The people are weighing in on Trump’s first State of the Union address. Of the viewers who watched last night’s address, three in four approved of it, according to a CBS News poll, and eight in 10 felt that the president was trying to unite the country, rather than divide it. Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus, Kabir Khanna and Anthony Salvanto have the details.
On the other hand . . . according to CNN’s “Instant Poll,” Less than half of State of the Union watchers have very positive view of Trump address, reports Ryan Struyk. He writes that the 48% who said they had a “very positive” impression of the speech is “the lowest net positive rating for a State of the Union address since at least 1998, when CNN first asked the question.” Like the CBS poll, the survey “reflects the views of only those who watched the speech, not of all Americans.” Struyk also notes, “The poll was conducted among a group of Americans who said in prior interviews that they planned to watch the speech and were willing to be contacted after its conclusion.”
Jenna Johnson of The Washington Post gets up close and personal, revealing What Trump’s address sounded like, in eight American living rooms. And NPR has the State Of The Union 2018, Annotated, along with this Fact check: Immigration doesn’t bring crime into U.S., data say. And there’s more fact-checking from reporters at The New York Times in Donald Trump State of the Union 2018 and the AP in AP FACT CHECK: Snapshots from Trump's speech.
At POLITICO, Michael Grunwald writes that Trump Took a Victory Lap. Here's What He Didn't Mention. He tweets, “Trump did a lot of bragging about the Obama economy.”
But as for The ‘state’ of Donald Trump? He thinks it couldn't be better, writes Howard Fineman for NBC News. Tweets David Firestone, “State of the President: A fully confident Trump now believes Manafort won't flip, Mueller can be crushed, and tax cuts will get him re-elected, reports @howardfineman for NBC News Digital.”
“Meanwhile... some timing,” as Colin Campbell puts it. He links to Hillary Clinton’s Facebook past about why she didn't fire Burns Strider, her campaign advisor accused of sexual harassment. “Well look who decided to drop some news right as SOTU is about to start,” tweets Paige Lavender.
This month has been a helluva year
Before we move on, Alana Horowitz Satlin alerts us to an important development: “THIS JUST IN: It's still January. @aterkel and @ryanjreilly investigate HOW.” The story: What A Year This Month Has Been, by Ryan J. Reilly and Amanda Terkel at HuffPost. As Reilly points out, “This month has been a helluva year.”
Knock knock knocking
At The Washington Post, Josh Dawsey and Devlin Barrett break the news that Justice Dept. officials appealed to White House to halt release of memo alleging FBI abuses related to author of Trump dossier. Tweets Dawsey, “Senior Justice officials -- including deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein -- urged Trump chief of staff John Kelly Monday to not release a Republican memo alleging FBI abuses, saying it could do damage and isn't accurate.” Cody Lyon thinks “The ‘memo’ everyone ought to read says we are knock knock knocking on the door of a constitutional crisis.”
Devin Nunes Won't Say If He Worked With White House on Anti-FBI Memo, report The Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff and Spencer Ackerman. And then there’s this: “Hot mic catches Trump saying about release of that memo: 'Don't worry. 100 percent!’” tweets Bloomberg’s Billy House, who links to his piece with Justin Sink, Trump Says ‘100 Percent' After He's Asked to Release GOP Memo.
David Gura’s advice: “If you are confused about ‘the memo’ and ‘the IG report,’ and how each affects, or they affect, the Russia investigation, read @charlie_savage's latest, lucid piece,” which is Charlie Savage’s analysis in The New York Times, The Real Aim of the Secret Memo Is the Mueller Investigation.
Speaking of Mueller, Mike Levine of ABC News has a “LI’L SCOOP,” as he puts it: DOJ gives special counsel internal docs on proposed Sessions resignation, source says.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post’s Devlin Barrett and Karoun Demirjian also report that an Internal Justice Department probe eyes McCabe’s role in final weeks of 2016 election. And in case it’s not obvious by now, Nicholas Riccardi explains, “We will be relitigating October of 2016 until the end of time.” Also, “I'm starting to need a character tree like a goldang Tolstoy book,” says Mollie Bryant.
