This is reporting, ladies and gentlemen

Muck Rack Daily

This is reporting, ladies and gentlemen
April 20th, 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.

Crafting great stories is what PR pros do, and the elements of a story are important: The hero and his/her obstacle and solution are essential to drawing the reader in. But don't forget about who tells the story and how they tell it. Both are instrumental in consumers’ perception and connection with the storyteller. Savanna Atherton, a PR Associate for A.wordsmith in Portland, OR, takes a closer look in her new blog post, Why storytelling is crucial for authentic communication.


Paul Carsten reacts to the exclusive news reported by Ned Parker, Jonathan S. Landay and John Walcott of Reuters yesterday: Three current and four former U.S. officials told Reuters that a Putin-linked think tank drew up a plan to sway 2016 U.S. election, according to confidential documents from the think tank (23,300+ shares). Of the plan, Jina Moore says, “Um yes that sort of sounds like, well, exactly what it felt like happened?” Greg Mitchell points out the piece is “From 2 reporters famous for doubting Iraq WMDs,” referring to Landay and Walcott, and Dana Hull says, ”Holy Cow. Former Knight Ridder natsec reporters strike again.” “Some great reporting here,” says David Ljunggren. “The amount of Russian disinfo bought hook, line and sinker by American social media users is staggering,” says Ben Collins, who notes, “Concurrently, Russia planted a narrative that American news is REALLY the untrustworthy stuff. Strategic projection.” Dick Polman calls it “The puppet's marionette in action.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with that

Meanwhile, as Anthony De Rosa tweets, “Carter Page's trip last July was a catalyst for the F.B.I. investigation into Russia and President Trump’s campaign.” In The New York Times, Scott Shane, Mark Mazzetti and Adam Goldman report that the Trump Adviser’s Visit to Moscow Got the F.B.I.’s Attention. Yochi Dreazen and many others highlight this “Quote of the day, from Roger Stone. Carter Page is ‘a self-promoter — not that there’s anything wrong with that.’”

In other intelligence news, CBS News’ Jeff Pegues breaks this story: CIA, FBI launch manhunt for leaker who gave top-secret documents to WikiLeaks. The lead: “CBS News has learned that a manhunt is underway for a traitor inside the Central Intelligence Agency.” And “*click*” tweets Kathryn Watson.

O'Reilly out

It seems unlikely, but ICYMI, as Anahad O’Connor tweets, “Two and a half weeks after major @nytimes investigation, Bill O’Reilly is forced out at Fox News.” “Swift action after strong scoops by @emilysteel @nytmike,” tweets Cecilia Kang. In their New York Times piece Bill O’Reilly Is Forced Out at Fox News (65,000+ shares), Emily Steel and Michael Schmidt write, “His ouster brings an abrupt and embarrassing end to his two-decade reign as one of the most popular and influential commentators in television.” Mike Isaac calls it “amazing reporting from @emilysteel and @nytmike on @FoxNews and the decline and fall of Bill O'Reilly.” Jonathan Martin tweets, “The reporting of @emilysteel & @nytmike has exposed O'Reilly as an allegedly serial sexual harasser & ended his show.” And Ron Lieber says, “This is reporting, ladies and gentlemen. Subscribe to a newspaper.” Last word: “O'Reilly out,” tweets Michael Schmidt.

A heck of a vacation

But don’t cry for Bill O’Reilly. For starters, “Bill O'Reilly is having a heck of a vacation,” as  Michael Roston tweets. Also in The New York Times, Jason Horowitz reports, Bill O’Reilly Meets Pope Francis in Vatican V.I.P. Line. Yes, as Rick Gladstone notes, “Fox's O'Reilly, under cloud for sex harassment allegations, shakes hands w/ @pontifex in Rome.” And Catherine Thompson says, “Bill O'Reilly's career is disintegrating rapidly but hey, he met the Pope! As a VIP no less!” Of course, as Kenneth Vogel tweets, “If Bill O'Reilly wanted to ask forgiveness for something, he's in the right place.”

Also? Brian Stelter reports in CNNMoney that, according to “a source personally involved in the exit maneuverings,” the Fox News payout to Bill O'Reilly will be tens of millions of dollars. As the source says, "It is a staggering amount.” “There it is,” says Bryce Covert.

Well, that didn't even take three months

Julia Ioffe also says “There it is,” this time in response to the scoop from Jay Solomon and Bradley Olson at The Wall Street Journal that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s former company Exxon is seeking a U.S. waiver to work in Russia despite sanctions (45,000+ shares). Or “Hey Rex help us out would ya?” as Zachary Davies Boren puts it. “Well, that didn't even take three months,” tweets Helaine Olen. Maud Newton’s assessment: “Appalling but unsurprising. Practically inevitable.”

