Maybe don't be in Congress

Muck Rack Daily

Maybe don't be in Congress
December 21st, 2016
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Muck Rack Daily
Hello from Muck Rack, where you can get a snapshot of what journalists around the world are reading, thinking and commenting on right now.

Struggling to get journalists to accept your pitches? Then you've gotta read BusinessNewsDaily Managing Editor Nicole Fallon Taylor's latest article on the Muck Rack blog, "Why I rejected 95 percent of the pitches I received last week." (Yours might have been one of them!)

 
Trending
Sobering and frightening

An "in-depth bizarro profile" of Donald Trump's doctor? Yes, please.

That's how STATnews' Matthew Orr describes his colleague Ike Swelitz's latest piece, a practically hallucinatory stumble down the rabbithole with Dr. Harold Bornstein, the man who famously proclaimed that Donald Trump would be the healthiest man ever elected president.

(To give you an idea of what a challenging piece this must have been to write, Bornstein told Swelitz at one point in the interview process, "I happen to have known the Sulzbergers for 50 years. I’m going to make sure you don’t ever work again if you do this.”)

As The Verge's Elizabeth Lopatto put it, "Stat News interviews Trump's doctor, who is.... not the most reassuring fellow."

"Trump Doctor speaks!" tweets the New York Times' Jim Rutenberg. "Tells @statnews re DJT's health 'if something happens to him, it happens,' because succession."

But perhaps STAT's Damian Garde put it best in a possible reference to Dr. Blatnoyd from Inherent Vice: "Trump's doctor is a runaway Thomas Pynchon character."

Sobering and frightening

"If you thought that elected bodies would rein Trump in, this is sobering and frightening reading," tweets Autobiography blogger Stuart Bridgett in response to a Politico story revealing that hordes of Trump supporters on Twitter, Breitbart, and across the web are "browbeating" Republican officials who dare to oppose Trump in even the slightest manner.

Perhaps the most startling example of this phenomenon in action surrounds Congressman Bill Flores (R-TX) who was told to "go hang yourself" simply because he cautioned that some of Trump's policies "are not going to line up very well with our conservative policies." All this, despite broadly pledging his support for the president-elect.

"Republican Congressmen are afraid of Breitbart," tweets The Huffington Post's Michael Calderone.

"Republicans have been terrorized into lockstep and Democrats are busy fighting about 'Is Lena Dunham good?'" says Digiday's Evan DeSimone, who is likely referring to a recent controversy that arose after the Girls star, in an ill-worded attempt to empathize with women who have had abortions, said she wished she'd had one.

But Ben Terris of the Washington Post has no sympathy for these officials: "If negative coverage from Breitbart and angry tweets keep you from voting your conscience, maybe dont be in congress."

In other news:

A man named Adam Saleh has posted a video on Twitter that appears to show him and a travel companion being escorted off a Delta flight from Heathrow "because I spoke Arabic to my mom on the phone." The video has now been retweeted almost 600,000 times and has been shared over 13,000—oh wait, now over 14,000 times. It all sounds very awful, and nothing in the video directly contradicts Saleh's claims. Except.... as BuzzFeed notes, Adam Saleh is a YouTuber "best known for making hoax videos involving airlines." So yeah, there may be much more to this story than meets the eye.

"Been working on this ~weird~ story for a while and i'd love for you all to read it." Weird is a dramatic understatement for Amelia Tait's latest piece at the New Statesman which covers a "movie that doesn't exist and the Redditors who think it does." Uproxx's Keith Phipps sums it up in a tweet: "Who remembers the '90s Sinbad movie SHAZAAM? Apparently a lot of people despite it not, well, existing."

"Almost 40% of young Americans (18-34) were living with their families in 2015, the largest percentage since 1940," tweets Eli Yokley of Morning Consult, linking to a Wall Street Journal article on the new study.

Eater's Helen Rosner interviews culinary gadfly Anthony Bourdain about the election, "and the bleak world we're about to inhabit." The article's first sentence alone references "the balmy heat of Muscat," "frigid wind fires," and "Manhattan's crosstown canyons," which all makes for a nice literary treat on a cold day in a cold world.

And finally, according to Newt Gingrich—by way of CNN's David Wright and NPR's Morning Edition—Trump is dumping his whole "drain the swamp" rhetoric. Speaketh Newt: "It was cute, but he doesn't want to use it anymore."

Watercooler
Question of the Day

Yesterday, we asked: We mentioned Zangief (or, as shown above, ZanGIF) from the arcade and console gaming classic Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. What was his original, somewhat-culturally-insensitive name?

Answer: Vodka Gobalsky. Congrats to Craig Pittman (been a while, Craig!) for answering first. (Honorable mention goes to Dan Rosenbaum who notes that Zangief had another, less culturally insensitive earlier name, Red Cyclone).

Your question of the day for today is… Speaking of "Shazam," the real movie people were thinking of was "Kazaam" starring Shaquille O'Neal. Though not one of Shaq's finest Hollywood performances, the former Laker star has had a pretty solid crossover career as an actor, including a memorable appearance on HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm." In that episode, what does Larry David deliver to Shaq in the hospital as penance for tripping him on the court? (Larry, naturally, wanted to stretch out his legs).

As always, click here to tweet your answer to @MuckRack. We’ll announce the winners tomorrow!

Career Updates
Meet the AP's new White House team

Here's Julie Pace, the AP's Chief White House Correspondent linking to an announcement of the new team: "Nine reporters on the new @AP White House team? Heck yeah, we have nine reporters on the new AP White House team!"

Don’t forget - if you change your job in journalism or move to a different news organization, be sure to email us (hello [at] muckrack [dot] com) so we can reflect your new title. News job changes only, please! Thanks!
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