A really obscure meme from a specific ecosystem

Muck Rack Daily

A really obscure meme from a specific ecosystem
October 25th, 2018 View in browser
Muck Rack Daily

What stories are journalists sharing and tweeting about the most? We wanted to give Muck Rack Daily subscribers a sneak peek of our new monthly round-up, which is launching officially next month.

Just as scientists use peer review, we think it matters which articles other journalists are linking to. Following the end of every month, we will report on which publications are getting the most social shares specifically from journalists who are verified on Muck Rack. We’ll also share which articles at those publications are getting the most shares from other journalists.

To request an exclusive copy of the round-up or to get future stats in advance, please reach out to emma@muckrack.com.

Here’s the preview of September’s numbers, along with total journalist shares:

  1. The Washington Post: 194,562

  1. The New York Times: 85,127

  2. The Wall Street Journal: 76,290

  1. The Guardian: 32,093

  1. Associated Press: 30,187

  1. The New Yorker:  26,468

  1. Los Angeles Times: 24,754

  1. Financial Times: 23,750

  1. Reuters: 23,190

  2. CNN: 21,455


Top publications and articles according to journalists

Here’s a sneak peak of some more of the kind of data we’ll be gathering in our new monthly round-up feature. These are the articles that got the most social shares in September from journalists:

Top journalist-shared Washington Post articles:

  1. Bob Woodward’s new book reveals a ‘nervous breakdown’ of Trump’s presidency (2,184 shares)

  2. California professor, writer of confidential Brett Kavanaugh letter, speaks out about her allegation of sexual assault (1,912 shares)

  3. At U.S. Open, power of Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka is overshadowed by an umpire’s power play (1,106 shares)

Top journalist-shared New York Times articles:

  1. Opinion | I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration (3,880 shares)

  2. Kavanaugh’s Yearbook Page Is ‘Horrible, Hurtful’ to a Woman It Named (1,041 shares)

  3. Rod Rosenstein Suggested Secretly Recording Trump and Discussed 25th Amendment (937 shares)

Top journalist-shared Wall Street Journal articles:

  1. Time Magazine Sold to Salesforce Founder Marc Benioff for $190 Million (377 shares)

  2. Blood-Testing Firm Theranos to Dissolve (335 shares)

  3. Latin America Is the Murder Capital of the World (304 shares)

The latest on the bomb search

New this morning, Adam Edelman and Jonathan Dienst of NBC News are reporting that two packages sent to Joe Biden and one to Robert De Niro match other mailed pipe bombs. As they note, the former vice president and the actor join a list of other Trump critics who have been targets of the bombs.

William K. Rashbaum and Alan Feuer are following the story at The New York Times, Bombs Sent to Biden and Robert De Niro, Latest in Wave of Explosives Sent to Trump Critics (53,000+ shares), and Jesse McKinley highlights, “Eye-opening detail in latest on bomb search: ‘The @USPS records images of mail that comes into its system. Officials searched those images overnight and found several other suspicious packages.’” 

Ben Collins of NBC News reports that the explosive device sent to CNN featured a parody ISIS flag with a “Get ‘Er Done” inscription (14,000+ shares), explaining, “The ‘Get ‘Er Done’ flag was originally created in 2014 by the right-wing parody site World News Bureau, for an article titled ‘ISIS Vows Retribution For Counterfeit Flags.’ It has since been shared as a meme on right-wing websites and forums.” On Twitter, he adds, “Here’s an important thing to note about the meme on this device. It is not a well-traveled work of Photoshop. It’s from an early-2010s era Tea Party-style, old-school HTML blogroll parody news site. It’s a really obscure meme from a specific ecosystem.”

You can read the Statement on the FBI’s Investigation of Suspicious Packages here, about which Marcy Wheeler says, “As others have noted, this is a remarkably detailed statement from @FBI. I commend them for doing it, as it likely will pre-empt a lot of really inaccurate reporting and hoaxes.”

We should listen

George Soros’s son, Alexander Soros, has written an op-ed for The New York Times about The Hate That Is Consuming Us (78,000+ shares). He tweets, “I am truly grateful for the support of all who have reached out to inquire about the safety of my family after the attempted bomb attack. Here’s my op-ed in the @NYtimes about the incident and what is happening to politics in America today.” As Hal Bernton says, “The son of George Soros speaks out - and we should listen.”

