Clear my schedule, this is a feast

Muck Rack Daily

Clear my schedule, this is a feast
April 3rd, 2019 View in browser
Muck Rack Daily

It’s the golden age of podcasting. So maybe you should be podcasting, too? On the Muck Rack Blog today, Suchandrika Chakrabarti offers 7 reasons a freelance journalist should start a podcast.


For the win, and for the history books

It was a history-making election in Chicago yesterday as Lori Lightfoot was elected mayor, becoming the first black woman and first openly gay person to hold the post (156,000+ shares), as Phil Helsel reports at NBC News. And as Bill Ruthhart writes at the Chicago Tribune, her win was also a stinging defeat to a political establishment that has reigned over City Hall for decades. It wasn’t even close: Lightfoot swept all 50 of Chicago’s wards. Tweets Carmél Carrillo, “#TeamLightfoot for the win, and for the history books.”

Ambitious and essential >>>

“Clear my schedule, this @jonathanmahler @jimrutenberg is a feast.” Cecilia Kang is digging in to Jonathan Mahler and Jim Rutenberg’s New York Times Magazine investigation into “Planet Fox”: How Rupert Murdoch’s Empire of Influence Remade the World. Mahler and Rutenberg visited three continents and interviewed more than 150 people for this epic report, so “Please read of Uncle Satan!” as Kara Swisher tweets.

Reading this, Adam Pasick says, “TIL ‘Succession’ is a documentary,” but Michael de la Merced calls the piece “A good and lengthy reminder that fact (this Murdoch investigation by @jonathanmahler and @jimrutenberg) can be stranger/more fascinating/more compelling than fiction (‘Succession’).” “Ambitious and essential >>> @jimrutenberg and @jonathanmahler on what Murdoch has meant not just to American government but to global politics,” is how Frank Bruni puts it. And Azi Paybarah urges, “Come for the art, stay for the article.”

For another deep dive, read Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin’s latest for The New York Times, Trump’s Takeover of the Republican Party Is Almost Complete. Phil Mattingly says this is a “Smart ⁦@alexburnsNYT⁩ ⁦@jmartNYT⁩ look at how Pres. Trump’s team (and popularity in the party) has locked up state & local GOP operations in his favor,” while Karsten Lemm thinks it’s “Scary news for the GOP (and the world in general).” But at least Ed O'Keefe offers this “Fun fact: The powerhouse @nytimes duo of ⁦@jmartNYT⁩ and ⁦@alexburnsNYT⁩ share a birthday: Here, they give readers a deeply-reported gift about Trump’s now all-but-ironclad grip on the GOP.”

How you know things are bad

In his New York Times column, Thomas Friedman writes that The United Kingdom Has Gone Mad (56,000+ shares), to which David Watkins responds, “Yep.” Many on Twitter are sharing this highlight from the piece: “What we’re seeing is a country that’s determined to commit economic suicide but can’t even agree on how to kill itself. It is an epic failure of political leadership.” However, reactions vary. Duncan Robinson says, “Friedman reaches the right conclusions via the dumbest route possible.” Tom Nuttall cryptically tweets, “Tom Friedman on Brexit is exactly as insightful as you would expect.” And Gregg Carlstrom says, “You know things are bad in Britain when Tom Friedman parachutes in to offer his wisdom. He seems unaware that Britain still has a monarchy, or that freedom of movement is kind of central to the whole EU thing.”

Come ON

This seems fine. A Chinese woman carrying ‘malware’ was arrested at Mar-a-Lago. She was heading to a Cindy Yang event. Sarah Blaskey, Nicholas Nehamas and Caitlin Ostroff of the Miami Herald report that the woman was carrying four cell phones, one laptop, one external hard drive and a thumb drive laden with malware. As Zach Dorfman says, “come ON.” Also, tweets Dave Itzkoff. “this infographic from @MiamiHerald report is its own play in 4 acts.”

