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As we are witness to the latest chaos in Washington with the leadership at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and continued debate over tax cuts, the state of the Media must not be discounted as we believe we have a vested interest here. The team @Politico does a fabulous job capturing the "snapshots" of the past 24 hours and we here at the Daily Outsider, as students of Media & policy, find it a "Must Read". For this special edition of "Notations from the Grid" we are pleased to feature it as we salute the Washington Post for having exposing James O'Keefe and of course lamenting the withering away of one of the venerable insitituions of our time, Time Inc:
By Michael Calderone | 11/28/2017 05:34 AM EDT
THE WASHINGTON POST HAS AN AGENDA when it comes to allegations of sexual misconduct against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore: It's to get at the truth. Just as the paper has recently reported on women's accusations against now-former CBS host Charlie Rose and now-former top NPR editor Michael Oreskes, Post reporters are carefully and methodically vetting stories from Moore's accusers before publishing them.
- The Post's rigorous process was inadvertently highlighted in a bungled sting attempt from conservative activist James O'Keefe's Project Veritas, an organization that appears to have a very different agenda: to discredit journalism and thereby damage a vital mechanism that enables ordinary people to speak truth to power. A woman working for O'Keefe's outfit told a Post reporter that she had been impregnated by Moore at age 15, a bogus claim that, if published, could have ultimately undermined the stories of several women who have alleged Moore pursued them as teenagers while he was in his 30's. But the Post uncovered her real motivation and turned the tables.
- The Post stunt isn't the first time O'Keefe has tried to embarrass and discredit journalists. In 2010, O'Keefe attempted to get a CNN correspondent "onto a boat filled with sexually explicit props and then record the session." He tried the following year to portray a political reporter as unethical for taking out sources for drinks. Last month, O'Keefe targeted a low-level Times staffer in an undercover operation, prompting executive editor Dean Baquet to call O'Keefe a "despicable person who runs a despicable operation." After the Post revealed O'Keefe's latest stunt , he posted an undercover video of national security reporter Dan Lamothe explaining the difference between the paper's news and the editorial sides, benign remarks nonetheless framed in an ominous light.
- O'Keefe's botched, and at times bizarre, undercover operations haven't appeared to hurt his reputation with fans, who respond online to his undercover videos as if they're evidence of deep, dark newsroom conspiracies. He also continues to bring in money from conservative donors, with Project Veritas raising $4.8 million last year and O'Keefe personally making more than $300,000. Among the group's past donors is President Trump'scharitable foundation. And night, O'Keefe portrayed the Post debacle as a victory in a fundraising email asking for more money to finish his group's "investigation" of the paper.
Good morning and welcome to Morning Media. Please send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and @mlcalderone. Jason Schwartz (@JasonSchwartz) and Daniel Lippman (@dlippman) contributed to the newsletter. Archives. Subscribe.
KEITH OLBERMANN IS DONE with his "Resistance" commentaries for GQ's website, telling viewers night that he is confident "this nightmare presidency of Donald John Trump will end prematurely and end soon." Olbermann said he felt the commentaries, of which he'd done 187 since last year's presidential election, were getting repetitive as Trump recycles outrages that set off the news cycle yet again. "I've said what I had to say," Olbermann said, who added that he is "retiring from political commentary in all media venues."
TRUMP ALLY EYEING TIME? The Financial Times reports that National Enquirer publisher David Pecker has expressed interest in Time assets if Meredith Corporation puts them up for sale. The FT's Shannon and James Fontanella-Khan reported that Meredith plans "significant job cuts" at Time Inc. since Sunday's announced takeover, a strategy in which the Koch brothers, who financially backed the deal, are said to agree. "If Pecker takes over my baby, Entertainment Weekly, I will go stage a sit-in," tweeted Jeff Jarvis, CUNY journalism professor who was creator and founding editor of the magazine.
KOCHS TO MEET QUARTERLY WITH MEREDITH: Alex Weprin, no stranger to this newsletter, caught in a filing tied to the deal that Kochs will get to meet four times a year with Meredith executives to discuss "current business, financial and strategic matters." Though the Kochs won't get a Meredith board seat, they may get an observer at board meetings. Meredith's announcement that the Kochs would have "no influence" in editorial or management decisions has been met with skepticism by journalists and longtime Koch chroniclers, as Jason Schwartz and I reported.
- But even if the Kochs don't take any active role trying to shape coverage at magazines like Time and Fortune, Daniel Schulman, the Washington bureau chief of Mother Jones and author of Koch family biography "Sons of Wichita," suggested their influence may be baked into such a large investment. "Influence works in a lot of different ways. They could influence coverage without lifting a finger, basically. If the staff of these publications are aware that the Kochs are significant financial backers of Time Inc, they may not go out of their way to be critical of the brothers or the company," Schulman said. "That would be the way I think it would work."
INSIDE TIME INC: The New York Times' Sydney Ember describes the "funereal" atmosphere as staffers met with executives on the morning after the sale. "During two meetings held in an auditorium named for Time Inc.'s illustrious co-founder Henry R. Luce, the mood grew somewhat contentious, according to people who attended," she wrote. "Employees demanded to know if the Kochs, the multibillionaire brothers known for throwing their weight behind conservative causes, would compromise their editorial integrity."
