Welcome to Monday, where at The Los Angeles Times, “We’re now on our third editor-in-chief in six months. We’re also on our fifth publisher in five years, though the current one is still under investigation for alleged sexual harassment,” tweets Matt Pearce. Sidney Ember covers the story for The New York Times, Troubled Los Angeles Times Picking New Editor Amid Unrest, and Meg James reports for The Los Angeles Times, Jim Kirk to replace Lewis D'Vorkin as executive editor of the Los Angeles Times. Sammy Roth breaks it down, “So...D'Vorkin will be Tronc's chief content officer, replaced at LAT by an editor who has already had two other jobs at Tronc and before that worked for Michael Ferro at the Chicago Sun-Times. I'm sure LAT reporters are very reassured.” In other words, as Roben Farzad says, it’s “Much worse than anyone imagined it could get at the LA Times. This is HBO material.”
Ken Doctor of Neiman Lab has the Newsonomics: Lewis D’Vorkin out at L.A. Times, more Tronc changes in the works. Tweets Laura J. Nelson, “Amidst all these details about the @latimes’ ghosts of upheaval past and future, this sentence made me smile: ‘The voice of the Times’ newsroom staff, both through its new union representation and otherwise, has risen.’”
Grammys get political
Jon Pareles, Jon Caramanica, Joe Coscarelli and Caryn Ganz have The Best and Worst of the Grammys last night for The New York Times, while at the New Yorker, Amanda Petrusich recaps Kendrick Lamar’s Great Open, Jay-Z for President and Lorde’s Snub. Matthew Strauss of Pitchfork highlights U2 Shout Out “Shithole Countries” in Political Performance. And of course, everyone’s talking about Hillary Clinton’s cameo. Louis Nelson of POLITICO writes, White House on Clinton's Grammy cameo: Don't take it seriously, but Nikki Haley apparently didn’t get the memo. Mary Murray thinks “Politics aside, it was pretty funny.”
Franklin Foer reveals, “I spent six months reporting this profile of Paul Manafort—which is also a portrait of the Washington he created.” That profile is the new Atlantic cover, Paul Manafort, American Hustler, which Rachel Donadio sums up this way: “Trump, Russian oligarchs, Ukrainian corruption, late Cold-war lobbying in D.C., personal texts leaked to the dark web, a family construction company in Connecticut. MUST READ this fantastic Paul Manafort profile by @FranklinFoer.” And Spencer Hall says, “This @TheAtlantic on Paul Manafort's hustling made my jaw drop a few times but this legend right here, just, woooo boy,” of the rumour that “Manafort was said to have walked away with $10 million in cash from Ferdinand Marcos, money he promised he would deliver to Ronald Reagan’s reelection campaign (which itself would have been illegal).”
New scoop from Jonathan Swan, David McCabe, Ina Fried and Kim Hart at Axios is that the Trump team considers nationalizing 5G network. “So the federal government, which recently killed net neutrality, apparently wants to nationalize the buildout of the 5G system. Whoa. That's gonna leave a mark,” notes Ernie Smith. But hey, “Thank goodness Hillary Clinton, with her hawkish and statist policy instincts, is not the president of the United States,” says Daniel Drezner. And now McCabe is reporting that the FCC chairman slams Trump team's proposal to nationalize 5G.
Meanwhile, a Secret Memo Hints at a New Republican Target: Rod Rosenstein, report Nicholas Fandos, Adam Goldman and Sharon LaFraniere of The New York Times. Tweets Fandos, “A secret, highly contentious Republican memo reveals that DAG Rod Rosenstein approved an application to extend surveillance of Carter Page shortly after taking office last spring, according to 3 people familiar.” Dustin Volz finds the “Buried lede here is that both the Obama and Trump Justice Departments believed there was probable cause that Carter Page was acting as an agent of Russia.”
And Mark Warner tells POLITICO’s Susan Glasser, ‘We’ve Had New Information That Raises More Questions.’ Virginia Heffernan noticed this: “What’s weird is he’s saying the Senate committee’s probe may last for ‘months’ when Ty Cobb said everyone was about to wrap?”
