Brilliant. In the saddest and most tragic way possible

Muck Rack Daily

Brilliant. In the saddest and most tragic way possible
November 13th, 2018 View in browser
Muck Rack Daily

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Rest In Peace, Excelsior

Yesterday, we said goodbye to a real-life superhero, as Mike Barnes of The Hollywood Reporter put it. In his obituary for Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee, who died at 95 (126,000+ shares), Barnes writes, “The feisty writer, editor and publisher was responsible for such iconic characters as Spider-Man, the X-Men, Thor, Iron Man, Black Panther and the Fantastic Four — ’nuff said.” But more than just that, “Thank you for teaching us to accept our fragility and to seek courage from within,” says Yvonne Tsui. “Rest In Peace, Excelsior,” adds Michele Villery.

Jonathan Kandell and Andy Webster have the New York Times obituary, Stan Lee, Superhero of Marvel Comics, Dies at 95 (172,000+ shares), and Erika Harlitz-Kern offers a “Thank you for everything you did for mankind. RIP, Stan Lee.” Tweets Marshall Honorof, “Stan the Man. What a pleasure it was to grow up reading his works, and what an honor it was to see him speak in person. The world of comic books will never be quite the same again.” And Gregory Schmidt shares, “I had the pleasure of interviewing Stan Lee twice. He was genial, warm and funny. His influence will be felt for generations.”

Echoing that point, Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, noted, “The scale of his imagination was only exceeded by the size of his heart." For more stories and memories, be sure to head over to Marvel, where Marvel and Disney Remember Stan Lee (38,000+ shares). As Lee said, “[E]ntertainment is one of the most important things in people’s lives. Without it, they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you’re able to entertain, you’re doing a good thing.”

Sinema wins

The big news out of Arizona: Kyrsten Sinema Declared Winner in Arizona Senate Race (220,000+ shares). Simon Romero of The New York Times reports on that race for Jeff Flake’s seat, noting that Sinema’s victory marks the first time a Democrat has taken an open Senate seat in Arizona since 1976. It’s also now the first time since the 1960s that the Democrats have had a majority in the state’s Congressional delegation. Brent Staples thinks it means “Trump’s contempt for the GOP war hero McCain comes home to roost.”

Perhaps it is you

According to the scoop by Nick Miroff, Josh Dawsey and Philip Rucker of The Washington Post, Trump is preparing to remove Kirstjen Nielsen as Homeland Security secretary, aides say. Rucker highlights the fact that “Kelly is fighting Nielsen’s pending dismissal and attempting to postpone it, but Kelly’s future in the administration also is shaky, White House officials tell WaPo.” Patricia Sauthoff has a thought: “If you have to fire everyone you’ve hired, perhaps it is you who suck at your job.” Aman Batheja highlights another revelation in that story: “Trump planned and then canceled a trip this week to visit U.S. troops at the border in South Texas.” Garrett Graff offers “An important warning for those serving Trump: Nielsen torpedeod her reputation inside DC, defending the undefendable family separations, and it still wasn't enough for him. Be wary of selling your moral compass. It still won't be enough.”

As for other administration jobs, Charlie Savage of The New York Times reports that Whitaker’s Appointment as Acting Attorney General is Facing a Court Challenge, as the “State of Maryland is expected to ask a federal judge on Tuesday for an injunction declaring that Mr. Whitaker is not the legitimate acting attorney general as a matter of law, and that the position — and all its powers — instead rightfully belongs to the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein.” “Not sure I understand how this case presents the question in a justiciable way. But we'll see the complaint tomorrow,” says Orin Kerr.

Everyone should read this

David Roth asks the press, “We have a good time with the constant obvious lies and the fact that we somehow still have to talk about them, don't we folks?” His latest for Deadspin points out, This Is All Donald Trump Has Left. From that piece, Jeremy Barr refers to “David Roth on White House pool sprays.” Tweets Brandy Jensen, “David remains a great chronicler of our deeply shitty age.” Basically, “This is a goddamn symphony,” adds Jason Bailey. “Everyone should read this. Great, scathing writing that doesn’t hold back…” notes Michael Burgess, and as Christian McCrea says, “You’ll look back and read this lots of times over the coming years, so you may as well read it today.”

Meanwhile, “You remember @michaelgove saying we Brits paid too much attention to experts? So @theresa_may’s government has hired idiots,” tweets Alan Burkitt-Gray. The Irish Times tweets, “This article is (by some distance) the most read item on @irishtimes this morning.” That’s Fintan O’Toole’s new piece, in which he writes, Historians will not believe the sheer ignorance of Brexit supporters. And that’s just the beginning. If you want it put another way, O’Toole offers, “And then there’s pig ignorance – the genuine hallmarked, unadulterated, slack-jawed, open-mouthed, village idiot variety.” Tweets Andrew Downie, “This from @fotoole on Brexit is just brilliant. In the saddest and most tragic way possible.”

A step closer

Julian Barnes tweets, “Member of Saudi hit team said on phone call to [tell your boss] that the mission was accomplished after Khashoggi death. Not a smoking gun, but a step closer to linking killing to Saudi crown prince.” He links to his New York Times story with Eric Schmitt and David D. Kirkpatrick, ‘Tell Your Boss’: Recording Is Seen to Link Saudi Crown Prince More Strongly to Khashoggi Killing.

