Can we underscore how insane this is?

Feb 16, 2017

The superlatives are out. “Stunning,” says Andy Lassner of The Ellen Degeneres Show. “This is astounding,” says the Wall Street Journal's Cameron McWhirter. “Whoa nellie!” adds the AP’s Michael R. Sisak.

David Harris of the Boston Business Journal simply wants to know, “Can we underscore how insane this is?” pointing to the Wall Street Journal headline, Spies Keep Intelligence From Donald Trump. “This is unsustainable,” tweets Rob Garver of The Fiscal Times, while WSJ’s Christopher Mims deadpans “This is fine,” of the story reported by Shane Harris and Carol Lee that "U.S. intelligence officials have withheld sensitive intelligence from President Donald Trump because they are concerned it could be leaked or compromised.” Back to that headline, Jesse Pesta of The New York Times tweets, “Generally speaking the WSJ's tight headline counts do a disservice to the reporting. But this one works.” And on to other headlines...

You can put away your bromance headlines now.

Scott Rose of Bloomberg News offers this advice in response to the scoop from Bloomberg’s Irina Reznik, Stepan Kravchenko and Ilya Arkhipov that the Kremlin has told state media to cut back on its “fawning” Trump coverage. “The thrill is gone,” says Bloomberg’s Craig Gordon. But is there more to the story? Tweets the Washington Post’s Matt O’Brien, “Flynn gets fired and…” Adds Christopher Miller, “One must not garner more media mentions than the Tsar by the Tsar's own media.”

“Trump's press conference strategy: Don't call on any reporters who might ask tough questions.” Robert Byers of the Charleston Gazette-Mail sums up Chris Cillizza’s piece in the Washington Post, which notes that Trump has only taken questions from the conservative media in the last two weeks. Cillizza invites you to “Imagine if Obama called on only HuffPo, Daily Kos and Rachel Maddow in a press conference with a foreign leader.”

A new news cycle, a new nutty and alarming Trump story

"This is incredibly creepy, even by post-election standards.” Zoe Galland of Crain's Chicago Business is referring to the story by James Risen and Matthew Rosenberg in The New York Times that “Trump may appoint billionaire Bannon ally to lead review of Intel agencies that officials fear could constrain them,” as Noah Rothman tweets, adding, “This is starting feel like it's getting out of hand.” Or: “A new news cycle, a new nutty and alarming Trump story,” says John Cassidy of The New Yorker.

Cassidy’s own new piece, Donald Trump Versus the World, highlights that “#Trump may have overestimated his ability to make Americans forget that Russia is our greatest enemy,” David Beard tweets. Even so, “Less than a month in, Trump to hold fairy campaign event for the 2020 election. No, that's not a typo,” tweets Josh Baugh of the San Antonio Express-News. As David Graham reports in The Atlantic, the president is taking the permanent campaign to new levels. Or as Steve Charing puts is, “Emboldened by his massive 40% approval and his sterling job perf. so far, @POTUS believes he deserves a second term.”

Pooping in space: complicated

And now for some good news. “In space, no-one can hear you poop,” tweets CNN's Euan McKirdy. In his story, At ease, future astronauts: NASA solving 'space poop' problem, McKirdy reveals that Thatcher Cardon, a family physician, Air Force officer and flight surgeon, has won NASA’s Space Poop Challenge, which was aimed at finding a “safe, medically sound solution for taking waste away from astronauts' bodies if confined for a long period of time.” For those of us who aren't so scientifically inclined, S. Smith explains: “Pooping in space: complicated.”

Also making the rounds

  • #DayWithoutImmigrants: As Perry Stein of the Washington Post reports, “Immigrants in D.C. and across the country plan to participate in the ‘Day Without Immigrants’ boycott” today.

  • In The Hollywood Reporter, Eriq Gardner reports that "Government prosecutors may be investigating 21st Century Fox for quietly settling sexual harassment claims against former Fox News chief Roger Ailes without reporting it to the media giant’s shareholders.” Matthew Klein of the Financial Times tweets: “It's always the failure to disclose to shareholders that gets them, isn't it?”

  • “So it's Collins yes/McCain no on OMB chief,” tweets NBC’s Doug Adams, referring to colleague Leigh Ann Caldwell’s reporting that Maine Sen. Susan Collins will support Mike Mulvaney, “Trump’s controversial choice for budget director.”

  • And finally, Lucinda Shen of Fortune reports that a new study has found that—wait for it: Americans Are Really Stressed About Donald Trump.

AP Bureau Chief Anthony Marquez dies at 55

Anthony Marquez, Los Angeles bureau chief for the Associated Press for the past 13 years, succumbed to cancer last Thursday.

A graduate of Fresno State, Marquez earned a master’s from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. He began his career interning at AP’s Minneapolis bureau, eventually becoming a reporter and working his way up the ranks to become Contra Costa Times Bureau Chief and Assistant City Editor. He then worked as Managing Editor for the West County Times and Bay Area editor for the San Jose Mercury News before returning to the AP in 2000 as Assistant Bureau Chief in San Francisco. Three years later, Marquez was named chief of the Los Angeles bureau.

An AP story about his passing speaks fondly of the bureau chief whose “calm hand brought stability to AP's news coverage in Southern California amid titanic changes for the journalism industry.”

About the author

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

Signup for the Muck Rack Daily email

A digest of journalism, written by journalists, delivered to your inbox daily.