Nothing but respect
The speech by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association President isn’t usually a big showstopper at the Golden Globes, but this year was a little different. Last night, HFPA President Meher Tatna announced that it would be donating $2 million in grants to two non-profit, non-partisan organizations – one million to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and one million to InsideClimate News (ICN), as Sarah Aswell writes at Forbes. Tweets David Beard, “Say what you will about the glitzy, jokey #GoldenGlobes. I have nothing but respect for its decision to give $1 million each to 2 important journalism organizations.”
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press says it will use the grant to educate the public about the importance of a free press and to continue their mission of providing legal help to journalists. InsideClimate News writes that the grant will provide the organization with support for its investigative journalism, national reporting network and student journalism program, including providing scholarships for its High School Institute for Environmental Journalism.
For all the other action last night, Variety has the complete Golden Globes Winners List. There were some big upsets, but even though Christian Bale’s win wasn’t a surprise, his speech still got plenty of attention, particularly the part about thanking “Satan for giving me inspiration for playing this role” of Dick Cheney. Other standout speeches came from Regina King, Glenn Close, Carol Burnett and Jeff Bridges (who, for better or worse, is really owning his dudeness these days). For more, check out Variety’s Photos From the 2019 Golden Globes Red Carpet.
Zirinsky to lead CBS News
Another big story in journalism broke yesterday, as Stephen Battaglio of the Los Angeles Times reported that Susan Zirinsky will replace David Rhodes as CBS News president, becoming the first woman to lead the division in the network’s history. Tweets Katrina vanden Heuvel, “News that gives spirit- As it should be.” Zirinsky joined CBS News in 1972 and has been the executive producer of “48 Hours” for the last 20 years. As Battaglio writes, “She has also been the network’s go-to producer for breaking news, prime-time news specials and documentaries.” Not only that, she inspired the Holly Hunter character in “Broadcast News.” As Staci D. Kramer says, “Susan Zirinsky taking over 60 Minutes would have been 👏🏻. This is 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻. (Also quite a statement from the interim CEO Joe Ianniello to the board.)”
Lex Haris has the official announcement at CBS News, Susan Zirinsky named president of CBS News, replacing David Rhodes. Tweets Lois Romano, “What an inspired decision for @CBSNews ! Susan Zirinsky is extraordinary journalist and a wonderful human being. Congratulations!”
An unusual listicle
And in other journalism news, Reuters reports that WikiLeaks tells reporters 140 things not to say about Julian Assange, including, “WikiLeaks insists you should not report that Assange bleaches his hair, that he is a hacker, that he has ever neglected an animal or that he has poor personal hygiene,” highlights M. Alex Johnson. Tweets Kevin Collier, “Everybody already dunked on this, but I wanna add that false and defamatory aren't synonyms, and that almost all of these have been credibly reported as true in the past. Idk anything about his hair though.”
David Owens calls this a “Good read here on the impact of #govermentshutdown thus far and significant issues that will only get worse moving forward if solutions aren’t found.” As shutdown drags on, Trump officials make new demands, seek novel ways to cope with its impacts, report Robert Costa, Juliet Eilperin, Damian Paletta and Nick Miroff of The Washington Post. They write, “The Department of Housing and Urban Development sent letters to 1,500 landlords Friday as part of a last-minute effort to prevent the eviction of thousands of tenants. A lot of those tenants live in units covered by a HUD program that many agency officials didn’t realize had expired on Jan. 1 and that they are now unable to renew.” Mark Berman emphasizes, “‘many agency officials didn’t realize had expired’ ?????” And Dan Zak captions one of the photos accompanying the story: “Asylum seekers climb a border w — wait, sorry. These are Americans trying to visit their national parks during this government shutdown. Photo by Matt McClain of The Washington Post.”