Devlin Barrett and David Fahrenthold report on the story at The Washington Post, Woman with Chinese passports, malware arrested at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, “Because the security problem is at the, uh...border. Yeah—the border…” tweets Jeffrey Feldman. Dan Zak highlights the fact that “A receptionist at Mar-a-Lago intercepted the suspicious woman. Score one for the not-so-secret service? P.S. Trump’s club must be a playground of soft espionage.” 

What could possibly go wrong?

About this next one, Tamara Keith says, “This is a story about regulation, but also a great big warning to check the front wheel of your strollers if you have this brand.” She links to the scoop from Todd Frankel of The Washington Post, After hundreds of crashes, this Britax jogging stroller faced recall. Then Trump appointees stepped in. Tweets Michael Scherer, “For anyone considering buying a Britax stroller, read this story first. The company repeatedly refused recall requests after nearly 100 kids and parents were injured.”

Meanwhile, hold the bacon? Because the pork industry soon will have more power over meat inspections, according to the scoop from Kimberly Kindy of The Washington Post, and really, “What could possibly go wrong?” asks Joshua Holland. On Twitter, Kindy points out that the “USDA’s move comes as the federal government is under fire for giving Boeing more power over aircraft safety assessments for a jet involved in two fatal crashes.” 

Speaking The Wall Street Journal, Andy Pasztor and Andrew Tangel report that, according to preliminary black-box data, pilots at the controls of the Boeing Co. 737 MAX that crashed in March in Ethiopia initially followed emergency procedures laid out by the plane maker but still failed to recover control of the jet.

Ugh, the Internet

Old, Online, And Fed On Lies: How An Aging Population Will Reshape The Internet is the latest from Craig Silverman at BuzzFeed News on what Ben Smith calls “a core, untold story of the Internet: How confused and disoriented older people play a central part in distributing misinformation.” Kendall Taggart summarizes the bad news: “Research suggests that older people have disproportionately fallen prey to internet misinformation and risk being more polarized by their online habits... And ppl 65+, who are more likely to vote, about to become the largest age group in the US.”

Meanwhile, you will be shocked to learn that “Facebook’s ban on white nationalist content isn’t off to a great start,” as Jessica Schulberg points out. HuffPost’s Andy Campbell checked, and Facebook Says White Nationalist Video Doesn’t Break New Policy Against White Nationalism. Charlie Warzel thinks “it’s telling that the lowest hanging fruit as a tech reporter is simply to check that a company is enforcing policies it recently very publicly touted (& that frequently it has not!).”

Media news: Good, bad, ugly, etc.

On Twitter, Laure Cast shared this news from Stu VanAirsdale‏ with us: “Hi! Some peers and I are working on this really cool news literacy project for city schools in Sacramento. It's called Journalists in Classrooms. We could use your support to help get teachers trained and young people immersed in the vital work that journalists do. Thanks!” Check out the Journalists in Classrooms project, and you can contribute via the GoFundMe page here.

In more Rupert Murdoch-related news, “Still scratching your head over WSJ’s inclusion in Apple News? Rupert Murdoch drove the deal. He’s wanted to broaden The Journal’s coverage for a while. Apple’s billion devices is an opportunity to do that. Oh, but wait, the union ... and other tidbits.” Edmund Lee sets up his piece in The New York Times that looks at how (and why) media companies are taking a big gamble on Apple. Tweets Staci D. Kramer, “More than 200k subscribers in the first 48 hours for Apple News + per @edmundlee - though no new subscription $ because the first month is free. However the economics break out per publisher, none of it matters unless Looky Lous trial, stay and pay.”

Ever wonder what happened to the “conductor of the Birther train”? Manuel Roig-Franzia of The Washington Post takes us inside the spectacular fall of WorldNetDaily, the granddaddy of right-wing conspiracy sites, which is currently “being sucked into a tornado of unpaid bills, pink-slipped employees, chaotic accounting, declining revenue and diminishing readership.” Arthur Delaney highlights the fact that “Former senator Tom Coburn was upset with one of the world's biggest birthers for ‘not being honest’ about book royalties.” It’s all so upsetting. As Steve Silberman says, “Who could have possibly predicted that the granddaddy of Birtherism, eventually promoted by Trump into the mainstream, would turn out to be a sleazy crook?”

