Clearly the greatest C.I.A. plot

Muck Rack Daily

Clearly the greatest C.I.A. plot
March 22nd, 2017
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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.

We’ve heard a lot about all the things PR pros do to annoy journalists, but surely there are some positive stories out there? NakedPR’s Jennifer Mattern decided to find out. Her latest blog post is a great roundup of stories about PR pros who went above and beyond, as well as the general habits that leave journalists with a warm fuzzy feeling. Feel the love in No haters here: Eight PR pros & journalists on building better relationships.

The Afterlife Gazette better have someone good on the Ronald Reagan beat

In an AP exclusive, Jeff Horwitz and Chad Day broke the news this morning that President Trump’s ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort had a plan to 'greatly benefit the Putin Government.' As Laura Litvan tweets, “MAJOR AP SCOOP: Manafort had $10m contract from Russia billionaire to aid Putin in US, Europe politics.” Says Glenn Thrush, “Manafort colluded w/ Russia, per AP. That's why Spicer tried to claim Paul worked from campaign ‘briefly.’ Smoove.” Franklin Foer notes, “This is an important piece, because this memo is hard evidence that suggests a narrative.” And Richard Fausset calls it “Tremendous reporting on Manafort from the AP.” In light of the news, Dave Levinthal says, “The Afterlife Gazette better have someone good on the Ronald Reagan beat.”

The Wall Street Journal editorial board has absolutely had it

A Wall Street Journal opinion piece is getting plenty of attention today, particularly this zinger: “The President clings to his assertion like a drunk to an empty gin bottle." And this one: “If he doesn’t show more respect for the truth, most Americans may conclude he’s a fake President.” In A President’s Credibility (17,000+ shares), the Journal’s editorial board takes the president to task, saying his falsehoods are eroding public trust both at home and abroad. “Considering the source, wow!” tweets Mike Hendricks. As Benny Avni notes, “WSJ ain't exactly a D party mouthpiece. @potus needs to realize he can't fib his way to MAGA.” Bradd Jaffy’s take: “! The Wall Street Journal editorial board has absolutely had it.”

Not backing away from the tapp

In The New York Times, Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman take a closer look at the clinging, in Why Letting Go, for Trump, Is No Small or Simple Task. “In which @maggieNYT & @GlennThrush take a deep dive into why Trump most definitely will not back away from the tapp,” tweets Steve Kopack. Haberman herself tweets, “Trump is governed by competing impulses put in place by two biggest influences in his life - his father and Roy Cohn,” adding, “His father propelled him to never lose. Cohn propelled him to never acknowledge being wrong.” “Imagine having these two voices in your head all your life,” Mark Gongloff says. “Great line: ‘President Trump is a man deeply susceptible to snagging himself in the nettles of obsession,’" says Kai Ryssdal. And Brian Stelter highlights this from the piece, "Aides describe a nearly paralytic inability to tell Mr. Trump that he has erred or gone too far on Twitter." Haberman elaborates, “Most of the White House staff live in terror of Trump turning his wrath on them if they make case against his views.”

Here's the story from lone journalist to accompany Tillerson to Asia…

Michael Igoe refers you to  Erin McPike's piece in the Independent Journal Review. Trump's Diplomat reveals, as Igoe tweets, “Tillerson did not want to be Sec of State, but his wife convinced him it was God's plan.” Says Glenn Kessler, “This profile of Tillerson, via @ErinMcPike, is well worth reading. She made good use of her unusual access.” Ed Crooks agrees, tweeting, “Regardless of the row over access, this is a well-observed, revealing piece on Rex Tillerson.”

So many errors

Here’s what Charles Ornstein of ProPublica has been up to: “I read through dozens of letters that Reps and Senators sent constituents. So many errors.” We Fact-Checked Lawmakers’ Letters to Constituents on Health Care uncovers a number of “glaring” errors, including, as Ornstein tweets, “@PatTiberi said almost one third of Ohio counties will have only one insurer participating in the exchange. False.” and “.@RepKevinYoder says the quality of health care has declined because of the ACA. Evidence shows opposite.” and “@RepChuck says failure of ACA is ~33 million remain uninsured. 1) Not true, 2) GOP bill would increase it more.” and “@RepJoeKennedy says 6.1 million young adults stayed on their parents' plans cuz of ACA. Nope. More like 2.8 mil.” Pia Christensen sums it up: “Legislators cited wrong stats, conflated health care terms and made statements that don’t stand up to verification.”

Brexit going swimmingly then

Dawn Foster is referring to Daniel Boffey's reporting in The Guardian that UK-based airlines have been told to move to Europe after Brexit or lose major routes. “We're going to get shafted, aren't we?” asks Hugo Rifkind. Glyn Moody’s take: “#brexit will destroy UK airline industry.” Tweets Alex Scroxton, “If only there had been some people who could've warned this might happen!”

Meanwhile, amid rolling coverage of the day's political developments, The Guardian’s Andrew Sparrow reported on the developing news that at least one person was shot after a police officer was stabbed outside the House of Commons. Reuters also reported that a Reuters photographer saw at least a dozen injured people on a nearby bridge. Sparrow reports that police have confirmed they are currently treating the events as a terrorist incident, and that Westminster is in lockdown.

The Deep State loses its most accomplished assassin

Jesse Walker is referring to, of course, Chuck Barris. Barris died on Tuesday at 87. As Neil Genzlinger's obit in The New York Times explains, the “Gong Show” creator and entertainer “sought to add to his already eclectic résumé with a made-up — or was it? — story about being an assassin for the C.I.A.”  Samantha Storey highlights this quote from Barris: "I think on my tombstone it’s just going to say, ‘Gonged at last,’ and I’m stuck with that." Lahav Harkov says, “If you haven't seen Chuck Barris' biopic, now's a good time. It's very entertaining.” Adds Patrick LaForge, “Now we're living in ‘The Gong Show.’ Clearly the greatest C.I.A. plot.” But we’ll leave it on a sentimental note, from Glenn Thrush: “Hey Chuck -- say hi to Gene, Gene, the Dancing Machine…”

Question of the Day

Yesterday, we asked: According to Greek myth, the return of spring coincides with the return of who?

Answer: It’s Persephone, returning from the Underworld and making her mother very happy.

Congrats to David Daniel, who was first to tweet the correct answer.

Your question of the day for today is…Chief justice William Rehnquist wore four gold stripes on each sleeve of his robe. What inspired that fashion choice?

As always, click here to tweet your answer to @MuckRack.

Featured Journalist: Nonkululeko Britton

Today’s featured journalist is Nonkululeko Britton, the Breakfast Show Content Producer at @Radio702. Based in South Africa, Nonkululeko is also a blogger, writer, poet and activist, not to mention “a heArtist whose mission is to be the best mother, wife, media game-changer, citizen and social changemaker.” Check out her full bio and portfolio here.

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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