Welcome to our darkest timeline.

Feb 02, 2017

“Dear American foreign policy community: welcome to our darkest timeline,” tweets Daniel Drezner. He’s referring to colleague Greg Miller’s scoop in the Washington Post that, in his call with one of America’s staunchest allies, “President Trump blasted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a refu­gee agreement and boasted about the magnitude of his electoral college win” before cutting the call off in under a half hour. Mitchell Bingemann of The Australian calls it “hands-down the best news story of the week,” while  James Massola of the Sydney Morning Herald tweet-shouts, “THIS. IS. INCREDIBLE.”

And that’s not all. “Trump threatening to invade Mexico seems like a buried lede,” notes Vox’s Matthew Yglesias. Vivian Salama of the Associated Press reports that, according to a transcript the AP obtained of the conversation between Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Trump threatened to send US troops to Mexico to stop “bad hombres down there.” “Who had War with Mexico on their End of Days Bingo card?” Krystal Ball of Glamour asks.

But let’s not stop there. “The leaks have only just begun,” tweets Carolyn Abate. The Nation and The Investigative Fund obtained a leaked draft of Trump’s religious freedom order, which, Sarah Posner writes, “reveals sweeping plans by the Trump administration to legalize discrimination.”

“Where my eye roll emoji at,” Asawin Suebsaeng of the Daily Beast wonders. In the “legit the 3rd big scoop @JuliaEAinsley's had in the last 8 days,” as Dara Lind of Vox puts it, Julia Edwards Ainsley and her colleagues Dustin Volz and Kristina Cooke of Reuters report that Trump plans to change the name and scope of a current counter-extremism program to focus only on "Islamic extremism."

Good reminder for journalists, everywhere.

That’s how POLITICO’s Kate Day describes Covering Trump the Reuters Way (56,000+ shares). The message from Reuters’ Editor-in-Chief Steve Adler provides some dos and don’ts based on the organization’s work in “places such as Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Thailand, China, Zimbabwe, and Russia, nations in which we sometimes encounter some combination of censorship, legal prosecution, visa denials, and even physical threats to our journalists.”

But that’s not what Matt Pearce of the Los Angeles Times is talking about when he says “Journalism is a strange place right now.” No, that would be his reaction to the news that Trump’s longtime doctor has revealed the president takes “a prostate-related drug to promote hair growth.”

How about a quick break from the relentless political news? “BEYONCE IS PREGNANT,” Jezebel’s Kara Brown tweet-exclaims. In other words, as Carolyn Ganz of The New York Times says, "’Lemonade’ was fake news.”

And speaking of fake news, it turns out the man who claimed his 75-year-old mother died after getting caught up in Trump’s travel ban was lying. More tweet-shouting ensues, as Kyle Feldscher of the Washington Examiner offers some advice for publishing these kinds of stories: “STOP RUNNING THINGS YOU CAN'T CONFIRM.” Adds the Washington Post’s Steven Rich: “ALWAYS. BE. SKEPTICAL.” These are shouty times.

About the author

Nashville-based writer, marketing communications consultant, and all-around word nerd. Usually covered in dog and/or cat hair.

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