The shilliest of the shills 

Muck Rack Daily

The shilliest of the shills 
September 27th, 2017
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Dispatches from the swamp

“The way @ddiamond and @rachanadixit have dug into this story should be taught in J-school for years,” says Nicholas Riccardi. He’s referring to the scoop from POLITICO’s Dan Diamond and Rachana Pradhan, Price’s private-jet travels included visits with colleagues, lunch with son. Tweets Pradhan, “PLANE NEWS: @ddiamond and I chronicle Tom Price's charter flights to places where he has strong personal ties.” For example, as Diamond tweets, “$18K TRIP TO NASHVILLE — Price took a Lear Jet for less than 90 mins of work events, but also lunch with son.”

Also, “There's nothing shady about this at all,” says Brian L Kahn, referring to news from Brady Dennis at The Washington Post that the EPA is spending almost $25,000 to install a secure phone booth for Scott Pruitt. Tweets Laura Helmuth, “Scott Pruitt, who tripled his security detail and avoids email, is now installing a soundproof booth.” Steve Silberman’s assessment: “Of all the industry shills squandering taxpayers' money in this administration, Scott Pruitt of EPA is the shilliest.” Bright side? “The swamp hasn’t been drained. But at least you can’t hear it anymore,” tweets Dave Pell.

But the Head of the Drug Enforcement Administration to Leave, Alluding to Dismay Over Trump, reports Michael Schmidt of The New York Times. Tweets Schmidt, “Chuck Rosenberg, acting DEA chief and Comey confidant, believes Trump has little respect for the law and will resign.” 

The Biggest Luther

That’s how Alexander Burns is putting it. He covers the story with Jonathan Martin of The New York Times, Roy Moore Wins Senate G.O.P. Runoff in Alabama. Notes Bret Stephens, “In the race between crazy and crazier, crazier usually wins.”

In neighboring Tennessee, “woahhhhhh corker,” says Leigh Ann Caldwell. Sen. Bob Corker will not seek re-election next year, reports Michael Collins of The Tennessean. “But could he get Sec/State post-Rex?” asks Jonathan Martin

Meanwhile, “Luther Strange? Who’s that? Trump deletes at least three tweets endorsing Alabama senator after primary defeat,” tweets Peter Baker. Yes, “The president tweeteth. And the president deleteth away,” tweets Russell Goldman, who links to his piece in The New York Times, Trump Thinks Twice About His Tweets, and Hits Delete. Tweets Gerry Mullany. “Trump has second thoughts about his tweets, and some lawyers wonder if he's breaking the law.” ProPublica’s Derek Willis notes, “We archive deleted tweets from lots of politicians at Politwoops.”

By the way, did someone mention Twitter? Because here’s some expansive, long-winded, drawn-out, verbose, rambling news: 140 Characters, a Quirk of Twitter, Now a Relic of the Past, writes Ad Age’s Garett Sloane. Yes, Twitter is Testing Doubling Tweet Length to 280 Characters, reports The New York Times’s Mike Isaac. “SUPERSIZE ME,” he tweets. As The New York Times tweets, “Twitter's defining attribute has long been its brevity: 140 characters in a post and no more. That is now set to cha.” Says Vindu Goel. “Can't wait to see what Trump does with twice the space to rant, berate, lie and covfefe.”


Moving on, CNN’s Manu Raju, Pamela Brown and Evan Perez report, IRS shares info with special counsel in Russia probe. Says Mark Follman, “Ah, speaking of Manafort and Flynn getting indicted. Seems that Mueller may not be far from reaching some outcomes.” At The Daily Beast, Betsy Woodruff is reporting, Sean Spicer Lawyers Up As Russia Probe Heats Up. And POLITICO’s Josh Dawsey reveals that Russian-funded Facebook ads backed Stein, Sanders and Trump. “drip,” tweets David McCabe. Meanwhile, Zuckerberg Blew Off Warnings of Russian Trolls in 2015, report The Daily Beast’s Katie Zavadski and Ben Collins.

“What’s up with Trump?”

The Washington Post’s Anna Fifield brings us this scoop: North Korea seeks help from Republican analysts: ‘What’s up with Trump?’ “Yeah I don't think they'll really have the answer,” says Gideon Resnick. Asawin Suebsaeng has a better idea: “instead of doing this can't north korean officials just get Fox & Friends clips on north korean youtube?” But John Abell sees it as “The most potentially lucrative K Street opportunity in decades!” 

According to the new story from Mike Allen at Axios, Trump, at war with everyone, mocks McCain, McConnell. Tweets Justin Green, “In private, President Trump has taken to physically mocking Mitch McConnell and John McCain.”

