A journalism masterclass
Alexander Bitter is referring to, of course, The Trump Documents, 700 pages of satirical “leaked documents” from the Trump administration released in a document dump by The Onion. Emma Roller says, “Pulitzer bait right here,” while Scott Rose tweets, “oh jeez, my night is shot,” and Aly Semigran says, “This is a thing of beauty.” For more about The Onion’s decision to “flood the Internet with a ton of jokes about the Trump administration, all at once,” read Abigail Ohlheiser’s piece in the Washington Post, Why the Onion released 700 ‘leaked,’ fake documents from the Trump administration (20,000+ shares).
IRL yesterday, we heard from Ex-CIA chief John Brennan, who told the House intelligence committee that Russians contacted the Trump campaign, as CNN’s Tom LoBianco reports. Ram Ramgopal highlights this, “Ex-CIA chief John Brennan: 'Russia brazenly interfered' in US elections,” while many others shared this quote from Brennan: “Frequently, people who go along a treasonous path do not know they are on a treasonous path until it is too late.” For a “nice @sarahposner take on how GOPers' cross-examining of John Brennan blew up in their faces today,” as Greg Sargent tweets, read Sarah Posner’s opinion piece in the Washington Post, Brennan’s explosive testimony just made it harder for the GOP to protect Trump (12,000+ shares).
Math is hard
That’s Jonathan Chait, tweeting about his piece for New York Magazine, Trump Budget Based On $2 Trillion Math Error (42,000+ shares). The magazine tweets, “This is literally the largest and stupidest arithmetic mistake in the history of the federal budget,” while Josh Keefe notes, “Trump promises more ‘free stuff’ than Bernie ever did.” Meanwhile, the Kansas City Star editorial board sees something familiar in that budget. Trump budget replicates disastrous Kansas approach. This won’t end well, they write in a new editorial.
I'll just leave this here
Dell Cameron is referring to the leaked transcript of Trump’s private call with the President of the Philippines, as reported in The Intercept by Alex Emmons, Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Grim in Trump Called Rodrigo Duterte to Congratulate Him on His Murderous Drug War: “You Are Doing an Amazing Job” (16,000+ shares). As The Intercept tweets, “Obama criticized the rising body count in the Philippines, ‘but I understand that,’ Trump reassured Duterte.” Tweets Grim, “The most chilling part: Trump told Duterte he called him specifically to congratulate him on his drug war.” The Washington Post also got a copy of the transcript, as Barton Gellman reports in Trump calls Kim Jong Un a ‘madman with nuclear weapons,’ according to transcript of Duterte call. Jamil Smith breaks it down for us: “He complimented Duterte, who considers Hitler to be a role model, on trying to murder his way to a drug-free nation.”
And at The New York Times, David Sanger and Maggie Haberman cover the story in Trump Praises Duterte for Philippine Drug Crackdown in Call Transcript (11,000+ shares). The piece highlights Trump's comments related to North Korea, including the fact that we have "a lot of firepower over there...We have two submarines — the best in the world. We have two nuclear submarines, not that we want to use them at all."
Fox News has retracted the bogus Seth Rich Story, as Poynter’s Benjamin Mullin reports. In Fox News statement on coverage of Seth Rich murder investigation, the network says that “a story was posted on the Fox News website on the investigation into the 2016 murder of DNC Staffer Seth Rich...was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting...and has since been removed.” Margaret Sullivan of the Washington Post weighs in with The Seth Rich lie, and how the corrosion of reality should worry every American, and Poynter’s Kelly McBride writes, Fox News’s retraction is a woefully inadequate response to its colossal mistake. In Commentary Magazine, John Podhoretz says The Shameless Conspiracy Theorizing around Seth Rich Must Stop. Tweets Max Chafkin, “sort of amazing that this had to be written, but there you go.” Even more powerful, We’re Seth Rich’s parents. Stop politicizing our son’s murder (16,000+ shares), the op-ed by Mary Rich and Joel Rich for the Washington Post.
