The bonkers scale is officially broken 

Muck Rack Daily

The bonkers scale is officially broken 
November 28th, 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.

Facebook and Twitter continue to draw fire from federal lawmakers over fake Russia-spawned content spilling onto those platforms ahead of the 2016 presidential election. And now it’s clearer than ever how much we lean on social media for what we would hope is non-fake news, and how vital it is to guard against the spread of phony information. On the Muck Rack blog, freelance writer John Egan tackles the big question, How can we stop the train wreck of fake news on Facebook?

Meet Muck Rack’s new head of marketing, Mike Schneider. Mike has joined the team to flesh out our leadership position and explore new ways to partner with our customers to ensure their success. Mike most recently led marketing for Nestio, a startup for real estate marketing and leasing that’s raised almost $12 million in venture capital. Prior to that, he was head of marketing and VP of growth at Conversocial and an early member of MongoDB. He also founded his own digital marketing consultancy. Welcome aboard, Mike! Read more here.

That didn’t work

“What happens when #fakenews meets #realjournalism. Nice try, Project Veritas,” tweets Karen Tumulty. “Looks like Project Veritas tried to pull one over on the Post. That didn’t work,” adds Dan Zak. They’re referring to A woman approached The Post with dramatic - and false - tale about Roy Moore. She appears to be part of undercover sting operation (265,000+ shares), by Shawn Boburg, Aaron C. Davis and Alice Crites of The Washington Post. Tweets Mat Honan, “This is *amazing*” “The people pursuing these tactics really hate Democracy,” says Quentin Hardy. Anne Helen Petersen adds, “this story only rates a 7/10 on the contemporary bonkers scale which means the bonkers scale is officially broken.”

Also, Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe said he was ambushed by reporters. Here's what really happened. That’s from The Washington Post’s Marwa Eltagouri. CNN Money’s Brian Stelter has more with James O'Keefe on the defensive after failed anti-Post plot. Tweets Harry McCracken, “Borat (or even Allen Funt) he is not.”

Trump tales

Andrew Jackson was called ‘Indian killer.’ Trump honored Navajos in front of his portrait, reports The Washington Post’s Eli Rosenberg. Also, Trump Again Derides Warren as ‘Pocahontas,’ This Time at Event Honoring Navajo Veterans, as Julie Davis of The New York Times reports. Says Rachel Riederer, “Would love to see media do some big in-depth profiles of these Native veterans.”

'Access Hollywood' fires back at Trump: The tape ‘is very real.’ That’s from The Hill’s Jacqueline Thomsen. From Charles V. Bagli at The New York Times, Trump Paid Over $1 Million in Labor Settlement, Documents Reveal. Tweets The Times, “Newly released documents show Donald Trump paid $1.375 million to settle case involving undocumented Polish workers.”

Natasha Bertrand of Business Insider reports, Mueller is set to grill a key White House player as he examines whether Trump obstructed justice, referring to an upcoming interview with White House counsel Don McGahn. Bertrand also reports that James Woolsey, the former CIA director who has been cooperating with the special counsel Robert Mueller, had ‘a lengthy conversation’ with Trump at Mar-a-Lago

So “Pull up a chair and a bag of popcorn. This is about to get interesting,” says Charles Cooper. He links to Michael Flynn's lawyer meets with members of special counsel's team, raising specter of plea deal, as reported by Matthew Mosk, Mike Levine and Brian Ross of ABC News.

Stupidity, She Wrote

“From the woman who appeared in the film ‘Gaslight,’” as Naomi Rovnick points out, Angela Lansbury: attractive women 'must sometimes take the blame' for sexual harassment. That’s the story from Anita Singh of The Telegraph. Tweets Megan Garber, “It’s 2017, so here’s Mrs. Potts saying Belle asked for it.” “OH GOD she really WAS the murderer!” says Whitney Wimbish. “Stupidity, She Wrote,” says Stefan Stevenson

Meanwhile, Second ex-staffer accuses Conyers of sexual harassment, reports George Hunter of The Detroit News. Tweets Shashank Tripathi, “What an icon!” 

Other news

Senate tax drama intensifies as bill faces key panel vote, reports David Morgan and Cynthia Osterman of Reuters. And Bloomberg’s Sahil Kapur writes that These Eight Senators Can Make or Break Trump's Tax Cut This Week.

“Scoop: 2 yrs ago this China tech mogul said he'd beat Tesla. Now his co must raise $500M or pay over $400M in debt,” tweets David Ramli, who links to his piece in Bloomberg News with Selina Wang and Giles Turner, Chinese Rival to Tesla Faces a Debt Crunch. “The future looks pretty bleak for the Faraday batmobile,” tweets Brad Stone.

SoftBank Is Said to Seek Uber Shares at $48 Billion Valuation, reports Bloomberg Technology’s Eric Newcomer. “Sounds like reality is setting in,” says Edward Harrison.

In Myanmar, Pope Francis Calls for Peace but Doesn’t Say ‘Rohingya,’ reports Jason Horowitz of The New York Times. He tweets, “The Russian ambassador to Myanmar thinks humanitarian groups set expectations too high for Pope Francis.” 

“Journalists: If you want an instant rolodex of media-friendly climate scientists, this is the best list I've seen,” tweets Eric Holthaus, who links to Scientists Contributors and Advisors - Climate Feedback.

Will Sommer says, “Breitbart is a reliable source of galactic-level takes,” referring to NYT Profile of Nazi Sympathizer Makes Case that Barack Obama Is White, from Breitbart’s John Nolte.

GRAMMY stories


And finally today, here’s your link to the 60th Annual GRAMMY Award nominations.

For a look at how the trophies are made — in “an almost magical land of tumbling trout streams, turquoise lakes and craggy peaks” — check out David Kelly’s piece in The Los Angeles Times, This is where the Grammys are born - in a remote mountain workshop in Colorado. Tweets Scott Sandell, “I've read more than two decades of Grammy stories and rarely called them ‘beautiful.’ This is a beautiful one.”

Question of the Day

Yesterday, we asked: With its annual Thanksgiving Day Parade, Macy’s is the world’s second largest consumer of helium. Who’s number one?

Answer: That’s the U.S. government.

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

Your question of the day for today is…In the 1980s, Ricky Gervais tried his hand at being a pop star as one-half of what new wave band?

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

Featured Journalist: Sydney Bucksbaum


Today’s featured journalist is Sydney Bucksbaum, a freelance entertainment journalist based in Los Angeles. Sydney currently covers TV and film for The Hollywood Reporter, Bustle, Nerdist, Mashable and more. She’s previously been seen at E! News, Zap2it, and TV Guide Magazine. Find out more about Sydney 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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