Good morning, and a brief farewell since yours truly is taking a two-week break with the family. You'll have to watch the cable news morning shows on your own. Rest assured, I will be sleeping through them.

Sex apps in Rio?

Opening a story with a question is a pretty lazy gambit. You still might want to read J. Bryan Lowder's opus in Slate, which opens, "So why are all the queer people in my feeds mad about this Daily Beast Grindr story?" His piece goes after Daily Beast reporter Nico Hines' Rio dispatch, "the purpose of which, according to editor John Avlon, was 'to see how dating and hookup apps were being used in Rio by athletes.'" (Slate)

"Never mind that the obvious answer to this query is — to date and hook up," writes Lowder. "Our intrepid reporter put in the legwork — or thumb work, anyway — to bring us the real story by using apps like Tinder and Grindr, posing as someone interested in 'connecting' long enough to lure sexy athletes into making contact, after which point—surprise!—he’d reveal his totally unsexy profession."

He then reported that "queens are, like, pissssed" over the story. (The Daily Beast) "Yeah, it’s super lame. But unfortunately, Hines’ piece was also incredibly dangerous. You see, Avlon had to explain the 'concept' in an appended editor’s note, because many readers — especially LGBTQ ones — took the article to be a gross, unethical exercise in entrapment, in which gay and/or same-sex-desiring athletes—many closeted — were unknowingly corralled into a queer zoo exhibit and, in some cases, thereby outed and exposed to the threat of violence."

There's much more. And it was part of criticism that prompted The Daily Beast to yank the story from its site. It called it an "unprecedented but necessary" move not in keeping with its values. (Poynter) So much for the initial defense.

I didn't figure that Bob Costas would follow up on all this during last night on NBC's primetime broadcast. And I was right. The triumphs of Simone Biles, Michael Phelps and Simone Manuel, the first African-American female to win a gold in swimming, sufficed.

Keys to social media success

Speaking of Phelps, his "Rule Yourself" ad for Under Armour, done by the Droga5 ad agency, is a giant hit, the second most shared Olympics ad (behind the Paralympics spots "We're Superhumans") and the fifth most successful Olympics spot ever. (Adweek)

The dramatic ad is killing among millennial men between the ages of 18 and 34. Why? "Something we've learned from all of the ads we tested if we look at different demographics and the emotions that are most resonant to them, for millennials — especially male millennials — inspiration is one of the top emotions. If that is present at all in an ad, they tend to experience it," says one ad executive.

Get ready for 40,000 words

If you get Sunday's New York Times Magazine, there's beach reading, assuming you're under that umbrella for about a day and a half. The paper has taken financial support from the Washington-based Pulitzer Center, an admirable group that funds overseas reporting, and produced an ad-free 40,000-word saga and virtual reality movie. "Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart" is a "five-part saga unusual in its scope, a sweeping chronicle told through the eyes of six characters spread across five different countries." (Poynter)

It went online yesterday and traces the mess in the Arab world triggered in large measure by the invasion of Iraq 13 years ago and now including the rise of ISIS. (The New York Times)

Its conclusions are short of upbeat. As one key figure puts it, "ISIS isn’t just an organization, it’s an idea." And, as reporter Scott Anderson puts it, "It is also a kind of tribe, of course, and if this incarnation is destroyed, the conditions that created ISIS will remain in the form of a generation of disaffected and futureless young men who find purpose and power and belonging by picking up a gun. In short, nothing gets better anytime soon."

The president's playlist

From The Undefeated, the new foray into sports, race and culture: "President Barack Obama is back at it again with the fire mixtape. If you want one single thing that having a president of color in the office has done, it’s simply changed the basic cool factor of what does and does not work from the White House. Sure, certain presidents did things that were marginally impressive, but there are few things more fun than daytime/nighttime playlists." (Undefeated) You want to listen? Be my guest via this White House blog. Daytime tracks include "The Man" by Aloe Blacc and "Rock Steady" by Aretha Franklin.

Whiteness and race

The New York Times Lens blog is worth a look as it examines an exhibition by the artist Pete Mauney. The "photographs from the 1940s and 1950s, thought to be from an Oklahoma photo studio, show White people in a range of situations: awkward portraits, basketball teams and ballroom dancers, people at work, in church, at leisure, even a dead man in an open coffin." Some visitors to the exhibition found the shots to elicit feelings of nostalgia. "To others, their carefree racial homogeneity and lack of diversity — unremarkable at the time they were taken in Woodward, Okla. — were disconcerting. (The New York Times)

Charles Krauthammer's Olympics

Krauthammer writes, "Allow me, however, to interrupt the prepackaged, heart-tugging, tape-delayed Olympic coverage to bring you the real sporting news of the year. It has just been announced that on Nov. 11 in New York City the World Chess Championship will begin." (National Review) Yup, it will be the reigning champ, 25-year-old Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, against a "classic Russian heavy, Sergey Karjakin, who (reports the New York Times) is a fan of both Vladimir Putin and the invasion of Crimea and who knocked off two brilliant Americans to get to the title fight."

