The verdict: meh
“And here it is: The New York Times Book Review of ‘Fire and Fury,’” tweets Pamela Paul, who links to From ‘Fire and Fury’ to Political Firestorm, by Jonathan Martin of The New York Times. Tweets David Akin, “The @NYTimes gets one of its political reporters to review @MichaelWolffNYC ‘s book. The verdict: meh.” “This lede though,” says Alexander Quon (and many others). Ginger Thompson calls it the “Best, fairest review of this book I’ve read,” while Eric Boehlert says it’s “utterly predictable: scooped by Wolff book NYT delivers negative review, denouncing writer as ‘grotesque.’” Tweets Eric Alterman, “Literally, nothing in the world could make me feel sorry for Michael Wolff. Still, this…”
And then there’s Sebastian Gorka’s piece for The Hill, Don't believe Michael Wolff's book about Trump if you want the truth, “In which Sebastian Gorka says Michael Wolff is ‘a partisan self-promoter with credibility issues,’” tweets Blake Hounshell. “Gorka, in trying to knock the book down, confirms people were told to cooperate,” tweets Maggie Haberman. Speaking of Haberman, Gorka writes, that “you’d never see Jim Acosta coming out of my office or Maggie Haberman buying me an espresso at Peet’s around the corner from the West Wing.” Or as Gary Legum puts it, “THE DRAGON OF BUDAPEST DOES NOT DRINK ESPRESSO AT PEET'S WITH MAGGIE HABERMAN.”
At BuzzFeed, Charlie Warzel writes that Fire And Fury Is The First Book Of The Post-Truth Social Media Era.
More DC news
Tyler Cowen links to this “Superb David Brooks column,” The Decline of Anti-Trumpism, David Brooks’s latest for The New York Times. David Sanger says it’s “A David Brooks column that no one should miss.”
Meanwhile, Mueller indicates he will likely seek interview with Trump. Carol Leonnig has the story for The Washington Post and reports that questioning could happen within weeks. Tweets Marcy Wheeler, “IMO @CarolLeonnig has the best version of the negotiations about interviewing Trump story.”
Some breaking news from Steven Mufson of The Washington Post, Trump-appointed regulators reject plan to rescue coal and nuclear plants. “So FERC doesn't always do the administration's bidding, after all,” tweets Jon Chesto.
Also at The Washington Post, David Weigel reports that Democratic donor Tom Steyer will plow $30 million into midterms, but won’t run for office in 2018.
Axios’s Sara Fischer has the Scoop: WaPo hits 2nd year of profitability, plans expansion. She includes the full memo by Washington Post Publisher Fred Ryan, who writes, “As the newsroom grows to more than 800 journalists, and as we add to our technology and business teams, we will be acquiring additional space in our headquarters building in 2018. This expansion will meet our needs in the coming year and accommodate anticipated growth in the future.”
In response to Trump’s fake news awards, CPJ announces Press Oppressors awards. No spoilers here. You’ll have to head over to the Committee to Protect Journalists website to find out the winners in categories like, “Most Thin-Skinned,” “Tightest Grip on Media,” “Biggest Backslider in Press Freedom,” and “Overall Achievement in Undermining Global Press Freedom.” (Admittedly, you might be able to guess a few of those.) Ryan J. Reilly retweets @Popehat, who says, “Okay, this is not as shockingly lacking in perspective as several places made it sound.”
Secret snappy snap data news
“SCOOP: I got a hold of 5 months of confidential detailed DAU metrics for nearly every feature in Snapchat,” tweets Taylor Lorenz of The Daily Beast. She reports on her findings in This Is the Data Snapchat Doesn’t Want You to See, or “secret snappy snap data,” as Rebecca Rosenberg tweets.
Big money news
“Behold: Oprah's ability to move Weight Watchers shares without even mentioning the company,” tweets Craig Giammona, who links to his piece for Bloomberg, ‘Oprah for President’ Talk Sends Weight Watchers Shares Higher.
Global (and beyond) news
Choe Sang-Hun of The New York Times breaks the news that North Korea will Send Olympic Athletes to South Korea. She writes, “the North’s attendance will be a historic development in inter-Korean sports exchanges,” adding, “It was not immediately clear whether North Korea attached any conditions to its decision to attend.”
In an interview with Josh Lederman and Matthew Lee of AP News, Tillerson says no diplomats return to Cuba yet. Tweets Lederman, “After months of investigation, new FBI report says no evidence of ‘sonic attacks’ in #Cuba.”
“A WSJ report backs up our earlier story about the loss of the Zuma satellite,” tweets Eric Berger, who links to U.S. Spy Satellite Believed Lost After SpaceX Mission Fails, by Andy Pasztor of The Wall Street Journal. Tweets Mike Baker, “An expensive, highly classified U.S. spy satellite is presumed to be a total loss after SpaceX mission fails.”
Sports (and music?) news
Alabama vs Georgia: Crimson Tide win 5th title in 9 years. Jill Martin of CNN has the story. And Eugene Scott of The Washington Post reports that Trump revives criticism of national anthem protests, but critics wonder: Does he know the song? Tweets Caryn Ganz, “Literally anyone trying to karaoke ‘Crazy in Love.’”
“It's real, and the headline is almost as great,” tweets Stephen Losey. Want to Dress Like Kylo Ren of Star Wars? You’ll Need Maternity Pants, writes The Wall Street Journal’s Sarah E. Needleman. “Come for the photos, maybe also read the story,” says Matthew Rose. “Today on WSJ: Kylopants — do not send nudes, thank you!” tweets Leandro Oliva. Brian Fitzgerald explains: “There are Star Wars fans, and then there are Star Wars fans.”
Sexist robot news
What’s going on at CES? Well, “Here’s my story on the robot stripper party at #CES2018,” tweets Taylor Lorenz, who links to her piece in The Daily Beast, Do Androids Cry After Stripping in Vegas for CES? She notes, “My fave people in this story were all the guys who were disappointed that the robots weren’t hotter.” It’s “The tech world’s solution to sexism: Sexist robots!” as Rebecca Greenfield tweets. “STEEL TWERKER,” tweets Justin Miller. “God, @TaylorLorenz is so good,” says Julia Alexander. “Tech definitely, definitely gets it, u guys,” says Drew Armstrong. Also, “This is a logical conclusion to the end of humans,” tweets Josh Sternberg. Adds Shelbie Lynn Bostedt, “it was then, with a robot stripper dropping it like it was hot, that the last shred of decency fled planet Earth.”