Life comes at you weirdly

Muck Rack Daily

Life comes at you weirdly
November 7th, 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.

You’re in charge of communications at your organization, and crisis hits. The good news: You can take proactive steps against those seemingly unexpected happenings, but it takes a commitment on the part of your organization. Tim O’Brien of O’Brien Communications explains all in his new post for the Muck Rack blog, This is what happens when the crisis starts without you.

We have met the enemy

We are beginning to learn more details about the Sutherland Springs, Texas, shooting. On the scene, “Sheriff describes ‘horrific’ scene inside chapel where 20+ people were killed,” tweets Tricia Schwennesen, who links to Sheriff: ‘Wherever you walked in the church, it was death,’ by Caleb Downs of San Antonio Express-News. Dave Philipps, Alan Blinder and Richard Oppel of The New York Times report, Texas Gunman Broke Child’s Skull and Assaulted Wife in Troubled Life. The Times tweets, “The Texas gunman had been jailed for domestic abuse, kicked out of the military and charged with animal cruelty.” According to additional reporting from Oppel, David Montgomery and Jose A. DelReal of The New York Times, Air Force Error Allowed Texas Gunman to Buy Weapons. Tweets Michael Barbaro, “This is about as big and tragic a bureaucratic screw-up as imaginable: it cost people their lives.” Meanwhile, from USA Today’s Jefferson Graham and Mike SniderGoogle shared conspiracy theories that sought to tie Texas shooter to antifa movement

Derek Thompson tweets, “The U.S. has: 5% of the world's children under 15 87% of the world's unintentional gun deaths for that age group,” linking to his piece in The Atlantic, America’s Mass-Shooting Epidemic Is Contagious. He adds, “The finding that mass shootings can be ‘contagious’ has serious implications for how news media should cover them.”

What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer, write Max Fisher and Josh Keller of The New York Times. Tweets @nytimesworld: “What causes mass shootings? A growing body of international research suggests the primary factor is access to guns.” “We have met the Enemy and s/he is us,” tweets Andrew Lightman.

The new surprise album drop

Carter Page’s sworn testimony before the House Intelligence Committee last week was released Monday night, and we learned a few things. Or as Business Insider’s Natasha Bertrand puts it, Carter Page's testimony is filled with bombshells — and supports key portions of the Steele dossier. Tweets Dan Seitz, “Pee TAPE! Pee TAPE! PEE TAPE! PEE TAPE!” 

Ken Dilanian, Julia Ainsley and Alex Moe of NBC News report, Carter Page Coordinated Russia Trip with Top Trump Campaign Officials. More from Kyle Cheney and Randy Lemmerman of POLITICO, Carter Page testimony dismisses Russian interference in election. Tweets David Rind, “carter page testimony is the new surprise album drop.” And Vanessa Rumbles notes, “You can't make this stuff up: Richard Nixon's son-in-law, Ed Cox, introduced Carter Page to the Trump campaign.” 


“Forbes takes Wilbur Ross off billionaires list and declares that he lied to them for years about his net worth,” tweets Shawn Donnan, who links to Dan Alexander’s piece in Forbes, The Case of Wilbur Ross' Phantom $2 Billion. “Wild story, quite a kicker,” tweets Jim Tankersley. And where have we heard this before? “You can't make this stuff up. Incredible story of Trump's Commerce Secretary just making stuff up. Lies upon lies,” tweets Jay Rosen. Tweets David Wright, “this story is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s.” 

Also, “Life comes at you weirdly. CIA director met with whistleblower-turned-maybe-conspiracy theorist?” Sharon Weinberger is referring to CIA Director Met Advocate of Disputed DNC Hack Theory - at Trump’s Request, by Duncan Campbell and James Risen of The Intercept. “Holy moley,” says Zack Whittaker

Travels in white America

“The Guardian's @garyyounge travelled from Maine to Mississippi talking to white Americans – here's what he found,” tweets Kevin Rawlinson, who’s referring to My travels in white America - a land of anxiety, division and pockets of pain, by The Guardian’s Gary Younge. Tweets Adam Sich, “.@garyyounge showing admirable/incredible restraint in this interview when faced with repugnant views.” “The piece here is very good though- especially on relationship btwn trump voters & the drug war,” says Hussein Kesvani. “Superlative journalism from @garyyounge,” tweets Sarah Crown

Setting records

ObamaCare signups surge in early days to set new record, reports The Hill’s Peter Sullivan. He tweets, “More than 200,000 people selected an ObamaCare plan on first day, compared to around 100,000 last year, source says.” “may indicate GOP efforts to undermine law backfired,” tweets Alexandra Jaffe

And “The party in power rarely gains seats in midterms. Now add the Mueller probe, a political time bomb,” tweets Kate Irby, who links to the piece from McClatchy’s David J. Goldstein, Mueller probe a political time bomb that could detonate in 2018.