Try to keep up
OK, see if you can follow this. At The New York Times, David Sanger, Noah Weiland and Eric Schmitt report, Bolton Puts Conditions on Syria Withdrawal, Suggesting a Delay of Months or Years. But “This is not so much a delay as a reversal of the immediate withdrawal ordered by the president,” tweets Jim Sciutto. As Bill Ritter observes, “you can get dizzy trying to keep track of the @realDonaldTrump administration policies. last month the President out of nowhere Tweeted the U.S. will pull troops out of Syria in 30 days. Outrage. Now - the announcement it might take months or years.”
Karoun Demirjian has the story for The Washington Post, Contradicting Trump, Bolton says no withdrawal from Syria until ISIS destroyed, Kurds’ safety guaranteed, prompting Chip Franklin to tweet, “Wait. I thought we were pulling troops out because we had ‘already’ defeated ISIS? Does anyone there have a clue as to what the fuck they’re doing? That’s a rhetorical question.” “Only Trump could get people to pull for Bolton: On Syria, world is hoping the neocon trumps the total con,” says Ken Bazinet.
The “radical” notion that progress is possible
On 60 Minutes last night, Anderson Cooper interviewed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: The rookie congresswoman challenging the Democratic establishment, who points out, “No one asks how we’re gonna pay for this Space Force. No one asked how we paid for a $2 trillion tax cut. We only ask how we pay for it on issues of housing, healthcare and education.” Asked whether she believes the President is a racist, she replied, “Yeah. Yeah. No question.” Tweets Siddhartha Mitter. “watch. @andersoncooper’s questions bespeak the utter poverty of the american ‘mainstream’ political imagination. @AOC’s answers propose the ‘radical’ notion that progress is possible. it’s a measure of our accumulated trauma that this is so refreshing.”
But if you want the all-caps TRUTH ABOUT ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ, read Eliza Relman’s profile of AOC at the Insider for the “inside story of how, in just one year, Sandy the bartender became a lawmaker who triggers both parties.” Heidi Moore highlights an “Interesting tidbit in this profile(ish) story about AOC’s rise: She’s a believer in Modern Monetary Theory, which was in the shadows of economics before the 2008 crisis but has gained a larger following since. (It holds that deficits don’t matter.)”
A lot of silly stuff
Meanwhile, as Tommy Christopher of Mediaite reports, Fox’s Chris Wallace Repeatedly Nails Sarah Sanders on Bogus Border Terror Threat Claims. “In this train wreck of an interview, Sarah Sanders said a lot of silly stuff. One of them is that what sets America ‘apart from every other country’ is that we ‘value life.’ Really? No other country values life? We’re ‘unique’ in that regard? Nonsense,” notes Peter Wehner. Also, um, hello? “Airports!” as Carl Zimmer tweets.
Pre-pre 2020 coverage
Last week, Martin O’Malley weighed in. Terry McAuliffe offered his advice. And now, we find out who Joe Biden thinks will give Democrats the best chance against Trump in 2020. Surprise! As Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns of The New York Times report, Biden Sees Himself as Democrats’ Best Hope in 2020 (57,000+ shares). Matthew Schuerman sees it as “A good example of the nonsense headlines to come out of the pre-pre #2020 coverage. Of course #Biden sees himself positively.” Adds John Stoehr, “Everything is talking about Biden because they won't want to talk about Bernie. I think it's as simple as that, and when someone else catches fire, it's going to be bye bye Biden.”
A moral imperative to act immorally?
Scott Shane and Alan Blinder of The New York Times have uncovered a 2nd Effort That Used Online Fakery in Alabama Race. Tweets Blinder, “Do people actually notice deceptive social media ads? Do they remember them? You bet. When we called around Alabama about one particular effort, Elizabeth BeShears immediately remembered such an ad and had the screenshot to prove it.” As Kenneth Vogel notes, “Dems are justifying their false flag ops against ROY MOORE by claiming Republicans do the same thing, & that Democrats cannot unilaterally disarm. ‘You have a moral imperative to do this — to do whatever it takes,’ says one activist who was involved.” The riddle, as James Aloisi poses it, “Can you have a moral imperative to act immorally to prevent evil?”
