Fani Willis.

McAfee said he would go over those conversations with Bradley, the former law partner who also represented Wade in his divorce, in a closed-door hearing without prosecutors or defense lawyers present. 

Defense attorneys had been trying to overcome Bradley’s claims of attorney-client privilege. Ashleigh Merchant, a defense attorney, wanted to introduce into evidence texts she exchanged with Bradley in 2023 about the relationship between Willis and Wade.

At one point, Merchant asked Bradley about a September text in which he declined to help her find someone who could provide a sworn statement about the relationship.

“Did I text you asking you if you knew who I could get an affidavit from about the affair and you responded, ‘No. No one would freely burn that bridge.’”  “Yes, I do see that,” Bradley replied when Merchant showed him the texts.

Bradley testified that he has “no personal knowledge of when” Willis and Wade began their relationship outside of direct communications with Wade.

Analysis: Focus on Georgia prosecutors could help Trump in jury pool

From CNN's Katelyn Polantz

Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade looks on during a hearing in the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump at the Fulton County Courthouse on February 15 in Atlanta, Georgia. 

Donald Trump may be winning politically in Georgia this week by shifting attention to the personal lives of prosecutors pursuing the criminal case against him in Fulton County.

But his lawyers have also looked for opportunities like these in the criminal cases he faces to plant the seeds for a legal win later on by damaging prosecutors’ credibility enough to help him before a jury.

Trump has repeatedly tried to claim publicly, including in remarks outside of a Manhattan courtroom Thursday, that he is the victim of a Biden administration conspiracy. Defense teams sometimes aim for these types of smears of prosecutors to help them by seeping into the public consciousness. When it comes time to pick jurors, distrust in the justice system or prosecutors could help Trump if even one selected juror wants to acquit because of feelings the case wasn’t fair.

It’s called jury nullification — and it’s a flaw in the justice system that courts strenuously try to avoid in the courtroom. However, a nullified jury — unwilling to vote based on the facts of the case before them — can pop up sometimes, especially in high-profile or controversial cases.

It still remains to be seen, however, if the most immediate fallout of the Fani Willis and Nathan Wade situation is the top prosecutors’ removal from the Trump case, which could potentially derail a trial indefinitely.

What to know about District Attorney Fani Willis

From CNN's Shawna Mizelle

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis enteres a room in the Fulton County Government Center ahead of a news conference, Monday, August 14, in Atlanta. 

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis reemerged in the spotlight last year after her office  charged 19 co-defendants , including Donald Trump, regarding efforts by the former president and his allies to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

She campaigned on the premise of restoring integrity to the Fulton County district attorney’s office, was elected after ousting six-term incumbent Paul Howard and inherited a stack of backlogged cases.

Within a month, her office was firing off letters to Georgia officials asking them to preserve documents related to attempts to influence the state’s 2020 election.

Besides leading the election subversion probe, Willis has also brought anti-corruption indictments against Grammy-winning rapper  Young Thug  and his associates. The district attorney has spoken fondly of RICO – the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act – and has used it in unorthodox ways to bring charges against school officials and musicians, including Young Thug.

From California by way of Washington, DC, Willis obtained her undergraduate degree from Howard University in 1992 and graduated from Emory School of Law in 1996,  according to her biography . Her name, Fani, is Swahili and means “prosperous,” and her father was a lawyer and Black Panther.

According to a  South Atlanta Magazine  profile, she worked in the private sector for five years before becoming assistant district attorney for Fulton County in 2001.

Read more  about Fulton County’s first female district attorney.

Court resumes

The court has resumed after taking a break.

Willis kept location of her home secret due to threats, her father testifies

From CNN's Eva Roytburg

John Floyd, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis' father, testified on Friday that he and his daughter experienced "nightmarish threats" after she was sworn in as district attorney.

Floyd began his testimony by discussing how Willis was forced to move from her home after a group of people harassed her and sent her death threats.

"The South Fulton police brought a man with a dog, because there were so many death threats," he said passionately. "They said they were going to blow up the house, they said they were going to kill her, kill me, kill her grandchildren."

Once Willis moved, she kept the location of her new home secret from her father due to the threats, he testified.

They have seen each other rarely since, only "13 times" since she left her original home, and for no more than three hours each time, due to the danger.

"It's hard for me to talk about," Floyd said. 

Willis' father says he told the district attorney to have "six months of cash always"

From CNN's Hannah Rabinowitz

John Floyd gestures from the witness stand during a hearing in the case of the State of Georgia v. Donald John Trump at the Fulton County Courthouse on February 16, in Atlanta. 

John Floyd, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ father, testified Friday that he taught his daughter to “hide cash” in case she needed it.

Defense attorneys had pushed Willis over why she would keep a prevalence of cash in her home, which she said used to pay Nathan Wade back for various expenses. Floyd’s testimony corroborates Willis’ statements that she was taught to always have cash handy.

