Ezra Klein is mad as hell (over Trump) and not going to take it anymore
- A 'dangerous force in American politics?'
Millions have been checking out a short video by Ezra Klein, the leader of Vox and part of a growing cadre of very brainy, if sometimes reserved, data-driven policy and political analysts. (Vox) OK, he falls very short of the classic rant by fictional TV anchor anchor Howard "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" Beale in "Network." But he does reflect the media and political elite's collective dyspepsia over Donald Trump, whom he warns in rather understated fashion is a truly "dangerous force in American politics." He's the "most dangerous presidential candidate in memory," Klein says.
He calls Trump a man "who could make decisions of war and peace...This is not political entertainment. It's real-life politics...His background in politics has been scary and extreme. He called Mexicans rapists and killers...He thinks for Americans to win, others must lose. The media jumps all over it. It's traffic, it's clicks. The demagogue's instinct to find the angriest vice in the mob...A complete lack shame....He's fun to watch. But it's also why he's dangerous. He'll do things others won't...There is something dangerous in Trump's rise. We should stop laughing. It's something we should fear."
Is the end of the world beckoning? It's still early. But, for Trump's adherents, it might merely be the end of Klein's world.
- Tribune Publishing CEO is ousted
Jack Griffin has been booted less than three weeks after he announced a $44.4 million investment in the company by Michael Ferro, a tech entrepreneur who controlled the rival Chicago Sun-Times. (Poynter) There were notions that Ferro, who last fall personally made $240 million in selling a health care tech firm to IBM, might be a Griffin ally. I wrote that he might be a fox in the hen house given a declining stock price and Ferro's longtime interest in his hometown paper, The Chicago Tribune. (Poynter) The company "was expected to make the announcement of the change before the stock market opens on Tuesday." (POLITICO) It's the second high-profile ouster for Griffin, an erstwhile magazine executive who had a long tenure at Meredith and a quick one (six months) at Time Inc. (The New York Times)
- What's next for Tribune Publishing?
Industry analyst Ken Doctor conjectured that Ferro, who'd been instantly installed as board chairman after his investment, would replace Griffin with his longtime associate Justin Dearborn. (POLITICO) Ferro has ceded operational control of the Sun-Times since his investment in Tribune Publishing. Ever since he was part of a 2011 group that bought the tabloid, there's been the notion of one day essentially merging the weaker Sun-Times and relatively stronger Tribune. The Tribune currently prints the Sun-Times in an advantageous commercial deal.
Today's news will likely set into motion speculation about whether Tribune Publishing might entertain offers for individual papers, notably the Los Angeles Times. The former publisher there, Austin Beutner, was fired by Tribune Publishing last year after strategic and personal differences that included Beutner broaching the subject of a purchase backed by billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad.
- Nate Silver's take on the GOP state of play
So for another of the new data crunchers, here's how media punditry on the Republican race basically lines up now: It's either Trump or it's — wait a second, maybe not. Nate Silver's conclusion? "Betting markets, weighing all of this information, see the Republican race thusly: Trump at about 50 percent to win the nomination, Rubio at 40 percent, and the rest of the field at 10 percent. I might quibble here and there, but that seems like basically a sound assessment." (FiveThirtyEight)
- Clinton to appear on Fox News?
Think Nixon to China. Clinton to Fox News? Maybe. Chris Wallace has made her not showing up on his Sunday show a mini-crusade. Now there's word of at least her campaign returning a phone call. So maybe they'll have another chat. Bernie Sanders talked to Wallace last week, meaning he's had just about everybody on except...(Adweek) But Fox is not totally radioactive for her. Before she announced her candidacy she appeared once with the combo of Greta van Susteren and Bret Baier in July, 2014. But that was while hawking her book, "Hard Choices." No surprise, Fox went rather heavy on the Benghazi tragedy while she was Secretary of State. (Fox News)
- Just read this
It's a New Yorker profile of Rev. Michael Pfleger, a white South Side Chicago firebrand of a Catholic priest who's a hero in the black community but radioactive in other environs (including the White House). He recently questioned President Obama during a CNN town hall, to the chagrin of conservative pundit Michelle Malkin, who calls him a "radical, race-baiting nutball." (michellemalkin.com) Evan Osnos offers a fabulous mix of great reporting, beautiful writing, even-handed insights about Byzantine politics and awful racial tension, and linking the micro with the macro.
Ultimately, it's about race in America, with relevant looks at a nervy but also at times ambiguous individual who inspires strong (not all positive) responses from President Obama, Spike Lee and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, among many others. It's also a reminder that there's no substitute for getting out and reporting and smelling and feeling a place. He interviews Emanuel, Lee, the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright (remember the 2008 campaign?), Cornel West and a murdered gang member's mom. He cites Rev. Louis Farrakhan as his "closest adviser" and says Bernie Sanders has his vote. You're not likely to find a better piece of journalism this week. (The New Yorker)
- The news rich get richer
Margaret Sullivan, who had announced her very amicable upcoming departure from The New York Times after a strong tenure as its public editor, will split earlier than figured to head to the rival Washington Post as a media columnist (Washingtonian) It's like going from the Yankees to the Mets. It's the rich getting richer, with The Post having an All-Star media lineup of Erik Wemple, Paul Farhi and Sullivan. It's depth that most papers can't possibly imagine, much less afford. (City Paper)
- Making O'Reilly, Matthews look like wallflowers
Pro-nationalist forces are making life difficult for journalists in India, with vivid examples of lawyers pummeling reporters covering a legal proceeding involving basic free speech issues. "The Listening Post," a dandy weekly Al Jazeera English show (that you can't see in the U.S.) chronicles the mess. It also captures Indian TV outlets whose hosts make Bill O'Reilly or Chris Matthews look relatively tame by comparison. (The Listening Post)
- What five years taught her about Middle East censorship
Jessica Davey-Quantick, a Canadian journalist, is back home doing graduate work after five years reporting for Qatar Happening and Time Out Doha. As a result, "I know exactly how many inches over the knee you have to photoshop a woman's shorts to get a photo on the cover of a magazine in the Persian Gulf. For five years, I wrote in code. A Harley Davidson was never a 'hog.' Sex and the City became a string of letters, SATC. And when I interviewed Antonio Banderas, I had to explain why his movie about a swashbuckling feline would now be called Cat in Boots." (Vox)
- A scoop on fat nonprofit bonuses
Donald Trump went after the Omaha-based Ricketts family for supposedly nefarious funding of Super Pac ads against him. (Lincoln Journal Star) The family includes Obama haters, Obama supporters and moderate Republicans, with its wealth built upon TD Ameritrade. Its holdings include the rejuvenated Chicago Cubs. But its patriarch also funds DNAInfo, a feisty digital news operation in New York and Chicago. The New York operation yesterday broke a solid piece on a taxpayer funded nonprofit in Manhattan whose executives are lavishing bonuses upon themselves despite having a $4.3 million city contract yanked from them. It's an inadvertent reminder, too, of the sub-par job most mainstream media doing in covering nonprofits and philanthropies. (DNAInfo)
- Scaling back on rural delivery
Utah's two biggest daily newspapers will scale back delivery to 3,376 subscribers in very rural areas. It's all about cutting costs. Most will still get the weekend paper on weekends but that's it. As far as letting them now about going digital, the papers will do that by snail mail. (Salt Lake Tribune)
- Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin
Margaret Sullivan will be a media columnist with The Washington Post. She's currently the public editor of The New York Times. (Poynter) | Job of the day: CNN is looking for a photojournalist. Get your resumes in! (MEO Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: email@example.com.