A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.
“Um, sir, it’s D-Day, not me day.”
…That was Jake Tapper’s lead on “The Lead” Thursday afternoon. “On the 75th anniversary of the day of days, D-Day, President Trump continues his personal war and petty attacks on Robert Mueller and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,” Tapper said. He noted that Trump gave a “strong address to mark the occasion of the memorial,” but also trashed his political opponents “just yards away from the graves of American heroes.” The graves were visible right over Trump’s shoulder.
The anti-Mueller and anti-Pelosi soundbites came from Trump’s interview with Fox’s Laura Ingraham. Speaking on Tapper’s show, Amanda Carpenter pointed out that “Trump didn’t set up that shot. Laura Ingraham did it. There’s a whole network behind it. There’s lots of people who said, ‘Yes, that looks good.’ This isn’t just one person’s bad judgment. It’s a lot of people’s bad judgment.”
NYT opinion staffer drafts articles of impeachment
Earlier this week the NYT’s Opinion section published a graphic-filled piece titled “The Articles of Impeachment Against Donald J. Trump: A Draft.” Ian Prasad Philbrick, who works on the editorial staff, came up with it.
This was smart. Why? Because Philbrick reviewed the articles of impeachment drawn up against Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton and then “edited them — by removing and adding passages — to match the president’s conduct as described in the Mueller report and elsewhere.” The similarities are striking and the differences are interesting. Philbrick’s point: “The pathway to a possible Trump impeachment is already mapped out in these historical documents.”
So what did Fox News do? It punished the NYT by publishing a story titled “New York Times drafts ‘articles of impeachment’ against Trump.” Technically true, I suppose — but it’s absurd to take an opinion section feature by a single staffer and pretend like it’s the product of the newspaper as a whole. Fox’s story stoked hatred of the NYT — just check out the comments beneath the story or the Twitter shares for proof of that. It’s a shame, because the hate distracts from the important points that Philbrick made…
There’s a tape
On Thursday the FBI released audio of a voicemail from then-Trump attorney John Dowd to then-Michael Flynn attorney Rob Kelner giving Kelner a “heads up” on the Mueller case. The message shows a possible attempt to obstruct.
>> Josh Campbell says the voicemail is a reminder, as everyone waits to hear Robert Mueller testify, that “audio and visuals are always more powerful…”
Mueller Report book club…
That’s what PolitiFact is launching this summer. “We’ll introduce you to the report and each week suggest a set amount of reading,” the website explained on Thursday. “As we read the report together, PolitiFact journalists will offer analysis and take your questions.” Here it is. There are actually quite a few Mueller-related book clubs already up and running…
FOR THE RECORD, BOOKS EDITION
– Mark Levin’s “Unfreedom of the Press” is No. 1 on the NYT’s nonfiction bestseller lists for a second straight week…
– CNN’s book “Anthony Bourdain Remembered,” published by Ecco, debuted at No. 10 on the hardcover bestseller list…
– After a sluggish start, Michael Wolff’s new book “Siege” is firmly in the top 10 on Amazon’s constantly updated sales chart…
Hundreds of Vox Media employees walk out amid union negotiations
Oliver Darcy emails: More than 300 Vox Media employees staged a walkout on Thursday as staffers and management failed to come to an agreement for a union contract. The walkout affected Vox Media’s batch of popular websites (think Vox, SBNation, Recode, The Verge, Curbed, Eater, etc.) with some of the outlets not publishing new content during the day.
Jason Gordon of the Writers Guild of America East, which is representing the staffers, told me staffers and management still have not come to an agreement on four key issues: salary minimums; guaranteed annual cost of living increases; severance agreement; and a plan for freelancers and contractors.
Darcy adds: Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff addressed the walkout in an all-staff email on Thursday. He wrote that he was “disappointed that the union chose to take this action in the midst of good faith bargaining,” but said he was “still committed to promptly resolving all outstanding issues.”
Bankoff underscored that he wanted to invest in the staff, but said he didn’t want to spend “so far above industry norms that we create an unsustainable environment.” Bankoff added, “While paying people a lot more than market wages sounds great on the surface, it’s not realistic or smart.”
FT FUTURE OF NEWS SUMMIT
– ABC News prez James Goldston said his Tuesday evening dinner with Trump and Theresa May was part of “an event celebrating D-Day.” He said “I will take that opportunity any time to celebrate those values.”
– CBS News prez Susan Zirinsky: “There is a real hunger right now for a truthful reporting of news. And I think the 3 networks absolutely have that. And you can see it – you can see it in the numbers.”
– NBC News prez Noah Oppenheim: “I think people are craving news organizations that have clear standards and an objective point of view.”
– BuzzFeed News boss Ben Smith said YouTube has been “taking shelter behind Facebook” but is “now facing its own crisis,” citing a “totally out of control” algorithm and confusing rule enforcement…
– Vanity Fair editor Radhika Jones pushed back on a Q about budget cuts at VF: Yes, “I was tasked with modernizing the enterprise,” she said. But “we are still very resource-rich…”