The bluntest lead yet

Muck Rack Daily

The bluntest lead yet
April 19th, 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.

Get ready to throw out your best pitch. Tomorrow, in PR Daily’s PR University Webinar Business Media Pitch Tank, you’ll hear directly from the editors about how to turn heads and earn headlines. Featuring Amir Bibawy of The Associated Press, Joanna Ossinger of Bloomberg News, Alisa Gumbs of Black Enterprise, Jennifer Merritt of BBC Worldwide, and Muck Rack’s own CEO Greg Galant, this webinar will reveal what stories top editors are most likely to cover, what they’ll cover in the months ahead and how to score valuable placement. Oh, and get this: You'll have the chance to pitch them directly in the official “Pitch Tank” session! Did we mention it’s tomorrow? Go ahead and register now for Business Media Pitch Tank.

“Well-placed sources” say…

CNN’s Brian Stelter tweets that a “well-placed source says representatives (read: lawyers) for Fox and Bill O'Reilly have started talking about an exit,” linking to his story in CNNMoney (15,000+ shares), which also revealed that “an announcement about O'Reilly's fate was likely by the end of the week.” Stelter tweets more details: “Exclusive: 21st Century Fox's board of directors will meet on Thursday. Bill O'Reilly's future is on the agenda.” At New York Magazine Gabriel Sherman’s sources say The Murdochs Are Turning Against Bill O’Reilly (12,000+ shares). Sherman reports, “‘Morale is awful,’ one Fox female executive told me yesterday, adding that employees are wondering if budgets have been cut to pay for sexual-harassment settlements.” And at The New York Times, Emily Steel, Michael Schmidt and Jim Rutenberg write that Fox’s Leaders Are Starting to Sour on Bill O’Reilly, leading Becky Little to note, “Ol' Man Bill might really go down (although like Ailes, he'll likely take several million with him).”

But of all the reports, Stelter tweets, “WSJ's @JBFlint has the bluntest lead yet: ‘Fox News is preparing to cut ties with its biggest star, Bill O'Reilly.’” Joe Flint writes in the (Murdoch-owned) Wall Street Journal that Fox Is Preparing to Cut Ties with Bill O’Reilly. Says Joshua Benton, “I bet @WSJ has pretty good sourcing on Murdoch family decisions.” As Philip Gourevitch puts it, “Fox to Fire O’Reilly ‘according to people close to the situation’ says paper run by people close to the situation.”

Broken promise

In a USA Today exclusive, Alan Gomez and David Agren report that the first protected DREAMer, 23-year-old Juan Manuel Montes, has been deported under Trump (39,000+ shares). Gomez and Agren write that Montes, who has lived in the US since age nine, was waiting for a ride in Calexico, CA, when he was approached by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer, noting “Montes had left his wallet in a friend's car, so he couldn't produce his ID or proof of his DACA status and was told by agents he couldn't retrieve them. Within three hours, he was back in Mexico.” Gomez also tweets, “DHS says Montes' DACA status expired in 2015. We have seen his ID that says it doesn’t expire until 2018.” “Broken promise,” tweets Oren Dorell. “First protected #DREAMer is deported under #Trump.” And Denis Storey says, “I feel so much safer now…”

We really need to work at that

A month after dismissing federal prosecutors, Justice Department does not have any U.S. attorneys in place, Sari Horwitz reveals in her new piece for the Washington Post (19,000 shares). ProPublica does some simple math for us: “Number of U.S. Attorneys who've joined DOJ since Trump fired all the old ones? Zero.” David Wright highlights this quote from the story: “Sessions asked about 93 vacant US attorney positions at DOJ: ‘We really need to work hard at that.’” As Glenn Thrush says, “Jeff Sessions: Great at firing, not so good at hiring.”

Dude, where's my carrier?

Ray Locker asks the only logical question, in response to the news reported by Mark Landler and Eric Schmitt at The New York Times, Aircraft Carrier Wasn’t Sailing to Deter North Korea, as U.S. Suggested (26,000+ shares). As Julie Davis explains, “‘We are sending an armada,’ Trump said re N. Korean threat. But aircraft carrier was sailing in the other direction.” “Well, he did always emphasize the importance of the element of surprise,” offers Scott Bixby. But according to the report by Jonathan Cheng, Alastair Gale and Chun Han Wong in The Wall Street Journal, the false narrative on the U.S. aircraft carrier has elicited jeers in Asia. As Daniel Dale notes, “Extremely critical comments in South Korea over Trump's aircraft carrier deception.” Or as Bixby says, “South Korea's pissed.” John McQuaid provides “Observation: Lying about where your aircraft carriers are headed is not a good military/diplomatic tactic.”

