File this in baffling things really rich people do

Muck Rack Daily

File this in baffling things really rich people do
November 19th, 2018 View in browser
Muck Rack Daily

Rising Technologies to Fight Fake News: Tips & Tools for PR Pros: On Wednesday, December 5th, Muck Rack’s CEO Greg Galant and veteran journalist and Co-CEO of NewsGuard Steven Brill will be hosting a webinar on the rise of fact-checking technologies to fight fake news. Join to learn actionable tips to help your communications team navigate and combat fake news.


Here we go again

New this morning, Mike Allen of Axios reports that Trump targets Acosta ouster - again. He notes, “This is a high-risk confrontation for both sides. Press access to the White House is grounded in tradition, not law. So a court fight could result in a precedent that curtails freedom to cover the world’s most powerful official from the literal front row.” CNN Communications has a different take, tweeting, “The @WhiteHouse is continuing to violate the First and Fifth amendments of the Constitution. These actions threaten all journalists and news organizations. @Acosta and CNN will continue to report the news about the White House and @realDonaldTrump.”

From CNN’s Brian Stelter, “The White House has issued a new warning to CNN's Jim @Acosta, saying his press pass could be revoked again at the end of the month. In response, @CNN is asking the U.S. District Court to hold another hearing next week. Here's my full story…”  Read that piece, CNN asks for emergency hearing after Trump threatens to revoke Acosta's press pass again. And “Here we go again,” tweets Lisa Fung.

Say goodbye to parachute journalism

Here’s “A smart project from @scbaird that should help make news better,” tweets Brett Anderson. Matthew Sedacca of The New York Times writes about Sarah Baird, a journalist from Richmond, Ky, who has partnered with developer Cameron Decker to create a tool to promote better local reporting. The aim of Shoeleather is to connect journalists outside media hubs like New York City, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco with editors across the country for the purpose of reporting on their home regions. As they put it, “Say Goodbye to Parachute Journalism.” Dan Rather points out, “The bedrock of the best traditions of American journalism is on-the-ground reporting by professionals who know and live the story. We need more local reporting, boy do we ever, and this strikes me as a wonderful idea. @itsshoeleather.”

Here is the story of how Paradise burned

Matt Pearce links to the reporting by the team of Paige St. John, Anna Phillips, Joseph Serna, Sonali Kohli and Laura Newberry at the Los Angeles Times, California fire: What started as a tiny brush fire became the state’s deadliest wildfire. Here’s how (34,000+ shares). “This hour-by-hour accounting of what is now the deadliest wildfire in California’s recorded history is unforgettable. Hats off to my @latimes colleagues, who have been working nonstop,” tweets Sewell Chan.

For more on the California fire, a New York Times interactive by Sarah Almukhtar, Troy Griggs, Kirk Johnson and Anjali Singhvi illustrates ‘Hell on Earth’: The First 12 Hours of California’s Deadliest Wildfire. “Eye-opening @nytgraphics #CampFire interactive employs scrolling to reflect the passage of time and path of the fire. Terrifying,” says John McQuaid. Adds Matt Stevens, “This is truly one of the most harrowing graphical presentations I’ve ever seen. It underscores the power of telling stories in different ways, but man…”

And Peter Hartlaub is “In awe and overwhelmed by all the good work from my @sfchronicle colleagues today. Starting with another powerful and cinematic read from @lizziejohnsonnn. #Subscribe.” Read Lizzie Johnson’s new piece in the San Francisco Chronicle, A fire, a newborn baby and a pact: Tales of survival from Paradise.

Meanwhile, despite what the U.S. president said in a press conference over the weekend, Finland’s president isn’t sure where Trump got the idea that raking leaves is part of Finland’s routine for managing its forests. The Associated Press nails that story with the headline Finland’s president rakes memory for source of Trump remark. As Timo Haapala, Miikka Hujanen and Laura Pylvänäinen of the Finnish paper Ilta-Sanomat report, Niinistö says he never mentioned raking.

Speaks for itself

You may have heard that Michael Bloomberg is donating $1.8 billion to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University. In a New York Times op-ed, Bloomberg explains Why I’m Giving $1.8 Billion for College Financial Aid. Tweets Frank Bruni, “Too many huge gifts to alma maters seek a name on a building. That this biggest gift of all is dedicated to something else is a hugely admirable and important model for such philanthropy.” “Speaks for itself. Noblesse oblige circa 2018,” as Steve Lohr tweets. 

Your morning rage read

At North Carolina’s Asheville Waldorf School, where many families claim religious exemption from vaccines, “The percentage of children under 2 years old who haven’t received any vaccinations has quadrupled since 2001. And so you get this,” tweets Dan Zak. “This” is the state’s worst chickenpox outbreak in 2 decades, reports Isaac Stanley-Becker of The Washington Post. Or “Welcome Back Zoster,” as André Picard puts it. Matthew Teague notes, “I’ve been studying the past few days about Salem and its witch trials. ‘Ahaha,’ I thought for about 30 seconds. ‘Those silly illogical no-nothings.’ But the closer I look, the more familiar that unscientific world feels.”

Next, “Incredible from @nytimes on #lead, and denial, in nycha housing. ‘At the end of 2017, contractors hired by the city visited 8,300 apartments and found potential lead paint hazards — peeling or flaking paint, or dust — in 80 percent of them.’” Rachel Cernansky links to the New York Times examination of NYCHA’s history of failures on lead paint, Tests Showed Children Were Exposed to Lead. The Official Response: Challenge the Tests, by J. David Goodman, Al Baker and James Glanz. Tara Siegel Bernard calls it “Your morning rage read.” On Twitter, Goodman adds, “A fact that didn’t make our lead paint story: New York City’s health commissioner in February met over Italian dinner with a lawyer and a historian. The reason? To see if they could try again to sue paint companies over lead. The first try failed.”

At the Philadelphia Daily News, Will Bunch takes a look at Why the blood of a 1955 Mississippi murder drenches today’s U.S. Senate race. He tweets, “Brookhaven, Mississippi, is the tortured town that gave us lynching, the White Citizens Council, a shocking 1955 civil rights killing - and the Senate campaign of Cindy Hyde-Smith. Why the bloody fight for black voting rights is still with us. My column.” “Connecting the disheartening, ugly dots in this very good piece by @Will_Bunch,” tweets Margaret Sullivan.

And now, a “Detailed dive into how a 78-year-old woman built her own echo chamber on Facebook. The effect is like mass brainwashing,” as Parmy Olson tweets. For that, check out ‘Nothing on this page is real’: How lies become truth in online America (62,000+ shares), by Eli Saslow of The Washington Post, who tweets, “He believes he's writing political satire. Six million people each month are convinced he's telling the truth.” Brian Stelter says, “I can't praise this @elisaslow story enough. It is everything. Share it with everyone you know.”

People are feeling less rage-y about this development. Anthony Man of the Sun Sentinel reports that, “after a 15-year tenure full of botched elections, legal disputes and blistering criticism,” Brenda Snipes submits her resignation as Broward elections supervisor (102,000+ shares).

Tales of corporate leadership

Jodi Kantor says there are “So many fascinating nuggets and phrases in this story, including ‘attacks in the media.’ Do Zuckerberg and Sandberg see probes of their company as attacks? If so, telling and troubling.” She’s referring to With Facebook at ‘War,’ Zuckerberg Adopts More Aggressive Style, by Deepa Seetharaman of The Wall Street Journal. Tweets Brad Reagan, “Sheryl Sandberg told friends she wondered whether she should be worried about her job. Revealing look inside FB from @dseetharaman.” Seetharaman notes that it’s “Hard to understate the extent to which Zuckerberg & Sandberg are focused on media scrutiny of $FB. After the @nytimes detailed its work with Definers, both execs pinned it on the comms team. Many of them were stung by Sandberg’s comments.”

Also at The Wall Street Journal, Sean McLain reports, Nissan to Remove Carlos Ghosn as Chairman, Says Acts of Misconduct Uncovered. “Not just fired — under arrest,” as James V. Grimaldi points out. Tom Wright’s all-caps assessment: “THERE IS A GLOBAL FAILURE IN CORPORATE LEADERSHIP.”

In Nissan Plans to Oust Carlos Ghosn as Chairman Over Financial Misconduct, Motoko Rich of The New York Times offers her “First take of this remarkable fall from grace by Carlos Ghosn, Nissan chairman investigated for allegedly underreporting salary for years. Watch this space.” Tweets Jenny Anderson, “File this in baffling things really rich people do.” Also file under “Greed Is Not Good,” says Steven Greenhouse.

A metaphor for the trajectory of his own career

Matthew Weaver of The Guardian found out that Boris Johnson’s unused water cannon sold for scrap at a £300,000 loss, “[i]n which our hero dreams up a metaphor for the trajectory of his own career: from boasts and ballyhoo to surplus to requirements to expensive laughing stock,” tweets Aditya Chakrabortty. As Tom Rowley puts it, “I cannon bear it.”

And now, for what Tim Adams calls a “Typically sound analysis by John Harris, which finally stops short of the fact that Labour has a leader whose ‘purist’ appeal lies in the juvenile virtue of never having changed his mind. He is as likely to do so now as Mogg or the DUP.” He’s referring to John Harris’s column for The GuardianBrexit is a class betrayal. So why is Labour colluding in it? And Nick Cohen asks, “Can someone tell me what is the point of Jeremy Corbyn.”

Meanwhile, the latest from Jane Mayer at the New Yorker reveals, New Evidence Emerges of Steve Bannon and Cambridge Analytica’s Role in Brexit (63,000+ shares). She writes, “The possibility that Brexit and the Trump campaign relied on some of the same advisers to further far-right nationalist campaigns has set off alarm bells on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Not the Onion

Maura Johnston says, “this sounds like an abandoned 30 ROCK subplot,” but apparently, the Cleveland Browns want to interview Condoleezza Rice for the head coaching job (115,000+ shares), according to the report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. And no, it’s “Not the Onion,” tweets David Johnson. Charles Johnson calls it “No consequences for Iraq, part 67.” But Charlie Meyerson thinks, “Football is a better place for her than government: ‘I don't think that anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center.’”

It’s Garry Shandling’s pick-up game

In case you missed this one, Mark Hachman says, “I love oral histories, and this story of a secret pickup basketball game hosted by Garry Shandling is great,” while Erik Maza calls it “The rare oral history that works beautifully: ‘This game was Garry's third masterpiece.’” They’re referring to ‘Fight Club’ with better jokes: Inside Garry Shandling’s secret 25-year weekly pickup game, by Anna Peele for ESPN. As Barry Ritholtz says, “This is the best thing you will read today.” 

A few more Monday reads

Here’s an essential read by Carole Cadwalladr of The Guardian, who writes that online abuse is a tawdry attempt to limit what we say. She notes, “I was slut-shamed by Andrew Neil. And the @bbc joined in. ‘Crazy cat lady’ is just a fancy way of saying ‘witch’. It’s done to judge & shame me. And - chillingly - to silence the story.” “Go Carole,” tweets Suzanne Moore. And Sian Norris is “Standing in solidarity with @carolecadwalla - you won’t be silenced! Thank you for speaking up and speaking out.”

It’s not just Ryan Zinke over at Interior. Juliet Eilperin of The Washington Post has a new piece about David Bernhardt, ‘The man behind the curtain’: Interior’s No. 2 helps drive Trump’s agenda. In it, she reveals that Bernhardt “walked into the No. 2 job at Interior with so many potential conflicts of interest he has to carry a small card listing them all.”

Alan Rappeport of The New York Times explains how A $12 Billion Program to Help Farmers Stung by Trump’s Trade War Has Aided Few.

James Crabtree says, “This NYT piece asks perhaps the word's most important question — theory says China shouldn't be able to become a rich advanced economy. But it is about to cross that threshold. So what did theory get wrong, or will theory will eventually be proved right?” He links to The Land That Failed to Fail, the New York Times piece by Philip Pan. The “author of the great book ‘Out of Mao’s Shadow’, returns to writing with part 1 of an NYT series on China,” as Gady Epstein tweets.


Question of the Day

On Friday we asked: The main character in which novel is born at exactly the same moment India gains independence from Great Britain?

Answer: Saleem Sinai is the protagonist in Midnight’s Children.

Congrats to…Craig Pittman, first of many of you who got this one right.

Your question of the day for today is…Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles were the first two men to receive Oscar nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor for the same movie. Who was the third?

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

Career Updates

New roles for Smith, Loria, Shevenock

Seattle Business magazine has hired Rob Smith as its new editor-in-chief. Smith was previously editor-in-chief of Puget Sound Business Journal and Portland Business Journal, where he led the development of an online news division while expanding the weekly print publications. Most recently, he served as national retail coordinator and reporter for CoStar Group.

Kevin Loria has joined Consumer Reports as a senior writer covering health topics. He most recently worked for Business Insider, covering science and health issues.

And Sarah Shevenock is joining Morning Consult to cover the entertainment industry and to write the morning newsletter covering the business of entertainment. The recent graduate of the College of William and Mary covered entertainment for Her Campus. While in college, she was co-editor in chief of the student newspaper The Colonial Echo and station manager for William and Mary Television.

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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