Let’s discard the fiction

Muck Rack Daily

Let’s discard the fiction
August 14th, 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’re organizing a journalist panel at SXSW on how social media is changing journalism! Our panelists will be Margaret Sullivan from The Washington Post, Liz Plank from Vox.com, Manoush Zomorodi from WNYC Radio, and Jon Steinberg, Founder and CEO of Cheddar. Click here to vote!

Kate Elizabeth Queram, who covers Guilford County for the Greensboro, NC, News and Reporter, has a confession: “One of my favorite things about being a reporter is the hate mail I get from readers.” Between the rude, the weird and the awful, she says, there’s a lot of joy to be gleaned from hate mail. In a new post for the Muck Rack blog, she provides a few examples that are “too good not to share,” noting that while the senders’ names have been redacted, grammar and spelling mistakes have not. Haters gonna hate. Read Thanks for reading! (In defense of hate mail).

Best thing you’ll read today

We start with the round-up of news from Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend. Here’s the piece Mike Freeman says is the “Best thing you'll read today”: The Battle of Charlottesville (16,000+ shares), by Jelani Cobb for the New Yorker. The New Yorker tweets, “It’s striking to hear Trump imply that Nazis and the demonstrators who gathered to oppose them were equally wrong.” “Eloquence and discerning insight from the great @Jelani9,” tweets Kelly Scott. Also at the New Yorker, Jia Tolentino writes of Charlottesville and the Effort to Downplay Racism in America. Tweets Tolentino, “I wrote about Charlottesville and the mistaken idea that ‘this isn't us.’”

At ProPublica, A. C. Thompson, Robert Faturechi and Karim Hajj write of how the Police Stood By As Mayhem Mounted in Charlottesville (105,000+ shares). Tweets ProPublica, “Police watched passively for hours as self-proclaimed Nazis engaged in street battles with counter-protesters.” “Journalism,” says Jay Rosen

The Root’s Yesha Callahan has the interview with twenty-year old aspiring hip-hop artist Deandre Harris (65,000 shares), who speaks out about being beaten with poles in Charlottesville by a group of white supremacists. Harris’s account echoes ProPublica’s reporting: “The beating happened right beside the police department, and no police were there to help me at all.” 

Emily Sweeney tweets, “@jray05 thanks for this great Q&A with photographer Ryan Kelly.” She links to the story from Columbia Journalism Review’s Justin Ray, Photographer behind graphic Charlottesville image recounts near-death experience. Tweets CJR, this is “The story behind the photo ‘that will define this moment in American history.’” 

Heather Heyer, Charlottesville Victim, Called ‘a Strong Woman’ (36,000+ shares), reports The New York Times’ Christina Caron. At The Washington Post,  Ellie Silverman and Michael Laris write, Charlottesville victim: ‘She was there standing up for what was right’ (20,000+ shares). And of his interview for HuffPost, Mother Of Charlottesville Victim Heather Heyer: ‘I’m Proud Of What She Did’ (317,000+ shares), Andy Campbell tweets, “I just sat down with #Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer's mother in her home. So heartbreaking, and uplifting.”

One of ISIS’ signature moves

At The New York Times, Jonah Bromwich and Alan Blinder report on What We Know About James Alex Fields, Man Charged in Charlottesville Car Killing (25,000+ shares). Adds Tom Krattenmaker, “What we also know, if we are going to be consistent & fair with our terms, is that he's a #terrorist.” Tweets Rukmini Callimachi, “Sitting in Iraq, reading about a man who appears to be a white nationalists & who adopted 1 of ISIS’ signature moves.”

Claudia Koerner and Cora Lewis have the story for BuzzFeed, Here's What We Know About The Man Accused Of Killing A Woman At A White Supremacist Rally (41,000+ shares). Tweets Liam Stack, “His Facebook page includes Pepe, swastikas, Bashar al-Assad (called ‘undefeated’) & a baby picture of Adolf Hitler.” The Washington Post’s T. Rees Shapiro, Alice Crites, Laura Vozzella and John Woodrow Cox have more with their ongoing coverage, Alleged driver of car that plowed into Charlottesville crowd was a Nazi sympathizer, former teacher says.

