As good as people are saying it is
Before we get into the rest of it, here’s a must read for your Thursday. As Drew McWeeny says, “Goddamn, man. She brought a nuke to a knifefight,” and she sure as hell did. The “she” in question is “Designing Women” creator Linda Bloodworth Thomason, who has written an op-ed for The Hollywood Reporter in which she reveals her experiences with Les Moonves and reminds us that Not All Harassment Is Sexual. Brett White tweets, “Holy shit this is the thing you need to read,” and Todd VanDerWerff says, “This piece by Designing Women creator Linda Bloodworth Thomason is as good as people are saying it is. A blistering portrayal of careers ruined on the shoals of toxic male egos.” The Charles Manson comparison is particularly chilling, but nothing beats the kicker. As Frank Rizzo notes, “Good writing is the best revenge.” But also, “The way female talent gets wasted. Hot damn, Linda Bloodworth Thomason. Please come back to TV and write your heart out,” tweets Rebecca Keegan.
As bad as people are saying it is
With Hurricane Florence closing in, the devastation and continuing fallout from last September’s Hurricane Maria are even more in focus. But this morning on Twitter, Trump falsely claimed nearly 3,000 Americans in Puerto Rico ‘did not die,’ as Betsy Klein reports at CNN. Brian Ries responds, “Nearly 3,000 people died in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. That's a fact. President Donald Trump just denied this reality -- and blamed Democrats for making it up ‘to make me look bad’ as another big hurricane barrels toward the Carolinas.”
Not only that, Mark Berman points out, “Trump's decision to argue with *the official death toll* and insist it was rigged to make him look bad comes a day after a poll showed that Puerto Ricans think he did a poor job responding to Hurricane Maria.” The first piece in the series on that poll, which The Washington Post conducted with the Kaiser Family Foundation, reveals that Puerto Ricans say all levels of government failed them after devastating storm. The Post team of Scott Clement, Katie Zezima, Emily Guskin, Whitney Leaming and Jorge Ribas have the details from this survey of 1,500 Puerto Ricans who lived in the U.S. territory when Hurricane Maria hit. Tweets Ribas, “I was in PR two weeks ago. We spoke to a woman whose mother, 70, had diabetes. Her apartment had no power. She couldn’t keep her insulin cold, couldn’t get care she needed. She died in Dec - just months after the storm hit. Thousands of similar cases.”
Now’s probably a good time to check in with The Washington Post’s very busy fact-checking team, Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly. The latest tally: President Trump has made more than 5,000 false or misleading claims.
A new report by Caitlin Dickerson of The New York Times finds that Detention of Migrant Children Has Skyrocketed to Highest Levels Ever (240,000+ shares). According to data obtained by The Times, the U.S. is holding a record 12,800 migrant children in shelters, a more than fivefold increase from May of 2017. Tweets Liz Robbins, “Crisis extended: 5X more children in immigration detention than in 2017. @itscaitlinhd breaks it down. One reason: longer vetting times for sponsors, at least those who aren’t afraid to come forward.”
The #trumprussia shell game
Follow the money, right? Well, Anthony Cormier and Jason Leopold of BuzzFeed News are staying on the money trail, and the latest focus is on a series of suspicious money transfers that followed the Trump Tower meeting (23,000+ shares). “Following the rubles is hard to do in the #trumprussia shell game. Nice work here though,” says Nina Burleigh. “Hell of a story here,” adds Josh Meyer.
Meanwhile, CNBC’s John Melloy reports that J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon says he could beat Trump in an election. Specifically, he said, “I’m as tough as he is, I’m smarter than he is...And by the way this wealthy New Yorker actually earned his money. It wasn’t a gift from Daddy.” Hoo boy! “Straight talk express 2.0,” as Antoine Gara tweets. Adds Kate Kelly, “Whoa, Jamie! This is the business story of the day.”
Because OF COURSE
Tough day at work? Well, “If you think you're having a bad day, it's still probably better than the FEMA Administrator Brock Long, who is dealing with an impending Hurricane AND an investigation.” Laura Davison links to the scoop by POLITICO’s Daniel Lippman and Eliana Johnson, Trump’s FEMA administrator under investigation over use of official cars. Ben Pershing says, “This kind of reminds me of Pruitt — another DC-based official who wanted to spend as much time as possible back home and allegedly used government resources to do it.”
And since you brought it up…What’s Pruitt up to these days? Lisa Friedman, Hiroko Tabuchi and Eric Lipton of The New York Times have learned that Scott Pruitt, Former E.P.A. Chief, in Talks for Next Job: Coal Consultant, “because OF COURSE,” as Paula Froelich tweets. “Swamp dweller returns to old haunt, which is now much more swampy than before,” is how Randeep Ramesh puts it.
