This is not a news network anymore
Start your week off with “What we all assume was happening, but what a tale,” as Kara Swisher puts it. That’s Jane Mayer’s New Yorker piece on The Making of the Fox News White House. Michael Luo highlights what’s in store for you: “Lots of news in latest from @JaneMayerNYer: the killing of the Stormy Daniels story before the election; ordering Gary Cohn to pressure DOJ to file lawsuit to block AT&T-Time Warner deal; possible tipping off Trump on debate question; more.” Christopher Knight tweets, “This is a hugely important story about the biggest on-going scandal in journalism.” “If you work at Fox News, you own this -- what @JaneMayerNYer is outlining here is so pervasive and deep-rooted that it cannot be explained away or compartmentalized. This is not a news network anymore,” adds Michael Barbaro.
And then there are the news outlets that apparently never were news outlets in the first place. An investigation by Alex Kasprak and Bethania Palma at fact-checking company Snopes reveals what’s Hiding in Plain Sight: PAC-Connected Activists Set Up ‘Local News’ Outlets. So: Literally fake news. Tweets Steve Cavendish, “Good piece on the Tennessee Star, its ties to the Kochs (funding and content), possible pay for play content and the ties with Steve Gill’s political media operation. It’s not a news site, it’s propaganda.” And Jon Birger offers, “Kudos to Snopes for excellent reporting. My initial reaction after reading this was that we need some sort of truth-in-labeling law for news media, the same way we require for food. But maybe that opens up a whole 'nother can of worms.”
Before we move on, there’s some more Fox News news. Mediaite’s Aidan McLaughlin is reporting that Seb Gorka is No Longer a Contributor at Fox News, and Gorka had no comment on the matter. Oh, but don’t worry — he did have some other comments. Tweets McLaughlin, “Fox News has parted ways with Seb Gorka, the network told me. When I reached out to Gorka for comment, he said I had no friends, called me ‘Mr. Lonely,’ and accused me of being in a ‘drug-induced haze.’”
On America’s southern border
With Sen. Rand Paul’s public announcement that he won’t support the border wall national emergency declaration, Trump is on brink of a GOP rebellion over the emergency declaration, reports Jordain Carney of The Hill.
Meanwhile, a real emergency continues. “On America’s southern border, migrant women and girls are the victims of sexual assaults that most often go unreported, uninvestigated and unprosecuted,” writes Manny Fernandez of The New York Times. “Really important reporting from @mannyNYT,” tweets Ryan McCarthy, who links to that piece, ‘You Have to Pay With Your Body’: The Hidden Nightmare of Sexual Violence on the Border. The Times’ review of police reports and court records in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, along with interviews with officials and advocates around the country, found “more than 100 documented reports of sexual assault of undocumented women along the border in the past two decades, a number that most likely only skims the surface.” “Rage rage rage,” tweets John Stoehr, reading the stories of the migrant women. “Do spend some time with this feat of reporting from @mannyNYT,” as Patricia Mazzei urges.
How it will get done
In a column for The New York Times, Garrett Graff, author of “The Threat Matrix: Inside Robert Mueller’s F.B.I. and the War on Global Terror,” imagines How Giuliani Might Take Down Trump, and David A. Crook calls it a “Great piece. I’m sure this is how it will get done. The Feds will indict, not Trump necessarily, but the Trump Organization, which far better than Mueller’s report, will lay out Trump’s crimes.” Graff highlights the parallels between the Mafia and the Trump Organization, noting, “Giuliani perfected the template for prosecuting organized crime.” “Most important piece of the year,” says Jonathan Taplin.
All that good magazine stuff
Do you hear it? That’s “[the sound of hundreds of nyc editors scrambling to somehow add socialism to their linkedins].” Ryan Tate links to Simon van Zuylen-Wood’s new piece for New York magazine, which explains why Pinkos Have More Fun, especially since “Socialism is AOC’s calling card, Trump’s latest rhetorical bludgeon, and a new way to date in Brooklyn.” Peter Hamby offers an “alt hed: Radical Chic & Tweeting at the Flak Catchers.” While Brendan O'Connor thinks, “secondarily, this piece is a fucking mess,” Marc Tracy tweets a “Hot (apparently?) take: I enjoyed this, learned things, all that good magazine stuff.”
A year-long investigation by Tom Warren and Katie J.M. Baker of BuzzFeed News has uncovered some horrifying actions at the World Wide Fund for Nature. Be forewarned that their piece, WWF, The Beloved Wildlife Charity, Funds Guards Who Have Tortured and Killed People, includes a number of disturbing revelations. Like Mark Di Stefano, “Going to need a few hours to pick my jaw off the floor – the list of allegations and findings from BuzzFeed UK’s year-long investigation into WWF.” Adds Tom Gara, “Come for the extraordinary revelations of a giant global conservation charity funding paramilitary units accused of torture, murder and rape, stay for the art, featuring a TERROR PANDA.”