“Maybe, and excuse me your honor, I’m not trying to be racist, but it’s a black thing,” Floyd said. “I was trained, and most black folks, they hide cash or they keep cash, and I was trained you always keep some cash.”

“I gave my daughter her first cash box and told her, ‘always keep some cash,’” Floyd said.

Floyd referenced a time he had trouble paying for his meal at a restaurant several years ago to Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“I had a American Express credit card and maybe a Visa,” Floyd said, as well as “a lot of what they call traveler’s checks.”

“For whatever reasons the man would not take my American Express credit card,” Floyd said. “So, I pulled out my Visa card, and he wouldn’t take my Visa card. So then I pulled out my traveler’s checks, and he said ‘we don’t take checks.’"

“The bill for my wife at the time … Fani and myself was like $9.95, I had a $10 bill. And I always remember that,” he said.

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A Columbia Surgeon’s Study Was Pulled. He Kept Publishing Flawed Data.

The quiet withdrawal of a 2021 cancer study by Dr. Sam Yoon highlights scientific publishers’ lack of transparency around data problems.

Supported by

Benjamin Mueller

By Benjamin Mueller

Benjamin Mueller covers medical science and has reported on several research scandals.

  • Feb. 15, 2024

The stomach cancer study was shot through with suspicious data. Identical constellations of cells were said to depict separate experiments on wholly different biological lineages. Photos of tumor-stricken mice, used to show that a drug reduced cancer growth, had been featured in two previous papers describing other treatments.

Problems with the study were severe enough that its publisher, after finding that the paper violated ethics guidelines, formally withdrew it within a few months of its publication in 2021. The study was then wiped from the internet, leaving behind a barren web page that said nothing about the reasons for its removal.

As it turned out, the flawed study was part of a pattern. Since 2008, two of its authors — Dr. Sam S. Yoon, chief of a cancer surgery division at Columbia University’s medical center, and a more junior cancer biologist — have collaborated with a rotating cast of researchers on a combined 26 articles that a British scientific sleuth has publicly flagged for containing suspect data. A medical journal retracted one of them this month after inquiries from The New York Times.

A person walks across a covered walkway connecting two buildings over a road with parked cars. A large, blue sign on the walkway says "Columbia University Irving Medical Center."

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where Dr. Yoon worked when much of the research was done, is now investigating the studies. Columbia’s medical center declined to comment on specific allegations, saying only that it reviews “any concerns about scientific integrity brought to our attention.”

Dr. Yoon, who has said his research could lead to better cancer treatments , did not answer repeated questions. Attempts to speak to the other researcher, Changhwan Yoon, an associate research scientist at Columbia, were also unsuccessful.

The allegations were aired in recent months in online comments on a science forum and in a blog post by Sholto David, an independent molecular biologist. He has ferreted out problems in a raft of high-profile cancer research , including dozens of papers at a Harvard cancer center that were subsequently referred for retractions or corrections.

From his flat in Wales , Dr. David pores over published images of cells, tumors and mice in his spare time and then reports slip-ups, trying to close the gap between people’s regard for academic research and the sometimes shoddier realities of the profession.

When evaluating scientific images, it is difficult to distinguish sloppy copy-and-paste errors from deliberate doctoring of data. Two other imaging experts who reviewed the allegations at the request of The Times said some of the discrepancies identified by Dr. David bore signs of manipulation, like flipped, rotated or seemingly digitally altered images.

Armed with A.I.-powered detection tools, scientists and bloggers have recently exposed a growing body of such questionable research, like the faulty papers at Harvard’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and studies by Stanford’s president that led to his resignation last year.

But those high-profile cases were merely the tip of the iceberg, experts said. A deeper pool of unreliable research has gone unaddressed for years, shielded in part by powerful scientific publishers driven to put out huge volumes of studies while avoiding the reputational damage of retracting them publicly.

The quiet removal of the 2021 stomach cancer study from Dr. Yoon’s lab, a copy of which was reviewed by The Times, illustrates how that system of scientific publishing has helped enable faulty research, experts said. In some cases, critical medical fields have remained seeded with erroneous studies.

“The journals do the bare minimum,” said Elisabeth Bik, a microbiologist and image expert who described Dr. Yoon’s papers as showing a worrisome pattern of copied or doctored data. “There’s no oversight.”

Memorial Sloan Kettering, where portions of the stomach cancer research were done, said no one — not the journal nor the researchers — had ever told administrators that the paper was withdrawn or why it had been. The study said it was supported in part by federal funding given to the cancer center.

Dr. Yoon, a stomach cancer specialist and a proponent of robotic surgery, kept climbing the academic ranks, bringing his junior researcher along with him. In September 2021, around the time the study was published, he joined Columbia, which celebrated his prolific research output in a news release . His work was financed in part by half a million dollars in federal research money that year, adding to a career haul of nearly $5 million in federal funds.

The decision by the stomach cancer study’s publisher, Elsevier, not to post an explanation for the paper’s removal made it less likely that the episode would draw public attention or affect the duo’s work. That very study continued to be cited in papers by other scientists .

