Gannett says nope, and David Oliver says, “happy monday.” Philana Patterson of Gannett-owned USA Today reports that the Gannett board has unanimously rejected MNG Enterprises/Digital First Media’s proposal, saying it undervalues the company and that the board doesn’t believe the offer is credible. Alex Coolidge points out, “MNG wouldn't talk finances with @Gannett... is their offer just not real OR was that a power move to prompt hostilities?” Either way, says Allie Gross, “i so rarely smile when it comes to media news these days, but this made me smile.”
Less smiley: Reactions to the Super Bowl. It was the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in the history of the NFL (see: future Muck Rack Daily Question of the Day), and The Onion probably captured the game best with the headline, TV In L.A. Bar Switched Over To ‘American Dad’ Rerun Without Complaint. And then there was the halftime show, also recapped perfectly by The Onion: Super Bowl Halftime Show Marred By Functioning Sound System.
As for the ads, The Washington Post’s Super Bowl ad caught some attention, and not all of it was positive. As Erik Brady of USA Today reports, the 60-second, high-dollar spot did not sit well with Fredrick Kunkle, the co-chair of the Washington-Baltimore News Guild’s bargaining unit at The Post. Kunkle tweeted, “this seems like an especially infuriating expense for a company that has: a) tried to take away health care insurance from part-time employees b) moved everyone toward riskier forms of health insurance #wapostrong.” For some more context, Dave Levinthal tweets, “FWIW, this 60-second ad would fund the @Publici newsroom for about two years.”
Also at USA Today, Nancy Armour writes that Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman shouldn’t even have been playing in the game. Nick Butler calls it a “Good piece on Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman, a drugs cheat who served just a four-game ban at start of season. NFL didn’t reveal substance...but could have been a four-year ban in most other sports. Funny how those so critical of Russian #doping are silent.”
Arguably, the big winners of the day were Saints fans, who threw a citywide Super Bowl boycott party, which Ian McNulty and Nick Reimann wrote about for The New Orleans Advocate. And now that we think about it, maybe McNulty and Reimann were the real winners, since, as McNulty tweets, “Me and @nicksreimann talked to a fake pope, two actual nuns and lots of other Who Dats united today with an embrace of the #saints and a stiff arm to the #superbowl.”
Or maybe the honor belongs to the Detroit Lions, who, as Brian Manzullo of the Detroit Free Press points out, remain undefeated in Super Bowl’s 53-year history (42,000+ shares). Take that, five-time loser Patriots. Tony Romm notes, “this is some next-level cosmic brain shit right here.” But it’s got something for everyone. As Timothy B. Lee tweets, “I don't know very much about football but I know good trolling when I see it.”
ffs the egg is british
Before we move on, “the advertising news isn’t over tonight. because here’s @Jonesieman and I with an exclusive reveal on... THE FAMOUS INSTAGRAM EGG. which has now been harnessed by brands... but for good? read all about it here.” Sapna Maheshwari links to her story with Jonah Bromwich of The New York Times, Meet the Creator of the Egg That Broke Instagram. Surprise! He works in advertising. Also, “ffs the egg is british,” as Alex Hern tweets. Brian Feldman offers, “my final verdict: everyone who wrote up the egg at any point in this cycle should be in jail.” In case you’re still not sure, Ariel Bogle puts an end to it: “ok the egg is now done.”
Never seen anything like this
Alexi McCammond and Jonathan Swan of Axios had a big scoop over the weekend, Leaked private schedules show Trump spent 60% of last 3 months in “Executive Time” (82,000+ shares). Seeing this, Paul Kane notes, “Great Trump reporters like @jonathanvswan make life difficult for congressional hacks like me. Editors begin to think that there are sources in the Capitol who loathe their bosses the same way WH staff loathe DJT. I’ve never seen anything like this.” There’s more. McCammond and Swan have also published every page of the leaked schedules here.
From vacancies on the calendar to vacancies in the government: ‘It’s way too many’: As vacancies pile up in Trump administration, senators grow concerned, report Juliet Eilperin, Josh Dawsey and Seung Min Kim of The Washington Post. Only 54% of Trump’s civilian executive branch nominations have been confirmed, compared to 77% under Obama. Beyond those, the White House has yet to nominate anyone for 150 of 705 key Senate-confirmed positions.
