March 1st, 2017
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Muck Rack Daily
Hello from Muck Rack, where you can get a snapshot of what journalists around the world are reading, thinking and commenting on right now.
Wrong. That's wrong. No, that's wrong, too.

At 15,000+ shares, The New York Times reporters’ fact-checking of the president’s joint session speech last night has been making the rounds. Dan Mouthrop’s assessment: “He did not appear to lie as much as he has at previous appearances.” However, Jim Clancy says, “Lots of people are fact checking. Their assessments don't match,” linking also to Holly Baxter’s piece in the Independent: When you fact-check Donald Trump's latest speech, you find that even the technically true parts aren't really true. At the Washington Post, Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee checked the facts and found 13 “more notable" misleading claims. Kessler comments, “By Trumpian standards, 13 misleading claims is better than usual. But by speech-to-Congress standards, it's poor.” Gerry Smith tallies it, “Trump speech scorecard: just one dig at the press, 13 inaccuracies.” Laura Helmuth sums it up: “Wrong. That's wrong. No, that's wrong, too.” For a point-by-point review, NPR reporters and editors gave us an annotated transcript of the entire speech. What you won’t find in there? As Pedro da Costa points out, “Trump did not mention #Mexico. Or #Russia.”

So it *was* possible for Uber's week to get worse.

“In which the Uber CEO argues with an Uber driver in an Uber.” Justin Sink is tweeting about the dashcam video that, as Eric Newcomer of Bloomberg News reports, shows Uber CEO Travis Kalanick telling a driver to take responsibility for his problems and boasting about a tough culture. In case you were wondering, “So it *was* possible for Uber's week to get worse,” tweets Leila Abboud. Jay Yarow breaks it down for us: “Uber driver gets in argument with CEO Travis Kalanick over pricing, records it, hands video to Bloomberg.” Damon Beres says, “Uber PR literally just disintegrates.” And that’s not all. Ryan Mac notes, “Even more terrible news for Uber: CEO Travis Kalanick is a Maroon 5 fan.” As Josh Harkinson says, “Ruthless capitalism is one thing, but dancing to Maroon 5?” Or maybe we should go with Kate Knibbs’ take: “this season of undercover boss is wild.”


Sam Dolnick is trying to make sense of the news, reported by his colleagues Julie Davis, Michael Shear and Peter Baker in The New York Times, that, as Vivian Ye explains it, “Trump told news anchors he's open to a legal pathway for undocumented immigrants — huge shift from his early tone.” “I lose track with this guy…” says Iain Dey. “Whoa. That’s quite the pivot,” tweets Andrew Das. “My neck hurts from whiplash,” adds Victoria Colliver. So it’s clear that, as Shear says, “If your head is spinning now, you’re not alone.” Lynn Hicks offers some possible explanations: “Trial balloon? Head fake? Policy formation by interview?” Or maybe: “day in day out feels like improv presidenting,” tweets C.J. Chivers.

His name is Donald Trump.

“Donald Trump on Friday railed against the media's use of anonymous sources in stories. Four days later, he was one.” That’s the lead in a piece by Steven Perlberg and Adrian Carrasquillo of BuzzFeed, which reveals “That anonymous White House ‘official’ talking to news media today? His name is Donald Trump,” as Jon Passantino tweets. “This could be the anecdotal example to accompany a dictionary definition of ‘gaslighting,’” Corey Pein says. “CNN, of all media outlets, grants Trump anonymity and attributes his quote to a ‘senior administration official,’” observes Jason Leopold. “So,” Gabriel Snyder tweets, “when you read an anonymous source, it could be fake or it could be the President of the United States.”

Another blockbuster.

Dan Eggen calls it “Another blockbuster from @PostRoz & @thamburger.” As reported by Rosalind Helderman and Tom Hamburger in the Washington Post, the FBI once planned to pay former British spy who authored controversial Trump dossier. Significantly, as Karen Tumulty and others point out, “FBI’s arrangement with Steele shows that bureau investigators considered him credible.” Says Jack Shafer, “@buzzfeedben is looking ever more wise today,” referring to BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief Ben Smith.