Tone deaf

Meanwhile in Wisconsin, Trump blames his political opponents and the news media for the turbulent national media environment — while taking no responsibility himself, reports CNN’s Eric Bradner. “Quite the lede to this CNN story on Trump's comments tonight,” says Oliver Darcy. Tweets Jon Williams, “Tone deaf: on day pipe-bomb sent to #CNN, #Trump says media need to set ‘civil tone’”. By demonising media as ‘enemy of people’, he creates the tone. #PressFreedom.”

Phone a friend

Another story that’s getting a lot of attention today, or as Joseph Cox puts it, “In news that will surprise absolutely no one but still make your face explode with frustration”: When Trump Phones Friends, the Chinese and the Russians Listen and Learn (388,000+ shares). That’s the revelation in the new piece by Matthew Rosenberg and Maggie Haberman at The New York Times, and Meghann Farnsworth has one complaint: “Come on @nytimes. This is a TERRIBLE headline for how explosive this story is.”

China and Russia, yes, but mostly China. As Rosenberg and Haberman write, “Russia is not believed to be running as sophisticated an influence effort as China because of Mr. Trump’s apparent affinity for President Vladimir V. Putin, a former official said.” In other words, no need to eavesdrop. Also, Matthew Yglesias highlights: “Two amazing paragraphs: a) The President uses channels surveilled by foreign governments because he wants to hide calls from his senior staff. b) Staffers say it’s okay because he’s too uninformed to accidentally spill state secrets.” But really, “Thank God we didn’t elect someone who didn’t secure her emails,” as James Downie reminds us. You know, “Something someone, insecure mail server, national security, lock her up? Hrmmm!” tweets William Knowles.

Meanwhile, “That woman Trump said got him to take action on Syria after she approached him at an Ohio rally? She actually spoke to him at a $100,000-per-person Indiana fundraiser her lobbyist suggested she attend. She had also tried running ads on Fox and Friends.” Daniel Dale links to Josh Rogin’s Washington Post column discussing how $100,000 of pay-for-play access changed U.S. Syria policy. Rogin, who says he agrees with Syrian American activist Rim Al-Bezem on the policy, writes, “The risk is that the entire national security bureaucracy and policy process can be held hostage to the passing small talk that the commander in chief has with anyone rich enough to buy a few minutes of his time.”

OK, it was planned

John Hudson, Souad Mekhennet and Shane Harris of The Washington Post are reporting that CIA Director Gina Haspel listened to the audio of Khashoggi’s alleged murder, “upping the pressure on the Trump administration to hold Saudi accountable,” tweets Hudson.

On Twitter, Khashoggi’s Washington Post editor Karen Attiah links to Demand The Truth, explaining, “NEW: Beginning today, @washingtonpost will run a fresh new set of digital and print ads demanding answers about #JamalKhashoggi’s brutal murder. Pictured front and center: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. View the ad here.”

And now, Attiah says, “The pressure is working.” As Jackson Diehl tweets, “Thanks to the audio tape, and the fact the Turks shared it with the CIA director...” Saudi Arabia, in latest reversal, says Khashoggi’s killing was premeditated. Tamer El-Ghobashy of The Post reports on this new official position from Saudi Arabia, while Carl Zimmer gives us a quick recap: “Khashoggi left our consulate alive! No, someone killed him by accident! Um...ok, it was planned.” Andrew North sees “Echoes of Pakistan’s response to OBL in the Saudi monarchy’s latest contortion. When the only way to avoid admitting complicity is incompetence.”

Who could have seen that coming

The scoop from Rebecca Sun of The Hollywood Reporter is that Megyn Kelly has been dropped by CAA, in what Matthew Beloni calls a “Wild agency story. Megyn Kelly parts ways with CAA, then UTA agrees to represent her, then UTA backs out amid all the controversy.” Tweets Aram Zucker-Scharff, “what an amazing surprise no one could have predicted based on past evidence.” Now, Brian Stelter of CNN is reporting that “Megyn Kelly Today” is not over yet. But it’s a matter of when, not if.