Meanwhile, if you missed Margaret Brennan’s interview with Trump on CBS’s “Face the Nation” yesterday, the full transcript is available here. Tweets Brian Stelter, “Wow. @MargBrennan covered a LOT of ground with Trump in this interview. Crisp questions, hard-hitting followups. Full transcript is up.”
Your WTF/OMG/!?$! read of the day
Let’s switch gears for a moment to a story about book editor turned novelist Dan Mallory, who writes under the pseudonym, A. J. Finn. Sarah Weinman says, “The first thing I read this morning — and what I suspect will be the first thing the book trade reads this morning — is Ian Parker’s piece on the Talented Mister Mallory.” At The New Yorker, Ian Parker details A Suspense Novelist’s Trail of Deceptions, and, “I love the smell of literary scandal in the morning,” tweets Erik Maza. Adds Mark Medley, “Here’s your WTF/OMG/!?$! read of the day.” Or as Evan Smith says, “THIS STORY oh man.” In other words, says Carolyn Kellogg, “Seems like someone is a little TOO good at fiction.” But at least “Monday morning is starting off with a bang,” as Tom Beer points out.
Fight the racket!
Adam Liptak of The New York Times writes that the federal judiciary has built an imposing pay wall around its court filings. He tweets, “PACER charges 10 cents a page for electronic access to federal court filings. Actual cost of storage and transmission, by one estimate: $0.0000006 per page. What access to public records ought to cost: zero.” “As @adamliptak’s excellent piece makes clear, PACER is a scam. If you write or tweet about documents you accessed on PACER, PLEASE upload them to an open publishing platform (or @RECAPtheLaw) so the public can read them for free. Fight the racket!” tweets Mark Stern.
May her energy inspire you
Genevieve Smith wants you to know, “If you don't love @lizzo by the end of this @AllisonPDavis profile, you're a seriously unhappy person.” Might as well find out. Read It’s Just a Matter of Time Before Everyone Loves Lizzo, Allison Davis’s profile of singer, rapper and classically trained flautist Lizzo for The Cut. Davis shares, “The day after I hung out with @lizzo, I felt so damn good I lept out of bed, went to the gym, and felt bold enough to shoot my shot in a b-list actor’s DMs. May her energy inspire you to do your version of that.” And Morgan Jerkins has one request: “.@AllisonPDavis stay kicking ass with these profiles.”
Owl be watching this
Finally today, because “owls > sports,” as Eric Vilas-Boas points out, and this is “A+ owl content,” as Kristen Bellstrom observes, don’t miss Alan Taylor’s 28-owl round-up at The Atlantic for Superb Owl Sunday III. It’s still good, even (especially) on a Monday.
Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports that Rising ESPN star Adnan Virk has been fired and was escorted out in leak investigation. Tweets Clay Travis, “Wait, @espn just fired @adnanESPN for leaking info to the media when ESPN’s entire PR strategy is based on leaking info to the media?! And they dropped the news forty minutes before the Super Bowl?! This is a crazy ass story.”
In the new Bloomberg Businessweek cover, Erik Schatzker reveals, Huawei Sting Offers Rare Glimpse of the U.S. Targeting a Chinese Giant. As Max Chafkin says, “HUGE: Something interesting happened at CES.” He adds, “This story is wild. @ErikSchatzker breaks news of new Huawei investigation, goes on FBI sting at Vegas burger joint.”
Here’s a “Pretty shocking report from @IanCobain revealing UK rules of engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan were relaxed to allow the shooting of unarmed civilians, including children,” tweets Alex MacDonald, of the scoop by Ian Cobain at Middle East Eye, British army permitted shooting of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Shalailah Medhora says, “I'm gobsmacked by this story. Rather than rigorously test claims of asylum, we're accused of sending vulnerable young women back to a tyrannical and oppressive regime. WTF.” She’s referring to the investigation by Sophie McNeill, Sharon O'Neill and Mary Fallon of the ABC, Australian Border Force accused of targeting women suspected of fleeing Saudi Arabia.
Peter Campbell of the Financial Times has the exclusive on what the government’s 2016 Brexit letter to Nissan said: UK letter vowed to protect Nissan from Brexit fallout.
More devastating climate change news. As Damian Carrington of The Guardian reports, a third of the Himalayan ice cap is doomed, according to a ‘shocking’ new report, and even radical climate change action won’t save glaciers — endangering 2 billion people.