So, anything happening in the news today?
In case you missed it, “aaaaaand he's out,” Nathan McDermott of CNN tells us. “Flynn resigns amid controversy over Russia contacts.” “Out like Flynn,” adds Paul Bradley Carr of PandoDaily.
In the wake of the news of Mike Flynn’s resignation, this tweet from California representative Ted Lieu, which included a link to the text of the resignation letter (posted by Time Magazine’s Zeke Miller), was making the rounds of retweets this morning: “Flynn resigned because the press brought his misconduct to the American people. Our Republic relies on the Freedom of the Press.”
So, we're done here? Not so fast: "Congressman, there is zero chance we are going to move on." Brian Stelter concludes his CNN piece describing How leaks and investigative journalists led to Mike Flynn's resignation with this quote from the network’s Chris Coumo, who was responding to Rep. Chris Collins’ suggestion that “it’s just time to move on” now that Flynn has resigned. Stelter outlines how sources speaking to the Washington Post, The New York Times and other outlets led journalists to dig for more and more details until “One story became 10 stories, and 10 became a hundred.”
Cuomo also noticed that the GOP hasn’t had much to say about the issue. But Collins had a perfectly plausible explanation for us: “Well, it’s Valentine’s Day, and I guess they’re having breakfast with their wives.”
Melt My Stony Heart
Thanks for that segue, Rep. Collins, because it is Valentine’s Day, and we could all use a break from the snark for a little dose of sweetness. Helping us out are Maureen Pao and L. Carol Ritchie of NPR, who compiled some of their readers’ most memorable Valentine’s Day cards. Go ahead and treat yourself. As NPR’s Camila Domonoske tweets, “I don't even LIKE this stupid holiday but I'll be damned if this didn't melt my stony heart.”
And on a different(?) note, word is out that Playboy is bringing nudity back to the magazine, announcing the reversal of its year-long ban with the hashtag #NakedIsNormal. To which Mark Reardon of KMOX-AM tweets “Well, duh.” But NPR’s Bill Chappell wins it with the best headline: 'Playboy' Snaps Out Of Its Never-Nude Phase.
A tour de force
Don’t miss this one: “This is just a great, great story and a must read,” says Paul Beckett of The Wall Street Journal, referring to The Rise and Fall of a K Street Renegade, colleague Brody Mullins’ in-depth “Hidden Influence” piece about corporate lobbyist Evan Morris. Says Jake Sherman of POLITICO: “This Brody Mullins story in the WSJ is a masterpiece. A tour de force.” Dylan Scott of STAT agrees: “You MUST READ this saga of a pharma lobbyist now under federal investigation.”
Sally Q. Yates strikes again
Brendan Lynch of The Boston Globe points to Philip Rucker’s report in the Washington Post (which came out before Flynn’s resignation) revealing that the Justice Department warned the White House back in January that Michael Flynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail. Tweets the National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar, of the former acting AG: “Sally Yates returns -- with a vengeance.” In other words, “Aha. So. Here is why Sally Yates was really fired,” says Alexander Zalben of TV Guide. Or as Anthony Breznican of Entertainment Weekly puts it (and where have I heard this before?): “Sally Yates warned them. She gave them an explanation. Nevertheless, she was resisted.”
Rucker’s colleague Jia Lynn Yang calls this “Another big scoop,” and Michael Wooten of WGRZ-TV Buffalo says, “This is some fantastic reporting. Politics aside, we should all be thankful for serious journalists hard at work.” But before we get too excited, Josh Sternberg of NBC News reminds us: “There was once a time when this story would be THE story of an administration. Today's only Monday.” Chris Coumo would surely agree with DeAnn Smith of KCTV-TV Kansas City, who asks, “What did Pence know and when did he know it? We need investigations this story makes clear.”
What the actual hell is this story
Thank you, Amanda Coyne of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, for asking. Let's have Michael Calderone of the Huffington Post break it down for us: “Omarosa threatened @AprilDRyan, saying Trump officials had dossiers on her and several African American journalists.” Reported by Paul Farhi in the Washington Post, reality TV star and longtime Trump associate Omarosa Manigault allegedly bullied White House reporter April Ryan and “physically intimidated” her outside the Oval Office. According to Farhi, Omarosa offered the following statement about Ryan’s accusations: “My comment: Fake news!” To which Charlie Savage of The New York Times offers this: “‘Fake News!’ is played out.”
Feels like we're just spinning a huge price is right wheel of potential headlines now
Anything else making news today? Oh, there’s this: "’pewdiepie neo nazi?’ feels like we're just spinning a huge price is right wheel of potential headlines now,” tweets Jordan Sargent of SPIN. Josh Barro of Business Insider asks the question on all of our minds: “When did every goddamn thing become so stupid?” Rolfe Winkler, Jack Nicas and Ben Fritz report in The Wall Street Journal that Disney has severed ties with Felix Kjellberg, a 27-year-old Swede known as "PewDiePie," after posting nine videos since August that include anti-Semitic jokes or Nazi imagery. What’s not stupid? The investigative reporting that led to the action by Disney. As Nicas tweeted, “We found Disney-backed @pewdiepie, YouTube's top star, made 9 anti-Semitic videos. We told Disney & it cut ties.”