Good morning. Here’s our morning roundup of all the media news you need to know. Want to get this briefing in your inbox every morning? Subscribe here.
So one day brings President Trump’s nastiness toward cable TV co-hosts. Another day brings even more gratuitous comments about them, then Sunday the suggestion (via a doctored video) that he’s justifying violence against CNN.
You keep thinking that, well, now the guy’s gone too far. This will make a difference. Even the diehards will say enough is enough. “Trump took his social media war against American journalists to a new level on Sunday…” (The Financial Times)
“It’s insane,” said Willie Geist, sub-host on “Morning Joe” this morning, while also wondering if we’ve become “desensitized” to all this. And, as pundit Sam Stein noted, an irony is that Trump loves and is obsessed by the press.
And, so far, the true believers don’t seem to care, in part because of a seemingly dramatic turn in how many of them just don’t believe the press. Does the press have a “watchdog” role? Most Republicans thought so a year ago, but not now, as Pew Research has underscored.
Matthew Baum, a public policy expert at Harvard’s Kennedy School who’s good on politics and communication, said Sunday, “Well, in any other time the notion of a president so crudely and misogynistically lashing out at the hosts of a cable news show would be unthinkable. I think it’s a testament to how far we’ve fallen in the Trump era that these latest tweets are essentially par for the course for Trump.”
Nixonian, as asserted by Stein of The Daily Beast, doesn’t quite capture it. “I’m not sure whether or not I’d label them ‘Nixonian,’ and I admittedly cannot fathom how Nixon would have behaved had he had access to social media. But my general sense is that Trump is in a class all his own among American presidents in his disdain for social norms and democratic institutions.”
Was it a bridge too far Sunday? For sure not. It’s no surprise that The Washington Post’s David Ignatius should return from a week with the U.S. Special Forces in Syria and, as he noted on “Morning Joe,” be bewildered to see what his friends in the press were writing and talking about.
There’s other stuff going on in the world. And, Ignatius noted, he ran into folks in Syria who are actually taken positively by “the projection of strength” of, yes, Donald Trump.
Job cuts at Microsoft?
Says TechCrunch, “Microsoft is poised to layoff thousands of employees worldwide in a move to reorganize its sales force. A source with knowledge of the planned downsizing told TechCrunch that the U.S. firm would lay off ‘thousands’ of staff across the world.” Microsoft declined to comment.
Facebook’s small print may be next EU battleground
“Facebook Inc.’s small print may be the next big thing in European antitrust as watchdogs home in on how the world’s biggest social network collects information from users that helps generate vast advertising revenues.” (Bloomberg)
“Germany’s Federal Cartel Office is examining whether Facebook essentially takes advantage of its popularity to bully users into agreeing to terms and conditions they might not understand. The details that users provide help generate the targeted ads that make the company so rich.”
A brief breather for Maddow
“MSNBC has begun running promos for a new program called ‘On Assignment’ featuring Richard Engel, the chief foreign correspondent for NBC News. The show is expected to run at 9 p.m. on Fridays — a slot normally inhabited by Rachel Maddow — over the course of a few weeks.” (Variety)
If you cared about what…
J.K. Rowling, Chelsea Clinton, John Legend, Ava DuVernay and other celebrities think about Trump’s Sunday tweets, Variety is on the case.
A good idea
Writing in The Undefeated, William Rhoden suggests July 1 should be Big O Day in the National Basketball Association. Once again, some players are getting incredibly rich as they become free agents (the Warriors Steph Curry signed a five-year, $200 million deal), and surely don’t know how a class action suit brought in 1970 by the players union then led by NBA icon Oscar Robertson is the reason these guys are getting rich.
It shouldn’t be this big a deal. There is still no final decision on who gets to buy the Chicago Sun-Times. The Justice Department insisted on reopening bidding after a tentative deal was announced whereby rival Chicago Tribune would get it, allowing it to continue as an independent entity. A second bidder has surfaced.
