Always read the fine print

Dec 18, 2017

Making headlines over the weekend, the scoop from Mike Allen of Axios, Mueller obtains ‘tens of thousands’ of Trump transition emails. Allen writes, “The twist: The sources say that transition officials assumed that Mueller would come calling, and had sifted through the emails and separated the ones they considered privileged. But the sources said that was for naught, since Mueller has the complete cache from the dozen accounts.”

The response? Mueller unlawfully obtained emails, Trump transition team says. That’s the report from Anne Gearan and Philip Rucker of The Washington Post. King Kaufman “Fixed headline: Desperate Trump camp makes baseless claim in Mueller probe.”

From BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner, the response to the response: Key Officials Push Back Against Trump Campaign’s Claim That A Federal Office Illegally Turned Over Emails To Special Counsel. “Always read the fine print,” tweets Matthew Yglesias, referring to “[GSA Deputy Counsel Lenny] Loewentritt read to BuzzFeed News a series of agreements that anyone had to agree to when using GSA materials during the transition, including that there could be monitoring and auditing of devices and that, ‘Therefore, no expectation of privacy can be assumed.’”

Linking to The New York Times story by Michael Schmidt, Image of Cooperation Between White House and Mueller Starts to Fracture, Tim O'Brien tweets, “Team Trump continues to try laying the groundwork for forcing out Mueller.”

The war on vocabulary

Another big story over the weekend, CDC gets list of forbidden words. Lena Sun and Juliet Eilperin have the story for The Washington Post. “Also, 2 + 2 now = 5,” notes Richard Bradley. “Another front in the Trump administration's war on reality: vocabulary,” tweets Frank Bruni. “If you aren’t alarmed by this, you should be,” says Mandy St. Amand. “And this is how a democracy dies,” tweets Kara Swisher.

And not just democracy. In Newsweek, Gleb Tsipursky writes that Trump’s censorship of science will make some people sick and will kill others.

Rebecca Leber tweets, “NYTimes @LFFriedman @EricLiptonNYT follows up with a second story on @Motherjones scoop on EPA's Definers contract.” She links to E.P.A. Employees Spoke Out. Then Came Scrutiny of Their Email, by Eric Lipton and Lisa Friedman of The New York Times.

In a new investigation for POLITICO Magazine, Josh Meyer reveals The secret backstory of how the Obama team let Hezbollah off the hook. He writes, “In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States, according to a POLITICO investigation.”

Now’s not really a good time

“Wow, thus, uh, is something,” tweets Chris Krewson. He’s referring to The Pentagon’s Secret Search for UFOs, by Bryan Bender for POLITICO Magazine. “2017 — when the Pentagon acknowledging a secret UFO program seems like one of the *least* weird stories of the year,” tweets Dan Diamond. Helene Cooper, Ralph Blumenthal and Leslie Kean of The New York Times also report on the story (with video), in Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program. Tweets Samantha Storey, “I think the @nytimes just discovered proof of UFO’s, but because this year has been insane we’re all ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.” “Share this before they reveal themselves,” says Patrick LaForge. “This is not a great time for aliens to meet us,” notes Liam Stack

Top-shelf journalism

“What a terrifyingly powerful piece of journalism,” tweets Eric Lipton, of As Venezuela Collapses, Children Are Dying of Hunger, by Isayen Herrera and Meredith Kohut of The New York Times. Tweets Kim Severson. “This piece of top-shelf @nytimes journalism offered me a good dose of perspective this morning.” Adds Max Fisher, “These @meridithkohut photos are just devastating.”

“The details in this article on the Panthers owner under investigation are horrifying,” says Alexander Quon. He’s referring to the Sports Illustrated Exclusive: New details on allegations against Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, by L. Jon Wertheim and Viv Bernstein. Tweets Brian Manzullo, “This lede is disgusting and I can't believe this is ever allowed to happen in the workplace.” And Mike Freeman says, “Richardson allegedly using a racial slur is least surprising part of this story.”

The Washington Post has compiled The 10 best journalism movies. As Emily Bell and many others pointed out, “This otherwise excellent list of films about journalism is missing the often overlooked The Paper.....”

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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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