Good news news
Let’s start your day off with some “GOOD NEWS FOR LOCAL NEWS!!!” ProPublica senior editor Charles Ornstein links to the news that ProPublica Is Again Expanding Its Local Reporting Network. Apply for a Spot. His message: “Local journalists, do you have an investigative project idea you're itching to dive into? ProPublica's Local Reporting Network may be the perfect match. We pay your salary for a year while you work on the project in your newsroom.” Sounds pretty great, so check it out.
And over at Neiman Lab, Ken Doctor takes us inside the new L.A. Times, a 100-year vision that bets on tech and top-notch journalism. Tweets John Branch, “A strong @latimes is great for California. And journalism. And the world, generally.” Mike Rosenberg points out, this is “Quite a contrast to the hedge funds gutting newsrooms across the country to reap huge profits: the new LA Times owner increased the newsroom from 440 to 535 journalists in a year, taking a $50M loss to invest in a product worth paying for.” Another interesting note: Norm Pearlstine, 76, who came out of retirement to become executive editor, isn’t just there for the short term. Doctor reports that he’s just signed a new multi-year contract extending his term.
Getting a whole lot of attention (464,000+ shares) over the past 24 hours is the news that Facebook Has Banned White Nationalism and White Separatism. Joseph Cox and Jason Koebler of Motherboard have that story, and Cox tweets, “Scoop: Facebook just banned white nationalism and separatism. Comes after Motherboard investigation found Facebook allowed nationalism because wasn’t always ‘explicitly racist’ according to leaked docs. Now treated same as supremacy. Leaking works.” Cox and Koebler also report that “users who search for or try to post white nationalism, white separatism, or white supremacist content will begin getting a popup that will redirect to the website for Life After Hate, a nonprofit founded by ex-white supremacists that is dedicated to getting people to leave hate groups.” Still, Margarita Noriega notices, “It reportedly took three dozen employees to ‘formulate’ the policy to treat white nationalism the same as white supremacism.” Alright, “.@jack your turn,” tweets Trey Smith.
Until then (and we’re not holding our breath), we’ve got some more Facebook news. Tracy Jan of The Washington Post reports that HUD has charged Facebook with housing discrimination over its targeted advertising platform. “Just days after Facebook reached a deal with civil rights groups,” notes Mark Seibel. “Fun Fact: Ben Carson, HUD secretary, was among the first political candidates to benefit from Cambridge Analytica whose data was purloined from Facebook. The circle is complete,” tweets David Carroll.
We’re not done talking about the Mueller probe yet. Erica Orden and Evan Perez of CNN report that prominent Democratic lawyer Greg Craig is close to being charged in a case stemming from the probe. “The possible charges are connected to false statements Craig allegedly gave to investigators who were looking at the work he performed for Ukraine,” they write.
Meanwhile, a new CNN poll finds that a majority (56%) of Americans think the President and his campaign have not been exonerated of collusion (38,000+ shares). Jennifer Agiesta has all the details, and, as Joshua Holland puts it, “womp womp ‘The 43% overall in the new poll saying the President has been exonerated is about the same as the 42% who said in a CNN poll earlier this year that Trump's campaign did not collude with the Russian government.’” Although John Dickerson wonders, “Why would you do a post-Barr letter poll and only ask about collusion?” David Weigel offers a “Big congrats to everyone who wrote a This Changed Everything take, you were definitely born yesterday.”
In other news, at Vanity Fair Emily Jane Fox reports on a previously unreported email exchange that shows Ivanka’s Lawyer Asked for Changes to Michael Cohen’s Congressional Testimony — changes that would distance Ivanka from the Moscow Tower deal. Tweets Fox, “NEW: Cohen testified last month that Abbe Lowell suggested edits to his 2017 congressional testimony. Turns out, he has receipts. According to an email exchange I reviewed, Lowell suggested a handful of lines about Ivanka’s knowledge of Trump Tower Moscow.” In case you’re not following, “Ivanka tried to cover her tracks after working on a Trump Tower Moscow deal that her father lied to the public about,” Mark Jacob explains.
Math, money, jet fuel and taxes
Let’s move on from word problems to some simple calculations. Philip Bump of The Washington Post has been doing the math, and he figured out that five Trump trips to Mar-a-Lago would cover Betsy DeVos’s proposed Special Olympics cuts (137,000+ shares). Also: “If the entire federal budget were a trip from NYC to LA, the cuts to the Special Olympics would get you 48 feet of the way there.”
While we’re in DeVos territory...in a new series for the Los Angeles Times, Anna Phillips explains How one couple worked California charter school regulations to make millions. She tweets, “Today, @latimes published the first story in a series I’ve been working on for over a year. It’s about some pretty egregious flaws in California’s charter school law told through the saga of a Beverly Hills couple and their charters.”
For his Daily Beast “Pay Dirt” series on corruption, campaign finance and influence peddling, Lachlan Markay has discovered that Trump Ally Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University Landed a Pentagon Contract Months After Trump’s Election. On Twitter, Markay elaborates, “Specifically, the contract went to the Liberty-owned company that maintains plans for the university’s flight school. It had never sold fuel to the feds before Trump took office.” Noah Shachtman asks, “KOSHER? Donald Trump's Pentagon gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Donald Trump's most important evangelical ally.” As Asawin Suebsaeng says, “Seems legit.”