The Facebook of ER billing
Vox’s Sarah Kliff reveals, “I’ve spent a year writing about ER bills. The Zuckerberg San Francisco Hospital has the most aggressive, surprising billing tactics I’ve seen.” Who would have guessed, but “Zuckerberg Hospital turns out to be the Facebook of ER billing,” tweets Matthew Yglesias. (“The perils of naming rights,” as Nilay Patel points out.)
For the full story, check out Kliff’s piece, A $20,243 bike crash: Zuckerberg hospital’s aggressive tactics leave patients with big bills. Tom Gara points to “The next level up in craziness from the out of network doctor working in an in-network emergency room thing: the biggest public hospital in San Francisco is out of network for *everyone*” Also, says Brian Fung, “This damning story by @sarahkliff underscores how much of what we think of as a ‘marketplace’ for medical services is simply a fiction. When you’re incapacitated, you can’t make the informed choices about hospitals that you can with brands of yogurt.”
The burnout generation
A story getting a lot of attention and shares over the weekend, Anne Helen Petersen’s “long and oddly soothing piece” (as she tweets) for BuzzFeed News on How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation (188,000+ shares). Hard to top this endorsement from Ed Yong: “This @annehelen piece on millennial burnout is definitive. It surpasses what has come before and sets a *very* high benchmark for anything on this topic to follow. It's profound, sweeping, and breathtakingly good. I'm going to read it again.” Jennifer Smith adds, “I am not a millennial but this certainly resonates: ‘To adult’ is to complete your to-do list — but everything goes on the list, and the list never ends.” And Claudia Koerner “Hisses like a vampire being touched by the sun because I feel so suddenly seen.” Although Matt Rosoff notes, “The assumptions about GenX in this article are bizarre.” (What will it take for Gen-Xers to be seen?)
Daniel Kopf urges, “If you read this Buzzfeed story, please also read @AllisonSchrager’s piece afterwards that highlights some serious flaws in the argument about millennial wealth and job security.” That’s Actually, millennials may be the wealthiest generation, by Allison Schrager of Quartz. Tweets Sarah Kessler, “When you find a fact-based article that concludes we are not all doomed, hang on to it and never ever let it go 🙏”
Brexit is going really well
“A live rehearsal of an emergency traffic system that will be put in place to prevent congestion in Dover in the event of a no-deal Brexit has been described as ‘a waste of time’ by drivers participating in the test in Kent on Monday.” That’s the lede from Lisa O'Carroll’s latest for The Guardian, No-deal Brexit rehearsal tests traffic congestion in Kent, and “Apparently this isn’t a joke,” tweets Nigel Cameron. Also in that piece, one local driver is quoted as saying, “I love my country, but we are a nation of lions led by donkeys.” After all, as Louis Staples says, “the government can't even organise a fucking traffic jam.”
Meanwhile, at the Independent, Holly Baxter says, “We’ve had to send our valiant sketch writer @tompeck into a fake traffic jam in Kent today because Brexit is going really well.” In that piece, Tom Peck points out that The purpose of the exercise was not immediately clear, and given it was the brainchild, which is to say orphan, of Chris Grayling, it’s likely to remain unknowable. “I refuse to believe this is real life any more,” says James Herron.
A few more
Andrew Ellson tweets, “I crunched 10 years of numbers from the MHCLG to establish the full impact of austerity on Britain’s public libraries: — Overall library budgets have been slashed by £315m — The wage bill has been cut by 42 per cent — 700 libraries have closed.” His piece for The Times reveals, Volunteers left to stack bookshelves as hundreds of libraries are closed.
BBC News has the latest on the Gabon coup attempt: Government says situation under control following an attempted military coup.
Chris Strohm and Shannon Pettypiece of Bloomberg report that the White House may try to block portions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report from being shared with Congress and the public in a fight that could end up before the Supreme Court.