A new investigation by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, in partnership with HuffPost UK, reveals the thousands of public spaces lost to the council funding crisis. That piece is the result of the collaborative effort of regional journalists across the country, including Gareth Davies, Charles Boutaud, Hazel Sheffield and Emma Youle. On Twitter, Davies calls it “The folly of austerity and its continuing impact on local authorities and the communities they serve #SoldFromUnderYou.” “Libraries, playgrounds, community centres - what has your council sold? In a major investigation @bureaulocal has obtained the details of more than 12,000 public spaces sold by councils as they desperately struggle to stay afloat,” tweets Victoria Parsons.
Meanwhile, are you hungry? Well, maybe lower your expectations. Here’s What British People Would Eat in a Worst-Case Brexit, according to the reporting by Megan Durisin, Aine Quinn and Rob Dawson at Bloomberg. As Sarah Rappaport says, “Good morning! Get ready to eat a lot of potatoes and milk.” But also: peas! As Tim Ross points out, “You like peas? Then you’ll LOVE a no-deal Brexit.”
And at The Guardian, John Harris wonders, why do antisemites think Labour is the party for them? Jonathan Freedland says, “It’s a great relief to read this insightful and empathetic piece by @johnharris1969. It asks all the right questions.” Adds Ian Leslie, “Excellent from @johnharris1969 who leaves unstated the obvious: this ‘cultural transformation’ isn’t going to happen under Corbyn.”
The best things
You already know “Rob Delaney is such a treasure,” as Kari Paul tweets. Now there’s more evidence. Gabriella Paiella interviewed Delaney for Vulture, and even after navigating the worst grief imaginable, he still wants to make you laugh. As Olivia Nuzzi says, “This @GMPaiella profile of ROB DELANEY is one of the best things I’ve read in a while. Somehow, this incredible and insane description of his appearance is not even the best part.” On Twitter, Paiella adds, “Rob’s work means a lot to me as a pervert, a sober person, & a human being, & I’ve never laughed or cried so much while re-reading a transcript. Also this bit where he explains why he’s become more of a socialist as he’s become successful is just great.” As Megan Johnson puts it, “Love this grief bucket so much.”
AP’s Janelle Griffith reports on the devastation and destruction in Alabama over the weekend as tornadoes kill at least 23, injure dozens.
An icon of UK music, The Prodigy’s Keith Flint has died aged 49. Mark Savage has the obituary at the BBC.
Some good news. Award-winning Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, widely known as Shawkan, is finally free. He’s has been released from prison after spending nearly six years behind bars following his arrest while covering a bloody crackdown on protests. Read more about that at The Guardian, ‘It is as if I am flying’: journalist released by Egypt after almost six years.
Checking in on the facts, or lack thereof, Washington Post Fact Checkers Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo and Meg Kelly report that President Trump has made 9,014 false or misleading claims over 773 days. That tally includes the more than 100 false things he said during his CPAC speech alone.
Another Democrat enters the race as former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announces his 2020 presidential campaign. Dan Merica and Scott McLean have that story at CNN. In his announcement video, Hickenlooper tells us, “As a skinny kid with coke bottle glasses and a funny last name, I’ve stood up to my fair share of bullies.”
“Let’s hope this proves another triumph of the optimists.” Ian Cowie links to the report by Lingling Wei and Bob Davis of The Wall Street Journal, U.S., China Close In on Trade Deal.
Nicole Perlroth of The New York Times reports, As Trump and Kim Met, North Korean Hackers Hit Over 100 Targets in U.S. and Ally Nations. But to be clear, Greg Otto notes, “This headline is misleading, I'm not sure from McAfee’s research concludes the attacks were tied to the summit.”
A few more Monday reads
Brad Heath says this one’s “Worth your time.” USA Today’s Deirdre Shesgreen interviewed Mike Pompeo, who talked about the failed North Korea talks, Otto Warmbier and his own trip to Iowa. Also, “Pompeo got a little testy with @USATODAY,” as John Hudson points out. Adds Jonathan Karl, “Wow. This is quite an interview with @SecPompeo by @dshesgreen.”
Maria Abi-Habib of The New York Times takes a look at India’s military and finds that 68 percent of the army’s equipment is so old, it is officially considered “vintage” (52,000+ shares). She tweets, “We take a hard look at India's military capabilities after last week's standoff with Pakistan. As the United States looks to India to help it counter an increasingly aggressive China, can the country's military step up?”
“If you read one thing today…” Katherine Feeney suggests The Killing Times: the massacres of Aboriginal people Australia must confront, by Lorena Allam and Nick Evershed of The Guardian. The stories of “the killing times” “are not the stories that appear in our history books yet they refuse to go away,” write Allam and Evershed.