So let’s get back to Moonves for a moment. In an exclusive for The New York Times, James B. Stewart interviewed directors and other people familiar with the CBS board’s deliberations and explains Why CBS’s Board Turned Against Leslie Moonves. And, well, “Holy wow,” as Chris Krewson says. Marian Wang points to “Quite a detail in that @JamesStewartNYT piece: The reason there are *two* law firm investigations into Moonves is bc factions on the CBS board didn't trust each others' independent investigations.” Edmund Lee highlights, “Stunning story from @JamesStewartNYT: -Les Moonves tried to quiet one of his accusers with a job offer -most of the board backed Moonves after the first New Yorker piece hit -they were only outraged after they found out about the accuser -and more.” There’s a lot of holy wow in the piece — Arnold Kopelson said, “I don’t care if 30 more women come forward and allege this kind of stuff. Les is our leader and it wouldn’t change my opinion of him.” — but the bottom line, as Lainna Fader tweets, is “These men should be ashamed of themselves.”
Meanwhile, Roya Rafei recommends, “Watch this report by @Jerickaduncan - it’s an awkward position for her to be in.” That’s Fired “60 Minutes” boss Jeff Fager warned CBS News reporter: “There are people who’ve lost their jobs trying to harm me.” Fager sent a text message to CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan with a warning over the network’s coverage of the sexual harassment accusations against him. Tweets Mark W. Smith, “The video of this news report is remarkable. Great work, @Jerickaduncan.”
Around the world
There are reports of another suspected poisoning in Russia. Alec Luhn tweets, “.@pussyrrriot member Pyotr Verzilov, who rushed the field during the World Cup final to protest police brutality, has been hospitalised in critical condition in the toxicology department of a Moscow hospital. His relatives reportedly suspect poisoning.” You can find the full story in English at Meduza: ‘First it was his vision, then his speech, and then his legs’: Pussy Riot member Pyotr Verzilov is hospitalized in critical condition and friends fear he was poisoned.
Meanwhile, the UK’s suspects in the Skripal poisoning case, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, told RT’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan, ‘We’re not agents’ (VIDEO). In response, British officials say Russian TV interview with men about Skripal poisoning is risible. That’s from Andrew Roth and Vikram Dodd at The Guardian. Shaun Walker links to the piece, tweeting, “Here’s @Andrew__Roth’s write-up of what would be a hilarious piece of amateur theatre if it weren't for the subject,” while Edward Robinson calls it “An outtake from Monty Python’s heyday…”
Jon Stone of The Independent reports that Tories were only governing conservative party in western Europe to support Hungarian far-right in EU vote, and Ellie Mae O'Hagan thinks, “The disproportionately small amount of media coverage on this is unbelievably hypocritical and those responsible have lost all credibility and moral authority to talk about racism.”
And in what Rupert Myers calls “an embarrassing misjudgement as a recipient of the @NobelPrize,” Aung San Suu Kyi defends verdict against Reuters journalists, BBC News reports. Duncan Crawford goes further, saying it’s “Disgraceful. Journalists kept Aung San Suu Kyi in the headlines when she was a political prisoner. Now she leaves Reuters journos to rot in jail. The Nobel Committee has already said it won't withdraw Suu Kyi's Peace Prize. It should be pressured to do so.”
Intra-campaign drama in New York
As voters in New York head to the polls, Jesse McKinley of The New York Times got the scoop that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s former top lieutenant approved an inflammatory flier that suggested Cynthia Nixon was anti-Semitic. Tweets Jon Campbell, “Let there be no doubt that the anti-Semitism mailer has caused some serious intra-campaign drama for the Cuomo folks.” Nolan Hicks, Carl Campanile and Anna Sanders of the New York Post have more on that story in their piece, Mailer linking Cynthia Nixon to anti-Semitism was drafted by top Cuomo aides.
A few more
Yesterday, we told you about David French’s piece in the National Review about the Botham Shem Jean shooting. Today, he explains Why I Changed the Way I Write about Police Shootings, tweeting, “After my piece yesterday condemning the Botham Shem Jean shooting, a number of thoughtful folks, including @cjane87 @jbouie and @WesleyLowery asked how my critiques of police shootings impact my views of the broader Black Lives Matter argument. My response.” Joel Mathis’s response to that? “I disagree with @DavidAFrench on so much, but this is why I keep reading him.”
In his new piece, A newspaper diminished by cutbacks prepares to cover another monster storm, Paul Farhi of The Washington Post writes about how the Raleigh News & Observer will cover Hurricane Florence and its aftermath. The paper had around 250 journalists on staff to cover Hurricane Floyd in 1999. Today, it has 65. Paula Seligson tweets, “Much respect to my former colleagues who do the same/more with less every year.”
TIME’s new cover story by Katie Reilly reveals What It’s Like to Be a Teacher in America: ‘I Work 3 Jobs And Donate Blood Plasma to Pay the Bills.’ “This is so powerful and so wrong,” says AnneClaire Stapleton.
And finally today, Helen Rosner asks, “Have I told you lately how much I love @andrewzimmern?” The lucky Kim Severson of The New York Times got to spend some time with the man who “might be one of the last acceptable old white guys in food media.” Go behind the story of Andrew Zimmern’s Nonstop Road (and Food) Show with her tasty profile of Zimmern, which touches on his career and his colorful past. “You are, indeed, a good man, @andrewzimmern. Thank you for being an inspiration to us all,” tweets Keith Pandolfi.