It’s waaaay worse
As John Colapinto says, “I suspect we all know all this stuff already, but as Nabokov once put it, ‘detail is always welcome.’” On that note, welcome to the details: Bob Woodward’s new book reveals a ‘nervous breakdown’ of Trump’s presidency (299,000+ shares), as Philip Rucker and Robert Costa report at The Washington Post. Ray Locker points out that “The details in the new Woodward book aren't much different than those in Fire and Fury, except for the source: His national security team.”
“Bob Woodward just can't help shaking up Washington every couple decades, can he,” tweets Abe Kenmore. Or as Scott Bixby puts it, “One of America’s greatest investigative journalists reports that the country is run by nauseated officials in a constant state of horror who frequently take it upon themselves to undermine the president in order to avert the literal apocalypse.” Also, “How are we still alive.”
Among the highlights, Tal Kopan tweets, “Um, wow. Kelly describes Trump as an ‘idiot’ and ‘unhinged,’ Woodward reports. Mattis describes Trump as having the understanding of ‘a fifth or sixth grader.’ And Trump’s former personal lawyer John Dowd describes the President as ‘a f***ing liar…” Also, as CNN’s Jeremy Herb, Jamie Gangel and Dan Merica report, Bob Woodward writes that Trump’s aides stole his papers ‘to protect the country’ (219,000+ shares). There’s too much to excerpt here, but Steve Cochran suggests, “Think of all the terrible things you’ve ever said or heard about your boss. The White House...its waaaay worse.”
You can find more in the New York Times review of the book by Dwight Garner, In ‘Fear,’ Bob Woodward Pulls Back the Curtain on President Trump’s ‘Crazytown.’ Writes Garner, “The critic Clive James once complained that Woodward ‘checks his facts until they weep with boredom.’ Well, fact-checking and boredom seem sexy again. Even weeping is making a comeback.”
How real journalism is conducted
We’ve learned from CNN’s Kaitlan Collins that Trump is irritated he wasn’t interviewed by Woodward for the book. To which Mike Hixenbaugh offers, “Hi @CNN, here is a better headline: Trump regrets White House decision to reject Woodward interview.”
The Washington Post got access to Trump’s phone call with Bob Woodward about the book. For more on that, refer to Aaron Blake’s Analysis | Transcript: Phone call between President Trump and journalist Bob Woodward. If you thought the book excerpts were something...“Wow. In this transcript Trump tells Woodward no one told him that Woodward wanted an interview with him. Woodward gets the president to acknowledge he's not telling the truth in just a couple of minutes,” tweets Nicholas Riccardi. Hixenbaugh weighs in again, “Everyone should listen to this call between Bob Woodward and Donald Trump until the end. You will learn much about how real journalism is conducted -- and the disingenuous tactics used by people in power to discredit it.”
Let’s see, what else. Oh, Trump suggests protesting should be illegal (111,000+ shares). Felicia Sonmez has that story for The Washington Post, and Simon Diamond Cramer gauges, “Progress toward full strongman: 65%.”
Meanwhile, Maggie Haberman and Michael Schmidt of The New York Times report that Mueller Will Accept Some Written Answers From Trump.
Earthquakes and shockwaves
A huge upset in Massachusetts last night as Ayanna Pressley Stuns Capuano in Massachusetts House Race (127,000+ shares). Katharine Q. Seelye has the details at The New York Times as Pressley upset the 10-term incumbent in the district once represented by John F. Kennedy. The Editorial Board of the Boston Globe is calling it A political earthquake in Massachusetts politics, which Robert Ambrogi says is the “Understatement of the day.”
Meanwhile in Kansas…yesterday, Hunter Woodall of The Kansas City Star tweeted about the “Shockwave this morning in #ksleg.” He reports, Former GOP governor of Kansas endorses Democrat Laura Kelly instead of Kris Kobach. As Kevin Robillard says, “This would seem to be a big deal in #KSGov.”
In other political news around the country, “Holy Smokes!” says Monica Eng, of the news that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he won't run for re-election next year (60,000+ shares). Bill Ruthhart reports on that story for the Chicago Tribune.
The New York Times editorial board endorses Andrew Cuomo over Cynthia Nixon, writing, Andrew Cuomo Is the Democrats’ Best Choice for Governor. “Not exactly a ringing endorsement of Cuomo from the @NYTimes, but an endorsement nonetheless,” notes Jon Campbell.
Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Maria Polletta of the Arizona Republic break the news that Former U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl will be John McCain's successor in the U.S. Senate. Eli Yokley gives some more background: “Folks I talked to last week – noting the Gov's own national ambition – view him as a safe, 2-year placeholder to fill McCain's term ahead of a 2020 campaign.”
