Media mulls if Clinton should 'nuke' Trump

Good morning.

  1. How low can we go?
    So what does Bernie Sanders' victory in West Virginia mean, if anything? It's "forcing Hillary Clinton to continue a costly and distracting two-front battle: to lock down the Democratic nomination and to take on Donald J. Trump in the general election." (The New York Times) It may help "drag out, but not block, front-runner Hillary Clinton’s march toward the Democratic nomination." (The Washington Post) "He still faces long odds," said CNN's Chris Frates on CNN's "New Day" this morning, fronting information from an unidentified aide "telling me" Sanders can win.

    On "Hardball," Trump adviser Paul Manafort, who appears at times like a tough-guy alum of the Tony Soprano School of Lobbying (what's up with the high, tight shirt collars?), underscored, "We won't let her get away with playing the female card," leaving the distinct impression that Trump will regurgitate old personal tales. Meanwhile, Joe Scarborough opined that Trump will be "leveling charges that are shocking even by Bill Clinton standards" and force Bill to defend his "legacy."

    His urging: The Clintons engage in "mutually assured destruction" by trashing Trump. Well, the Clintons know the path to low roads, too, so we'll see. Scarborough colleague Nicolle Wallace, herself a George W. Bush former underling, opined, "The Clintons should be in Trump University studying how to survive." Yeah, if they need some bogus degree in something as they "nuke" Trump.

  2. Jon Stewart on Hillary Clinton
    Jon Stewart took few prisoners during a University of Chicago appearance Monday at the Institute of Politics founded by former political strategist David Axelrod. He creamed the media as blind, corrupt, incentivized to shill for Donald Trump, sporadic in calling out politicians, while offering unsympathetic separate portraits of Fox News, MSNBC and CNN. (Poynter)

    "When you have the presidents of networks saying Trump is good for business...When you have the lead anchor of Fox News having to go to Trump's hotel to make him stop being mean to her," referring to Megyn Kelly, "and now he says she's terrific, because they've had a détente, that's fucked."

    His Trump critique was predictable, but perhaps not that of Clinton. His was less the news channels' obsession with prospective tactics (like "nuking") than a psycho-emotional rumination. "I imagine her to be a very bright woman without the courage of her convictions because I'm not quite sure what they are." She reminds him of Magic Johnson's attempt at being a talk show host. He's a charming guy, yes, but seemed to be channeling in a contrived manner whatever advice buddy Arsenio Hall had passed along. "It seemed like he was wearing an outfit designed by someone else, for someone else, to be someone else." That's not to say she isn't preferable to Trump. "But I think she will be in big trouble if she can't find a way — and maybe I'm wrong — maybe a real persona doesn't exist under there. I don't know." (Institute of Politics)

    All in all, he came off as wickedly smart, a bit dogmatic on the corruption of the system and politicians and, well, angry. Perhaps that's also why one came away thinking that it's still too bad he's not around every night during this campaign. With all due respect to Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and John Oliver, there's an edge to him that might serve us better in dealing with the crazy phenomena he surveys of Deceitful Donald and Hollow Hillary.

