For Trump reporter, Good Donald, Bad Donald one and the same

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Sucking up to the press, bashing the press, all at the same time

President Trump so very much craves to have the evil mainstream media love him.

If you have any doubt, just inspect the genesis of New York Times reporter's Maggie Haberman's weekend story about the Trump "who turned up in the press cabin of Air Force One" last week as it made its way to Paris from Washington (The New York Times).

He was "was starkly different from the one who publicly pillories the news media but surprisingly familiar to reporters who know him well." He was "in a happy-hour frame of mind. Expansive, engaging, even at times ebullient, Mr. Trump held forth for an hour, addressing reporters by name and alighting on topics as different as Chinese history and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg."

Perhaps that's why the next day in Paris, he saw Haberman in her role as a pool reporter and wondered why she hadn't quoted him. Well, the reason was pretty simple: press aide Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it was off the record.

Weirdly, the whole session was then retroactively put on the record, prompting Haberman to get out a report to members of the White House Correspondents Association and producing her own story.

All of that preceded Trump's latest Twitter nastiness toward the press Sunday morning from Bedminster, New Jersey, where he headed from Paris so he could watch the women's U.S. Open at his golf course there.

There was the usual blather about the "out of control" dishonesty of the press. Among other missives was, "In other words, the media is trying to attack our administration because they know we are following through on pledges we made and they are not happy about it, for whatever reason."

There was more. And none of it any shock to those who have covered him for a long time. He cozies up to the same folks he then pretends to hate.

"It wasn't any surprise," said Haberman in an email last night.

Tweet of the day

From Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker: "We saw President Trump & family watching @jessebwatters's Fox show on jumbo TV aboard Air Force One tonight en route home from Bedminster." (@PhilipRucker)

Surprised? You figured they were watching "My Mother and Other Strangers" on PBS' "Masterpiece"?

Building the Netflix of sports?

"Billionaire Len Blavatnik’s year-old quest to build the Netflix of sports will take its first step into North America with the introduction of his DAZN streaming platform in Canada, according to people familiar with the matter." (Bloomberg)

"DAZN, backed by Blavatnik’s Access Industries Holdings LLC, may announce the Canadian expansion this month, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private plans. The London-based company has been competing with established broadcasters to buy premium sports rights in countries including Germany, Austria and Switzerland, where it has operated since August 2016. In Japan, it paid 210 billion yen ($1.9 billion) for a 10-year deal to show J.League soccer."

Alex Jones rants turned into song

"Super Deluxe, a multimedia production company with a bent toward the strange and humorous, has compiled some of the more ridiculous ravings of conspiracy theorist and Infowars host Alex Jones into a Bon Iver–styled song---and the result has gotten more than 11,000 views on YouTube and has been shared more than 17,000 times on Facebook as of this writing." (Vox)

Google defends itself

The Drum offers a distinctly uncritical interview with Madhav Chinnappa, Google’s director of strategic relations, news & publishers, who "voices a spirited defense of Google’s role in the online media space, but agrees that the biggest challenge facing the news industry is monetization."

Remember radio?

The New York Times' photography blog shows the labors of Anita Pouchard Serra, who's documenting how some collectives of Argentinians are using low- and medium-power radio stations as a primary means of communicating. "Since that country’s economic crisis of the early 2000s, dozens of community-based radio stations have sprung up in remote villages and overcrowded barrios, providing listeners with an alternative source of news and information than offered by the country’s traditional, commercial broadcasters." (The New York Times)

A big Twitter executive splits

Darren Lachtman, head of Twitter's social media talent agency, Niche, is splitting. He paired internet stars with brands looking to hawk their products.

"Lachtman was bringing in real business for Twitter. In his email sent Friday formally announcing his departure, which Recode has reviewed, Lachtman said that Niche has done more than $200 million in revenue to date. Twitter paid more than $30 million for the startup."

Fake news producer back on the job

"A Davidson College graduate who gained notoriety for his fake news story during the Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton campaign found himself in another political storm this week." (The Charlotte Observer)

Ah, yes, Cameron Harris had been fired as a state of Maryland legislative aide after telling The New York Times of creating a fake news story last year about "tens of thousands" of phony Hillary Clinton votes being found in an Ohio warehouse.

