Joe Scarborough turns on Donald Trump
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What's there to give Bernie?
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, who's gone from Donald Trump courtesan to self-appointed chief Trump prosecutor within about 24 hours, hammered Trump again this morning with his cast serving as Greek chorus and echo chamber. He's turned around as quickly as the Cleveland Cavaliers, who creamed Golden State after two shellackings. Trump, he said this morning, is an "absurd" person "who doesn't want to learn from anybody." "Republicans who remain quiet and tacitly stand behind Trump damage the party's brand so badly that not only does Hillary become president but they also lose the Senate and also get slaughtered in the House." He even joked (lamely) about Trump's own bigotry being akin to Scarborough making anti-Scottish remarks about Trump about Scots playing golf and bad cooking. Ah, no, not quite.
The Trump fixation even included Hugh Hewitt, the conservative talk host with the look of a genial tenured college humanities professor. He claims he's been an even-handed "Switzerland" until now but that Republican Convention rules should be changed to dump Trump. (Politico) Yes, a slice of the a well-compensated conservative media establishment is in high dudgeon. Whether down-on-their-luck working class Trump supporters in Southern Illinois or Western Pennsylvania are similar moved is unclear, maybe even unlikely.
But if you had a SWAT team, you could find another important matter being bandied about: Bernie Sanders' Oval Office meeting today with President Obama to discuss his future. Obama will "delicately nudge the losing Democratic presidential hopeful toward a full embrace of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy." (The New York Times) On CNN, Errol Louis this morning said, "Who knows what dams and water projects in Vermont" Obama might offer in return for Bernie's Clinton loyalty. Ah, that's unlikely, too. Mark Preston rightly noted, "Senator Sanders owes nothing to President Obama."
But the media clearly is no longer feeling any Bern."Among the dead-enders in Bernieworld, Sanders is still the next president and Clinton is a fate worse than Trump." (Slate) "No one has sole ownership of idealism, or of bitterness, in this campaign. But there can be only one Democratic nominee in the end. Bernie knows that, too." (The New Yorker) "And Sanders can either lead them (acolytes) to work with Clinton for the ideas he believes in — or to nurse pointless grievances over a race Clinton won, fair and square." (The Washington Post)
Scott Pelley's uninspired Hillary interview
"CBS Evening News" anchor Scott Pelley shouldn't include his interview yesterday with Hillary Clinton on his personal highlight reel. It was very, very soft. When she was taking in the victory scene in Brooklyn Tuesday night, "What was going through your mind?" Or why do Donald Trump's supporters seem so "unshakeable?" Why do some many people have such an unfavorable opinion of her? (That prompted her patented blame-it-on-negative advertising response). And, "do you think we will look back on your choice of a running mate as conventional or unconventional?" That prompted her presumably exclusive disclosure that she doesn't know yet but she's looking for somebody really, really good. (CBS News)
Want to be a Vermont media kingpin?
The Hardwick Gazette's owner, Ross Connelly, is 71. His wife died three years ago, and he wants out. So he's holding an essay contest. Yes, 400 words (and a $175 entry fee) to explain why you've got the "skills and vision" to own a paid weekly paper in a town with a population of 3,000. The prize? The winner gets the newspaper! (Poynter) Given the state of the newspaper industry, I figured that a loser would get the paper. Whatever. It raises the prospect of similar gambits. What about 500 words on "What owner David Bradley should do with National Journal while he focuses his attention on The Atlantic" or "25 reasons you'd be a better choice to run Yahoo than Marissa Mayer?"
A deadly toll
The death of NPR's David Gilkey and Zabihullah Tamanna now makes it 1,193 journalists killed worldwide since 1992, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. (CPJ) The Islamic State alone has been responsible for 27 killings since 2013. (CPJ)
An underground scoop at Bloomberg
"More than 400 Roman writing tablets have been unearthed in the heart of London, shedding light on the commerce-driven life in what would become the City of London financial hub, archaeologists said Wednesday." They were found underneath Bloomberg's new European headquarters. (PRI) Oh, "The tablets reveal correspondence requesting payments, boasting of money-lending, asking favors to be returned, litigation requiring a judge and also evidence of someone practicing the alphabet." There's no discovery yet of hedge fund executives building grotesquely large homes, parking of profits in Caribbean tax havens or executive compensation committees rigging the pay for incompetent CEOs back in the day.
A White House distinction without a difference
White House rules on covering the president can be confounding at times. Rules of the road even confused an event's designated pool reporter. Thus, The Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin offered this clarification yesterday amid President Obama's trek to New York, which included taping an appearance on "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon. "Dear All, Sorry if the initial pool report was confusing, and just to clarify: feel free to write up and distribute Obama’s remarks in the Fallon clip NBC has sent out. The only embargo is on the posting online of that video clip (broadcast outlets are allowed to use it, but it’s not supposed to be posted online). Thanks so much." But the White House had allowed disclosure of a transcript of the same appearance.
A revealing business scoop
Want an example of why the gap between rich and poor gets bigger and bigger? "Blackstone Group LP agreed to sell the leasehold on the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa to Mirae Asset Global Investments Co. for $780 million, garnering a profit of more than $200 million in three years, according to a person with knowledge of the pending transaction." (Bloomberg)
Sour taste about Tribune, er, Tronc
Before Tribune Publishing changed its name to a much-ridiculed Tronc last week, it was already thwarting a seeming generous takeover bid from Gannett. In part new boss Michael Ferro is banking on artificial intelligence boosting revenues. "In endorsing Ferro's strategy, directors also are accepting the idea that a newspaper neophyte can solve industry-wide problems that have confounded media executives for nearly two decades. Dubious as that proposition may be, even less defensible is the board's lockstep loyalty to a chairman whose overriding objective is to thwart Gannett. They owe their loyalty to all shareholders, not just the boss — even if he's the one who named them to the board." (Crain's)
Quiz question for baseball fans
Here's one for Major League Baseball reporters: During last night's Chicago White Sox-Washington Nationals broadcast in Chicago, Sox analyst Steve Stone (a former Cy Young Award winner) said he'd talked before the game to Nationals manager Dusty Baker, whose previous gigs including the Chicago Cubs. Stone noted that he'd managed two great Cubs pitchers, Kerry Wood and Mark Prior, in their primes, and is now managing two fabulous pitchers, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. Who, in baseball parlance, had the "best stuff?" Surprise: he said Prior.
Death in Toronto
"The union representing Toronto Star newsroom employees says it has asked the newspaper to appoint an outside investigator to conduct an inquiry into events surrounding the death of a reporter." Raveena Aulakh, 42, took her own life. She was an environmental reporter. The union wants the paper to look into "workplace health and safety and harassment issues, along with company policies and practices." (J-Source)
Quote of the day
Speaking to CNBC's John Harwood, GOP strategist and Hollywood writer Mike Murphy was asked about mainstream consultants Paul Manafort and Tony Fabrizio joining the Trump campaign. How would their knowledge help the candidate in talking to Republican audiences? Answer: "Well, they know how to do the basic mechanics, but that's a commodity. Corey Lewandowski knows how to, you know, rent a hall. The problem is they're like Charlie Manson's fox trot instructors. Yeah, they could teach him how to dance. But he's too busy trying to cut their heads off, because he's insane." (CNBC)