A blockbuster day of testimony

Muck Rack Daily

A blockbuster day of testimony
June 8th, 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.

On the fence about going to grad school? A monthly contributor to Muck Rack who works in financial communications at one of the largest PR firms in New York, Julia Sahin has a masters degree in PR/Communications, and people are always asking her if grad school is really worth it. Read her new post, I work in PR. Should I go to grad school? to find out what she recommends you consider if you're thinking about taking the plunge.

Comey Comey chameleon

“Good morning everyone, and welcome to a blockbuster day of testimony in Congress by James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director who was abruptly fired by President Trump last month,” writes Julie Davis in The New York Times’ live streaming update, Comey’s Testimony Before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Yes, all eyes are on Comey today, beginning with C-SPAN’s Stakeout Feed James Comey's Home. Maybe you’re in the DC bar that’s offering free drinks for every Trump tweet during Comey testimony, as reported by The Hill’s Aida Chavez, or somewhere else for this 'Must-See TV’, as Mike Grynbaum and Katie Rogers report in The New York Times. Either way, you might want to check out some of these stories making the rounds. 

Ed O'Keefe of the Washington Post provides A viewer’s guide to the James B. Comey hearing: Who are the senators asking him questions? Benjamin Wittes offers his Initial Comments on James Comey’s Written Testimony (24,000+ shares) on the LawFare blog, where the Brookings fellow and friend of Comey writes, “it is the most shocking single document compiled about the official conduct of the public duties of any President since the release of the Watergate tapes” And in an op-ed for the Washington Post, Philip Lacovara writes, I helped prosecute Watergate. Comey’s statement is sufficient evidence for an obstruction of justice case. Kyle Griffin points to the “Killer ending”: “The ball now is in Mueller’s court to decide whether he has (or will have) enough evidence...and, if so, whether to reach the same conclusion that I reached in the Nixon investigation — that, like everyone else in our system, a president is accountable for committing a federal crime.” Says Troy Bramston, “Anyone who thinks #JamesComeyTestimony is a damp squib should read this from a #Watergate prosecutor @washingtonpost.”

POLITICO’s Matthew Nussbaum, Josh Dawsey, Darren Samuelsohn and Tara Palmeri report, West Wing aides fearful of directly attacking Comey. Sarah Lacy notes this choice quote: “‘But if he wants to watch it, it's not like we can say, ‘oh, the TV doesn't work,’ said abt THE PRESIDENT.” Meanwhile, Michael Bender and Peter Nicholas of The Wall Street Journal report that the RNC to Lead Trump’s Offensive Against Comey. Tweets Bender, “60-some RNC staffers—including some in windowless room in HQ clipping video—to lead anti-Comey push for White House.”

But maybe you’re looking for something a little different. In that case, head over to McSweeney’s and see if you can figure out whether these excerpts are from James Comey’s Opening Statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee or from Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day. Says Rebecca Traister, “I love this extremely perfect thing.” 

Nothing to see here

So, what’s the House up to? As Donna Borak reports for CNNMoney, it’s voting on killing Dodd-Frank today. Or as Corey Seymour says, “Hey wait while everybody's looking over there let's kill the most effective financial regulation in existence.”

Election in the UK

The other big news today is the election in the UK. Claire Phipps and Haroon Siddique have been bringing the updates at The Guardian, while Ashley Kirk and Patrick Scott have the final tracker and odds for The Telegraph. Meanwhile, in The British election: The middle has fallen out of British politics (33,300+ shares), The Economist explains why they endorsed the Liberal Democrats.

What it takes to top Trump news

Ginia Bellafante links to Fossils Found in Morocco Reset the Clock on the Origin of Humans (38,000+ shares), Carl Zimmer’s new piece in The New York Times. “These beautiful bones are challenging the idea of a single "Cradle of Humankind’,” tweets Rachel Gross, and Charles C. Mann says, “Fascinating, if true: fossils of 5 ancient humans push emergence of H. sapiens back to ~300k yrs.” As Quentin Hardy puts it, “Ethiopia, once Cradle of Mankind, becomes Children's Bunk Bed of Mankind.” Bob McGough calls it a “Revolutionary find.” Says Patricia Cohen, “Amidst rapid-fire news, the long view.”

