Bezos tells Trump to take a planetary hike
- Post owner wants to make him a Rocket Man
The Amazon founder and Washington Post owner has turned into a yuppie Ralph Kramden. You remember the classic Jackie Gleason bus driver character of the iconic 1950s TV show, "The Honeymooners," correct? A signature line when Ralph got pissed at wife Alice was "One of these days Alice — pow! Straight to the moon!" Now Bezos is saying the same to Trump after the presidential candidate badmouthed him by tweeting that the paper "loses a fortune" and Bezos is merely using it as a tax dodge. (The Hill) Bezos responded by offering to send Trump into space with one of his rockets. An interesting prospect. (@JeffBezos) Maybe Trump could travel well beyond the moon and meet Matt Damon on Mars, where he could badmouth Damon's movie or convince him that he'd be an incredible host of the Miss Universe Pageant he owned. As for the underlying cause of the latest outrage with Trump, namely his anti-Muslim remarks, even The Economist finds that for those "alarmed by this intolerant turn, it may be some consolation to know that their country has taken and survived them before." (The Economist) But Mars could be a really wonderful place for him. Imagine The Trump Super Galactic Inter-Planetary Golf Course. The best, the greatest, just fantastic. Better layout than anything on Earth. Puts Pebble Beach and Pine Valley to shame. And we'd have The Washington Post to thank!
- A once hot news app returns (maybe)
Circa was once a very "hot" new app. Then it crashed. So here were three differing ways to approach the same story yesterday: A) "Sinclair announces plans to relaunch Circa" (Poynter) B) "It's official: Something called Circa will launch next year, though it probably won’t look very familiar" (NiemanLab) and, my favorite, C) "Circa, News App Nobody Used, Purchased By Conservative Television Conglomerate." (Gawker)
- The role of conservative media
The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza explores the dynamics and personalities within the House Republicans' Freedom Caucus, along the way underscoring the potent role of conservative media in shaping its agenda. That includes being increasingly sensitive to wacko, fact-deficient theories on an array of topics, as at least one caucus member openly concedes to Lizza. It's worth a look. (The New Yorker)
- Reporters at work
The recently released video of a Chicago police officer killing a teenager was a reminder of how journalists each day repeat official claims about events. Last year, it was the claims that the cop had shot one bullet (rather than 16) into a kid menacingly approaching him (when in fact he was heading away from him). Yesterday, the Pentagon "confirmed" that "U.S. airstrikes last month killed the head of the Islamic State in Libya...Ukash's removal from the battlefield is a significant blow to al-Shabaab and reflects the painstaking work by our intelligence, military, and law enforcement professionals," said the Pentagon spokesman. (Fox News) Many media outlets had the same tale. But, as with police shooting incidents, how is one really to know at this point? It's a small example of what plays out every day at every layer of American government and media. There's at least an initial reliance on what may be self-serving claims that are very tough to double-check as we serve as compliant stenographers early on.
- The search for love — and podcast profits
"The New York Times has published some 600 essays about love and relationships in the 11 years since it introduced its weekly Modern Love column — from the story about the man deeply affected by the failing health of his daughter's goldfish to the one about the woman conned by a Craigslist 'Missed Connection.' Now, the newspaper plans to bring these stories (and more) to life with a new podcast produced in collaboration with Boston public radio station WBUR." It's called "The Modern Love Podcast " and will surface early next year. (The Hollywood Reporter)
- Trump no longer "entertaining" to Huffington Post
The Huffington Post's summer decision to treat Donald Trump as "entertainment" was a dubious, if sincerely felt move. (Poynter) A Syracuse University journalism student was even interviewing me yesterday on whether it was "ethical." Well, the premise of her paper may now have to change somewhat given Arianna Huffington taking to her site yesterday. Since it made its initial decision, "Trump's campaign has certainly lived up to that billing," she wrote. "But as today's vicious pronouncement makes abundantly clear, it's also morphed into something else: an ugly and dangerous force in American politics. So we will no longer be covering his campaign in Entertainment. But that's not to say we'll be treating it as if it were a normal campaign." (Poynter) Whether many readers ever noticed the website's segregation of Trump stories will be left to future presidential historians or, ah, at least a graduate journalism student somewhere.
- Yahoo's sports scoop
It disclosed that superstar relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman, said to be on the verge of being traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the Los Angeles Dodgers, fired eight gunshots in the garage of his Florida home and was accused of choking his girlfriend, according to a police report it obtained. He admitted to firing the gun, not choking her, and prosecutors didn't file charges. Now if Yahoo could only find strategic relief for its ongoing corporate mess and stagnant performance, it would be a happy camper. (Yahoo)
- A slight sneer at "marginal" readers
At a media business conference, The New York Times CEO didn't directly address The Washington Post heralding how it topped the Times in unique visitors during October and is the new "paper of record." Mark Thompson declared, "We're not desperately interested in the next marginal unique user. We don't want to try to get users by doing journalism which is out of character for the brand." It's focusing, he said, on a new digital product based on movies and TV but, ah, presumably not for the next marginal schlump of a unique user. (Ad Age)
- Kudos for Chinese author
Nieman Fellows of the class of 2016 at Harvard picked Chinese journalist and author Yang Jisheng for the Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism. His book, "Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine 1958-1962," details one of the most disastrous human catastrophes of the 20th century in which about 36 million Chinese died from starvation, torture and murder. "Banned in China, Tombstone has won numerous honors including the 2013 Hayek Book Prize and the 2015 Stieg Larsson Prize as well as a 2008 Hong Kong book award and a 2015 award from the Independent Chinese PEN Center for the Chinese language version of the book." (Harvard)
- Fox contributors suspended
The Fox channels trade on visceral rage toward President Obama and that government-loving, socially promiscuous, values-deficient American species known as "The Liberal." But there are even lines best not to cross at Fox, which means suspension of commentators Ralph Peters and Stacey Dash for respectively calling Obama a "total pussy" who "didn't give a shit" about his Sunday night terrorism speech. Dash opined on Fox News Channel, Peter blabbed on Fox Business Network, even prompting acidic host Stuart Varney to caution him, "You can't use language like that on the program, OK?" after he ranted for a minute. Glad we didn't get their rhetorical flourishes on Muslim immigration, gun control, gay rights or global warming. (CNN Money)
- Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin
Ken Dilanian will join NBC News' investigative unit. He is an intelligence writer at The Associated Press. (@mlcalderone) | Joanne Lipman is now chief content officer at Gannett. Previously, she was deputy managing editor for The Wall Street Journal. Daniel Bernard is now chief product officer at Gannett. Previously, he was head of product at Time Inc. (Poynter) | Margarita Noriega is now director of social media at Vox.com. Previously, she was an editor there. (Fishbowl NY) | Job of the day: Reveal is looking for an editor in chief. Get your resumes in! (Mediagazer) | Send Ben your job moves: firstname.lastname@example.org.