Hollywood news

Getting more than 60,000 shares so far is Harvey Weinstein’s Army of Spies, Ronan Farrow’s latest in the New Yorker. He tweets, “Here’s exactly how far powerful men can go to silence sexual assault allegations.” Among the revelations: “Harvey Weinstein hired ex-Mossad agents to track the actions of his accusers — and the reporters talking to them,” Scott Bixby highlights. “So good -- a third killer post by @ronanfarrow,” tweets Kara Swisher, who adds, “If @RonanFarrow does not win all the prizes for his trio of epic pieces on Weinstein, I will be very out of sorts.” “Ronan Farrow is a damn good reporter,” tweets Nicholas Riccardi.

There’s other news out of Hollywood, including More Kevin Spacey Shrapnel: Ridley Scott’s ‘All The Money In The World’ Exits AFI Fest Closing Slot. That’s the report from Mike Fleming Jr and Patrick Hipes of Deadline

And while 21st Century Fox has been holding talks to sell most of the company to Disney, which is the story from CNBC’s David Faber, Journalists Boycott Disney Films After L.A. Times Snub, reports Jeremy Barr of The Hollywood Reporter. At The Washington Post, Alyssa Rosenberg explains Why I won’t be reviewing ‘The Last Jedi,’ or any other Disney movie, in advance. She tweets, “I won't attend advance screenings of Disney movies or publish advance reviews until @latimes critics can, too.” “Disney: You cannot censor media!” tweets Julie Cohn, who links to Journalists boycott Disney films in solidarity with the L.A. Times, by CNN’s Frank Pallotta

Tech news

In a special report for AP News, Janie Har writes, In shadow of tech boom, the working homeless sleep in cars. AP tweets, “New faces of homelessness in California's wealthy Silicon Valley: store clerks, security guards, cooks.”

Meanwhile, “Apple is the star of Day 2 of the Paradise Papers leaks,” tweets Arik Hesseldahl, who links to After a Tax Crackdown, Apple Found a New Shelter for Its Profits, by Jesse Drucker and Simon Bowers of The New York Times. Tweets Blake Schmidt, “‘We don't stash money on some Caribbean Island’ -Apple CEO Tim Cook. Turns out it was some English Channel island.” “Brutal lead. The scandal is what's legal,” tweets Justin Elliott. “This has not been a good few weeks for the nation’s top tech firms,” tweets Jim Sciutto.

And ICYMI, “Amazon just quietly launched two private label sportswear brands on its site. Air Bezos,” tweets Joshua Brown, who links to Amazon's Push Into Private-Label Sportswear Makes Quiet Debut, by Bloomberg’s Lindsey Rupp. She writes, “Amazon is now selling at least two new product lines -- Rebel Canyon and Peak Velocity -- that appear to be internal brands.”

We all need to move to the woods

“The nightmarish stuff going on in the worst corners of YouTube is beyond comprehension. This is so disturbing,” says Tom Gara. Yes, Something is wrong on the internet, writes James Bridle, and “You won't want to let your kids near your phone after reading @jamesbridle disturbing essay,” says Gabriel Gatehouse. “We told one another these platforms would make the world a better place and now they’re auto-trauma machines,” tweets Tim Maly. “hello this is terrifying pls read it and tell your friends thank you we all need to move to the woods,” tweets Addy Baird. Erik Hinton agrees: “welp, it's time to throw my computer out a window and forget about the internet forever.”

Tuesday round-up:

Question of the Day

Yesterday we asked: What was the key ingredient in Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup and other infant “quieteners.”

Answer: All kinds of opium. Mrs. Winslow’s Soothing Syrup was a mixture of morphine and alcohol, and although it was later denounced as the “baby killer,” it sure had its fans.

Congrats to Dan Tynan, who tweeted, “Laudanum, an opiate. Man, those were the days,” and Jason Hensel, first to tweet the specific Mrs. Winslow ingredients of “morphine and alcohol.”

Your question of the day for today is…One year ago today, Leonard Cohen died at the age of 82. What was the name of his first band?

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

Featured Journalist: Kate Chappell

Today’s featured journalist is Kate Chappell, a freelance journalist and lecturer based in Kingston, Jamaica. She’s worked in Canada, the United States and Jamaica and is currently teaching journalism at the University of Technology in Kingston, as well as occasionally writing for The Guardian (UK). Kate has also written for the Associated Press, the Ottawa Citizen, the Ottawa Business Journal, Embassy Magazine,, Boston University, iRun Magazine and many others. She won an award for Best Electronic Feature from the Press Association of Jamaica, and she just completed a community journalism training program with 27 Jamaicans where they produced 10 pieces of investigative journalism. Find out more about Kate and check out 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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