  3. The mouse falters slightly
    "Walt Disney Co.’s revenue and earnings for its fiscal second quarter fell short of Wall Street expectations, driven largely by declines in its cable-TV and consumer-products businesses. The rare miss for the media giant drove its stock down more than 5% in after-hours trading.” Once again, this is more about its TV performance, notably by behemoth ESPN in an age of cord-cutting, than its movies, which have done pretty well of late. (The Wall Street Journal)
  4. Eating his words
    Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank promised to eat one of his columns if Trump won the GOP nomination. He will do so today, prompting the terrific health and medicine site STAT to start our day by reporting on the impact of eating 18 inches of newsprint. Any nutritional value? Ah, no. But it's not that dangerous, either. If there's any upside, "insoluble fibers like cellulose can be therapeutically beneficial for people struggling with constipation." (STAT) Now there's a great marketing campaign for newspaper home delivery! "Want to be obstruction-free seven days a week?"
  5. The shame of the NFL
    Kudos to Zak Keefer of The Indianapolis Star for his profile of Tyler Varga, a Yale grad who surprisingly made the Indianapolis Colt last year, suffered a concussion and is desperate to return. His is a tale of a pro sports subculture of marginal players who will do virtually anything to keep a job — and a system that aids and abets them. "Like a lot of NFL players, he’s one play from being replaced. Couple that with the age-old tough guy mentality ingrained in professional football — 'rub some dirt on it and get back out there' — and this is a league, no matter the rule changes and buckets of money it has poured into concussion research, that can never truly protect its players from their greatest foe: themselves." (The Indianapolis Star)
  6. Moving IT jobs to India
    McClatchy, whose papers include The Sacramento Bee in California and The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina is moving an estimated 120 to 150 IT jobs to India. "One employee said representatives from the IT vendor are at some of the newspaper's sites and 'knowledge transfer' is underway, meaning employees are training replacements to take over their jobs. This is expected to continue through August." (Computer World)
  7. Twisting in the wind
    I can attest to how Fox News reporter Ed Henry relished (and lorded over some) the power of being president of the White House Correspondents' Association, especially the allocation of tables at the group's annual celebrity-filled dinner. Well, now he's a case study in powerlessness amid an extramarital affair that's gone public via In Touch and The National Enquirer. "Ed Henry's Raunchy Crotch Photo to Mistress Revealed" won't wind up as Pulitzer Prize finalist but it might be a final straw for him at Fox. (National Enquirer) “This raises serious questions about Ed’s lack of judgement, especially given his position as a journalist,” says Fox boss Roger Ailes. (The Washington Post) For a guy who's been covering the Clinton campaign, that's not a vote of confidence.
  8. Existential query for Anglophiles
    Whither the BBC? It's not a new question (in fact, it's quite old). But, "As the government prepares to set out on Thursday its plans for a new BBC charter — the document governing its operations, and the first revision in a decade — Britain is grappling with fundamental questions about what role the broadcaster should play in a world of streaming video, podcasts and proliferating news sites." (The New York Times)
  9. The decline of Western Civilization (cont.)'s Darren Rovell discloses that the folks who own UFC, the mixed martial arts operation, are in "advanced talks" to sell. Now read this: "At least four bidders are believed to have submitted bids for the organization, including WME/IMG, China Media Capital, The Blackstone Group and Dalian Wanda Group. The winning bid, should things proceed, is expected to be for a valuation between $3.5 billion and $4 billion, multiple sources with knowledge of the negotiations told" (ESPN) Goldman Sachs is representing Zuffa LLC, "which bought the UFC in 2001 for only $2 million." Yup, $2 million.
  10. How bad are our grammar?
    I know, it should be how bad "is" our grammar. But apparently nobody cares. "Most people don’t mind it if you use so-called improper grammar in text messages and emails, a new YouGov poll conducted with The Huffington Post shows. Only 12 percent of the poll’s 1,000 respondents answered that improper grammar (punctuation, capitalization, etc.) in a text message would bother them 'A lot,' while 24 percent responded 'Somewhat,' 29 percent responded 'Not very much,' 30 percent responded 'Not at all,' and five percent responded 'Not sure.'" (The Huffington Post) So, go ahead and make my day: split an infinitive.
  11. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin
    Kayvan Salmanpour is now chief revenue officer of Vocativ Studios. Previously, Salmanpour was chief revenue officer at The New Republic. (Email) | Job of the day: The Chicago Tribune is looking for a Government Watchdog Reporter. Get your resumes in! (Poynter Media Jobs Connection) | Send Ben your job moves:

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    James Warren

    New York City native, graduate of Collegiate School, Amherst College and Roosevelt University. Married to Cornelia Grumman, dad of Blair and Eliot. National columnist, U.S. News & World Report. Former managing editor and Washington Bureau Chief, Chicago Tribune.


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