Oh, there’s more. Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Nick Hopkins of The Guardian are reporting the FBI has second dossier on possible Trump-Russia collusion, noting that, “Among other things, both documents allege Donald Trump was compromised during a 2013 trip to Moscow that involved lewd acts in a five-star hotel.”
Did we mention it’s still January?
The courage of your convictions
“Politico claims another Trump administration scalp,” tweets Ben Schreckinger. As POLITICO’s Brianna Ehley reports, CDC director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald resigns over financial conflicts, one day after POLITICO reported she bought shares in a tobacco company.
David Nakamura and Anne Gearan at The Washington Post report, Disagreement on North Korea policy derails White House choice for ambassador to South Korea, and Abraham M. Denmark tweets, “Here is the man himself, @VictorDCha, giving a sharp and persuasive take against a limited strike against North Korea. A take that likely cost him an Ambassadorship. This is what it looks like to have the courage of your convictions.” He links to Victor Cha’s piece in The Post, Giving North Korea a ‘bloody nose’ carries a huge risk to Americans.
Some more capital-T Thoughts
“I don’t know where to begin with this,” says Matt Hamilton. Kevin Allman’s assessment: “Such a weird little (condescending?) @nytimes article on the collapse of the @latimes; a real Woody Allen view of Los Angeles with almost no info about the paper itself.” They’re referring to A Paper Tears Apart in a City That Never Quite Came Together, by Tim Arango and Adam Nagourney of The New York Times. Or, as Jessica Roy says, “Oh good, the New York Times has some more capital-T Thoughts about why L.A. isn't that great anyway.” “Dunno about you guys, but I haven’t left the house in months because traffic,” says Aaron Mendelson.
Money and journalism and salaries and careers
From Columbia Journalism Review, “More than 300 journalists responded to our survey on sexual harassment in the workplace. Here are their stories”: Sexual harassment in the newsroom: An oral history, by Alexandria Neason, Meg Dalton and Karen Ho. Tweets Neason, “Since #MeToo, we've seen prominent journalists be called out and punished for their abuse & misbehavior. Lost in that have been the stories of those whose harassers aren't famous. I'm honored that these brave journalists came to @CJR with their stories.”
Meanwhile, “The hollowing out of local media blazes ahead, with buyouts & layoffs at a pub that won a Pulitzer Prize for its Ghost Ship coverage last year. This is all happening in the Bay Area, home to Silicon Valley and incredible wealth,” Erica Hellerstein observes, linking to Buy-Outs and Layoffs Hit East Bay Times and Other Bay Area News Group Papers, by Darwin BondGraham and John Geluardi of the East Bay Express. The kicker: “The bureau of labor statistic’s estimates there are 3,490 reporter jobs in all of California while there are 24,690 public relations positions.”
“This is one of the most Awl things ever but also very smart and very thoughtful – @silviakillings on money and journalism and salaries and careers,” tweets Jonathan Shainin, who links to Felix Salmon, “Fusion Money,” and Floating Upward, by Silvia Killingsworth for The Awl. Kelsey McKinney says, “Getting laid off from fusion was a truly awful day. It was made worse knowing that Felix was worth 7 reporters and got to stay.” Laurel Wamsley advises, “Skip thru the slack snippets and stay for the history of the last 5 years in digital media as told through Felix Salmon's ever-growing salary. (I really like Salmon's writing, by the way.)” Casey Johnston’s opinion: “i think media’s gonna be juuuuuuuuuuuuuuust fine.”
tbh though now I want a peacock
Anyway, you think you’ve got it bad? Well, this Woman was denied her emotional support peacock on United flight, as Janine Puhak of Fox News reports. Margaret Eby asks, “What Would Flannery O'Connor Do?” “Even my duck thinks this is beyond stupid,” says Tom Mailey, while Kate Bennett admits, “tbh though now I want a peacock.” We’ll leave the last word to Colin Campbell: “Stories like this make me grouse.”
Making the rounds: