Fascinating, bleak, harrowing, and about 50 other adjectives

Muck Rack Daily

Fascinating, bleak, harrowing, and about 50 other adjectives
November 26th, 2018 View in browser
Muck Rack Daily

About what happened Sunday

‘These children are barefoot. In diapers. Choking on tear gas.’ 

That’s the grim headline as Tim Elfrink and Fred Barbash of The Washington Post describe the scene at the San Ysidro border crossing, with photos from Reuters photographer Kim Kyung-Hoon, “which provoked outrage and seemed at odds with President Trump’s portrayal of the caravan migrants as ‘criminals’ and ‘gang members,’” they write. Caitlin Gibson reminds us, “In case the point hasn’t been made a thousand heartbreaking times already, seeking asylum IS NOT ILLEGAL.” “Tired, poor, huddled masses gassed at the American border,” is how Drew Harwell puts it. Tweets Sandro Galea, “I immigrated to this continent to escape tear gas memories where I grew up. While that experience was not easy, no one tear gassed me on my way into this country. That our country is doing this should shame us all.”

Christopher Sherman of The Associated Press also covers the story, US agents fire tear gas as some migrants try to breach fence. Tweets Matthew Hall, “AP on today’s San Ysidro shutdown: ‘All northbound and southbound traffic was halted for several hours. Every day more than 100,000 people enter the U.S. there.’ We need more asylum judges and a better plan than closing the world’s busiest border crossing.”

And it’s not like there was no time to plan for this particular event, as Tina Vasquez says: “Shame on news outlets for using this language: ‘migrants “rush” border,’ ‘migrants “overwhelmed,”’ etc. Authorities on both sides of the border have had MONTHS to prepare for the number of asylum seekers they knew were arriving.” She links to the report from CNN’s Emanuella Grinberg and Mariano Castillo, US authorities fire tear gas to disperse migrants at border (40,000+ shares).

Wendy Fry and Sonali Kohli have been at the border and reporting on the developments for the Los Angeles Times, and Jamil Smith says, “This @latimes dispatch is the most comprehensive report that I have read to date about what happened Sunday at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. Give it a read, folks.” That piece is San Ysidro border crossing closed for hours; U.S. officials fire tear gas at migrants (21,000+ shares). Tweets Robbin Simmons, “A few days ago President Trump said he would like for DHS Sec’y Kristjen Nielsen to get tougher on the #border (as reporting that her job cd be on the line made the rounds). @latimes⁩ on the events at #SanYsidro Sunday.”

Meanwhile, 80 years ago this month, The New York Times reported, JEWS ON KNEES BEG NETHERLANDS ENTRY; Implore Admission at Border, but Guards Are Doubled.

As bungled as it was/is inhumane

On CBS’s 60 Minutes last night, Scott Pelley revealed the chaos behind Donald Trump's immigration policy of family separation at the border. According to the 60 Minutes investigation, the separations began earlier than this summer (when they started dominating the headlines) and were greater in number than the Trump administration admits. Sam Stein says it’s “A truly chilling 60 Minutes segment on the Trump administration child separation policy. As bungled as it was/is inhumane.” Adds Philip Bump, “This is pretty sweeping in the picture it offers.”

Many terrible legacies

As Paul Krugman tweets, “Trump will leave many terrible legacies. But undermining climate policy for profit and ego satisfaction is the sin for which future generations will truly curse his name.” He links to Coral Davenport’s New York Times piece on the Trump Administration’s Strategy on Climate: Try to Bury Its Own Scientific Report. She quotes William K. Reilly, President George H.W. Bush’s EPA head, who says, “This is a new frontier of disavowance of science, of disdain for facts.” Tweets Carmen Gentile, “First read of the day: It's just the fate of the planet and the human race that hangs in the balance. No biggie.”