Devin Nunes, call your office

At The New Yorker, Ryan Lizza writes of The Continuing Fallout from Trump and Nunes’s Fake Scandal, tweeting that the story explores “what was really in those classified documents that Trump touted as evidence of a crime.” Many tweeted this quote from the piece: “The bigger scandal is the coordinated effort to use the American intelligence services to manufacture an excuse for Trump’s original tweet.” And Daniel Drezner tweets, “Jeez, @RyanLizza, stop beating around the bush: ‘It was a series of lies to manufacture a fake scandal,’” Says Josh Kraushaar, “Devin Nunes, call your office.”

So tired

“Biggest news here,” says Gabriel Sherman, is that the “FBI has corroborated info in the Trump-Russia dossier and used it for FISA warrants.” At CNN, Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz and Manu Raju report that the FBI used dossier allegations to bolster Trump-Russia investigation. As CNN Politics tweets, “FBI used dossier of allegations of Russian ties to target Carter Page for monitoring, US officials say.” Guess we’ll never get tired of saying this: “So tired of winning,” tweets John Patrick Pullen.

Breaking news—a Democrat almost won

Also at CNN, Eric Bradner gives the latest update on the Georgia House 6th special election, in which Democrat Jon Ossoff fell just short of an outright win last night, taking 48.1% of the vote. He will face off against Republican candidate Karen Handel, who received 19.8% of the vote, in the June runoff election. Although Democrats face a “likely uphill that the Republican vote in a reliably GOP district will be consolidated behind one candidate,” writes Bradner, Ossoff’s strong showing serves as “a reminder to Republicans of President Donald Trump's unpopularity.” Jonathan Martin and Richard Fausset of The New York Times write, “the unrelenting Republican assault eventually paid off, raising Mr. Ossoff’s negative ratings and nudging conservative voters to show up for an unusual spring election.” Or as Paul LaRosa puts it, “Breaking news--a Democrat almost won.”

An unstoppable force meets an immovable object

Amy McCarthy wants you to know: “Y'ALL THIS @IjeomaOluo INTERVIEW WITH RACHEL DOLEZAL IS THE BEST THING YOU WILL READ ALL YEAR.” Referring to The Heart of Whiteness: Ijeoma Oluo Interviews Rachel Dolezal, the White Woman Who Identifies as Black, The Stranger's editor in chief Tricia Romano says, “I knew only 1 person could do the Dolezal story. @IjeomaOluo: An unstoppable force meets an immovable object.”

Sad end

Breaking news this morning that former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in prison. As reported by Aimee Ortiz, John Ellement and Mark Arsenault in the Boston Globe, Hernandez hanged himself inside his cell. Serving life without parole for killing Odin L. Lloyd, Hernandez had been acquitted of two additional murders last week. Tweeting in response to the ESPN report on Hernandez’s suicide, Brendan Byrne says, “Drafted at 20, multimillionaire at 22, convicted of murder at 25, dead at 27. The fall of Aaron Hernandez.” Adds Vern Glenn, “Sad end to a man who once had everything.”

A few more Wednesday reads:

Question of the Day

Yesterday we asked: Several performers famously missed the inaugural Monterey Pop Festival because they were unable to get visas due to drug arrests. What band was refused a work visa due to their dispute with the American Federation of Musicians?

Answer: The Kinks

Congrats to...Dan Rosenbaum, once again getting the correct tweet out there before anyone else.

Your question of the day for today is…Some regular readers of the Muck Rack Daily (*cough* Kelly Phillips Erb *cough*) were expecting a tax-related question on tax day. Well, our motto is, it’s never too late for a tax-related question. How many pages long—including instructions—was the first IRS Form 1040?

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

Career Updates
Ryley picks up Pulitzer and more; Stephens moves to New York Times; Ryan, Darcy join CNN

Not only did Sarah Ryley win the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service on April 14, she also picked up a new job as an investigative reporter for The Trace, a non-profit news site. Meanwhile, “one of the loudest voices against President Donald Trump” at the Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens, will be The New York Times’ newest op-ed columnist. And April Ryan is joining CNN as a new political contributor, while Oliver Darcy joins the network as senior media writer.

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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