Press relations with this White House.

“In case you weren't already aware, @politicoalex is a amazing reporter, great person and this attack was wrong,” says Ginger Gibson, of POLITICO’s Alex Isenstadt. Erik Wemple’s piece in the Washington Post, The White House’s Politico slime job, from start to finish, details “how @seanspicer used a dead Navy SEAL to try and smear a Politico reporter for a story he didn't like,” tweets Mark Berman. “Press relations with this White House,” tweets Shane Goldmacher.

Duck the buck.

That’s Edward-Isaac Dovere’s take on the breaking news reported by Noah Shachtman in The Daily Beast that, as Shachtman tweets, “Trump admin seriously considering taking Prez *out of the loop* for future raids in Yemen & elsewhere.” Gideon Resnick notes that “This sets the stage for more finger-pointing if further operations go south.” As Abby Phillip reported in the Washington Post, “Trump passes blame for Yemen raid to his generals: 'They lost Ryan.’” To which Steve Daniels tweeted, “The buck stops anywhere but here.” Bringing it back to the joint session speech, David Bloomberg says, “Trump passes the blame for Owens' death while using it as a political prop last night.” Which brings us to this...

If you are feeling anxious after last night...Oprah is here.

Megan Hess is referring to the season two premiere of Bloomberg’s The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations, in which Winfrey reveals she’s “rethinking if she could be president.” Molly Beck tweets, “A car in every driveway.” And as Dylan Matthews points out, “‘And you get a car!’ Is the kind of universal social program the left needs right now.”

Big book news.

Niall Stanage is tweeting the word that Penguin Random House will publish books by former President Barack Obama and the former first lady Michelle Obama, as reported in The New York Times by Alexandra Alter. Pamela Paul calls it “The book deal everyone was waiting for…” Stef W. Kight of Axios reports, "The news followed a bidding war that reportedly exceeded $60 million for publishing rights to both their books, according to the FT."  Stacy Palmer adds, “Charities to benefit in part from Obama book deal,” retweeting NPR that “The publisher says, as part of the deal, it will donate one million books in the Obama family's name to First Book.”

Bye, bye eggs.

And finally, some really good news. Dan Frommer of Recode reports that Twitter will now let you mute specific words from your timeline - and mute ‘eggs’ without profile photos. That’s right, Alex Hern is tweet-shouting the news: “YOU CAN MUTE EGGS ON TWITTER.” Says Juan Buis, “seems like twitter finally woke up? can't wait to mute some eggs.” “Bye, bye eggs,” tweets Steve Kopack.

Question of the Day

Yesterday we asked: On this day in 1983, the final episode of the TV series M*A*S*H* aired, with a record 125 million viewers watching. What was the name of the physician who was largely credited with the development of MASH units for the US Army, which were based on his concept of stationing of doctors closer to the front lines?

Answer: It was Michael E. DeBakey.

Congrats to Craig Pittman, first in with the correct answer, but we also have to give an honorable mention shout-out to David Daniel, who went even further by explaining, "Major Vincent P. Marran established the 1st MASH units; Michael E. DeBakey formally conceived them."

Your question of the day for today is…This memoir sold more copies in its first day of publication than any other nonfiction title. Name the author and the title.

As always, click here to tweet your answer to @MuckRack.

Featured Journalist: Bill Griffin

Wallifornia, Belgium-based Bill Griffin is a freelance journalist who writes about cannabis issues. As he says in his profile, “Everyone should have safe access to cannabis for medical & recreational use (including right to grow).” You can read more about Bill and check out his portfolio here.

Don’t forget - if you change your job in journalism or move to a different news organization, be sure to email us (hello [at] muckrack [dot] com) so we can reflect your new title. News job changes only, please! Thanks!
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