Meanwhile, Josh Dawsey and Damian Paletta of The Washington Post report, Trump demands action to reduce deficit, pushes new deficit spending (“Solid headline,” as Eric Umansky says) — and he also repeatedly told former National Economic Council director Gary Cohn to print more money. “Trump to aides: Cut the deficit. Also Trump to aides: Don't raise taxes, or cut spending. How this guy’s companies filed for bankruptcy six times truly remains a puzzlement,” tweets Catherine Rampell. On Twitter, Dawsey highlights, “John Kelly has told others about watching TV with Trump and asking the president how much he thought the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff earns. Trump guessed $5 million. Kelly responded that he made less than $200,000. Trump suggested he get a raise.” 

And an exclusive from The Daily Beast’s Spencer Ackerman finds that Trump Ramped Up Drone Strikes in America’s Shadow Wars. Ackerman tweets, “NEW: We don’t talk as much about drone strikes anymore, but Trump’s first two years of drone strikes on the shadow battlefields are substantially above those in Obama’s first two years, which earned Obama the Drone President reputation.”

So. White gays?

Shane Goldmacher says, “There is so much in this @SarahMaslinNir story you just have to read it yourself.” That’s Sarah Maslin Nir’s piece in The New York Times exploring How a Liberal Gay Couple Became Two of N.Y.’s Biggest Trump Supporters. Patrick LaForge says, “This is all super-weird,” and Michael Saul notes, “There are soo many gems sprinkled throughout this story. When I was done reading, I almost wanted to read it again immediately. And I definitely want to hear NYC Speaker Corey Johnson’s version of the dinner brouhaha. Drama!”

Sure, but Eugene Scott thinks, “The shifting politics of this ‘liberal gay couple’ now passionately behind Trump isn’t a rejection of identity politics but just another reminder that many gay white men (especially rich ones) primarily process policy and politics simply as white men.” Adds K. Austin Collins, “An example of really needing to understand a community in a -broad- sense if you’re going to write on it. Every mystery here could have swiftly been dispelled by more secondary interviews with queer POCs, opening with the question: ‘So. White gays?’”

Living in a filter bubble

Wondering what Sheryl Sandberg’s leadership is like? Sarah Frier spoke with current and former Facebook employees and has some answers in her new Bloomberg piece, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg Is Tainted by Crisis After Crisis. She tweets, “Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg will keep her job, but she can no longer escape the problems she helped create. Sources explained ways in which her strategy was troubling — focusing on fixing perception vs problem, surrounding herself with trusted lieutenants.” Basically, “Sheryl Sandberg was living in a filter bubble,” Tim Annett observes. We also learn, “That anti-fake news ‘war room’ Facebook gave a PR tour to pretty much every news outlet in the world? It’s already been disbanded,” as James Ball tweets. Devon Pendleton thinks it would be “Interesting to reflect on Lean In advice in light of all this.”

Should never have gotten to this point

Last week, we told you about Matthew Hedges, a British academic who was given a life sentence for spying in the United Arab Emirates. BBC News is now reporting that he has been freed after a pardon. Tweets Marc Lynch, “Great news that Matthew Hedges pardoned by UAE and released. It should never have gotten to this point, and the issues his arrest raised remain deeply concerning for academic researchers.”

Patrick Wintour and David Batty have more on the story at The Guardian, Matthew Hedges: jailed British academic pardoned by UAE. Tom Gara highlights, “To justify its life sentence for a British PhD student, the UAE showed a video of him ‘confessing to holding the rank of captain in MI6, a position that does not exist.’” Hedges’ wife, Daniela Tejada, said, “Without the involvement of the media, the overwhelming support of academics, the public worldwide, the work of the British diplomatic body in the UAE and Secretary Hunt’s intervention, this would have never happened.” “Overjoyed to hear this. Well done Jeremy Hunt. But we still need to #FreeNazanin,” tweets Donna Ferguson.

Potentially huge news for humanity

Well, here we go. “Happy CRISPR news day! There's going to be a lot of bad reporting on this. If you want to keep up as it develops, I’d recommend following RogueBioethics for the ethics angle, and the author of this piece, Antonio Regalado, for the science/news angle.” Rose Eveleth links to the exclusive from Antonio Regalado at MIT Technology Review, Chinese scientists are creating CRISPR babies (29,000+ shares). He tweets, “People asking why CCR5? Why edit a baby to resist disease rather than curing one? Because CRISPR is better at breaking genes than repairing them. And breaking CCR5 could prevent HIV infection. Gets you to ‘safety’ sooner.”