And here’s an “Important read,” as Betsy Woodruff tweets. Alt-Right Media Framed Wrong Person in Car Attack, Labeled Him 'Anti-Trump Druggie', reports The Daily Beast’s Ben Collins. He tweets, “My story: Three alt-right reporters once again framed a totally innocent man for a terror attack.”

Today in punching nazis

For some perspective, Philip Bump of The Washington Post tweets, “Thought it worth noting that more than 750,000 Americans already gave their lives fighting Nazis & the Confederacy.” In Here’s how many Americans have already died to defeat the Nazis and the Confederacy, he writes, “Among the inexplicable things at the heart of Saturday’s violent protest in Charlottesville is that the United States has already offered judgment on two of the central ideologies espoused by some attendees.”

Meanwhile, “This happened --in a place where they know Nazis.” Frida Ghitis is referring to the AP News report, American tourist gives Nazi salute in Germany, is beaten up (48,000+ shares). “Today in punching nazis,” says  Pam Mandel. Amy B Wang and Rick Noack have more in The Washington Post, American tourist gave the Nazi salute in Germany (124,000+ shares).

A jarring Q to have to ask about a US president

The New York Times’ Glenn Thrush reported, Trump Condemns Violence on ‘Many Sides’ in Charlottesville, and then: White House Acts to Stem Fallout From Trump’s First Charlottesville Remarks. Julie Pace of The Associated Press gives her Analysis: Why won't Donald Trump condemn white nationalism? She tweets, “A jarring Q to have to ask about a US president.” 

Trump badly missed the mark on Charlottesville, says The New York Post’s Editorial Board, and The New York Times’ Editorial Board writes of The Hate He Dares Not Speak Of (31,000+ shares). “What an opening sentence by the editorial board,” says Dearbhail McDonald, referring to “Let’s discard the fiction that President Trump wasn’t placating white supremacists by responding so weakly to the neo-Nazi violence that killed Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old counterdemonstrator in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday. The neo-Nazis heard his message loud and clear.” Tweets Frank Bruni, “A must-read, spot-on editorial. Donald Trump lashes out against anyone & everything. Except neo-Nazis. Revolting.”

So, was it on “many sides”? The answers are clearer on the ground, writes BuzzFeed’s Blake Montgomery. His account, Here’s What Really Happened In Charlottesville, gets straight to the point. The lede: “Yes, you can blame the Nazis.”

This morning, Damian Garde of Stat News breaks the news that Merck CEO, Kenneth Grazier, quits Trump panel in ‘stand against violence and extremism’Clara Jeffery notes, “Trump quickly condemns black CEO who condemns his failure to condemn neo-Nazis.” And at CNBCJohn Harwood writes, GOP is more likely to vent ‘personal disgust’ for Trump after Charlottesville. He tweets, “Trump faces growing legal and political jeopardy. Charlottesville makes GOP politicians less likely to protect him.”

And so, today, as The Times' Thrush writes, "President Donald Trump bowed to overwhelming pressure that he personally condemn white supremacists who incited bloody demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend — labeling their racists views ‘evil’ after two days of equivocal statements.” In Trump, Saying ‘Racism is Evil,’ Condemns Violence in Charlottesville, Thrush notes that several top advisers had pressed for a more formal rebuke, particularly after he attacked the head of Merck.

Finally, as Olga Khazan says, “We have about 19 things you should read about Charlottesville, but if you only read one thing …” She links to Jeffrey Goldberg’s piece in The Atlantic, What Obama Could Teach Trump About Charlottesville (13,000+ shares). Tweets Goldberg, “It should be easy for an American president to denounce Nazi ideology and to defend the American creed.”