The Daddy Warbucks of orphan drugs
Matthew Herper says, “This @BW expose on $ALXN's sales prices around its $500K drug Soliris is amazing. A must read.” He’s referring to When the Patient Is a Gold Mine: The Trouble With Rare-Disease Drugs, by Bloomberg’s Benjamin Elgin, Doni Bloomfield and Caroline Chen. Or as John Lauerman puts it, “How a company became the Daddy Warbucks of orphan drugs.”
A leaky sieve
Miriam Elder asks, “Why is all the intel info on the Manchester attack coming from US officials??” As James Ball reports in BuzzFeed, US Officials Keep Talking About The Manchester Attack And It’s Freaking Out European Allies. Tweets Doug Sovern, “European allies irked that US officials are leaking info about #manchesterattack. Trump admin is a leaky sieve,” but you probably already knew that last bit. And at The Guardian, David Smith and Ewen Macaskill report, US leak of Manchester attacker's name strikes new blow to intelligence sharing (10,000+ shares), writing that the “Naming of Salman Abedi by ‘US officials’ hours before it was announced by UK authorities is latest in series of leaks that may damage credibility with allies.” Tweets Emily Cahn, “The US is becoming the blabbermouth of the world.”
Wise and true words
Meanwhile, Indira Lakshmanan of Poynter, who’s been watching the Manchester coverage, offers some specific steps journalists can take “to improve our coverage in the public interest.” Read her piece, The endless loop of terror victims: Lazy journalism that lets ISIS run the newsroom, which Katty Kay calls “Really smart,” and Jay Rosen says, “This is exactly how I feel. Going wall-to-wall with an act of terror = newsrooms adrift. Brava.”
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a “brilliant and beautiful and incredibly affecting” piece, as Marina Hyde puts it, read Manchester’s heartbreak: ‘I never grasped what big pop gigs were for until I saw one through my daughter’s eyes’ (10,000+ shares), by Alexis Petridis at The Guardian. Tweets Andy Cowper, “This is just right,” and Jannie Momberg says, “Some wise and true words.”
The Gen X Bond
“Amen to this perfect tribute to Roger Moore's James Bond,” says Peter Pachal, referring to Roger Moore Was the Best Bond Because He Was the Gen X Bond, by A.O. Scott in The New York Times. As Scott writes, “He is a cartoon superhero in evening wear, a man whose mission is to embody — and, therefore, to transcend — a secondhand, second-rate age, to be cool and clever in a world determined to be as lame and dumb as possible.” We can find nothing to argue with in that statement, but Cy Musiker tweets, “Nonsense from @aoscott... Fleming's Bond was OUR deadly assasinspy. Moore played him as a fop. But start the debate.” Says John Surico, “Okay, yeah, Live and Let Die was great, but still, Moore is second to Connery.” As Carol Eggers explains, “You never forget your first Bond.”
Making the rounds:
Trump used to be more articulate. What could explain the change? (26,000+ shares) Sharon Begley of STAT News analyzes Trump interviews since the '80s.
In a Boston Magazine long read, Simon van Zuylen-Wood asks, Can Linda Henry Save the Boston Globe? noting that “She’s on a mission to save Boston’s hometown newspaper. Let’s hope it works—for all our sakes.”
Bloomberg’s Margaret Talev and Lorenzo Totaro report, Pope Gives Trump Book on Protecting Environment at Vatican Talks (7,000+ shares). Rob Verdonck asks, “What are the odds he'll read it?”
Speaking of, in a new interactive piece for The New York Times, Nadja Popovich Maps 50 Years of Melting Ice in Glacier National Park.
Katie Jennings of POLITICO reports that Tom MacArthur resigns as co-chairman of 'clearly divided' Tuesday Group.
At CNN, Chris Isidore reports that the Carrier plant that Trump helped save will cut 300 jobs right before Christmas (24,500+ shares). “Well of course,” tweets Jon Iadarola.