We daresay it’s quite the read

Muck Rack Daily

We daresay it’s quite the read
October 9th, 2018 View in browser
Muck Rack Daily

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Holy moly

Nolan Hicks links to the reason for his “holy moly” tweet today: The latest from Mark Mazzetti, Ronen Bergman, David D. Kirkpatrick and Maggie Haberman at The New York Times, Rick Gates Sought Online Manipulation Plans From Israeli Intelligence Firm for Trump Campaign (36,000+ shares). Through interviews and obtaining copies of the proposals, they’ve learned, “A top Trump campaign official requested proposals in 2016 from an Israeli company to create fake online identities, to use social media manipulation and to gather intelligence to help defeat Republican primary race opponents and Hillary Clinton, according to interviews and copies of the proposals.” Yes, “Journalism is a marvelous thing,” as Eric Ginsburg tweets. And Meakin Armstrong thinks, “The gun is smoking.” Also, as Kaitlan Collins points out, “Trump has told allies in the last two weeks that, while he hated the Kavanaugh drama, it had the perk of getting the Russia investigation out of the press. Now the Times publishes this less than an hour before he’s set to ceremoniously swear him in.”

There’s a cliff ahead

And there’s something else getting in the way of the Kavanaugh celebration, specifically, the fact that the planet is careening towards destruction. Mark Landler and Coral Davenport of The New York Times write, Dire Climate Warning Lands With a Thud on Trump’s Desk, and Trip Gabriel highlights, “‘Not today,’ said Bill Shine, the WH communications director when asked for reaction to the UN climate report predicting a dire future. ‘It’s a Kavanaugh night.’” “Future generations won’t forgive us for this. We’re stuck on the Trump train; there’s a cliff ahead; and Trump is putting his head down and adding more coal to the fire,” is how Brian Klaas puts it.

Stuck in the Twilight Zone

At Media Matters, Matt Gertz writes that the press helped build Donald Trump's lie; now it has to reckon with that. Referring to last week’s bombshell story by David Barstow, Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner of The New York Times, he says, “The painstaking investigation by Times reporters David Barstow, Susanne Craig, and Russ Buettner is not just a skillful demolition of the origin story Trump told. It’s also a rebuke to generations of journalists who bolstered Trump’s tale.” He also points out that Meet the Press, This Week, Face the Nation and Fox News Sunday all completely ignored the story.

Meanwhile, David Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell of The Washington Post have discovered that, after selling off his father’s properties, Trump embraced unorthodox strategies to expand his empire. Tweets Fahrenthold, “NEW: In 2004, @realDonaldTrump lost his financial lifeline -- his father's businesses. But after that, Trump didn't cut back. He expanded, using unorthodox financial tactics: all-cash purchases & big loans from a small office at Deutsche Bank.” You know, “Just another story of corruption that would destroy a President IF...we weren't stuck in The Twilight Zone,” notes Steve Cochran.

More great journalism

Forget “Petrov.” According to the latest from the Bellingcat investigation team, Second Skripal Poisoning Suspect Identified as Dr. Alexander Mishkin. As Bellingcat tweets, “Doctor... who? Together with Russia’s The Insider, we have identified the second Skripals poisoning suspect as Alexander Mishkin, trained medical doctor in the employ of the GRU.” The team has also released its full report on Skripal Poisoning Suspect Dr. Alexander Mishkin, Hero of Russia, tweeting, “The good doctor: Our full report on ‘Alexander Petrov’ is up, and we daresay it’s quite the read.”

Remember Google+? Well, “And now...this: great reporting by @bobmcmillan & @dmac1,” tweets Daniela Hernandez. Douglas MacMillan and Robert McMillan at The Wall Street Journal are reporting that Google Exposed User Data, Feared Repercussions of Disclosing to Public. Rachel Bachman offers “Congratulations to Google+ users who, like me, set up an account years ago and promptly abandoned it. Our neglect has been vindicated.” For Ryan Mac, “The story here isn’t really the potential data breach (which may affected hundreds of thousands) or that Google is shutting down Google+. It’s that Google's execs knowingly avoided disclosing an issue because they knew it’d invite gov scrutiny & bad PR.”

(For the response from Google, read Project Strobe: Protecting your data, improving our third-party APIs, and sunsetting consumer Google+, by Ben Smith, Google’s Vice President of Engineering.)

Elle magazine’s Madison Feller sat down with Jane Mayer of the New Yorker, who talked about how her reporting partnership with Ronan Farrow works and how she’s holding the world’s most powerful men accountable. Put simply, “.@JaneMayerNYer is a fucking boss,” tweets Leah Chernikoff.

And Rebekah Metzler links to “Superb @DanaBashCNN reporting.” That’s Dana Bash’s piece at CNN, Heidi Heitkamp was ready to vote ‘yes’ on Kavanaugh. Then she watched him with the sound off. Poppy Harlow calls it a “Must read from @DanaBashCNN who just sat down w/ @SenatorHeitkamp who told her re Kavanaugh —’When someone shows you who they are, believe them.’” Adds Ryan Struyk, “.⁦@DanaBashCNN⁩ is amazing. Exhibit A. Great read on the pivotal decision for the most vulnerable Democratic Senator in 2018.” 

Now it’s #holyshit

An AP Investigation by Garance Burke and Martha Mendoza found that deported parents can lose custody of kids, and as Paula Froelich says, “JFC - now it’s #holyshit.” Tweets Maria Ines Zamudio, “This @AP investigation is important and troubling. Deported parents may lose kids to adoption. The AP found ‘holes in the system that allow state court judges to grant custody of migrant children to American families-without notifying their parents.’”

