Shaking up media

Muck Rack Daily

Shaking up media
August 31st, 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.

Before you check out for the long weekend ahead, take a moment to check out what’s been trending in the world of PR, and read the top five stories from August on the Muck Rack blog. Rachel Pluck has your roundup in Muck Rack's monthly top picks: 5 links we loved in August.

On what #Harvey has soaked

“Got chills reading this beautiful essay from @Krissah30 about her hometown,” says Emily Yahr. That’s Krissah Thompson’s A love letter to Houston: What outsiders don’t get about my home town, in The Washington Post. Ed O’Keefe calls it a “Great hometown perspective on what #Harvey has soaked, from Houston native @krissah30.”

Keri Blakinger, Matt Dempsey and Andrew Kragie of the Houston Chronicle are reporting on the explosion at flooded Crosby chemical plant, noting, “Arkema officials warned that more explosions are likely because there are eight additional box vans of the same product at the plant, which is 25 miles northeast of downtown Houston.” “This is scary. Here's our story,” says Mizanur Rahman.

“There's also big risks in the floodwater - my latest, w/ @BySheilaKaplan,” tweets Hiroko Tabuchi of her New York Times piece with Sheila Kaplan, A Sea of Health and Environmental Hazards in Houston’s Floodwaters.

A New York Times interactive piece shows how Thousands Cried for Help as Houston Flooded. And the new Bloomberg cover explains Harvey Wasn’t Just Bad Weather. It Was Bad City Planning. That’s from Peter Coy, Christopher Flavelle and Ron Jones.

Flood insurance policies plunge in Houston in past 5 years, report Bernard Condon, Meghan Hoyer, Jeff Donn and Ken Sweet of The Associated Press, and the Houston Chronicle’s James Osborne answers the question, Who doesn't have flood insurance in Houston? Most everybody. “Fiscal shock looms ahead for many #Harvey victims,” tweets John Gravois.

“Fairly cringeworthy interview this morning, re: Red Cross,” says Lance Turner, who links to the story from NPR’s Richard Gonzales, Red Cross Exec Doesn't Know What Portion Of Donations Go To Harvey Relief. “This is pretty shocking. Given the barrage of criticism over the use of Red Cross funds, how does exec not know #s?” says Amy Brittain.

In the latest from AP News, GOP eyeing $1B disaster funds cut to help wall, we learn, “President Donald Trump is promising billions to help Texas rebuild from Hurricane Harvey, but his Republican allies in the House are looking at cutting almost $1 billion from disaster accounts to help finance the president’s border wall.”

Poynter’s Kristen Hare takes a look at How the Houston Chronicle is covering the city's historic disaster. Says Ben Mullin, “Don't miss @kristenhare on @HoustonChron's coverage of Hurricane Harvey. I'm not crying, you're crying.”

By the way, has your FACT CHECK: Was Barack Obama President During Hurricane Katrina? (No.)


“Well here's another reason the Arpaio pardon was a rash move,” says Adam Serwer. Mueller teams up with New York attorney general in Manafort probe (70,000+ shares), reports POLITICO’s Josh Dawsey. Tweets Dawsey, “Interesting part of Mueller/ Schneiderman working together: Trump has federal pardon power but not for state crimes.”

From Katrina Manson of the Financial Times, Russian lobbyist testifies to Mueller grand jury. The Financial Times tweets, “FT Exclusive: The lobbyist and former Soviet army officer who met Donald Trump Jr has testified before a grand jury.” Says Marcy Wheeler, “More interested in Akhmetshin's hours of grand jury testimony than I am in Glenn Simpson's day of SJC testimony.”

Brett Forrest of The Wall Street Journal reports that Paul Manafort’s Overseas Political Work Had a Notable Patron: a Russian Oligarch. Tweets Rebecca Ballhaus, “NEW from @WSJ: A deep-dive on the patron behind Manafort's overseas work: Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.”

And here’s your “Deep dive from @davidkski & @CalebMelby on the Kushners' finances,” tweets Scott Rose, of Kushners' China Deal Flop Was Part of Much Bigger Hunt for Cash, by Bloomberg’s David Kocieniewski and Caleb Melby.

Truly insane

So “this is a truly insane story about one of kushner's top advisors on middle east policy,” tweets Maya Kosoff. She links to Ryan Grim’s piece for The Intercept, The Sordid Double Life of Washington’s Most Powerful Ambassador. Tweets Grim, “UAE Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba's hard-partying ways eventually collided with his professional life.” “Brotaiba: embezzlement, prostitution, human trafficking, and the Emirati ambassador in Washington,” tweets Gregg Carlstrom. Says Sam Stein, “Man, this @ryangrim guy can report.”

