This is what Pulitzers are made of

Dec 20, 2016

If you're thinking you'd love to be a photojournalist, ask yourself if you would have choked

That's the advice Robert Scheer, photojournalist for the Indianapolis Star, gives after reading AP photographer Burhan Ozbilici's harrowing account of yesterday's assassination attempt of Russia's ambadassor to Turkey. Ozbilici captured the horrific event on camera, stating simply—and badassedly— "I composed myself enough to shoot pictures."

"Awed by the courage of the photographer who captured this terrifying shot," tweets the New York Times' Hiroko Tabuchi.

"Burhan Ozbilici, @AP photographer who saw this go down and lifted camera to make pictures, is a hero," TIME's Alex Fitzpatrick weighs in.

"As I said a few weeks ago, the great photojournalism of 2016 is continuing to resemble stills from a scary, not-entirely-realistic movie," tweets Kurt Andersen of Public Radio International.

And finally, Lynne O'Donnell of the AP's Kabul Bureau says, "This is what Pulitzers are made of."

After Election Day, everything changed.

No kidding. That's how Judd Legum and Kira Lerner open their ThinkProgress piece on Kuwait, which has allegedly cancelled a major event at the Four Seasons in favor of Trump's D.C. hotel, citing "political pressure." (27,000 shares)

"Wow," tweets Matea Gold of the Washington Post. "Trump Org officials contacted ambassador of Kuwait and encouraged him to move event to Trump’s D.C. hotel."

SCOTUSMap's Jay Pinho doesn't mince words about the ramifications of the deal: "Hard to overstate how big of a deal this is. An impeachable offense from Day 1."

Finally, Digiday's Evan DeSimone has a less extreme though equally disheartening take: "Our best hope may be the fact that even when armed with immense power Trump is still just a petty scammer at heart."

Democrats had a knife, and the GOP had a gun

That's the title of a new op-ed by the New York Times' David Leonhardt on how the respective reactions between President Obama and North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory in the face of losing power—indirectly in the former's case, directly in the latter's—reflects "deep — and alarming — differences between our two political parties right now."

"Republicans are finding new ways to pervert democracy," tweets Jamil Smith of MTV News. "So, @DLeonhardt argues, Democrats need to get tougher."

"'When they go low we go high' is lovely rhetoric, but also a weak strategy in a time when democracy is under assault," says Martin Gelin of Dagens Nyheter.

And finally, Leonhardt's colleague Paul Krugman offers up some slyly knowing commentary: "Leonhardt is sounding shrill (what people used to say about me). But he's right, of course."

In other news:

"I got my hands on a DoD memo outlining Trump's defense priorities," says John Hudson of Foreign Policy. "What's interesting is what's missing." And what is missing? We'll give you two hints: It starts with "R" and it's where Zangief's from.

"Another day, another ominous questionnaire from Trump transition team," tweets InsideClimate NewsLisa Song, linking to a Washington Post piece revealing that Trump has asked the State Department to disclose how much it sends to international environmental groups.

"Never mind the hacking: overt evidence that #Russia's pushing a political realignment in Europe?" asks Barbara Plett of the BBC as she links to a New York Times piece on a far-right group founded by ex-Nazis in Austria who have signed a "cooperation pact" with Vladimir Putin's party. "Michael Flynn makes an appearance, too," adds Wired's Clive Thompson, referring to Trump's pick for National Security Adviser.

According to The Center for Public Integrity, Trump's sons are behind a non-profit selling access to the president-elect during inauguration weekend. "The Trumps argue this is for charity," says Maggie Haberman of the New York Times. "But no donor is giving $1 mill unless they think it's about proximity."

And finally, some "good midday content," according to the Washington Post's J. duLac who links to Matt Novak's Gizmodo article, "This Deep Sea Fisherman Posts His Discoveries On Twitter And OH MY GOD KILL IT WITH FIRE." Sweet dreams. Though you're probably not going to sleep after clicking this. Ever again.

About the author

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

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