Wow. Get ready for a wild Christmas.

Dec 12, 2016

Spy Games

"2016 has stripped away all context as we know it, but this is still weird, right? It seems a little bit weird." That's Daniel Drezner of the Washington Post commenting on a Politico post revealing that 10 electors have demanded an intelligence breifing on potential Russian hacking efforts ahead of the Electoral College vote.

"A reason this new letter from electors to Clapper is noteworthy: some Dem signers are WELL-known names in the party," points out Politico's Gabriel Debenedetti.

"What standing do Electoral College members have to demand an 'intelligence briefing'?" asks Michael Tracey of VICE. "This is absurd."

Other skeptics include The Wall Street Journal's James Taranto, who tweets, "There's no limit to what people will do to become a historical footnote."

Nevertheless, others like UNC TV's Sarah Greico are hopeful:

"So you’re telling me there’s a chance."

Also relevant (or "absurd," according to Rich Lowry of the National Review) is the fact that "Hillary Clinton's erstwhile campaign apparatus supports electors' efforts for classified briefing before a vote," tweets Politico's Steven Shepard, linking to his colleagues' piece on the matter.

Of course it's not just staunchly conservative corners of the press whose eyes were raised following this report. Josh Barro of Business Insider says, "This is dumb and I don't know what Podesta thinks he's achieving here. Brief Congress, not the EC."

And finally:

"Wow. Get ready for a wild Christmas," tweets Greg Neumann of WKOW.

"A wake-up call."

That's how SPIN's Jeremy Gordon describes an open letter by VICE's Jay Caspian Kang addressed to "My Fellow Minority Journalists."

In the sobering letter, Kang writes:

"Over the next year or two, media — especially prestige print media — will begin thinning out its ranks. The economic forecast, despite temporary spikes in post-election subscriptions, is not good and headcount spots will have to be cleared to make room for all the incoming pro-Trump takes. “Identity politics writers” (read: anyone who isn’t white and who doesn’t spend 99% of their time reporting) will almost certainly be the first to go."

"I have been saying this about women," tweets Heidi Moore of Yahoo News. "The current structure won’t adapt. Women/PoC need to create new companies."

Important reality check for minority journalists from @jaycaspiankang: we'll be 1st fired in Trump's America," says Kim Mai-Cutler of Techcrunch.

"This is very correct," says Aaron Sankin of the Center for Investigative Journalism.

Pacific Standard's Melissa Gira Grant has a more urgent take: "This should be printed on bar napkins and dropped in strategic locations."

And finally, Shan Wang of Nieman Lab offers this terse assessment: "@jaycaspianking is wow."

Here's what we know he owes

That's Mother Jones' summary of its new investigation from Russ Choma and Jon Young: "A Guide to Donald Trump's Huge Debts—and the Conflicts They Present."

"Trump owes at least $713m to lenders – posing massive conflicts that can't be easily avoided," tweets Choma.

"What Trump OWES is far more eye-popping than what he OWNS," says James West of Mother Jones, who posted the striking chart below:

"Once again @russchoma reminds you all that Trump has SO MUCH debt—at least $713 million—and that's a yuge conflict," tweets his colleague Hannah Levintova.

And finally, Robert Annis of Outside Magazine explains why this poses a potential problem: "Trump's in debt up to his eyeballs and may use the presidency to enrich himself and benefit his businesses."

In other news:

Amichai Stein of Channel 1 IBA in Israel tweeted, "WOW: @cbouzy: Someone started dumping Lockheed Martin stock just before Trump's tweet: Tweet was 8:26 AM EST, LMT dumping started 8:20 AM."

"Trump delays announcement about how he'll handle his business operations as president until January," tweets Bloomberg's Kevin Whitelaw, linking to his colleagues' scoop on the matter.

Amazon has cancelled its original TV show "Good Girls Revolt," according to the Atlantic, which is "What happens when there are no women in the room," tweets Alia Wong of the Atlantic.

"Can't make it up," tweets Christian Holub of Entertainment Weekly regarding the CNBC story that a pipeline spilled 160,000 gallons of crude into a creek about 150 miles from a Dakota Access protest camp.

"After nearly $8 million and 2 1/2 years, House Benghazi committee files final report and shuts down," tweets Fredreka Schouten of USA Today, linking to her colleague's story.

"Now McConnell backs investigation of Russian meddling in election," tweets the New York Times' Trip Gabriel, referring to his outlet's story on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the Republicans bucking Trump in terms of Russian hacking claims.

According to Brooke Siepel of The Hill, a West Virginia official who lost her job over a racist Michelle Obama remark has been "quietly reinstated." 

And finally, Colin Jones of The Daily Beast says, "Roger Stone says Trump was just screwing with Romney," linking to his colleague Gideon Resnick's story on Trump's alleged efforts to "torture" Romney regarding the Secretary of State position, "and this photo makes more sense now."

About the author

reporter covering music tech + politics. bylines @FastCompany @Guardian @thedailybeast @Stereogum I wrote @propublica's fracking song

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