North Korea’s sudden leap

“How did #NorthKorea suddenly leap to an ICBM? Now we know, thanks to fine work by @StuckinArabia @IISS_org,” tweets Ploughshares Fund’s Joe Cirincione. He links to North Korea’s Missile Success Is Linked to Ukrainian Plant, Investigators Say, by William J. Broad and David Sanger of The New York Times. “Investigators suspect Ukraine's state-owned missile factory, Yuzhmash, as source of North Korea's new missiles,” tweets Christopher Miller.

This is crazy

“Wow, this story by @PatriciaMazzei: Powerful Venezuela lawmaker may have put out order to kill Marco Rubio,” tweets Vera Maria Bergengruen. She’s referring to Powerful Venezuelan lawmaker may have issued death order against Rubio, by Patricia Mazzei of The Miami Herald. “This is crazy,” says Rich Lowry. “The amazing @PatriciaMazzei with the scoop on why Rubio may have been surrounded by security detail last few weeks,” tweets Seung Min Kim.

“.@ceciliakang, @melbournecoal & @EricLiptonNYT have a deep dive into Sinclair and Ajit Pai,” tweets David McCabe, who links to How a Conservative TV Giant Is Ridding Itself of Regulation, from Cecilia Kang, Eric Lipton and Sydney Ember at The New York Times. Tweets Lipton, “JUST POSTED: Latest in NYT series examining how Trump admin undoing rules intended to protect health/safety/economy.” He adds, “NYT takes a deep look at new FCC chairman and his behind the scenes push with Sinclair to ease TV ownership rules.”

Shondaland earthquake

“Whoaaaa, this is a TV earthquake for real,” tweets Maureen Ryan. As Variety’s Andrew Wallenstein reports, Netflix Lures Shonda Rhimes Away From ABC Studios. Josh Elman tweets, “Wow - the Netflix vs Disney battle just took a new turn. I was leaning Disney. But will follow Shondaland anywhere.” The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Flint has more with, Netflix Signs ‘Scandal’ Creator Shonda Rhimes Away from ABC, as Battle for Talent Escalates. He tweets, “Shondaland shows have generated over $2 billion in revenue for Disney/ABC so yes, Netflix coughed up big $$ for her.”

In other entertainment news, CNN’s Eric Levenson, Scott McLean and Sara Weisfeldt are reporting on the Taylor Swift lawsuit: Jury to hear closing arguments. At the Chicago Tribune, Heidi Stevens writes of The part of Taylor Swift's court case we should all commit to memory. And Westword’s Michael Roberts gives you the opportunity to Meet the Taylor Swift Trial Sketch Artist Fans Love to Hate.

“I miss optimism”: The “Family Guy” creator wants to bring back hopeful science fiction. That’s from Quartz’s Adam Epstein, reporting on remarks made by Seth MacFarlane to a group of TV critics and reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour last week.

And finally, You'd Definitely Read These AI-Generated Romance Novels, says Stephanie Mlot of Geek.com. Indeed, “I would read Seeping Baby Man,” tweets Sheilah Villari.

Question of the Day

On Friday, we asked: Of all the European countries fighting in World War II, only three European national capitals were never occupied. Which ones were they?  

Answer: The only three were London, Moscow and Helsinki.

Congrats to…Hope Heyman, first to tweet the correct answer.

Your question of the day for today is…At over 5,700 miles long, what is the longest bicycle road race in the world?

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

Career Updates
Changes at Austin Daily Herald, Knoxville News Sentinel, New York Times Culture Department

Christopher Baldus, whose career has spanned four states, has been named the new managing editor of the Austin Daily Herald.

In Knoxville, TN, Brittany Crocker is the new energy reporter at the News Sentinel, covering issues of energy, science and nuclear security in Oak Ridge and around the state.

And Reggie Ugwu is joining The New York Times as a pop culture reporter in the Culture Department, where he will cover a wide range of subjects, including film, television and music. He has been a features reporter for BuzzFeed News since 2014. Prior to that, he was a staff writer for Billboard magazine, and began his career as a Time Inc. editorial intern and researcher for “Frontline.”

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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