A new Trump-Clinton media angle: 'Battle of the Jewish sons-in-law'
- Now here's a local angle (in Israel)
Yes, all politics is local. That can be true with presidential campaign coverage. It explains this lede: "Somebody had better put a mezuzah on the Lincoln bedroom." Huh? It's from The Times of Israel, a Jerusalem-based online news service covering the Middle East that assures us, "Whoever ends up winning the presidential election in November, one thing seems certain: For the first time in history, Jews will be in the president’s inner family circle." (Times of Israel) It notes that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have Jewish sons-in-law, while Bernie Sanders himself is Jewish.
So it offers you a religious tale-of-the-tape on Jared Kushner, who's married to Ivanka Trump, and Marc Mezvinsky, who's married to Chelsea Clinton. It details their occupation, education, professional track record and family. Then comes their respective Jewish practice. "Kushner: Belongs to an Orthodox synagogue, Manhattan’s Kehilath Jeshurun, observes Shabbat and kosher restrictions; raising children as Jews. Mezvinsky: Grew up in a Conservative synagogue, has been seen in shul on occasion with wife Chelsea Clinton; raising daughter with both Jewish and Methodist traditions."
Oh, then there's this category: "Why Dad went to prison." As for Kushner's: "Hired a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, secretly recorded the encounter and sent the tape to his sister as part of a blackmail scheme; served 16 months after guilty pleas to 18 counts of tax evasion, witness tampering and making illegal campaign donations." With Mezvinsky's (a former congressman): "Bilked friends, family and strangers out of some $10 million in bogus schemes disguised as investments in Africa and oil development; served five years after pleading guilty to 31 counts of felony fraud, including bank fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud." So maybe the kids' moral upbringing was more a do-what-I-say-not-what-I-do kind of thing.
- Utter social media baloney
So while you were enjoying your weekend, "a report began spreading online that a transgender woman was shot and killed after she followed another woman into a Colorado department store bathroom." It was initially published on a site called "Associated Media Coverage" with the motto, “News You Can Trust" and claimed a sign outside the bathroom underscored a store police whereby, "We encourage all guests to use the restroom in which they identify with. Thank you, Sincerely, The Bradford’s Management Team.” (Buzzfeed) It was utter B.S.
- Megyn Kelly's not-so-special
Kelly’s Fox broadcast network special with Donald Trump "was supposed to launch the Fox News star into the stratosphere of television anchordom. Instead, the widely panned show seems to have achieved the opposite result: It exposed the extent of her limited mainstream appeal." (New York)
- The past as prologue in Hanoi
In Hanoi today President Obama said "that the United States had agreed to lift completely its embargo on lethal weapons sales." (The New York Times) Is anybody listening? It was a bit later in the 2000 election campaign when lame duck President Clinton trekked to Hanoi and most Americans were tuned out to the words I and others on the trek sent home. "In a nationally televised university address, the first U.S. president to visit this nation since the Vietnam War strove to underscore the 'staggering sacrifice' made by the Vietnamese during the conflict, saying 'this shared suffering has given our countries a relationship unlike any other.' He also urged an increase in joint endeavors, such as resolving cases of those missing in action from the war and clearing land mines." (Chicago Tribune)
He avoided even the hint of an apology for our actions but, as I recall, not many seemed to care given the media focus on the Bush v. Gore race. This morning CNN's "New Day" spent much of its time assessing unfavorable poll ratings for both Trump and Clinton. MSNBC's "Morning Joe" was assessing polling that claims a Trump-Clinton race is "neck-and-neck." "Fox and Friends" made fun of Clinton's new mantra of "stronger together" if her party unifies (showing clips of her repeated use of it) and offered Real Clear Politics polling analyses that claim Trump now doing better, picking up some younger and independent voters. The history is rich as Obama tours Vietnam but, aside from a brief live report this morning via CNN's Michelle Kosinski in Hanoi, he might as well be on Pluto.
- New controversy over "Redskins" name
The Native American Journalists Association expressed "deep concern" Friday with the thrust and methodology of a Washington Post poll that found nine of 10 Native Americans aren't offended by Washington Redskins' name. (Richard Prince) The Post itself noted how prominent media folks who have criticized the name, including Bob Costas, "say they aren’t changing their opinions about it despite a new Washington Post poll indicating that the vast majority of American Indians aren’t offended by it." (The Washington Post) Then came a conservative op-ed broadside Saturday by Naomi Schaefer Riley that used the Post poll to argue that "cultural sensitivity" has run amok and won't solve the problem of lousy Native American schools. (The Wall Street Journal) It was a call for holding tribal leaders "accountable" but fell short in linking the poll to that thesis.
