A story to tell
Maybe you saw this one making the rounds on Twitter or Instagram: Evan Vucci of The Associated Press captured the moment as A staff member for #president #donaldtrump blocks the lens of a photographer trying to take a photo of a demonstrator during a #campaign. Tweets Christina Wilkie, “Trump: ‘We as a country cannot tolerate political censorship! We are not going to let them control what we see!’ Only moments before, a Trump aide had physically blocked the lens of a press photographer to prevent him from taking a photo of a protestor.” It was later determined that the man was a volunteer member of the advance team for Trump. Either way, as Bill Bush says, it’s “PR 101 - Photo of this Trump guy blocking cameras to hide a protestor is sweeping over the internet, proving once again the coverup is often much worse than the initial problem…”
Speaking of trying to block reporting, in a new investigation for The Daily Beast, Maxwell Tani and Lachlan Cartwright discovered that NBC Threatened Ronan Farrow If He Kept Reporting on Harvey Weinstein. Spencer Ackerman sets it up this way: “*infinite loop of Tim Westwoods endlessly dropping bombs* do @LachCartwright & @maxwelltani ever have a story to tell.” Adds Jeff Horwitz, “Well, this is goddamned crazy.” Meanwhile, Cartwright tweets, “I want to thank all of the many very brave souls that helped with this yarn. I will protect them with my life and if anyone starts going after sources or victims I will come after them with the one weapon I have - journalism.”
John Koblin of The New York Times has more. He spoke with Rich McHugh, Ronan Farrow’s ex-producer, who says NBC impeded the Weinstein reporting. On Twitter, Chris Francescani confirms, “I worked in the @NBCNews Investigative Unit in the fall of 2016. @RichMcHughNBC and @RonanFarrow are telling the truth. @NBCNews executives are not.”
What readers want
This one’s “Kind of a humble brag, but a very thoughtful one!” says Matthew Kassel. At BuzzFeed News, editor-in-chief Ben Smith calls for an end to the sports metaphors (“The game changer, the horse race, the Hail Mary”) in political journalism, writing, I Helped Create Insider Political Journalism. Now It's Time For It To Go Away. As Kate Mackenzie puts it, the piece reveals “How privileged journalists helped make politics seem a game with little consequence.” Smith says that Americans of all political stripes now actually hate it, but Nicholas Riccardi sees it differently, tweeting, “People want to read and hear about the horserace, so horserace reporting will not be going away anytime soon.” Still, says Dara Lind, “This is extremely good, even if the kicker doesn't show the self-awareness the rest of it does: that politics was never a game, that the only game was that the insiders played themselves.”
In an excerpt from his new book, “Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now,” the Guardian’s former editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger asks, who broke the news? He writes, “Readers, on some level, want their newspapers to be brave, serious, campaigning and dogged. They like corruption to be exposed, overweening power to be challenged, and serious scandals to be unearthed. It reminds them what journalism is for. They admire it. They are even willing to pay for it.” Johny Cassidy calls it “A great read. Well worth a ponder.” Adds Daniel Dawkins, “This is so, so brilliant and full of hard-learned truths.”
We will not be intimidated
On to some unnerving journalism news, reported by Milton Valencia and John Ellement of The Boston Globe, California man arrested on charges of threatening to shoot Boston Globe employees. Dan Adams notes that “These calls were answered by undergraduate co-ops on our metro desk. As scary and serious as this was, they (and all of us) only feel more determined to seek and publish the truth. We will not be intimidated by violent threats -- or anti-press rhetoric.” Meanwhile, Philip Hersh thinks, “trump should be charged as an accessory to this.”
And on that note, ‘Totally dishonest’: Trump asserts only he can be trusted over opponents and ‘fake news.’ That’s Ashley Parker’s latest for The Washington Post, and Brian Stelter says, “This is one of the biggest stories of the Trump presidency. @AshleyRParker: Trump's assertions are ‘bound by one unifying theme: All of his perceived opponents are peddling false facts and only Trump can be trusted.’”
We’re also learning more about some of his favorite targets outside of the press. At The Atlantic, Natasha Bertrand details how Trump’s Top Targets in the Russia Probe are Experts in Organized Crime. She tweets, “Trump’s attacks have shone a bright light on the expertise of the people investigating him: Russian organized crime. And conveniently for Putin, he’s persisted in making a spectacle of some of the Kremlin’s biggest adversaries in the US government.” Notes Jamil Smith, “If the president isn’t a criminal, he sure has the impression down cold.”
