"Somebody needs to introduce Mike Pence to his running mate."
Mike Pence's apparent lack of familiarity - real or feigned - with the policies and rhetoric of his own running mate, Donald Trump, was one of the most common themes observed by journalists, pundits, and even Hillary Clinton in the wake of last night's Vice Presidential debate. For her part, Clinton's team put together a video highlighting a number of times her running mate Tim Kaine called on Pence to answer for some of Trump's most controversial statements. And again and again, whether on the subject of so-called "deportation forces" of Vladimir Putin's supposed greatness, Pence gave viewers the impresion that he might know less about Donald Trump than any other American with an Internet connection.
To be fair, Pence was almost certainly being strategically coy as opposed to sincerely ignorant, as he subtly but actively distanced himself from Trump. "Mike Pence won the debate by throwing Donald Trump under the bus," writes Vox's Matthew Yglesias.
But Salon's Amanda Marcotte has a less tactical and more dispiriting take on Pence's performance and the perception among many Republicans and even some Democrats that Trump's running mate outplayed Clinton's (who was visibly perspiring at times). "To say Pence “won” the debate is to say it matters not one bit if someone is a liar and a moral monster, as long as he doesn’t get sweaty."
In other news you should know:
- "New Snowden?" asks New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt, tweeting out his own story (authored by three others) about an NSA contractor working for the firm Booz Allen who was arrested under suspicion of stealing secrets. As for "Old Snowden," here's what old Edward FlashDriveHands had to say about the news: "This is huge. Did the FBI secretly arrest the person behind the reports NSA sat on huge flaws in US products?"
- "Fights, friendships ended" over Donald Trump in the NFL, reports Mike Freeman for Bleacher Report, meaning that wherever you work is more like an NFL locker room than you'd ever dreamed.
- Another "Huge Story," says CJR's Trevor Timm, referring to a Reuters scoop alleging that Yahoo secretly scanned its customers' emails at the behest of U.S. Intelligence officials.
- Speaking of big tech firms that have seen better days, Twitter will reportedly start the bidding process to be acquired this week. Marc Benioff's enterprise software company Salesforce appears to have the inside track on purchasing the beloved but beleaguared social network. That's great news for Benioff who is salivating over how "data-rich" Twitter is. But for those of us in journalism, PR, and beyond who love Twitter but also realize it must improve its methods for dealing with hate speech and harassment, it's difficult to believe that a company providing impersonal enterprise solutions will fix this problem
- And finally, in the strangest story of the day, a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 CAUGHT FIRE. That's something you don't want to see happen anywhere, let alone ON A COMMERCIAL FLIGHT. And to make matters even worse, the flight was... SOUTHWEST AIRLINES! Samsung and Southwest were both once scrappy brands and solid alternatives to more pricey entrants, but each company has lost some of its appeal over the years. In any case, we can only hope this doesn't cause the airline industry to once again tighten restrictions on cell phone use so soon after finally easing them up.