"HOW FAR WILL SEAN HANNITY GO?" That's the question the New York Times Magazine sets out to answer in this weekend's cover story, which goes online this morning. Bonus: Here's the print cover.
"Woman with anti-'liberal media' group reached out to me -- posing as Roy Moore accuser. Instead of publishing fake story, @WashingtonPost busted her." [Beth Reinhard]
"Political activist prankster caught faking a sexual assault in an attempt to undermine real victims. Other than being an actual sexual predator, [I'm] not sure how much more ethically lost someone could be than that -- but the night is still young." [Jake Tapper]
"Impossible to overstate the idiocy of latest O'Keefe Roy Moore 'sting,' directed at WaPo. Beyond boneheaded. O'Keefe really ought to hang it up. Stupidity + maliciousness a bad combination." [Byron York]
"A thing to know about @DanLamothe & countless of his peers at @washingtonpost is they venture out to examine and interrogate the world where it is most dangerous, at risk of life and limb, and simple hardship, unlike these clowns who stalk them, who we never see where lead flies." [C.J. Chivers]
GUARDIAN REPORTER SENDS CEASE-AND-DESIST LETTER TO CONGRESSMAN: An attorney for Ben Jacobs, the Guardian reporter who was assaulted by Greg Gianforte on the night before his election victory, has demanded the Montana congressman and his staff stop making "false and defamatory statements" about the May incident. The letter was prompted by Gianforte spokesman Travis Hall saying "no one was misled" by the congressman's initial comments. The Associated Press reported last week that Gianforte "misled investigators" and made claims that were contradicted by "multiple witnesses."
CNN HITS BACK AT TRUMP: Jason Schwartz reports on the network's pushback to the president's latest swipes, along with the broader threat to global press freedom. "Fighting a free and independent press from the land of the free itself, turns the world on its head," Christiane Amanpour told POLITICO. "Without a free press there is no democracy. A cursory Google glance around our world will demonstrate that. This skirmish between the President and the Press is not a joke, this is fundamental."
- "I think this reinforces a point that [Trump's] made over and over, which is that he doesn't really care about press freedom or the rights of journalists," said Committee to Protect Journalists executive director Joel Simon. "It doesn't really concern him that journalists around the world are being murdered or imprisoned in record numbers. I think that it's clear that if you're a press-freedom violator, a press-freedom abuser, you're not going to get any pushback from President Trump, and I think that undermines that ability of journalists all over the world to work safely and independently."
REPLACING CHARLIE ROSE: Page Six reports that CBS News correspondent Vladimir Duthiers has emerged as the front-runner to be co-anchor of "CBS This Morning." A source told Page Six that "Vlad is a front-runner at this point. ... Like Charlie, Vlad's strength is as an interviewer."
WATCH: MSNBC host Katy Tur grilled lawyer Lisa Bloom - who is now representing Congressman John Conyers' accuser - about her reported role in helping disgraced film mogul and accused rapist Harvey Weinstein try to discredit women making allegations against him. (via Mediaite)
MEANWHILE, VICE TURNED DOWN A BLOOM INTERVIEW: Vice News chief Josh Tyrangiel tweeted: "Just fyi, @vicenews had an interview scheduled with former Weinstein rep Lisa Bloom today. We were set up in her office. She delayed. Then her reps demanded our questions in advance. When we refused, they wanted to know what percentage of questions would be about Weinstein. We did not comply, and she cancelled the interview. We made no advance promises - we never do- but think it's worth noting when public figures accept interviews then try to change the conditions to suit their needs."
TODAY: News Match is launching an effort to raise money and awareness for nonprofit newsrooms. Details here on #GivingNewsDay.
: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) will debate Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a CNN town hall on taxes. Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will moderate the 90-minute debate that kicks off at
COMING SOON: "THE VAN JONES SHOW": CNN announced that progressive commentator Van Jones will host a one-hour, primetime show, airing twice each month, beginning in January 2018.
- Trump has long sent journalists handwritten notes on their stories. He's still doing so as president, most recently to National Review's Rich Lowry.
- Splinter finds some notable details the New York Times missed in its widely criticized "Nazi next door" profile.
- Breitbart editor Joel Pollak defends Roy Moore against allegations of sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old by citing a 1973 Ringo Starr song. Mark Cuban responds that Pollak and stunned CNN anchor Chris Cuomo should have their own show.
KICKER: Jann "Wenner's narcissistic and violent temperament, on high boil since early youth and on full display in this survey of his life, has made him impervious to outside judgment. He's one part Sammy Glick, using and discarding people on his race to the top. He's a shot of Richard III, cruel and controlling. And he's a lot like Mr. Toad, singing self-praise at every available turn. But don't worry: The book's cutting assessment won't cause him any more pain than a brisk, full-body dermabrasion." - from Jack Shafer's New York Times review of Joe Hagan's biography on the Rolling Stone founder.