Meanwhile, New York Times TV reporter John Koblin notes, “Even before the ‘blackface’ controversy, Megyn Kelly and NBC News chairman Andy Lack had discussed a possible winding down of her morning show. The last two days have likely not helped. The latest, with @grynbaum.” That’s his piece with Michael M. Grynbaum, Megyn Kelly Faces Rift With NBC After ‘Blackface’ Remarks. Aleksander Chan is shocked: “wow, i can't believe andy lack's transparently cynical hiring of megyn kelly is backfiring, who could have seen that coming.” Also, “I start thinking about how many foreign bureaus you could open with $17 million/yr and then I get really depressed,” says Nolan Hicks.

Just the kind of nutjob

There’s a lot going on, “but don't lose sight of this @NBCNews story,” says Mark Murray. New, from Anna Schecter and Ken Dilanian of NBC News, Mueller has evidence suggesting Stone associate Jerome Corsi knew Clinton emails would be leaked. Dilanian elaborates on Twitter: “Did the founder of the Birther movement know in advance about the Wikileaks October surprise? Did Roger Stone? Did the Trump campaign? Did they know it was the work of the Russians? That seems to be a big Mueller focus.” Laurence Tribe says, “Jerome Corsi is just the kind of far-right nutjob who’d have worked with Roger Stone to help Putin attack our democracy. I knew him in college debate and found him sinister even then.”

Wow wow wow

And here’s more big news. Or as Bill McKibben tweets, “Wow wow wow. Big oil may actually face some consequences. This is huge news.” The scoop from John Schwartz of The New York Times, New York Sues Exxon Mobil, Saying It Deceived Shareholders on Climate Change. Tweets Susanne Rust, “As a result of dogged work from @latimeskraft, @MarcDuvoisin, @katiedjennings, @sarajerving, @amylieberman, @masako, @dino_grandoni, @mjphillis, @asafshaloo, @elahfeder, @latimes.”

However, “Surprising no one, the Trump administration is telling the Supreme Court that it should be totally legal to fire people just for being trans.” Zack Ford links to Chris Opfer’s coverage at Bloomberg Law, DOJ: Businesses Can Discriminate Against Transgender Workers. All Ron Silliman can say is, “Seriously.”

What a ride

“So it turns out we can’t go to Disney World anymore either,” tweets Michelle Hackman. Like Michelle and Arwa Mahdawi, “TIL people love scattering their family ashes in Disney World. particularly the Haunted Mansion.” We learned that from Erich Schwartzel’s new story for The Wall Street Journal, which reveals Disney World’s Big Secret: It’s a Favorite Spot to Scatter Family Ashes. About the “ash residue” that’s sometimes discovered on a ride, Lindsay Ellis highlights, “There have been false alarms. ‘One time it was funnel-cake powder,’ one former employee said.” But just be forewarned when there’s a “HEPA cleanup” or a ride is shut down for “technical difficulties.” Honestly, this is a weird story that you really don’t want to think about for very long. As Gillian Rich notes, “So @Disney isn't just the happiest place on earth but also a giant graveyard.” And more to the point, as Michael O'Loughlin says, “I can think of no fate more terrible than spending eternity at Disney World.” 

Ethiopia’s first

If that Disney World story didn’t do it for you, we’ll close out today with another big story — and what Jenan Moussa thinks is “The best thing that you will read today.” As BBC News reports, Sahle-Work Zewde has just become Ethiopia’s first female president (388,000+ shares). The experienced diplomat is now Africa’s only female head of state, and, the story notes, “Her election to the ceremonial position comes a week after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed appointed a cabinet with half the posts taken up by women.”


Question of the Day

Yesterday we asked: Who was the subject of Virginia Woolf’s biography “Flush”?

Answer: That was Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s cocker spaniel.

Congrats to…Michelle Nijhuis, first to tweet the correct answer.

Your question of the day for today is…Who convinced Queen to release “Another One Bites the Dust” as a single?

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


Featured Journalist: Ariana DiValentino

Today’s featured journalist is Ariana DiValentino, a writer, filmmaker, “social media fiend” and content creator based in New York. She covers food (especially vegan), beer, fashion, beauty, animal rights, pop culture, TV, movies, history, literature and health and wellness. What doesn’t she cover? Well, she points out that she hasn’t eaten a cheeseburger in years, so she’s probably not the best person to write about them. Ariana’s work has appeared in Gizmodo, Teen Vogue, Greatist and elsewhere, and she says she’s always looking for new challenges and more work. Find out more and check out her portfolio 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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