How the media pillorying of Trump impacts his base
Says Chicago Democratic consultant Pete Giangreco, “This stuff doesn’t matter to his base. What will matter is if they pass a health care bill that he signs that closes rural hospitals and jacks up premiums for those 50-plus. Unless his base gets hit in the pocketbook or loses their local hospital, none of the rhetorical stuff matters.”
“Now if Putin rolls into the Baltic states and Trump looks like Chamberlain, that’s a different story. Or if he fires Mueller and 25 GOP members go south on him, then the base turns on him. But short of a health care crisis he owns, a constitutional crisis he creates, or Russian aggression he appeases, his base is rock solid.”
“Destroying a legacy of free speech”
Techdirt excoriates the Recording Industry Association of America for allegedly destroying its “historic legacy of protecting free speech by now cheering on global internet censorship.” In particular, it jumps on the RIAA supporting a Canadian court decision that supports injunctions blocking sites globally as a result of accusations of infringement.
“What will happen when China demands all stories about Tiananmen Square be blocked globally? Or what happens when Saudi Arabia or Iran demands that pages supporting democratic reforms or LGBTQ rights must be taken down globally?”
It contends that “rather than condemn an overly broad ruling that will lead to global censorship, the RIAA sullied its own historical legacy and cheered on this global censorship ruling, claiming that it was ‘a win.'”
The elite meet in the Hamptons
Journalist Lally Weymouth held a big Southampton, Long Island bash with champagne, fried chicken, chocolate cake, brother Don Graham, liberal benefactor George Soros, Sen. Charles Schumer, Kellyanne Conway and journalists and media executives who included Chris Ruddy, Maria Bartiromo, Richard Cohen and Margaret Carlson. (@BenJacobs)
As former New York Times drama critic Frank Rich put it, “This kind of ‘bipartisanship’ helps explain why Hillary lost and why Dem Establishment as doomed as GOP’s.”
Before he was caught sunning on a beach that he’d closed due to a government shutdown, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had signaled openly that he planned to do just that. (NJ.com)
He was at a beach house that’s a perk of being governor, as is true with a mansion in Princeton. “When a reporter asked Saturday if he thought it fair that his family would be free to enjoy a state park that would be closed to the public as a result of the shutdown, Christie stressed that the beach house is separate from the park and that his family does not ask for any state services.”
It’s a distinction without a difference.
A reality TV star on social media
In a New Yorker profile of Spencer Pratt, Snapchat and reality TV star of “The Hills,” it notes, “In the post-‘Hills’ years, social media has mostly replaced tabloids and, to a certain extent, television itself.”
LBJ and satire
Oh, imagine a president sending comics a note of appreciation for mocking him. That happened with Lyndon Johnson and the Smothers Brothers, who had quite the popular CBS show in the 1960s.
While in office, Johnson had complained about the Smothers to the head of CBS, who asked them to tone down the satire. After he left office, he sent them a letter, which they read on-air.
“It is part of the price of leadership of this great and free nation to be the target of clever satirists. You have given the gift of laughter to our people. May we never grow so somber or self-important that we fail to appreciate the humor in our lives.”
Last time for Real Time
The Wall Street Journal is closing its China Real Time blog, which it launched in 2008. Josh Chin writes that the content it provided will be found on other Journal platforms.
Turning a buck off ABC
ABC just settled a big defamation a month into a trial in Elk Point. In assessing the economic impact on the area, the Sioux City, South Dakota Journal reports, “ABC’s team stayed at the Marina Inn Hotel and Conference Center in South Sioux City, booking an average of 30 to 35 rooms for around a month, said Ralph Bobian, general manager for the riverfront property. ‘It was a nice piece of business,’ Bobian said.”
“ABC used some of the guest’s rooms as offices, and also rented the hotel’s meeting rooms for trial preparation, he said. In addition, team members frequently dined at the Marina’s on-site upscale restaurant, Kahill’s Steak-Fish & Chophouse.”
Well, Happy July 4th tomorrow. We won’t be making to Kahill’s Steak-Fish & Chophouse but will opt for a barbecue along the beach in Northern Michigan. Ribs, burgers and some red wine.