As Rebecca Robbins points out, “Potentially huge news for humanity tonight. @antonioregalado scooped the first effort to CRISPR babies. @MMarchioneAP got the first interview w the Chinese researcher claiming the 1st babies—twin girls—to have their DNA altered.” AP’s Marilynn Marchione got that interview, which you can read in her piece, Chinese researcher claims first gene-edited babies. Jonathan Fahey thinks, “This is an enormous ethical leap and incredible story. The first CRISPR babies seem to be here.” “Ah, sweet, it sounds like the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing is going to be hella lit this year,” adds Mat Honan

Forty-seven women, 21 countries, one day

According to new data released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), an average of 137 women across the world are killed by a partner or family member every day. In a “Really interesting and tragic piece, the BBC monitored press coverage of women killed by another person on 1 October 2018 around the world,” as Emma Vardy tweets. That BBC News story reveals the women killed on one day around the world (57,000+ shares) — “Forty-seven women, 21 countries, one day,” tweets BBC100women. Adds Julie Bindel, “State of this - and we feminist campaigners against male violence are being harassed, hounded and shut down and having our time wasted by a few entitled narcissists.” 

Do not give Lena Dunham your phone number

Some advice, courtesy of Anna Merlan: “texting anyone -- let alone a reporter -- an apparently unannounced and unsolicited photo of your pubic area actually isn’t the move.” Or maybe you didn’t need to be told that. Anyway, Lena Dunham Comes to Terms With Herself, as Allison Davis writes at The Cut, and Lindsey Kupfer says, “Basically, what I learned from this article is to not give Lena Dunham your phone number.” Erin Strecker reveals, “I have passed out from secondhand embarrassment at least 8 times (p interesting profile tho).” Also, “This extremely well-written profile of Lena Dunham is fascinating, bleak, harrowing, and about 50 other adjectives at once,” as Summer Anne Burton puts it. We’ll move on from this one with Erin Gloria Ryan, who tweets, “This @AllisonPDavis profile of Lena Dunham is 1-excellent and 2-should be the last thing anybody writes about Lena Dunham for awhile. I mean my god.” 

Monday round-up:


Question of the Day

On Black Friday, we asked: Which city reportedly has the worst Black Friday traffic in America?

Answer: According to Wikipedia, there’s a 2011 article that says it’s the South Park neighborhood of Charlotte, N.C. But it’s hard to find a more current, definitive answer, other than wherever there’s a heavy concentration of malls and big box retailers.

Congrats to…Maybe everyone was stuck in traffic, because only one person answered, and that person was...Craig Pittman. He chose Los Angeles, and while we can’t find it topping any Black Friday traffic lists, it does apparently have the worst Wednesday-before-Thanksgiving traffic.

Your question of the day for today is…What’s Oxford Dictionaries’ 2018 word of the year?

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

Career Updates

New roles for Holdren, Wigfield, Blake

Wendy Holdren has been appointed managing editor of The Register-Herald. She began her career in journalism at the Beckley, W.V. paper and was named 2017 Reporter of the Year by Community Newspapers Holding Inc., The Register-Herald’s owner.

Jimmy Wigfield has been named managing editor of The Alexander City Outlook and its affiliated weekly newspapers owned by Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc. Wigfield began working for newspapers at age 13, writing for the Mobile County News. He spent 32 years with the Mobile Press-Register, as a sportswriter, columnist and editor. He then became editor of The Call News. He’s won numerous Associated Press and Alabama Press Association honors.

Paul Blake, who has been a U.S. business reporter for BBC News for seven years, is moving to Dubai to become its Middle East business reporter. The role will also entail coverage for BBC World News programs such as Click, The Travel Show and Talking Movies.

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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