And as recently as last year, Dr. Yoon’s lab published more studies containing identical images that were said to depict separate experiments, according to Dr. David’s analyses.

The researchers’ suspicious publications stretch back 16 years. Over time, relatively minor image copies in papers by Dr. Yoon gave way to more serious discrepancies in studies he collaborated on with Changhwan Yoon, Dr. David said. The pair, who are not related, began publishing articles together around 2013.

But neither their employers nor their publishers seemed to start investigating their work until this past fall, when Dr. David published his initial findings on For Better Science, a blog, and notified Memorial Sloan Kettering, Columbia and the journals. Memorial Sloan Kettering said it began its investigation then.

None of those flagged studies was retracted until last week. Three days after The Times asked publishers about the allegations, the journal Oncotarget retracted a 2016 study on combating certain pernicious cancers. In a retraction notice , the journal said the authors’ explanations for copied images “were deemed unacceptable.”

The belated action was symptomatic of what experts described as a broken system for policing scientific research.

A proliferation of medical journals, they said, has helped fuel demand for ever more research articles. But those same journals, many of them operated by multibillion-dollar publishing companies, often respond slowly or do nothing at all once one of those articles is shown to contain copied data. Journals retract papers at a fraction of the rate at which they publish ones with problems.

Springer Nature, which published nine of the articles that Dr. David said contained discrepancies across five journals, said it was investigating concerns. So did the American Association for Cancer Research, which published 10 articles under question from Dr. Yoon’s lab across four journals.

It is difficult to know who is responsible for errors in articles. Eleven of the scientists’ co-authors, including researchers at Harvard, Duke and Georgetown, did not answer emailed inquiries.

The articles under question examined why certain stomach and soft-tissue cancers withstood treatment, and how that resistance could be overcome.

The two independent image specialists said the volume of copied data, along with signs that some images had been rotated or similarly manipulated, suggested considerable sloppiness or worse.

“There are examples in this set that raise pretty serious red flags for the possibility of misconduct,” said Dr. Matthew Schrag, a Vanderbilt University neurologist who commented as part of his outside work on research integrity.

One set of 10 articles identified by Dr. David showed repeated reuse of identical or overlapping black-and-white images of cancer cells supposedly under different experimental conditions, he said.

“There’s no reason to have done that unless you weren’t doing the work,” Dr. David said.

One of those papers , published in 2012, was formally tagged with corrections. Unlike later studies, which were largely overseen by Dr. Yoon in New York, this paper was written by South Korea-based scientists, including Changhwan Yoon, who then worked in Seoul.

An immunologist in Norway randomly selected the paper as part of a screening of copied data in cancer journals. That led the paper’s publisher, the medical journal Oncogene, to add corrections in 2016.

But the journal did not catch all of the duplicated data , Dr. David said. And, he said, images from the study later turned up in identical form in another paper that remains uncorrected.

Copied cancer data kept recurring, Dr. David said. A picture of a small red tumor from a 2017 study reappeared in papers in 2020 and 2021 under different descriptions, he said. A ruler included in the pictures for scale wound up in two different positions.

The 2020 study included another tumor image that Dr. David said appeared to be a mirror image of one previously published by Dr. Yoon’s lab. And the 2021 study featured a color version of a tumor that had appeared in an earlier paper atop a different section of ruler, Dr. David said.

“This is another example where this looks intentionally done,” Dr. Bik said.

The researchers were faced with more serious action when the publisher Elsevier withdrew the stomach cancer study that had been published online in 2021. “The editors determined that the article violated journal publishing ethics guidelines,” Elsevier said.

Roland Herzog, the editor of Molecular Therapy, the journal where the article appeared, said that “image duplications were noticed” as part of a process of screening for discrepancies that the journal has since continued to beef up.

Because the problems were detected before the study was ever published in the print journal, Elsevier’s policy dictated that the article be taken down and no explanation posted online.

But that decision appeared to conflict with industry guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics . Posting articles online “usually constitutes publication,” those guidelines state. And when publishers pull such articles, the guidelines say, they should keep the work online for the sake of transparency and post “a clear notice of retraction.”

Dr. Herzog said he personally hoped that such an explanation could still be posted for the stomach cancer study. The journal editors and Elsevier, he said, are examining possible options.

The editors notified Dr. Yoon and Changhwan Yoon of the article’s removal, but neither scientist alerted Memorial Sloan Kettering, the hospital said. Columbia did not say whether it had been told.

Experts said the handling of the article was symptomatic of a tendency on the part of scientific publishers to obscure reports of lapses .

“This is typical, sweeping-things-under-the-rug kind of nonsense,” said Dr. Ivan Oransky, co-founder of Retraction Watch, which keeps a database of 47,000-plus retracted papers. “This is not good for the scientific record, to put it mildly.”

Susan C. Beachy contributed research.

Benjamin Mueller reports on health and medicine. He was previously a U.K. correspondent in London and a police reporter in New York. More about Benjamin Mueller

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