- Tribune agrees to let Gannett take a peek
Tribune Publishing Co has decided to reject Gannett Co Inc's latest $864 million takeover proposal but will agree to share confidential information with the U.S. newspaper company. Meanwhile, in a move likely to bolster his own position of spurning any takeover, Tribune Publishing Chairman Michael Ferro announced Monday that he’s receiving a $70.5 million growth investment from, and giving board membership to, Patrick Soon-Shiong, a billionaire South African-born investor. It’s issuing him 4.7 million stock, which makes him the company's second-largest shareholder. This dilutes the decision-making power of Oaktree Capital, the Los Angeles-based investment firm that's been urging Ferro to cut a deal with Gannett. (Poynter)
- So what is the deal with Google's messaging "strategy?"
There apparently is confusion even within Google about what's up. "With Allo and Duo, Google now has four separate messaging products. It's a far cry from what most expected: A united front to combat Facebook." (Recode) At its much-chronicled annual developers conclave, the company said that "Hangouts, its chat service, is not going away. But it didn't say if Allo will replace it as one of the pre-installed Android apps. And it didn't say how Allo squares with the native Android Messenger. In fact, it didn't say much."
- Clinton legacy reassessed
Since Bill Clinton's legacy, on matters both presidential and personal, shall surely be a topic during the general election, it was fitting that The Boston Globe on Saturday touched a little-noticed provision of his welfare "reform" legislation. "Four dollars a day. That’s about the price of a tall caramel macchiato at Starbucks, or a medium coffee and bagel with cream cheese from Dunkin’ Donuts. But $4.40 is also the daily allowance for thousands of Massachusetts’ poorest residents on food stamps — an allowance that was cut off for some 10,000 people in the state earlier this year under a provision of a landmark 1996 welfare law. The provision required recipients to find at least an average of 20 hours of work a week or face a cutoff of benefits." (The Boston Globe)
- Where the media's making money off the election?
There's a neat interactive map that displays TV and radio ad spending in each state both by presidential candidates' campaigns and by political action committees that support or oppose them. The heaviest spending so far (no great surprise) was in some of the early primaries. "Spending in New Hampshire, which held the first primary (Feb. 9), topped $128 million, the most of any state. Iowa, which held its Democratic and Republican caucuses Feb. 1, came in second with nearly $90 million in spending." (Ad Age)
- Yes, but...
Yes, The Washington Post assigned 20 reporters to work on Donald Trump, but many of them are now back to their original assignments, editor Marty Baron said. He assured that Hillary Clinton will get no less editorial attention from his troops. (Reliable Sources)
- A capital debut
In her first media column for The Washington Post, former New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan took a glass half full look at the future of journalism and along the way noted that four of five journalism graduates at New York University are finding jobs within six months. Then the obligatory cautionary note: "Dose of reality: Around the country, journalism programs are shrinking, and applications are down. But then again, many of the best journalists have never set foot in a journalism class, relying instead on liberal arts educations and on-the-job training, also known as scrambling on deadline in abject fear. As for whether there’s a sustainable way to pay for the expensive business of news gathering in the long run, no one knows for sure." (The Washington Post)
- Sheldon Adelson speaks about his turmoil-filled Vegas paper — sort of
"In his first extensive comments on his ownership, provided in written responses to questions from The New York Times, Mr. Adelson said his family bought the Review-Journal “as a financial investment” and hoped to improve its profitability. 'We believe it’s important that our Las Vegas community has a strong, growing, financially sound newspaper,' he said." (The New York Times) Despite that, "Current and former staff members describe a newsroom in which employees are mistrustful of top management — a wariness that began with the secret sale of the paper to Mr. Adelson last December and was amplified by the handling of articles related to his family and business interests."
- A slice of engaging Cheddar
Jon Steinberg, former president of Buzzfeed, has unveiled Cheddar, a sort of CNBC for millennials. It's live streaming about an hour a day, starting at 9:30 eastern from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, is focused on a much narrower range of (mostly tech) stock and is younger in spirit and just more freewheeling. It's putting a fair bit of at times longer pieces behind a paywall. Its early days are pretty solid and engaging. (Poynter) You can check it out live at facebook.com/cheddartv or on demand at Cheddar.com.
- Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin
Leona Wood is now news director at KSL in Salt Lake City, Utah. Previously, she was executive director of news at KPHO in Phoenix. (Rick Gevers) | Job of the day: The Amarillo Globe-News is looking for a business reporter. Get your resumes in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: firstname.lastname@example.org.