Looking at the latest poll numbers, Gary Langer of ABC News sees Trouble for Trump: Disapproval at a high, 63% back Mueller, half favor impeachment. That’s according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll. Philip Rucker and Scott Clement break down the numbers in their piece for The Post, Poll: 60 percent disapprove of Trump, while clear majorities back Mueller and Sessions.
Amy McCarthy says, “Every story I read about the NYU ‘feminist’ professor accused of sexual assault make me so glad I stayed far, far away from academia. Like...somebody needed to check this woman *years* ago.” The latest story affirming her decision, I Worked With Avital Ronell. I Believe Her Accusers, by Andrea Long Chu for The Chronicle of Higher Education. “What a travesty. And what an essay,” says Roxane Gay. Adds Jay Cassano, “This whole essay is incredibly written, but that kicker is something else.” And on Twitter, Hilary George-Parkin shares this cringey memory: “My main memory of my class with Ronell (apart from the fawning fans in the front row) was how much she delighted in pronouncing the title of her book, ‘Crack Wars,’ as ‘crack whores.’ So edgy! So subversive!”
Around the world
In the UK, Emily Dugan of BuzzFeed News found out that The Home Office Has Created A Secret Process To Solve Immigration Cases That Generate Negative Headlines. Tweets Alan White, “This is a huge, huge story by @emilydugan - the Home Office created a secret process to solve immigration cases that get negative headlines. Lawyers (unsurprisingly) say it creates a double standard.”
“Hey, people living on Earth...PAY ATTENTION!!!” Mike Barnicle links to a new report by Katrin Bennhold of The New York Times highlighting disturbing developments in Germany, Mob Protests in Germany Show New Strength of the Far Right. She writes that a recent anti-immigrant crowd of protesters “was 8,000-strong. Led by several hundred identifiable neo-Nazis, it appeared to be joined by thousands of ordinary citizens. More marches are planned Saturday.” “Terrifying,” tweets Erin Stone.
Warren Strobel of Reuters has the Exclusive: Chief U.S. spy catcher says China using LinkedIn to recruit Americans. But Jake Spring points out, “Hmm, if the Chinese government is using the same strategies I use to get sources, I'm not terribly impressed.”
Here’s a “Fascinating look at how an Israeli company that makes spyware used it to impress its client -- the Emirati government -- and ended up accused of illegal spying” tweets Juliana Barbassa, of Hacking a Prince, an Emir and a Journalist to Impress a Client, by David D. Kirkpatrick and Azam Ahmed of The New York Times. And from Tristan McConnell, “Here's some free information security advice: don't click on weird links.”
What happened to the migrant children separated from their parents by the Trump administration? Maria Sacchetti of The Washington Post looks for answers. For starters, nearly 500 of them are still in U.S. custody. Meanwhile, AP’s Marcos Aleman reports that officials in El Salvador say 3 kids separated in the US were sexually abused at shelters.
Breaking news yesterday, and bad news for the NFL, Colin Kaepernick Wins a Ruling to Continue His Collusion Case Against the N.F.L., reports Ken Belson of The New York Times.
On Twitter, Emily Glazer reveals, “At Wells Fargo’s wealth management division, female execs allege gender bias issues and an investigation is underway. Women were told they should be home with their kids or to put their ‘big girl panties’ on.” The latest in Glazer’s ongoing in-depth reporting for The Wall Street Journal: At Wells Fargo, Discontent Simmers Among Female Executives.
Albert McKeon is really tempting us with this description: “Here’s a neat tool that isn’t necessarily fun. Find out how much hotter your hometown might be in the future.” In a New York Times interactive piece, Nadja Popovich, Blacki Migliozzi, Rumsey Taylor and Josh Williams answer the question, How Much Hotter Is Your Hometown Today Than When You Were Born? And this isn’t the good kind of hot. As Carla Correa says, “This is so cool ... I mean, so hot.” Also, “A grim way to start one’s Friday,” Matt Ford points out.
Ease into the weekend
After that, you might be looking for an entertaining read, so head over to The Players Tribune, where It’s Story Time, and Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers tells “a real story. Hand to God.” The good news, says Dan Nosowitz, “joel embiid in the players tribune is exactly as charming and funny as you think he’ll be.” The bad news, says Brian Josephs, “Now I'm upset because I'll never write a lede as good as Joel Embiid’s.”
And now, finally, some “Friday news you can use,” as Kyla Mandel tweets. From Alexandra Petri of The Washington Post, EAT CHEESE LIVE FOREVER EAT CHEESE NEVER DIE. “Forgive the pronunciation, but some are bound to call this FRAiCHE NEWS,” tweets Patty Ryan, and really, what more is there to say, except maybe this: “Give this woman a Pulitzer,” tweets Naomi Eide.