He says the international chess federation can't match International Olympic Committee for corruption but "its president, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, former president of Russia’s republic of Kalmykia, is not only a reliable Moscow toady (sanctioned by the Treasury Department in November 2015), but a nutcase who insists he’s been abducted by aliens. They wore yellow suits."

Blocking the blockers

"Facebook’s blocker-blocking ads blocked by blockers." (TechCrunch) That's not a bad headline. So Facebook made clear its war on ad blockers. One result? "A global community of staunchly anti-advertising coders and hackers is a great base to call on in such a situation, and they delivered." Counsel to consumers: "If you use AdBlock Plus, it should update itself automatically, or you can add the filter yourself. ABP is the most popular blocker, but because the code was added to Easylist, a compendium of such filters used by many pieces of ad-blocking software, you can also expect to see the ads disappear if you use uBlock, Adguard, and others." To be continued.

The glory of covering a president on holiday

From Martha's Vineyard, Wall Street Journal reporter Byron Tau, who was serving as pool reporter, was informed by the White House yesterday, "The President and Malia Obama are going for a short walk on a trail near their residence." That was it. Well, from afar, CBS News mainstay Mark Knoller, a fabled chronicler of all things presidential, weighs in on the Obama penchant for golf, which was perhaps surpassed only by Dwight Eisenhower. (CBS News)

Arianna, union hero?

First of all, how many media figures do we know by just their first names? Second, her departure from her namesake company for a new venture generated lots of speculation, with lots of loose attribution, about how she perhaps felt uncomfortable being part of a larger corporate structure at Verizon. (Recode)

Whatever, it even prompted response from the Writers Guild of America, East, which organized The Huffington Post editorial employees earlier in the year and is negotiating a first contract. Union leader Lowell Peterson said, "That important work will continue, just as the important work of HuffPost's employees will continue with a new management team. Arianna Huffington is a pioneer in digital media, and the writers, editors, producers and other content creators at this pioneering enterprise will remain at the forefront of the digital media project as it continues to expand and mature."

A very weird tale

Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter, the billionaire head of Marvel Entertainment, "is at the center of a bizarre legal battle involving a smear campaign, his Canadian antagonist, allegations of defamation and, in a very 2016 twist, possible genetic larceny. And it all began over a tennis court tussle in Palm Beach." (The Hollywood Reporter)

Genetic larceny? He showed at a law firm "answer deposition questions on whether he quietly had funded a lawsuit against his nemesis at a swanky Palm Beach residential community over its tennis courts. What Perlmutter said, however, wasn't as important as what he and his wife, Laura, were touching. Because as a judge later would conclude, his presence was part of a plot to secretly harvest his DNA."

Why? In theory, so his nemesis could prove Perlmutter was behind nasty mailings in the tennis courts dispute. Oh, there's much, much more. Bottom line: there could be a rather public trial involving a man who, as reporter Eriq Gardner puts it, "guards his privacy like Iron Man does his arc reactor."

How 'bout this for a headline

"Donald Trump Tells Christian Leaders He Has to Win Election So He Doesn't Go to Hell." (Gawker)

A feel-good tale

Americans Michael Hixon and Samuel Dorman won an improbable silver medal in three-meter synchronized diving. It got virtually no media coverage. They are both great college divers but were only recently paired in a sport where duos train together for years. Amid rain, wind and green water at the outdoor pool (bad filtration system), they pulled off a huge upset, even besting China, a huge favorite. Their final, crucial dive was the highest scoring one in the entire competition.

Hixon's from Amherst, Massachusetts, where his dad is an Amherst College basketball coach; his mom is a diving coach at the nearby University of Massachusetts. His local paper, The Daily Hampshire Gazette, scrambled to cover him in Rio. After some initial frustration in finding anybody, it tracked down a University of Texas at Austin journalism professor who was shepherding several of his students to work with some smaller outlets back home. Soon-to-be junior Cat Cardenas then did a great job for the Gazette, which made virtue out of financially driven Olympic necessity. (Poynter) All diving news, like all politics, is local, right?

Have a good weekend, and I'll see you in a couple of weeks.

Corrections? Tips? Please email me: jwarren@poynter.org. Would you like to get this roundup emailed to you every morning? Sign up here.