The headline says it all in this one. In Migrant Children in Search of Justice: A 2-Year-Old’s Day in Immigration Court (91,000+ shares), Vivian Yee and Miriam Jordan of The New York Times tell the story of a toddler separated from her family and appearing before the bench in a federal immigration courtroom. Brooke Sutherland says simply, “This is heartbreaking.”

Jamal Khashoggi

Erin Cunningham of The Washington Post has the latest on missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, reporting that Turkey demands Saudi Arabia’s “full cooperation” in probe of missing Saudi journalist. Abe Kenmore points out, “You know things are bad when even Erdogan is calling you out for mistreatment of a journalist.” Danny Hakim agrees, tweeting, “The state of journalism: The leader of Turkey, the ‘world’s worst jailer’ of journalists according to @pressfreedom, tells Saudis to prove journalist left Istanbul consulate and was not murdered there.”

Meanwhile, “Where is Jamal? My colleague ⁦@LovedayM⁩ and I spoke to the fiancé of #JamalKhashoggi, who also confirmed this photograph showing the ⁦⁦@washingtonpost⁩ contributor’s last known moments as he entered the #SaudiArabian consulate in #Istanbul.” Souad Mekhennet links to her piece with Loveday Morris of The Washington Post, Jamal Khashoggi's fiancee speaks out about his disappearance in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

And now, on to what Omar Waraich says is “The worst thing you will read today,” a piece about which Dominic Dudley tweets, “Here's a fine example of a journalist who seems to think he's more important than the story he's covering.” In his column for The New York Times, Thomas Friedman writes that he’s Praying for Jamal Khashoggi. Sulome Anderson points out, “No one knows for sure if Khashoggi is dead and Friedman revealed him as an anonymous source who provided quotes critical of the Saudi government with no concern for Khashoggi’s friends and family who could be targeted in retaliation. Unbelievably careless.” And Glenn Kessler finds it “Funny how this article by Tom Friedman on Jamal Khashoggi, exposing him as a source makes no mention of this article from less than a year ago.”

A whole nother level

Say what you will, but the numbers don’t lie. A Flood Of Voters In Tennessee Have Rushed To Register After Taylor Swift's Instagram Post (72,000+ shares), report Claudia Rosenbaum and Michael Blackmon of BuzzFeed News. Doug Bierend suggests, “what if we encouraged a deeper engagement between popular culture and politics instead of pretending they run on separate tracks.”

Speaking of pop culture and politics, Is Ted Cruz “Tough As Texas”? is the new ad directed by Richard Linklater for the Fire Ted Cruz PAC, and you really ought to watch that. As Gillian Brockell says, “The come-and-take-it flag hat really brings this political ad directed by Linklater to a whole nother level.”

"And then there’s Kanye West, who is expected to visit Trump at the White House on Thursday, according to the report by Maggie Haberman at The New York Times. As Meagan Fredette notes, “The timeline is killing us all.”

A very meta Talk of The Town

So here’s what you need, because, as Laura J. Nelson says, “This story about Daniel Radcliffe moonlighting in the @NewYorker fact-checking department is very soothing.” About his New Yorker piece, Daniel Radcliffe and the Art of the Fact-Check, Michael Schulman explains, “Daniel Radcliffe, who’s playing a fact checker on Broadway, came to the New Yorker offices two weeks ago to embed in the fact-checking department. A very meta Talk of the Town.” Davey Alba offers an “ALT HED: Daniel Radcliffe and the Defense of the Dark Arts.” Tweets Rebecca Greenfield, “Well, this rules. ‘I just fact-checked a fucking article!’ -- Daniel Radcliffe, aka Harry Potter.” In case you’re not yet convinced, Sarah Kaplan gives us the all-caps version: “DANIEL RADCLIFFE MOONLIGHTED (moonlit?) AS A FACT CHECKER FOR @NewYorker AND THE ENTIRE AFFAIR WAS JUST AS DELIGHTFUL AS YOU WANT IT TO BE.” As Emily E. Smith says, “I just want to read this story forever.”

Tuesday round-up


Question of the Day

Yesterday we asked: What author had a writing room in the Bel Air mansion of Johnny Carson’s ex-wife, Joanne?

Answer: That was Truman Capote. A little extra bit of trivia: After Capote died, Joanne was given a portion of his ashes, which had their own wild time before ultimately selling for $43,750 at auction.

Congrats to…Craig Pittman, first to tweet the correct answer, and a special shout-out to Alexandra Svokos for being right in sync with us, tweeting, “oh, it's Capote, right? (also weird you ask this, because last night I watched Capote).”

Your question of the day for today is…Mindy Kaling, John Krasinski and Ellie Kemper all famously worked as interns on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” Although it was in a different field, Conan himself started out as an intern, too, working for whom?

As always, click here to tweet your answer to @MuckRack.


Featured Journalist: Rick Stella

Today’s featured journalist is Rick Stella, a digital journalist with over five years of writing and editing experience in the outdoors, travel, sports & fitness, technology, health, smart home and emerging tech industries. He also has an extensive background in producing, hosting and editing live and post-produced video segments. Rick has worked for Digital Trends and The Manual, and recently, you may have seen some of his work in Trucks.comGear Junkie, Business Insider and elsewhere. Find out more by checking out his Muck Rack profile here.

Don’t forget - if you change your job in journalism or move to a different news organization, be sure to email us (hello [at] muckrack [dot] com) so we can reflect your new title. News job changes only, please! Thanks!

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