But John Bolton says audio recording of Khashoggi killing does not implicate Saudi crown prince, as Shibani Mahtani and Louisa Loveluck report for The Washington Post. Borzou Daragahi points to a “Buried lede here somewhat: A US official is publicly admitting for first time that the tapes exist and that US officials have listened to them. Everything else, including his interpretation, is just an attempt by this official to shift attention to Iran.”

Prime locations

Here’s something you already know, but now it’s official: Amazon Chooses New York City and Northern Virginia for Additional Headquarters. Laura Stevens and Keiko Morris have the details in their Wall Street Journal scoop about the yearlong contest for the rose, which turned out to be two roses. Or three? What you might not know: According to the report by David Shepardson of Reuters, Amazon is also announcing a major investment in Nashville as its new East Coast hub of operations (Nashville-based editor’s note: “East Coast?” Really?). A source tells Shepardson Amazon will add 5,000 new corporate jobs in Nashville.

The crime of doing his job while black

Yet another one: Emily Sullivan of NPR reports on the fatal shooting of a uniformed security guard in Chicago by police, Police Fatally Shoot Black Security Guard Who Detained Suspected Shooter (95,000+ shares) Ana Marie Cox summarizes: “Jemel Roberson: 26-y.o. father to a 9mo old son, former college basketball player, church musician, security guard and licensed gun owner who dreamed of becoming a cop someday. Shot by police for the crime of doing his job while black.”

Alex Horton and Wesley Lowery cover the story at The Washington Post, Jemel Roberson: Midlothian, Illinois police kill armed security guard after responding to call, and Horton notes, “The solution to curtail shootings, some say, is simple: Put guns in the hands of good guys. Jemel Roberson, an armed security guard, was a good guy. Responding officers killed him.”


And then there’s this tragic news from Cleveland. The Plain Dealer tweets, “We are devastated to learn that a woman killed in Wood County has been identified as @clevelanddotcom reporter Nikki Delamotte. The Plain Dealer is united in grief with our sister newsroom at @clevelanddotcom, and with all of Delamotte’s loved ones.” Evan MacDonald has the details about 30-year-old culture reporter Nikki Delamotte, who was found shot to death in Wood County. Michael McIntyre says, “.@nikkidelamotte was all of those things that her friends and admirers have been saying on Twitter and in this great, heartbreaking piece by @evanmac3. Aside from talented and energetic, prolific and empathetic, she was just good people. Such a loss.” Adds Jackie Borchardt, “Heartbreaking. What a loss for Cleveland and everyone who knew @nikkidelamotte.”

A question we should no longer be asking

“So, Victim or Vixen? Maybe, in 2018, it’s a question we should no longer be asking. Today's must-read by @MonicaLewinsky, who is a stellar writer and so thoughtful.” Sarah Rappaport links to “Who Gets to Live in Victimville?”: Why I Participated in a New Docuseries on The Clinton Affair, Monica Lewinsky’s new piece for Vanity Fair. Aoife Moore thinks, “This is a really insightful piece from @MonicaLewinsky 20 years on, real self-reflection despite decades of abuse, I don't think I could be this gracious.” Marina Fang highlights a few quotes on Twitter before adding, “Her full essay is so worth your time, with so many important points about power and the ways men have controlled our public narratives.”

More Tuesday reads

A new exclusive from Nicholas Confessore, Michael LaForgia and Gabriel Dance at The New York Times finds, Facebook Failed to Police How Its Partners Handled User Data. Confessore explains, “Our story provides some of the very few known inside details of what the FTC-ordered privacy assessment actually assessed. There have been 3 since Facebook accepted a 2011 consent decree. The public versions of these assessments are heavily redacted.”

Paradise has burned to the ground, and officials now try to pick up the pieces, writes Scott Wilson of The Washington Post, who says, “Covered a lot of wildfires over the decades and especially in the past year. Never seen anything like what’s happened to Paradise, utterly destroyed and especially cruelly given its demographics. Me today from Paradise.”

Allison Davis shares, “For my first @GQMagazine cover, I went to ATL and had a chat with MBJ and managed to speak coherently and not drool on myself and THEN managed to write something that wasn't just thousands of words about his dimples and arms. A professional milestone.” In that GQ profile, with photos by Awol Erizku, she writes, Michael B. Jordan Will Be King. As Kristen Bellstrom tweets, “Fetch the smelling salts!”


Question of the Day

Yesterday we asked: Songwriter L. Russell Brown says he was inspired to write the hit song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” after reading a story in Reader’s Digest about a soldier coming home from what war?

Answer: According to Brown, he read an article in Reader’s Digest about a soldier coming home from Andersonville Prison in the Civil War.

Congrats to…Heather Murtagh Vega, first to tweet the correct answer. As Craig Pittman points out, there’s a lot of controversy about where the story came from and even what it was about. He tweets, “Although the songwriter recalls it being about a Civil War guy coming home from Andersonville, that's not what Hamill wrote. I know this b/c it involves #Florida,” referring to Pete Hamill’s piece, which Hammill calls “a classic bit of folklore.”

Your question of the day for today is…Who was the first First Lady to hold an official press conference?

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


Featured Journalist: Brittney Williams

Today’s featured journalist is Brittney Williams, a music, editorial and fine arts photographer and freelance writer based in Los Angeles. Brittney loves writing poetry and writing about music, but when she’s not doing those things, you’ll find her at a concert, listening to music and even making electronic music. Her first job as a journalist was photographing a MusiCares Red Carpet event for Smokey Robinson. Head over to Muck Rack to find out more tidbits like that, and to see some of her work.

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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