More than cookies

Let’s start the week off here, because, as Meredith Carey tweets, “This will hit you right in the Monday feels.” In Living by the Girl Scout Law, Even Without a Home, Nikita Stewart writes in The New York Times about Troop 6000, the first Girl Scouts troop in New York City composed solely of homeless girls. “I love do-si-dos and this article and these girls - amazing work,” says Carolyn Murnick. Stewart herself tweets,” Girl Scouts is more than cookies. Even without a permanent home, these girls are learning to make a difference.” Says Anne Hull, ”Here are some real soldiers: the Girl Scouts of the Sleep Inn.”

Why would anyone go to Crapstone, Santa Claus or Jackass Flats?

David Dunlap tweets the question and a link to his new piece in The New York Times, Reporters Get New Datelines So They Won’t Seem Out of Place. Henry Fountain notes, “In which the story behind my SANTA CLAUS, Indiana, dateline is revealed.” Kim Severson calls it, “The geekiest of journo news from our newsroom.” Jason Feifer says it’s also “Another good reminder that most people have no idea how journalism works.” And Kate Martin reveals, “I once convinced an editor to give me a dateline of BIG HOLE.” Maybe worth noting, as Les Perreaux does, “Also nobody reads bylines except your mother and your enemies.” Says Lauren Sherman, “This was a deeply satisfying, if not deep, read!”

Performance artist or dangerous lunatic?

On one side, “@Infowars' Alex Jones is a ‘performance artist,’ says his own lawyer,” as Greg Krieg tweets. On the other, “Jones's ex-wife counters that he is, in fact, a dangerous lunatic.” In an exclusive for the Austin American-Statesman, Jonathan Tilove reports on the custody case unfolding in Austin between Alex Jones and his ex-wife Kelly, in In Travis County custody case, jury will search for real Alex Jones. In the piece, Tilove writes that “Lawyers for Kelly Jones will maintain that Jones’ public outbursts suggest he is not a fit parent. Alex Jones’ lawyers will make the case that their client should not be judged by his on-air persona.” Ben Collins’ assessment: “Hoooly shit. This Alex Jones defense is going to be something.” And Rob Cox offers an alt-headline: “The man who calls Sandy Hook a hoax wants his kids.”

Alt-right wormhole

Brian Stelter recommends this “Must-read column by @JimRutenberg in Moscow: ‘Like a visit to the land of Alternative Truth Yet to Come…’" Jim Rutenberg writes in The New York Times, In Putin’s Moscow, a Pliant Press That Trump So Craves. “Do not trust and by all means verify. @jimrutenberg finds lessons for American journalists in Putin's Russia,” tweets Frank Bruni. The piece begins, “As soon as I turned on a television here I wondered if I had arrived through an alt-right wormhole.” And Cristina Marcos highlights, “What a line: ‘Their journalistic spirit couldn’t be killed, even after some of their friends and colleagues had been.’”

Tapping the true sentiment of Trump supporters

“I wonder if headlines like this strike Trump voters as a little too close to ‘We told you so,” tweets Christopher Flavelle. He’s referring to Trump Voters in a Swing District Wonder When the ‘Winning’ Will Start. The new piece from Matt Flegenheimer for The New York Times checks in with “Regretful Trump voters in swing district of Bensalem, Pennsylvania,” as Anthony De Rosa puts it. One quote getting lots of retweets: He’s “Just like any other damn president,” prompting Graeme Wood to tweet, “ I might be wrong about most things but some people are wrong about everything.” Mariah Blake’s take on it, though, is this: “After the election debacle, I'm skeptical of any NYT story claiming to tap the true sentiment of Trump supporters.”

Meanwhile, “Sifting thru data, @wapo finds Trump voters were poorer, less drawn to authoritarianism & more racist than average,” tweets Celeste Headlee, referring to analysis by Thomas Wood in his Washington Post piece, Racism motivated Trump voters more than authoritarianism or income inequality. Also at the Washington Post, Jena McGregor reports that the number of Americans who think Trump keeps his promises is plummeting, dropping 17 points in 2 months.

Mourning in America

For a “Beautiful meditation on life in a small town by @mccrummenWaPo,” Matea Gold refers you to In Kiron, Iowa, pop. 229, the meaning of a life, a death and another cup of coffee, by Stephanie McCrummen at the Washington Post. Tom Zoellner calls it an “Amazing prose portrait -- sad, patient and emotionally complex.” A widely tweeted quote, “You can figure out Steve King by understanding all of us.” “Mourning in America,” says Amy Ellis Nutt.

The world’s problem

Is North Korea A ‘Cuban Missile Crisis in Slow Motion’? David Sanger and William J. Broad make the case in their analysis for The New York Times. But maybe Donald Trump’s big problem is he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, as Matthew Yglesias writes for Vox. Says Ezra Klein, “I'm not sure Donald Trump's ignorance is his problem so much as it's our problem, and the world's problem.”

The cure for Facebook-created problems: more Facebook

Mat Honan says, “Here's a deep @nitashatiku look, filled with great reporting and writing, on the transformation of Mark Zuckerberg.” In her new piece for BuzzFeed, Nitasha Tiku writes that Mark Zuckerberg’s Makeover Is a Political Campaign Without the Politics. Tweets Ellen Cushing, “there are so many fire sentences in this @nitashatiku post that picking pullquotes took like 2 hours.” Says Tara Mulholland, “This piece calling Mark Zuckerberg ‘the head of a 14-year-old nation-state called Facebook" gave me a little jolt.’” Notes Jacob Weisberg, “Zuckerberg always believes the cure for problems created by Facebook is more Facebook.” But Seth Fiegerman says, “Honestly I care more about my refrigerator than Facebook.”

Sorry, Seth, we have some more Facebook news for you. Jay Rosen says, “If you follow the struggles that news publishers have been having with social platforms, this is a necessary read.” In Instant recall: Facebook's Instant Articles promised to transform journalism — but now big publishers are fleeing, Casey Newton writes for The Verge that “NYT, Vice News, Forbes, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and Hearst have all given up on Instant Articles,” as Lainna Fader tweets. Says Matt Rosoff, “Instant Articles didn't work because format has no big effect on sharability. It's the content, stupid.” And Heidi Moore advises, “One reason journalists should be VERY wary of Facebook: it keeps moving the goalposts.”


Stop swooning over Justin Trudeau. The man is a disaster for the planet, says The Guardian’s Bill McKibben. Morgan Clendaniel’s take on the piece has a familiar ring to it: “Everyone knows Justin Trudeau is good. What this article presupposes is... maybe he isn't?” Isaac Saul calls it “A stunning and fair rebuke of @JustinTrudeau, whose climate change rhetoric appears to be little more than talk.” Says Stephen Leahy, “Ouch! but hard to argue with.”

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