Where’s the plan?

It’s day 90, so where’s that cyber plan? POLITICO’S Edward-Isaac Dovere, Eric Geller and Matthew Nussbaum report on Trump’s missing 90-day cyber plan, writing “There is no team, there is no plan, and there is no clear answer from the White House on who would even be working on what.” One possible explanation: “Maybe Trump is just an evil Time Lord like the Master and we're living in an era of Alternative ⌛️TIME⏳,” tweets Thom Dunn.

The new plan, worse than the old plan

Meanwhile, Some Republicans Think They May Have A Health Care Deal, report Matt Fuller and Jonathan Cohn for The Huffington Post. Tweets Fuller, “Republicans do, indeed, seem ready to advance a health care bill that blows up pre-existing conditions protections,” who adds, “Just to be clear: I remain skeptical that Republicans could get 216 votes in the House with this health care deal.” Says Dylan Scott, “This bill would, objectively: - Reinstate medical underwriting - Rely on fallback plan experts say is underfunded.” Or as Michelangelo Signorile puts it, “The new plan, worse than the old plan.” And Mark Gongloff advises, “Get ready for Zombie Trumpcare III: Dumb and Dumberer.”

They meet again

Bradd Jaffy explains that “The case of the first DREAMer deported under Trump is being heard by … Judge Curiel.” As Alan Gomez writes in USA Today, Trump to face 'Mexican heritage' judge in deported DREAMer case. “Small judicial world…” says Shannon Pettypiece.

#weedday poll

A happy 4/20 indeed! Support for marijuana legalization at all-time high, report Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus, Kabir Khanna and Anthony Salvanto for CBS News. “Slow clap for the folks over at CBS who released this poll on April 20 -- of all days....” says Mark Murray. As Stephanie Ruhle tweets, “On this #weedday, poll shows there is a lot of love in the air…”

This story is a metaphor for our times

Dana Hull is referring to the Bloomberg piece by Ellen Huet and Olivia Zaleski, Silicon Valley’s $400 Juicer May Be Feeling the Squeeze (14,000+ shares). As Anne Riley notes, “Two investors in Juicero were surprised to learn the startup’s juice packs could be squeezed by hand. #whoops.” Says Alana Horowitz Satlin, “tfw you invest $120 million in a product that does something your hands could do for free.” “So much for Juice-as-a-Service,” says Dylan Martin. But listen, “Juicero is a ‘new platform,’ says Nick Wingfield, “in the same sense that my hand is a new platform for smacking my head.” Tom Gara calls it “THE THERANOS OF JUICE! Wondrous story by Bloomberg.” And Max Nisen headlines it, “Today in Silicon Valley episodes but in the real world.” Tweets Spencer Ackerman, “This is the best-written dek in journalistic history. I laughed so hard I had to call @dominicru over to my desk.” Says Willa Paskin, “Life really keeps stealing sitcom writers' best material for itself.” We could keep sharing tweets about it, but really, just go read the story. You can use a good laugh today.

And finally today, See who is on @TIME's list of the world’s most influential people #TIME100.

Question of the Day

Yesterday we asked: How many pages long (including instructions) was the first IRS Form 1040?

Answer: 4 pages total, 1 of which was instructions. We’ve certainly come a long way in mastering the fine art of detailed instruction-writing.

Apparently, Muck Rack Daily readers love a good tax trivia question, because the competition was fierce. Congrats to Craig Pittman, who was first in with the correct tweet, and honorable mention goes to Kelly Phillips Erb, who nudged us into asking a tax-related question in the first place (and answered correctly, just not fast enough).

Your question of the day for today is…When he was Vice President, Richard Nixon once unknowingly “muled” three pounds of pot through United States Customs for what musician?

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

Career Updates
Two promoted at TIME, Hudson joins BuzzFeed, Madrigal back at The Atlantic

TIME recently announced two promotions. Julie Shapiro, previously a continuous news editor for TIME Online, is now senior editor, overseeing enterprise coverage by news desk writers. Alex Altman, previously a correspondent out of the magazine’s DC bureau, has been named deputy bureau chief in Washington.

John Hudson, most recently a staff writer and blogger for Foreign Policy’s “The Cable,” has joined BuzzFeed as a foreign affairs correspondent. And Alexis Madrigal has left Fusion to return to The Atlantic, where he’ll be covering technology, science, business and trade. Madrigal served as technology editor and deputy online editor for the magazine from 2010 to 2014.

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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