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.”
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 of...at 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.”
This morning, Nicholas Fandos of The New York Times is reporting that the House Judiciary Committee approved a subpoena for the Mueller report and documents, setting up a confrontation with the Justice Department. The committee also approved subpoenas for five former White House aides: Don McGahn, Steve Bannon, Ann Donaldson, Hope Hicks and Reince Priebus.
Emily Siegel, Andrew W. Lehren, Brandy Zadrozny and Dan De Luce of NBC News take a look at the link between inaugural committee donations and ambassadorship nominations in their report, Donors to the Trump inaugural committee got ambassador nominations. But are they qualified?
With two more women coming forward and telling The New York Times that Joe Biden touched them in ways that made them uncomfortable, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Sydney Ember write that Biden’s Tactile Politics Threaten His Return in the #MeToo Era.
And Nick Corasaniti tweets, “there goes my house,” of the news that Mexican Hass Avocado Prices Jump 34%, The Most in a Decade, as Michael Hirtzer reports at Bloomberg.