On the other end of the spectrum, Tom Standage says, “This is very cool and should be widely imitated.” In a Guardian blog post, Chris Moran explains why we’re making the age of our journalism clearer. As Claire Phipps tweets, “You know how irritating - or sometimes inflammatory – it is when an old news story is shared as if it’s new? We're trying to do something about it at the @guardian.” “This is very smart & responsible,” says Brittany Hite.

But then there’s this. At the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, James Salzer reports, Georgia House Republicans file bill to create state Journalism Ethics, and as Matt Pearce says, “Whewwwwwwww boy this Georgia bill on ‘media ethics’ is a hot mess.” Tweets Travis Ragsdale, “Here’s a story to read. It is a doozy.” 

More Wednesday reads

“Here’s a fun version of a terribly unfun (and many times written) story: going undercover with Miami Beach real estate as a prospective home buyer and asking about climate change.” Gabriel Snyder links to Heaven or High Water, by Sarah Miller for Popula. Carrie Frye highlights, “Sentences I wish I’d written: ‘The Zen-like bedrooms all looked like ideal places for thinking about not looking at screens at night, while looking at a screen.’” Amy Westervelt says, “This is the best thing I’ve read on climate change in a while. And I read A LOT about climate change.” Adds Stephanie Nolen, “The tone here is note-perfect. Best thing you will read today.” As David Roth says, “This is really good, and harsh in all the ways it needs to be harsh.”

At Kotaku, Jason Schreier takes a look at How BioWare's Anthem Went Wrong, and Gene Park tweets, “OMG. So EA forced Bioware to change the name of the game just days before it was released due to rights, and ‘Anthem’ was picked. Bioware LATER had to WRITE IN what the hell ‘Anthem’ even means, which speaks to how half-assed and forced the writing felt.” As Dave Smith says, “nobody captures the tribulations of game development better than @jasonschreier. his latest investigation into anthem, the second consecutive flop from bioware, is eye-opening.”

And Brandy Jensen says, “I really love this ⁦@annabroges⁩ essay on how to live when you are ambivalent about living.” That’s Anna Borges at The Outline, who writes, I am not always very attached to being alive (17,000+ shares). Joshua Topolsky says, “This floored me.” Adds John Semley, “this is quite simply the best thing i've ever read about chronic, passive suicidality, which is extremely difficult to talk about with people, for reasons @annabroges apprehends so well.” 

Wednesday round-up:


Question of the Day

Yesterday, we asked: “The Big Bang Theory” just became the longest running multi-camera sitcom, surpassing the 275-episode record set by what show?

Answer: “Cheers.” And for the record, the longest running live-action sitcom in TV history is “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” which shot 435 episodes.

Congrats to…Dan Rosenbaum, once again speedy with the correct answer.

Your question of the day for today is…Morgan Freeman has converted his 124-acre ranch in Charleston, MS, into a sanctuary for what?

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

Career Updates

Updates for McKenzie, Lowry, Garcia

Lesley McKenzie, who has been deputy editor of C magazine for the past five years, is joining Variety at its new managing editor. Her byline has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and WWD, among other publications. She also previously served as group editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury’s Los Angeles publications and deputy editor at Niche Media.

Tom Lowry has been promoted from managing editor to editor in chief of Skift, a website focused on the business of travel, restaurants and wellness. Before joining Skift, he was a senior editor at He previously worked for publications including The Daily, Variety, BusinessWeek, USA Today and the New York Daily News.

Laura Garcia has been hired to cover health care on the business news desk at the San Antonio Express-News. She previously worked as a features editor for the Victoria Advocate, where she was part of a four-person investigative team covering Hurricane Harvey that earned a public service award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

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!

This email was sent to
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Muck Rack · 588 Broadway · Suite 503 · New York, New York 10012 · USA