The buzz today (sorry)
Things are tough all over, but at least doctors haven’t discovered four live bees feeding on tears inside your eye, which is what happened to a Taiwanese woman who went to the hospital complaining about her swollen eye. Hannah Ellis-Petersen of The Guardian has the details on the “sweat bees” that were “living under her eyelids, feasting on her tears.” So, enjoy that story. As Theodora Sutcliffe says, “asdfghjkl.” Kathryn Bromwich calls it “The David Cronenberg/reality crossover literally no-one was asking for.” Michael Cragg confirms, “Absolutely not. Nope. No thank you.” But “anyway, big day for bee news,” tweets Alex Hern.
Firing wildly from the hip
No less terrifying: At The Washington Post, David Nakamura, Josh Dawsey and Seung Min Kim take us inside twelve days of chaos and the Trump White House’s growing panic to contain the border crisis.“Threatening to close the border and end Central American aid, reversed by courts, pushing family separation again, firing Nielsen: Portrait of POTUS firing wildly from the hip as he loses ground on his top 2020 issue,” tweets Trip Gabriel. Glenn Thrush says it’s a “Terrific inside-the-cone tick-tock of Nielsen's attempt to hold onto her job by @DavidNakamura @jdawsey1 @seungminkim -- which ultimately raises the question: Why, on earth, would anyone want to run DHS for Trump/Miller.”
Also at The Post, Ashley Parker, Dawsey and Robert Costa write about the villain and the naif: Miller and Kushner on a potential collision course in Trump’s border crisis. Dawsey gives some highlights on Twitter: “Stephen Miller has worked around protocols, alleged to POTUS his government is working against him & pushed for firings, tougher policies. He tells others he’s executing Trump promises. Kushner meanwhile wants to strike a big deal that he says POTUS wants.” “So Kushner is going to deliver not only peace in the Middle East but also a resolution to the immigration debate. Wonder what’s on the agenda for the afternoon?” tweets Max Boot.
Possibly an SNL skit
On to other things that defy explanation, POLITICO’s Eliana Johnson and Daniel Lippman tell us about Trump’s ‘truly bizarre’ visit to Mt. Vernon last April with French president Emmanuel Macron, where he “marveled at the first president’s failure to name his historic compound after himself.” And now we’re at “Peak populism: ~~Actually it’s good that Trump doesn’t know what he’s talking about because it puts him in touch with average people who would also be bad at being president.~~” tweets Matthew Yglesias. Jonathan Martin notes, “This reads like an SNL skit @BeschlossDC coulda hatched >> The rooms, Trump said, were too small, the staircases too narrow, and he even spotted some unevenness in the floorboards. He could have built the place better, he said, and for less money.”
Speaking of money, Jason Gay points out that “The @WSJ’s @nicole_hong @rebeccaballhaus @rebeccadobrien keep following the money…” and the latest by Nicole Hong, Rebecca Ballhaus and Rebecca Davis O’Brien of The Wall Street Journal is that federal investigators, looking into payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, questioned longtime aides of the president and amassed more evidence than previously known. The general consensus is, as Ray Locker tweets, “@wsj continues to crush this story.” Paul Beckett calls it “Another extraordinary groundbreaking piece by the great @wsj team on Cohen,” and Jay Yarow says, “The WSJ has owned what may ultimately end up being the most consequential investigation of Trump.”
Meanwhile, the scoop from Chris Strohm and Billy House at Bloomberg is that AG Barr has assembled a team to review the FBI’s actions in the Trump probe. Kyle Cheney notes, “This is the 4th or 5th Republican-led review of the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, depending on how you count them.” As Alex Wayne tweets, “NEWS: Trump has demanded an investigation of how Mueller’s probe came to be, and his attorney general intends to deliver.”
Get you a lucrative book deal
Alright, here’s some good news for all of us: “If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.” Thanks, Bernie Sanders! He tells Sheryl Gay Stolberg of The New York Times, yes, he is a millionaire, and he really truly is going to release his tax returns by Monday. You can check for those on Tax Day. We’ve got a book to finish so we can collect our million dollars.