Another gut-punch dispatch from Puerto Rico

A new report from Luis Ferré-sadurní, Frances Robles and Lizette Alvarez of The New York Times reveals, ‘This Is Like in War’: A Scramble to Care for Puerto Rico’s Sick and Injured. Tweets Robles, “The Puerto Rican government says only 18 of 69 hospitals are opening. They think. They haven't heard from most.” At The Washington Post, Samantha Schmidt looks at how A devastated Puerto Rico community deals with isolation after Maria. “@schmidtsam7 with another gut-punch dispatch from a devastated and desperate Puerto Rico,” tweets Katie Mettler. And still, Nearly Half of Americans Don’t Know Puerto Ricans Are Fellow Citizens, report The New York Times’s Kyle Dropp and Brendan Nyhan.

Pivot/don’t pivot

Well, “this sucks,” as Josh Terry says. Rolling Stone’s Sales Pitch to Investors: Go Monthly, Slash Editorial Budget, Pivot to Video, Gabriel Sherman reports in Vanity Fair. Keegan Hamilton puts it best: “We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the pivot to video began to take hold.” And J duLac tweets this sad song: “Wanna see my smilin' face O̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶c̶o̶v̶e̶r̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶R̶o̶l̶l̶i̶n̶'̶ ̶S̶t̶o̶n̶e̶ Online in the video.” Tweets Tim Marchman, “Wow amazing that a halfwit failson has a bold media strategy.” Tom Gara highlights: “‘Right now, Rolling Stone’s video revenue is just $100,000’ (this is grim and totally inexplicable).” “At least now I know they weren't just being nice when they said I was being let go for purely financial reasons,” says Charles Bramesco.

Before they pivot, maybe they should read Heidi Moore’s piece in the Columbia Journalism Review, The secret cost of pivoting to video. “Stop the ‘pivot to video’ because it’s really a ‘pivot to bad video.’ My piece for @CJR today,” she tweets. Tweets Josh Wolk, “Surprise! There's no bottomless appetite for text-on-screen takes on same news everyone else is text-on-screening!” But to be fair, “Who woulda thunk that the ‘pivot to video’ wouldn't work, other than literally anyone who's ever been online?” says Alex Wayne.

Nails it

This Is All Bullshit, Tom Ley writes in Deadspin. “This” refers to the “NFL & Goodell doing what they always do, making anything they touch cheaper, smaller,” tweets Dan Beucke. “This is a really good piece of writing,” says Benjamin Hart. “This fucking nails it,” says Andrew Joyce.

“Corruption in college athletics?!?!? Well I never!” tweets Dave Biscobing. He links to Pat Forde’s piece for Yahoo Sports, NCAA needs to give Louisville basketball death sentence if bombshell allegations prove correct.

“This is worth reading. Thanks for sharing this @jemelehill. We live, I believe, to learn,” tweets Daralene Jones, who links to Jemele Hill on doing the right thing, Jemele Hill’s new essay in The Undefeated. She tweets, “I returned to my first love (writing) to discuss the craziest week of my career. My piece for the @TheUndefeated.”

Making the rounds

AP’s Clarice Silber has the story on Famous fake news writer found dead outside Phoenix. Paul Horner, 38, was found dead in his bed on Sept. 18. Saudi Arabia Agrees to Let Women Drive, as Ben Hubbard reports for The New York Times. Tweets The Times, “Breaking News: Saudi Arabia agrees to let women drive, ending a policy long criticized as a human rights violation.” The Wall Street Journal’s Felicia Schwartz has the story on White House Plans to Set Refugee Cap at 45,000 for Next Fiscal Year. And her colleague Andrew Ackerman reports, Departure of PepsiCo Lawyer Is Focus of SEC Probe. He tweets, “The SEC is investigating whether PepsiCo fired its top lawyer in 2012 in violation of whistleblower rules.”

Question of the Day

Yesterday, we asked: Before Paul Gleason was cast as Clarence Beeks in the movie Trading Places, who was allegedly offered the role but turned it down? (Hint: Beeks is reading his autobiography on the train at the end of the movie.)  

Answer: That was G. Gordon Liddy, who supposedly turned down the role once he got to the part of the script involving Beeks and the amorous gorilla. 

Congrats to…David Daniel, first to tweet the correct answer.

Your question of the day for today is…Colette, Truman Capote and Eva Peron all shared a passion for collecting what objects?

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

Featured Journalist: Katarina Hybenova

Today’s featured journalist, Brooklyn-based Katarina Hybenova, is a media entrepreneur and the founder and editorial director of Bushwick Daily and So Williamsburg. She also reveals to us that she’s a hopeless ENFP and fearless Ravenclaw. A visual storyteller, Katarina is interested in culture and human stories and prefers to be pitched via email. Get the full story and check out some of her work here.

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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