Nothing so justly terrible to tyrants as a free press

“A sad headline on the eve of July 4th,” tweets Penny Collenette, of Jim Rutenberg’s piece in The New York Times, Independent Press Is Under Siege as Freedom Rings, which begins, “Happy Birthday, America, I guess.” Among others, Rutenberg quotes Samuel Adams, who said, “There is nothing so fretting and vexatious, nothing so justly terrible to tyrants, and their tools and abettors, as a free press.”

Clearly fretting and frustrated by a free press: Donald Trump, who, as Mike Grynbaum of The New York Times reports, Tweets a Video of Him Wrestling ‘CNN’ to the Ground (70,000+ shares), a piece that begins, “President Trump posted a short video to his Twitter account on Sunday in which he is portrayed wrestling and punching a figure whose head has been replaced by the logo for CNN.” “Not a lede you write everyday,” Grynbaum says. Dean Baquet, executive editor The New York Times, says, “I think it is unseemly that the president would attack journalists for doing their jobs, and encourage such anger at the media.” 

David Nakamura has the story for the Washington Post, writing, Trump appears to promote violence against CNN with tweet (90,000+ shares). And CNNMoney’s Brian Stelter tweets, “Here's my story:” Trump punches CNN in a juvenile tweet. The source of that video, by the way? Dave Gershgorn reports for Quartz, US President Donald Trump sourced his CNN wrestling tweet from a racist troll on Reddit, who then “spent the day erasing racial slurs from Reddit,” as Gershgorn tweets.

Meanwhile, Adrienne LaFrance of The Atlantic says Donald Trump Is Testing Twitter’s Harassment Policy. But as CNNMoney’s Jackie Wattles reports, Twitter says Trump's tweet doesn't violate its rules, a statement that came, as Stelter notes, “6 hours after the first request-for-comment.” Tweets Matt Dornic, “Wonder if @twitter would have the same response if their staff was being targeted and threatened.” Well, according to Asawin Suebsaeng and Andrew Desiderio of The Daily Beast, Trump Tweets Video of Him Punching CNN—White House Officials Think It’s Really ‘Funny’.

So in case you need a poll to tell you this, Americans Say Civility Has Worsened Under Trump; Trust In Institutions Down, reports NPR’s Jessica Taylor, of the results of a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll. She writes, “Seven in 10 Americans say the level of civility in Washington has gotten worse since President Trump was elected, while just 6 percent say the overall tone has improved.” Tweets Glenn Thrush, “I wanna meet the 6% who think civility has improved.”

And “If you want to understand what is happening in our country right now, read this astonishing @lawrence_wright story,” advises Pamela Colloff. In his piece for The New Yorker, America’s Future Is Texas, Texan Lawrence Wright says, “Texas is as politically divided as the rest of the U.S., but a recurrent crop of crackpots and ideologues has fed its reputation for proud know-nothingism and retrograde thinking.”

Holding power to account by flying a plane over it

As Tom Sofield notes in his Muck Rack blog post, local news is keeping communities connected, and here’s your Exhibit A:

“While Trump and the GOP are bashing media, someone brilliant at did this. Yay for our media!” tweets Peter Gleick. He’s talking about photojournalist Andrew Mills’ work for, PHOTOS: Christie, family soak up sun on N.J. beach he closed to public (275,000+ shares). 

Mills also reveals, in The plane truth: How we outsmarted Chris Christie and caught him sunbathing on a closed beach, “when Sunday's weather looked good, and the governor's schedule was open except for an afternoon press briefing in Trenton, I wondered, ‘What are the chances ...?’” Says Cristian Farias, “A round of applause for @njdotcom and @starledger for holding power to account by flying a plane over it.” “Support your local journalist,” says Steve Kopack.

A fascinating, illuminating piece of writing and reporting

“Breathtaking story. In a Midwestern town that went for Trump, a Muslim doctor tries to understand his neighbors,” tweets Sharyn Jackson, of ‘Love Thy Neighbor?’ by Stephanie McCrummen for the Washington Post. Liz Sly says, “Wonderful & moving from @mccrummenWaPo on being Muslim in Trump's America. Read to the end,” and Sopan Deb tweets, “This was a fascinating, illuminating piece of writing and reporting by @mccrummenWaPo.” 

But the pizza

“Rahm Emanuel throws salt into New York’s transit wound,” tweets Colin Campbell of the opinion piece in The New York Times from Rahm Emanuel, In Chicago, the Trains Actually Run on Time. However, Luc Cohen tweets, “This is not complete w/o noting that NYC's 4-5-6 line alone has more daily riders than DC, Boston, Chicago combined.” And Matthew Yglesias points out, “Okay but the Chicago pizza is totally fucked up.” Says Kia Makarechi, “It’s a little rich of Rahm Emanuel to lecture other cities on ... anything.”

Flips then flops

In Tillerson Ready to Let Russia Decide Assad’s Fate, Foreign Policy’s Colum Lynch and Robbie Gramer have the scoop, “In talks with the U.N. chief, Tillerson indicates Russia should be in the driver’s seat when it comes to the future of Syria.” Tweets Daniel Drezner, “Tillerson flips, then flops on the US position on Syria.” As Jim Sciutto notes, “This would be a significant US policy change.” 

Meanwhile, in The Humbling of Rex Tillerson, Bloomberg’s Tobin Harshaw conducts a Q&A with Steve Coll, author of “Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power,” on the secretary of state’s “glorious past and dismal present.”

The final insult 

NBC News’ Michael H. Cottman reports, Thomas Jefferson's Enslaved Mistress Sally Hemings' Living Quarters Found (20,000+ shares). He writes, “Her room — 14 feet, 8 inches wide and 13 feet long — went unnoticed for decades. The space was converted into a men’s bathroom in 1941, considered by some as the final insult to Hemings’ legacy.” And then there’s the headline. Terrell Starr tweets, “1. Sally Hemmings was raped, not a ‘mistress.’ 2. Those weren’t ‘her quarters.’ 3. Shitty headline.”

China stories

@ChinaRealTime tweets, “Regretfully, we’re shutting down the blog. A look back at some of the best China stories it served up the last 9 yrs,” linking to Saying Goodbye: A Last Supper from China Real Time, from The Wall Street Journal’s Josh Chin. Writes Chin, “The China story has changed, and so have the tools for telling it.” Tweets Alyssa Abkowitz, “The end of China Real Time. Hats off to eds, esp. @joshchin @brittanyhite @tepingchen @feliciasonmez.” Esther Fung says, “It was fun reading and writing for China Real Time when I was based in Shanghai. Sad to see it go.”

In other media...

So that’s enough downer news for one recap. Let’s switch gears. At WIRED, Angela Watercutter explains, From ‘Baby Driver’ to ‘Atomic Blonde,’ Streaming Has Made Movie Soundtracks Better Than Ever. She writes, “One look—well, listen—at the multiplex this summer provides ample evidence” of the soundtrack’s resurgence.

Los Angeles Times film critics Kenneth Turan and Justin Chang discuss the best films of 2017 (so far). The Guardian’s Zoe Williams profiles Poor, capable and funny: the return of Roseanne, the sitcom that broke all the rules. And the On Point staff of WBUR offers their Best Summer Books: 2017, Staff Picks. But maybe you’ll prefer Khloé Kardashian's Beach Read Recommendations, as reported by Sam Gillette for People

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