About writing and reading the news
Peter Schorsch says, “This will be making the rounds today because, if nothing else, it’s every legacy journalist’s fantasy.” He’s referring to The Urgent Quest for Slower, Better News, by Michael Luo of the New Yorker, who writes, “The pressures for speed and volume created by the digital age can’t be ignored––but they can be resisted.” “In praise of the slow news day,” as Jennifer Brett tweets. “Are we becoming ‘monitorial citizens’? Does it matter? @michaelluo making us stop and think about writing and reading the news,” says Vera Titunik.
In a similar vein, at The Atlantic, Andrew Ferguson writes about The Joys of Reading a Print Newspaper. Jerry Zremski’s advice: “Try subscribing to your daily paper. You may actually like it.”
Another reason to do that: When local newspapers shrink, fewer people bother to run for mayor. Nieman Lab’s Joshua Benton writes about a new study by Cleveland State’s Meghan Rubado and the University of Texas’ Jay Jennings, which looks at what happens to mayoral elections in cities where staffing at the local daily gets cut.
We know this edition of the Muck Rack Daily has had more than its share of horrifying stories, but we’re not done yet. Drew Harwell of The Washington Post reveals that the pregnancy-tracking app Ovia lets women record their most sensitive data for themselves — and their boss. Tweets Jonathan O'Connell, “One story at a time @drewharwell is chronicling the Big Brother world we have created for ourselves and I, for one, am very afraid.” As Dylan Matthews says, “Every paragraph of this piece is jawdropping.” Adds Tony Romm, “whenever i think ‘hmm i cannot be more creeped out by the tech industry,’ i am quickly proven wrong. today’s entry in that category is this must-read from @drewharwell on apps that allow employers to track workers’ pregnancies.”
Meanwhile, Maris Kreizman tweets, “I wrote something. I think the headline speaks for itself.” In her op-ed in The New York Times, she explains Why I Am Stockpiling Insulin in My Fridge, writing, “No one should die from lack of insulin, a patent for which was granted nearly a century ago for $3.”
Buckle up (thread)
OK, after the bees-in-the-eyelids story and everything else, here’s what you need: Listen up bitches, it’s time to learn incorrect things about someone you’ve never heard of. This is where Rosa Lyster of The Outline wonders, “Why do people love yelling about random historical figures online and how do we stop it?” As Sam Biddle points out, “there's never been a better time in history to have no fucking idea what you're talking about.” (See: Trump visits Mount Vernon.) It’s also a good time for Paul Blumenthal, who says, “I only accept history screamed at me with expletives.” Casey Johnston tweets, “.@rosalyster is a gift to humanity,” while Brandy Jensen shares, “i remain deeply in love with @rosalyster,” and Jared Keller reveals, “I want this tattooed on my lower back.” Anyway, buckle up (thread), or be like Joanna Scutts, who tweets, “I unbuckled & flew straight through the windshield.”
German Woman Goes on Trial in Death of 5-Year-Old Girl Held as ISIS Slave. Melissa Eddy is following the story at The New York Times, and Doug Saunders tweets, “The trial of Jennifer W., while almost unreadably awful, illustrates the challenge faced by countries whose citizens became ISIS extremists. Almost all of them were born in Germany/Canada etc and radicalized by fellow citizens. They’re our responsibility.”
Lisa Rein and Damian Paletta of The Washington Post write that, if Trump has his way, the Office of Personnel Management is on the way out, and the closure could be a blueprint for shuttering other departments as the administration tries to shrink government.
Warner Bros. Is Filing A Copyright Claim Over Trump’s 2020 Video For Using The “Dark Knight Rises” Score, Adam Vary reports for BuzzFeed News.
“Another one bites the dust?” tweets Halla Mohieddeen, of the news that an Exasperated Nick Ferrari Reveals He’s Finally Given Up on Brexit. In an interview on LBC Radio, Ferrari put it this way: “I give up! Enough! Right. I’ve reached the bloody point. I cannot go on and on about Emmanual Macron any longer. Just bloody stay and we’ll move on to other things.”
Pallab Ghosh of BBC News shows us the first ever image of a black hole, which was photographed by a network of eight telescopes across the world.
Absolutely spend some time here: The Peabody Award nominations have been announced, shining a spotlight on the best storytelling of 2018.