And Bloomberg’s Chris Condon and Joe Light confirm that Trump Fed Pick Stephen Moore Owes $75,000 to IRS (29,000+ shares), according to a federal tax lien filed in Maryland, where Moore owns a house. The upside, says Timothy Noah, “Stephen Moore's nomination to the Fed is starting to look like a full employment program for journalists. He turns out to owe $75k in unpaid taxes and penalties. ‘Moore referred questions about the tax debt to his wife, Anne Carey.’”
Speaking of taxes, with Trump upending the norms about presidential candidates releasing their tax returns, Democratic hopefuls are vague on releasing theirs, Holly Bailey reports at The Washington Post. So far, only Elizabeth Warren and Kristen Gillibrand have released theirs. Alex Howard thinks, “When it comes to transparency & ethics, how presidential candidates run campaigns signals to voters how they’d run a @whitehouse. Show, don’t tell. Table stakes: Disclose a decade of tax returns & commit to divesting to contrast with Trump’s corruption.”
At BuzzFeed News, Darren Sands takes a look at Why The Joe Biden-Stacey Abrams Rumors Won’t Go Away, writing, “Two sources familiar with the matter say that, no matter what others say, Biden’s team has pitched Abrams on the idea of being Biden’s running mate at the outset of a 2020 campaign...But other people in Abrams’ orbit are frustrated by a sense of unfairness over the Abrams-Biden whispers.” Ben Smith highlights, “Biden ‘couldn't be bothered’ to endorse Abrams in her primary, an Abrams adviser grumbles.”
Meanwhile, “So @mtredden found some folks who got arrested because of @SenKamalaHarris’s war on truancy.” Nick Baumann links to The Human Costs Of Kamala Harris’ War On Truancy, by HuffPost’s Molly Redden.
How it all went wrong
Stuart Hughes calls this next one, “This morning’s just read.” That’s James Randerson’s deep dive for POLITICO on How the UK lost the Brexit battle. Tweets Anand Menon, “Fascinating long read by @TomMcTague How does he find the time?!” “While the EU was stitching it up, Britain was worrying about where to hold the press conference announcing the latest capitulation How it all went wrong from the start. Great read by @TomMcTague,” says Matt Chorley. Adds Laura Kuenssberg, “Characteristically great reminder with added juice of how we got here.”
Ammo for the haters
Christopher Balding tweets a “notshockedface.gif” of the news that the U.K. Says Huawei Gear Has Major Security Flaws. Stu Woo has that story for The Wall Street Journal, tweeting, “This is a big deal, and ammo for Huawei haters like America: Separate from the will-Beijing-force-Huawei-to-spy debate, U.K. officials say Huawei is just so bad at engineering that its equipment may have inadvertent security holes anyone can exploit.”
Tom Cheshire says it’s a “Weird world where Huawei will probably be happy to be accused of shoddy security engineering (rather than being directed by CCP).” He links to Adam Satariano’s coverage at The New York Times, Huawei Security ‘Defects’ Are Found by British Authorities.
A few more
“oh my god,” says Sarah Jones. Recode’s Peter Kafka reveals that Bustle Digital, the company that bought Gawker and Mic, has acquired The Outline. He writes about “the spiciness of the mix” in which Josh Topolsky will be working for Bryan Goldberg. For his part, Topolsky tweets, “Some news! Extremely excited to continue the work we've started at @outline, launch @inputmag in a big way, and so so much more. This is just the beginning.” “Everyone loves a meet-cute…” as Jeremy Barr says. Just look what happens when “you go to one after work drink…” tweets Andrew Golis.
New from Sebastian Murdock of HuffPost, emails show that NRA Official Mark Richardson corresponded with a prominent Sandy Hook conspiracy theorist to call into question the school shooting in Parkland, Florida (14,000+ shares). In summary, “The company you keep matters…” says Rob Cox, and “These people are VAMPIRES,” tweets Steve Silberman.
CNBC’s David Reid reports, Icelandic airline Wow Air collapses and cancels all flights. “WOW Air went under overnight. Eeeeesh, things are tough for budget airlines. I hope the same thing doesn't happen to Norwegian this year,” tweets Beki Winchel. On the plus side: “Finally an airline that lives up to its name!” tweets Jake Novak.
Joanna Stern (also: Joanna Stn) xplains, vy claly, “I wantd the wold to fl the pain of my bokn MacBook Air kyboad. So hr’s my column with no Es and Rs.” For that, read Appl Still Hasn’t Fixd Its MacBook Kyboad Problm (and watch the video) at The Wall Street Journal. Tweets Lauren Goode, “In case you needed more evidence that @JoannaStern is gat (I mean, great) she wrote an entire column without e’s and r’s to demonstrate the problem with newer MacBooks.” In other words, “legendary execution,” as Andrew Nusca says. “Tim Cook, please take a break from your inspiring Oprah affirmations and solve this,” tweets Ron Charles.