Here’s the new worst

Seems like we say this a lot these days, but “Wow. This is unbelievable,” tweets Colin Lecher. And “If you think you've read the worst anecdotes about Uber, here's the new worst,” says Shira Ovide. They’re referring to Uber executive, who obtained medical records of customer who was a rape victim, is fired, the scoop by Kara Swisher and Johana Bhuiyan of Recode. Explains Lauren Goode, “Uber exec obtained medical recs of customer who was a rape victim; execs reportedly did not fully believe incident.” Kadhim Shubber says, “It is impossible to see how Kalanick can remain chief executive following this story,” and Aimee Rawlins puts it best: “This is so beyond gross.”

Construction corruption

“Dear Brazilian Government, thanks for the contracts,” tweets Bloomberg. In the new cover by Michael A. Smith, Sabrina Valle and Blake Schmidt, No One Has Ever Made a Corruption Machine Like This One, we learn that “There’s graft, and then there’s Odebrecht.” Dom Phillips calls it a “Great in-depth story on the Odebrecht bribery machine,” and John O'Neil says, “While waiting for Comey, read this remarkable picture of construction corruption in Latam.”

We have work to do

“Food for thought on journalism hiring practices by @rschallom, who interviewed for 6 mo, 2 days before landing @WSJ," tweets Brad Peniston, linking to Rachel Schallom’s An Open Letter to Newsroom Hiring Managers. Tweets Schallom, “I wrote about all the ways journalism’s hiring practices are broken.” Meghan Morris says, “Good read on how to improve newsroom hiring practices, much of which is applicable across industries,” and Brian Boyer asks, “So. How can we get newsroom hiring managers and HR departments to read this post by @rschallom?” Says Jeremy Bowers, “Moving and thought-provoking article from @rschallom. We have work to do.”

Other stories you’re missing while you watch the Comey testimony

Question of the Day

Yesterday we asked: What did Truman Capote do that got him fired from his job at The New Yorker?

Answer: He got the ax for offending Robert Frost, who became enraged when Capote walked out in the middle of a reading.

Congrats to Dan Rosenbaum, first to answer correctly with his tweet, “Offending Robert Frost by leaving a reading, presumably for the road less travelled.” In fact, we had a few poetic responses, including Mitch Cohen’s, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and Truman used one to walk out on a Robert Frost poetry reading,” and Karen Benezra’s, “Capote dissed Robert Frost by ghosting a poetry reading; had miles to go, of course.” 

Your question of the day for today is…Although he loved westerns, Dwight Eisenhower refused to watch any movie that featured perennial western star Robert Mitchum, and he refused to allow them to be screened in the White House during his two terms as president. Why?

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

Career Updates
New jobs, new roles and a few departures

Leslie Albrecht, previously with DNAInfo in New York, has joined MarketWatch as a personal finance reporter. Prior to DNAInfo, she worked for The Modesto Bee in California. Jonathan Diamond, who has been editor of the Los Angeles Business Journal since March 2016, is taking on a new role for the publication, overseeing its next generation of standalone publications as well as a portfolio of other editorial initiatives. Jerry Sullivan, who has edited the Orange County Business Journal for the past five years, will replace Diamond as editor.

Meanwhile, Sandra Pedicini has left her role as a business reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, where she covered the local tourism industry, for a new job as a content development editor with AAA. After 11 years with the cable network, Marc Malkin says goodbye to E! News, where he most recently served as managing editor and film correspondent. Prior to E! News, he was with The Insider, US Weekly and New York magazine. And Gavin Purcell has left his role as head of video for Vox to work on an upcoming project with comedian Sarah Silverman. He previously worked for NBC as a producer for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Comedy Central as an executive producer for The Colbert Report.

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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