Early this morning in Dallas, a Truck Reportedly Intentionally Crashed Into Fox 4 Studios, report Eline de Bruijn and Brian Roth of KXAS-TV. The driver, who repeatedly rammed a pick-up truck full of leaflets into the KDFW Fox 4 studios in downtown Dallas, has been arrested. No injuries were reported.
Rosie Gray of The Atlantic has discovered that Scott Greer, an editor and columnist at the Daily Caller, also wrote as “Michael McGregor” for Radix Journal, the publication associated with the alt-right figure Richard Spencer. Adam Serwer finds it “Very strange how Tucker Carlson's website, the Daily Caller, hired a deputy editor who wrote for a Nazi website, even though Carlson says Nazis don't exist.” Or as K. Thor Jensen puts it, “Gosh it sure is a funny coincidence that the Daily Caller keeps accidentally hiring all of these outrageous fucking racists.”
In an op-ed for The New York Times, Bret Stephens says that Now Twitter Edits The New Yorker, but Matt Pearce is “Puzzled why the culprit here is identified as ‘Twitter’ when it describes a de facto strike by festival talent and pushback from Remnick's employees and contractors, all of whom wield very real economic power over Remnick's plans. This is a labor story.” And Tony Marrero notes, “Stephens frames his argument on the need to ‘speak truth to power.’ Is it credible to say that Bannon remains a powerful figure?”
Kristina Bui admits, “Here’s a nerd thing I’ve discovered about me this year: I genuinely love waking up to stories about newsrooms unionizing. Congratulations, @tidewaterguild, and welcome to the News Guild family.” David Folkenflik of NPR reports, Like Bigger Peers, Tronc's Virginia Newsrooms Set To Unionize.
Bad business, good journalism
It’s officially done, or as Roben Farzad says, “Oh negative.” Theranos Inc., the blood-testing company accused of perpetrating Silicon Valley’s biggest fraud, will soon cease to exist, and of course, John Carreyrou of The Wall Street Journal brings us that scoop. “Worth pondering: What would Theranos' status be right now if @JohnCarreyrou had never gotten on this story?” tweets Ben Pershing. Meanwhile, Carleton English “Eagerly awaits the updated edition of @JohnCarreyrou's ‘Bad Blood.’ Or — even better — a second volume.”
Joe Brown offers up “Two reminders: 1. Reporters have to agree something is off the record for it to be off the record. 2. Are you sure you want to tweet?” That’s good advice for anyone, but specifically for one Elon Musk. As Ryan Mac tweets, “Elon Musk sent me an email last week. In it, he accused a British cave rescuer of being ‘a child rapist’ who took a ‘12-year-old bride.’ He didn't provide any evidence of those claims. He also called me a ‘fucking asshole.’” He writes about that in his story for BuzzFeed News with Mark Di Stefano and John Paczkowski, In New Email, Elon Musk Accuses Cave Rescuer Of Being A “Child Rapist” And “Hopes” For A Lawsuit. The piece notes, “Though Musk prefaced one email with ‘off the record,’ BuzzFeed News did not agree to that condition of the correspondence.” Whatever’s happening here, “We're going to need a new phrase for what Musk is doing here because ‘doubling down’ doesn't quite capture it,” says Kadhim Shubber. Also, as Liam Hoare points out, “Elon Musk cannot stop libelling people.”
Owen Gibson links to the “Latest take on novichok charges from @VikramDodd here including this line: Sources said the two men were believed to have worked for Russia’s GRU secret service.” That’s Vikram Dodd’s reporting for The Guardian, Novichok poisonings: police name two Russian suspects. More on that from BBC News, Salisbury Novichok poisoning: Russian nationals named as suspects. Tweets Oz Katerji, “Vladimir Putin's men committed an act of chemical warfare on British soil. What are we going to do about it? Like Putin's murder of Litvenenko, Russia won't comply with legal requests. Does the government finally think it is time for increased sanctions?”
No place like home
Finally, some good news, and Josh Campbell sets it up perfectly: “Need a break from the ongoing national saga of people without brains, heart, or courage? Try this awesome FBI story on for size.” Thirteen years after the iconic “Wizard of Oz” ruby slippers were stolen from a Minnesota museum, the F.B.I. has found them, but the search for those responsible continues, reports CNN’s Emanuella Grinberg. “Click your heels together, wait 13 years, and the FBI will find the purloined ruby red slippers, but not in Kansas anymore,” as Michael E. Clark says.