At WIRED, Ashley Feinberg brings us this “Great idea + amazing story,” as Kevin Quealy puts it: Here Are a Bunch of Trump Inner Circle Amazon Wish Lists. Feinberg tweets, “felix sater immediately deleted everything on his amazon wishlist when i asked him about it.” “oh my god i love this so much bless,” tweets Jordan McMahon. “This @ashleyfeinberg is without question the most fun piece of journalism ever,” says Bethlehem Shoals. And for the record, Andy Orin tweets, “I also have a knife on my wish list... there's one I thought looked neat…”

Meanwhile, “FOX POLL...LET ME SAY IT AGAIN...FOX POLL: 56 percent say Trump tearing country apart,” tweets Christina Ginn, who links to Fox News Poll: Voters' mood sours, 56 percent say Trump tearing country apart, from Fox News’ Dana Blanton. Patrick Tucker notes, “40% of Americans think ‘the media’ poses a larger threat than nazis. Last time that happened, results were poor.”

Good takedown

The New York Times' Blackwater Op-Ed Is a Disgrace. That’s from Splinter’s Libby Watson. John Herrman tweets, “the Manning piece wasn’t just nasty or tendentious, its argument was nakedly made in bad faith.” “Not even 24 hours later, the Times has outdone itself,” Watson writes, referring to Wednesday’s op-ed by Blackwater founder Erik Prince. “Good takedown,” tweets Ernie Smith.

And so, Noah Hurowitz says, “leah for public editor.” He links Opinion: Trolling is not opinion, from Leah Finnegan of The Outline. “opinion: leah's right,” says Kelly Conaboy.

“Oh man, @jazzedloon kills it from the gate in her terrific profile of Elaine Welteroth,” tweets Taffy Brodesser-Akner. That’s Elaine Welteroth, Teen Vogue’s Refashionista, by The New York Times’ Jazmine Hughes. Elizabeth Paton calls it a “Great profile on @teenvogue e-i-c @ElaineWelteroth and how she is shaking up media directed at #GenerationZ.”


“BREAK: 7 sources disclose a series of scandals at Laura Ingraham's LifeZette,” tweets Noah Shachtman. He links to The CEO of Laura Ingraham’s LifeZette Won’t Stop Talking About His Employees’ ‘Boobs and Butts’, by Betsy Woodruff, Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng of The Daily Beast. “Surprise! Terrible Laura Ingraham's terrible website LifeZette is run by a total scumbag,” tweets Marlow Stern.

And breaking news this morning, Wells Fargo now says 3.5 million impacted by sales scandal, reports AP’s Ken Sweet. Liz Moyer has the story for CNBC, Wells Fargo: There were nearly twice as many potentially fake accounts opened than originally thought.

A man in transition

“Don't know much about sports but even I know that my girl @minakimes's new Aaron Rodgers feature is a must-read,” says Beth Kowitt, who links to The Search for Aaron Rodgers, by ESPN’s Mina Kimes. Tweets Seth Wickersham, “In which Aaron Rodgers visits @minakimes apartment, goes through her stuff, and reveals as a man in transition.”

John Branch of The New York Times has a new piece about Ed Cunningham, ESPN Football Analyst Walks Away, Disturbed by Brain Trauma on Field. “Ed Cunningham is a real American football hero,” says Morgan Pehme.

The song America deserves

“holy shit this is amazing,” says Ryan Mac. He’s referring to the BuzzFeed quiz: Are These Decemberists Lyrics Or Excerpts From Shervin Pishevar's Uber Letter?

And finally, “Things I wrote about this week: Boxing, Bachelor in Paradise, Taylor Swift, Trump. Look what @vulture made me do!” says Mark Harris. He links to his piece for Vulture, Taylor Swift’s ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ Is a Pure Piece of Trump-Era Pop Art. Tweets Josh Barro, “Read @MarkHarrisNYC on Look What You Made Me Do as the song of the summer America deserves.” Says Matt Fuller, “.@MarkHarrisNYC with an excellent insight on the opposite of resistance art & how Taylor's #LWYMMD ‘epitomizes’ 2017,” says Jessica Goldstein. “I don't agree with everything in it, but damn, this write-up is just a masterpiece,” tweets Sam Sanders. Joel Pavelski agrees: “This is the best thing you'll read about Taylor Swift meeting this cultural moment.”

Question of the Day

Yesterday, we asked: A 19th century surgical antiseptic was distilled and sold as both a floor cleaner and a cure for gonorrhea before being remarketed as what well-known product?

Answer: It’s a floor cleaner, it’s a cure for gonorrhea and it’s a great breath freshener! It’s Listerine.

Congrats to…Deidre Blake, first to tweet the correct answer. David Daniel notes, “it's a floor wax! It's a dessert topping! It's... Listerine!” Hey, where have we heard that before?

Your question of the day for today is…Babylone beer by the Brussels Beer Project contains what "recycled" ingredient?

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

Career Updates
Changes at Billboard, Washington Post

Melinda Newman is the new West Coast editor for Billboard. Most recently, she was a writer for She has also contributed stories to The Hollywood Reporter, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, the Christian Science MonitorParade, Entrepreneur and many other outlets. She was Billboard’s West Coast bureau chief from 1998 to 2006.

And Michael Scherer, Washington bureau chief for Time magazine, is joining The Washington Post as a national political reporter. Before Time, he worked for Mother JonesColumbia Journalism Review and the Daily Hampshire Gazette (Northampton, MA).  

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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