Meirion Jones comes clean: “This is where I have to admit that all my Twitter followers are fake - I bought a job lot down #Deptford Market from a man in a van who also did a good line in genuine Louis Vuitton bags and a range of premium perfumes.” In their new investigation The Follower Factory, Nicholas Confessore, Gabriel Dance, Richard Harris and Mark Hansen of The New York Times go inside social media’s black market. “Nugget in this fantastic piece about the black market for Twitter followers: Louise Linton bought hers,” tweets Scott Bixby.
ABC News tweets, “Chaotic scene as Russian police arrest Vladimir Putin's political rival, Alexei Navalny, violently dragging him into a van. Thousands across the country protested the lack of competition in upcoming presidential elections.” The story, by Patrick Reevell, Top Putin opponent urges Russia protesters to act ‘for yourself and your future’ as he and others are arrested. Neil MacFarquhar and Ivan Nechepurenko cover all the drama for The New York Times, Russians Brave Icy Temperatures to Protest Putin and Election.
L.A. homeless crisis grows despite political promises, many speeches and millions of dollars. How do we fix this? asks Steve Lopez of The Los Angeles Times. Tweets David Lauter, “Powerful piece by @LATstevelopez on LA's continual losing battle against homelessness & what can be done, kicks off a new LA Times series on the homeless.” Shelby Grad notes, “There are a lot of things you can say about LA’s horrible homeless crisis. @LATstevelopez hits on one of the most important —- the human misery represents decades of broken promises. Being honest about that is essential to moving forward.”
Grant Blankenship says, “I thought #Southerners had the lock on racial mistrust until I lived in New Mexico and experienced the tri-partite mistrust of Anglo v. Hispanic v. Native American. #racism.” He links to Simon Romero’s new piece in The New York Times, Indian Slavery Once Thrived in New Mexico. Latinos Are Finding Family Ties to It. Tweets Jose A. Del Real, “This story this story this story this story!”
Back to reality
“Yes, this is happening,” Brian Stelter assures us. As Brian Porreca of The Hollywood Reporter reports, ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ Cast is Revealed: Omarosa, Brandi Glanville, Sugar Ray. Edward-Isaac Dovere asks, “Well, hey, where do people get the idea that they can act in ways that are what most would consider way out of bounds — even get escorted from the White House, say — and they’ll get rewarded for it with more momentary fame and payoffs?” It’s a mystery.
“This one was written by my inner history nerd,” says Karen Tumulty of her piece in The Washington Post, Trump's 2018 State of the Union address: Following in Woodrow Wilson's footsteps.
James V. Grimaldi of The Wall Street Journal does the math, and Melania Trump’s Military Flights Before Her Move to Washington Cost More Than $675,000.
No need to worry, because ‘He’s not God’: In the wake of porn-star allegations, most evangelicals stand by Trump, report The Washington Post’s John Wagner and Michelle Boorstein.
Also at The Washington Post, Helena Andrews-Dye explains, No, Ivanka Trump didn’t stop José Andrés from getting into a party. Here’s what really happened.
At the New Yorker, Eric Lichtblau writes of The Untold Story of the Pentagon Papers Co-Conspirators. Tweets Michael Luo, “It turns out Ellsberg had help from a group of collaborators. Decades later, some come forward for the first time.”
In his new piece for The Atlantic, David Beard invites you to meet The Libraries Bringing Small-Town News Back to Life.
At the Financial Times, Cynthia O'Murchu reports, Malta grants EU citizenship to Legatum backer Christopher Chandler, who, as Robert Ward puts it, “Has cake and eats it.”
Simon Allison of the Mail & Guardian explains How China spied on the African Union’s computers. He tweets, “For 5 years. Without anyone noticing. Stunning investigation from @joantilou @ghaliakadiri @LeMonde_Afrique (this is our summary in English. Original in French is here.)”