Secret Service agent, TIME photographer brawl
- No surprise, it's at a Trump event
TIME contract photographer Chris Morris clearly exited the media holding pen that Donald Trump enforces (unlike other presidential candidates) at his rallies as a Black Lives Matter protest erupted. Video shows a Secret Service agent grabbing him by the neck and slamming him to the ground. (Poynter) TIME said that Morris did at one point curse the agent and kicked at him after being slammed to the ground. (TIME) "The photographer was trying to get a good angle to cover the protesters without leaving the press pen and the Secret Service agent kept asking him to back up." (Washington Examiner) Morris replied with an obscenity.
A photographers association was outraged over the whole matter. (NPPA) Morris won't press any charges, and the Secret Service said it was gathering facts after "an incident involving an employee." (The Wall Street Journal) Bottom line: A former foreign correspondent friend told me, "If this was another country, I'd be writing about state-backed physical intimidation of the press." The agent's actions were unwittingly in sync with Trump's own air of combustible derision toward most things media — as symbolized by his holding pen. If one predictable if dubious result is a photographer swearing at a secret service agent, does that justify the response? "When the press doesn't fight back against these various insults and abuses," said one Doubting Thomas, "the contempt only spreads." (Philly.com)
- Tribune puts for-sale sign up
Broadcast giant Tribune Media, "just put out a for-sale sign, and it's not hard to puzzle out why." (Bloomberg) Broadcast stocks have been hammered for a variety of reasons, including changing viewing patterns of millennials. Tribune Media CEO Peter Liguori, who now says his company is undervalued by Wall Street, took home a mere $23 million in 2014, the last available figures. (Crain's)
- Fox quotes BuzzFeed
BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith says that Donald Trump suggested in an off-the-record portion of a meeting with The New York Times editorial board that he doesn't really, truly intend to try to deport 11 million undocumented workers. (BuzzFeed) The Times won't say anything about an off-the-record portion of the session in January. Megyn Kelly took up the matter on her show last night. She was similarly focused on Trump's seemingly bogus claims that he'd not really heard CNN Jake Tapper's question to him about white supremacist David Duke during a Sunday interrogation (Tapper does deserve an award for his near poker-faced incredulity at Trump's response). That struck Kelly as baloney, despite a Trump spokeswoman's reassertion to her of the faulty ear piece claim.
- 'Spotlight' journalists back on the job
Walter Robinson (played by Michael Keaton) and current and former Globe colleagues, including Washington Post Editor Marty Baron, hit Los Angeles last week and celebrated late Sunday with those who portrayed them after the flick won the Best Picture Oscar. "The festivities were a nice reminder that Hollywood, which often caters to America's 'baser desires,' has an appreciation for serious stories, Robinson said." (Poynter) Brian McGrory, the current Globe editor, said, "If ‘Spotlight' hadn't been named Best Picture, nothing would have changed for us. But the fact it did, well, it means we'll walk a little taller for the day, maybe the week, and then get the hell back to the important work of journalism." Now, let's see if this has any impact on the allure, and resources expended on, investigative journalism.
- Personnel advice to CNN: hire Leonardo DiCaprio
He's well-intentioned on the environment even if he erred in telling the worldwide Oscars audience Sunday that "The Revenant" changed locations due to global warming and an inability to find snow (no, they moved due to a Chinook wind that's unrelated to atmospheric change). Regardless, Daily Kos suggests that CNN beckon him for its Democratic debate Sunday in Flint, Michigan. (Daily Kos) The aim? Daily Kos says he'd do "what moderators so far have failed miserably at doing, which is to ask Hillary and Bernie a sustained set of questions about climate change." Well, they haven't asked many about early education, either, so we might as well beckon Jennifer Garner, since her mom taught school and she's quite versed in the topic. And, while we're at it, bring on Bono to inquire about AIDS and awful poverty in Africa. The moderators have missed those topics, too. DiCaprio, Garner and Bono. Imagine those ratings.
- As for DiCaprio's roots
At the Oscars, he repeated a refrain about being from East Los Angeles. Not so, says L.A. Weekly. "We would normally let such a white-guy lie slide. But East L.A. represents culture, hardship and ethnic roots that are hard-earned. The unincorporated L.A. County community east and southeast of downtown is a storied heart of Mexican-American California, the place where the Chicano movement pierced the national conscience with student walkouts in 1968, where Garfield High School's Jaime Escalante taught the children of poor immigrants to excel in math, and where low-rider and cholo style cruised Whittier Boulevard and ended up influencing youths around the world. DiCaprio was a part of none of that, and to claim otherwise is cultural theft." He was born in New York and did move to L.A. but not the deprived area he intimates. (L.A. Weekly)
- Slow day at the White House
Yes, the fact that Justice Clarence Thomas broke a 10-year silence and asked questions during an oral argument before the Supreme Court was news. (The Associated Press) Or at least something for the press to ask White House spokesman Josh Earnest about. "Q: Has the President, as a constitutional lawyer, ever expressed an opinion about the fact that there had been this long period of time when he has not asked a question? MR. EARNEST: I’m not aware of the President talking about that. Q: Does he have an opinion about it? MR. EARNEST: I haven’t asked him about it. Q: Would you ask him? MR. EARNEST: Maybe one of you will have an opportunity to do that at some point." (White House)
- President Trump's impact on golf
Here's a question that hasn't been asked by Jake Tapper, Chris Wallace or Chuck Todd: "How would a Trump presidency affect golf?" The pro golf tour descends upon his famous Miami golf course, Doral, this week for a big tournament, so Golf Channel mulled the whole matter.
One especially obtuse comment heralded the prospect of a Trump presidency since golf would not "have to hide in the shadows and pretend the chief executive doesn't play." The commentators strained somewhat to portray golf organizations as populist, as if those groups are a Bernie Sanders front. Thus, they suggested that an elitist Trump would be out of sync with the likes of the PGA. But would his bigoted comments impact business at his fancy golf properties, including ones in Scotland or Ireland? Dan Roberts of Yahoo Finance said no; vacationers looking to play 18 holes simply wouldn't care. Moral outrage takes a back seat to scenic fairways and greens. (Golf Channel)
- Joe Scarborough wants to kill Hamlet earlier
"Trump is poised for a sweeping Super Tuesday victory," said Jim Costa of CNN this morning. Ah, so much for Trevor Noah's very acidic, very funny, very Jon Stewart-like takedown in arguing Trump's a fascist last night. (The Daily Show) Fox News' Steve Doocy was big on Trump-leading polls and argued that in trading taunts with Trump, Marco Rubio is losing ground. But over at MSNBC, Joe Scarborough waxed Shakespearean. "I've always been a big fan of killing Hamlet in the first half," said Joe Scarborough, who presumably knows that he gets killed in Act V. "Nobody stops Trump today, right?" Yes, responded Mark Halperin. "C'mon, stick a fork in it, this thing is one," says Joe. So does Ted Cruz get beat in Texas and decide to hang it up? Does Rubio slide by today and see if the self-immolating GOP establishment might still, albeit desperately, rally behind him? On the Democratic side, there was the concession that Bernie Sanders might pick up a state or two but a consensus he's a dead duck.
- Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin
Will Bourne is now the editor of the Village Voice. Previously, he was executive editor at Audubon magazine. (POLITICO) | Job of the day: The San Antonio Express-News is looking for a food and drink writer. Get your resumes in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: firstname.lastname@example.org.