“This is clearly the most important story of the day,” says Nate Goldman, and at 46,000+ shares, Alastair Gale’s piece in The Wall Street Journal, When the children crashed dad’s BBC interview: The family’s first interview, lives up the billing. And in case you were wondering (like so many were), “BREAKING: BBC Dad was wearing jeans,” tweets Ryan Teague Beckwith. Finally, something we can all agree on, as Timothy Noah notes: “This is the only news that every human on earth wants to read today.”
The media business can be a strange thing.
So about that other big news last night. “The WSJ has some details about the Trump tax issue that Maddow is currently tap dancing around,” Lisa Abramowicz tweeted, linking to reporting by Richard Rubin and Mike Bender, Trump Tax Records Leaked to MSNBC, White House Confirms. In other words, as Brian Braiker put it, “The White House has already scooped Maddow.” Before Rachel Maddow got to it on her show, Rubin and Bender’s piece revealed that the tax records showed Trump reported $150 million in income in 2005 and paid taxes of $38 million. Oh, what’s that? “Daily Beast has em too?” Sean O'Kane asked linking to their piece, Report: Trump’s 2005 Tax Returns. So, as David Cochrane pointed out, “If you're tired of waiting for Maddow, this may have some of the information.” Or, if you wanted to be surprised, “SPOILER ALERT,” offered Jesse Pesta. Eric Geller noted that David Cay Johnston, the reporter who got the return, is a contributor to The Daily Beast. As Sarah Nassauer tweeted, “The media business can be a strange thing.” Says Matt Ford, “god bless print.”
Rubin later updated his Wall Street Journal story with some more context, tweeting, “I've updated my Trump tax return story -- and we've got AMT theories!” adding, “I'm now way more interested in the details and mechanics of AMT repeal than I was yesterday.” David Dayen sees something there, too, tweeting, “The AMT, which DC hated so much they patched it in the *stimulus*, represented 86% of Trump's 2005 tax burden.” Kathleen Howley boils it down to this: “Best explanation of #Trumptaxes. HE PAID 4% RATE in reg federal tax, the rest was Alt Min Tax he has vowed to ax.”
More proof that politics makes people crazy.
Mark Schoofs tweets, “Too good to be true: the unbelievable tale of a secret mission to bring down Trump.” Ken Bensinger, Jason Leopold and Craig Silverman report in BuzzFeed How Donald Trump’s Enemies Fell For A Billion-Dollar Hoax. Says Asa Fitch, “Great dissection of an attempt to plant a false story, though it's not exactly 'fake news'; just forgery/fraud.” It’s, as Ben Smith tweets, “The wild story of anti-Trump activists who got duped into spending thousands on a forged document.” Notes Kendall Taggart, “And such a cool new tool: Anatomy of a phony document.” Miriam Elder says “This is amazing,” adding, “Think my fave thing in the story is claim that inconsistencies/spelling errors were ‘camouflage.’” Eli Lake comments, “Great digging from @buzzfeed team.” Gideon Resnick says, “This is an insane story and indicative of how some liberals are willing to believe anything about Trump right now,” while Trey Barrineau calls it, “More proof that politics makes people crazy.”
Palace intrigue stories.
“This seems healthy,” says Craig Newman. According to a new piece by Alex Isenstadt and Kenneth Vogel in POLITICO, ‘People are scared’: Paranoia seizes Trump’s White House. Patrick LaForge notes, “They forgot the adage: Dance like nobody's leaking to the press or remotely activating your selfie camera.” Tweets Isenstadt, “For all Trump's talk of 'fake news' aides are OBSESSED with palace intrigue stories and talk about them in WH,” adding, “Despite repeated warnings, WH staffers are using encrypted apps that delete messages. One gaining popularity: Wickr.” “Welcome to the White House of Horrors,” as Jake Bernstein puts it. Bright side? “You think your job sucks? Read this.” says Noga Tarnopolsky.
Bannon was indeed born of human parents.
“Inside the many factors that turned Steve Bannon into a divisive political firebrand.” Natalie Andrews is referring to Michael Bender's new Wall Street Journal piece, Steve Bannon and the Making of an Economic Nationalist, “in which I confirm that Steve Bannon was indeed born of human parents,” Bender tweets. Ashley Parker calls it “A great @MichaelCBender deep-dive on Steve Bannon, including an interview w his 95-year-old father, Marty Bannon.” A few choice bits? Rebecca Ballhaus points you to this: “Bannon's father doesn't like his often-disheveled appearance. ‘I thought he was a girl for 2 years.’” And this: “Bannon has four phones. ‘3 of them were ‘Hey dude’ phones, and the other was a ‘Yes, sir’ phone,’ says his brother.”
RIP ‘Lucky Peach.’
“This is like hearing a family member died,” tweets Bradford Pearson of the news that Lucky Peach will likely fold in May and has already laid off its entire staff, as reported by Amanda Kludt for Eater. Says Megan Greenwell, “lucky peach is one of too few magazines trying new and weird things, and if this is true i will miss it terribly.” Not only that, “The future of deconstructed, non-linear television shows is bleak if Lucky Peach couldn't even do it,” says Nickolaus Hines. Matt Haber hopes this isn’t the end, tweeting “.@LuckyPeach challenged every mag in its category and inspired designers everywhere. Hope it finds a way to live on.” And Max Nisen offers a solution: “Can we just close 15 of the innumerable shitty magazines of the world and keep @LuckyPeach?”
Turns out SHE-E-O isn't actually the same as CEO.
Still feeling the chill of Stella? Meredith Haggerty suggests reading Hilary George-Parkin’s piece in Racked, Thinx Promised a Feminist Utopia to Everyone But Its Employees—“to warm you on this blizzard-y day, reported FIRE from @hilarygp.” Alexandra Mondalek notes this tidbit: “10 people have left 35-person company Thinx since Jan. A lot of it has to do with its ‘volatile work environment.’" And Matthew Zeitlin says, “this may be the best sentence in business journalism history,” highlighting, “Agrawal announced to the staff that she is stepping down from her role as CEO of Thinx and Icon, the ‘pee-proof underwear’ company she also co-founded — though, she clarified in the all-hands meeting, she will still be the ‘SHE-E-O’ (the irreverent title she employs in most external communication) and face of the brands.” Explains Alanna Okun, “turns out SHE-E-O isn't actually the same as CEO.” Taylor Wofford puts it this way: “Company promoting woke product uses decidedly non-woke business practices.” Says Sarah Jones, “corporate ‘feminism’ will cut you every single time.” Advice from Jane Timm: “Never work for anyone who uses the phrase ‘hashtag adulting’ seriously.”
Fat Leonard really knows how to throw a party.
Elizabeth Sile asks, “Has anyone read a more insane story than this one today?” There are a few contenders, but we may have a winner with this one. In the Washington Post, Craig Whitlock reports that Admiral, seven others charged with corruption in new ‘Fat Leonard’ indictment. Whitlock elaborates, “At another party, Navy officers drank the hotel's entire supply of Dom Perignon. Fat Leonard paid the $50,000 bill.” Says Clara Jeffery, “Can you be more specific,” highlighting this from the piece, “During the party, ‘historical memorabilia related to General Douglas MacArthur were used by the participants in sexual acts,’ according to the indictment.” “Fat Leonard really knows how to throw a party, apparently,” tweets Paul Szoldra. As Mike Rosenberg says, “Even in an era of non-stop crazy news, this stands out.”