Now he's working for a Frederick County, Maryland political candidate caught using a so-called push poll in which this question was asked about the candidate's rival: "If you knew that Kathy Afzali voted with Democrats to protect groups that have known ties to radical Islamic terrorism, would that change your vote?” (The Frederick News Post)

Debate over accreditation

Editor & Publisher sought differing views on Northwestern University's decision to eschew accreditation (it finds the process to be cumbersome) for its journalism school. Rebecca Gross, who will be editor in chief of the University of Washington's daily paper, says:

"Dean (Bradley) Hamm is making this call at the wrong historical moment. Journalism and honest reporting is about to be one of the most important jobs. Choosing to be a journalist in this moment means choosing to take on a great responsibility of educating the masses. This is not a small duty."

"For young journalists such as myself, showing future employers that I received my degree from an institution that maintains accreditation in an era of false reporting is important. Newspapers want to be able to trust their reporters to have a solid base of knowledge in the field of journalism: This means understanding ethics, AP style, multimedia, and much more. An accreditation does ensure that this type of information is being taught to journalism students."

The newspaper industry's antitrust Hail Mary

The industry is mulling whether it could get a partial exemption to collectively bargain with giants like Facebook and Google and stop getting ripped off. Joyce Terhaar, writing in The Sacramento Bee on a big series on homelessness by the paper:

"We dispatched three teams of reporters and visual journalists, as well as an editorial writer and columnist, to find and interview people who are homeless in neighborhoods and suburbs throughout the region. Yet another visual journalist worked solo."

"Our journalists found compelling stories of ordinary people sticking close to the neighborhoods in which they once lived. We told their stories in a written narrative, an editorial, a video and photographs to provide context to the numbers reported Monday. It took at least a dozen people to bring this coverage to you, in time for a substantial debate about possible taxpayer-funded solutions at Tuesday’s meeting of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors."

"Google and Facebook won’t provide that coverage. In today’s digital world, though, they will make money from it."

Magazines and video

"After Stumbling in Online Video, Publishers Embrace Facebook, TV Licensing: Magazines are refocusing on—and ramping up—video to help offset print advertising’s decline" (The Wall Street Journal)

The morning babble

"Trump & Friends" went heavy on Trump's coming "Made in America Week" and with garrulous Trump attorney Jay Seukulow "calling out the mainstream media" during his Sunday shows walkabout, but gave him a pass on his contorted rationales for the Donald Trump Jr.-Russia meeting. Meanwhile, both The Washington Post and AP underscored the hypocrisy of Trump heralding "Made in America," given his family business practices.

CNN's "New Day" went heavy with Trump-Russia and the "ever changing" Trump Jr. story. MSNBC's "Morning Joe" heralded Trump approval ratings at "unprecedented early-term low," with The Washington Post's Robert Costa noting the White House never figured it would enjoy a "honeymoon as far as polls" but do see some erosion of their "base centric" strategy.

And amid all that talk of his "historic low" in presidential approving, FiveThirtyEight this morning concludes, "The net approval rating of presidents since 1953 has dropped by an average of 17 percentage points in the presidents’ first 175 days in office. That’s at least partially skewed by Ford’s astounding 74-point drop after pardoning Nixon. The median president’s net approval rating dropped 10 percentage points."

"Any way you look at it, Trump’s decline in public perception has been about in line with that of other presidents. Perhaps it’s surprising that Trump’s net approval rating hasn’t fallen even further. After all, no president has had a first six months quite like Trump’s."

Read of the day

Check Harvard scholar Danielle Allen's poignant tale of her cousin who was arrested for carjacking and then endured a tragic downward spiral upon his release from prison in 2006. "We had lost him at 15 to jail; we regained him eleven years later. At 29, he was lost to us again, gone for good. My cousin’s idea of hell was to be reduced to a number; now he became a statistic, joined to the nearly two hundred thousand black Americans who died violently in the years since his arrest on Rosecrans Avenue.” (The New Yorker)

Headline of the day

"Roger Federer Is Just Ridiculous: With another Wimbledon in the books, tennis’s grand champion is writing a late, legendary chapter" (The Wall Street Journal)

Corrections? Tips? Please email me: jwarren@poynter.org. Would you like to get this roundup emailed to you every morning? Sign up here.

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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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