March 23rd, 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.

Every month, Muck Rack hosts #MuckRackCafe, a 30-minute live journalist Q&A on Twitter. This month, we chatted with Omar Gallaga, technology culture writer at The Austin American-Statesman. Missed the chat? Catch up with the Storify here.

Journalists: Interested in joining us in the hot seat for a future #MuckRackCafe? Email

Seems newsy

Allison Preiss is referring to the CNN breaking news last night that, according to US officials, Info suggests Trump associates may have coordinated with Russians (32,000+ shares). As reported by Pamela Brown, Evan Perez and Shimon Prokupecz, officials say that while the FBI cannot yet prove that collusion took place, information suggesting collusion is now a large focus of the investigation. “Not sure this is super-surprising, given Comey's testimony,” tweets Brandon Larrabee, “just the rational next step.” Adam Serwer's analysis: “Well this looks quite bad,” even though, as Gideon Resnick notes, it’s “a bit hazier than the headline suggests.” Tweets Ethan Klapper, “Lots of smoke...and maybe some fire with this one.” Tim Nudd suggests a “Dramatic chipmunk gif.” “Quiet news day,” says Matt Pearce.

If you can stand to read it, this is both fascinating and terrifying

With a review like that, how can you possibly pass this one up? Ciara O'Brien is tempting you with Read President Trump's Interview With TIME on Truth and Falsehoods, a transcript of Trump’s interview with TIME’s Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer for a cover story about the way he has handled truth and falsehood in his career. “This is an interview for the history books,” says Richard Hall. Tweets Daniel Dale, “Trump did an interview about his lying, and, while lying some more, wiggles away remarkably easily.” And Maggie Haberman notes, “Trump also promotes false internet meme about NYT changing a headline.” “This is like a Greatest Hits of falsehoods,” says Kenneth Silber. Adds Michelle Ye Hee Lee, “Our tracker for Trump's false/misleading claims may implode after this TIME interview w/Trump on truth and falsehood.”

Dan Worth highlights this “Amazing final line from @realDonaldTrump ‘I can’t be doing so badly, because I’m president, and you’re not,’" which Michael S. Derby called “Trump's Pee-Wee Herman-like response.” Says Eric Geller, “This interview is surreal and you have to read it.” Still, Daniel Drezner's going to pass on this one. “Thanks, but it's too early in the morning for this quantity of horseshit.”

Don’t miss Scherer’s cover story, Trump Lies: The President With False Claims Faces Reality, though, says Elizabeth Dias: “Attn: everyone live tweeting @michaelscherer's interview with Trump--Just read the cover story!” Andrew Schneider calls it an “Excellent piece."

Horatio Alger for the modern world

Matt Saccaro has a simple message for you: “So good. Please read.” In The Gig Economy Celebrates Working Yourself to Death (12,000+ shares) Jia Tolentino writes in The New Yorker “about an extremely gross trend in corporate messaging,” tweets Tolentino. Michelle Rafter summarizes, “In #gigeconomy, the ones hustling for work are the ones getting hustled by companies they work for.” Eric Newcomer calls it “Horatio Alger for the modern world." “Jia Tolentino is a helluva writer,” says Andrew Barker, and Tim Donnelly tweets, “.@jiatolentino nails it again.”

Meanwhile...according to Betsy McKay's piece in The Wall Street Journal, Death Rates Rise for Wide Swath of White Adults, Study Finds. As Nick Timiraos notes, “The rising mortality of working-class white adults appears to be a uniquely American problem.” Steve Daniels tweets, “For those on the left wondering how @realDonaldTrump won: This gets closer to it than anything else I've seen.” Says Jean Marbella, “The price of 'despair' - drug abuse, suicide, social decline. Not good time to reduce health care access.”

GOP health care plan: aromatherapy not chemotherapy

So then, this might not be a good plan? In Late G.O.P. Proposal Could Mean Plans That Cover Aromatherapy but Not Chemotherapy, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times writes of the eleventh-hour dealing on ACA replacement, “There are two main problems with stripping away minimum benefit rules. One is that the meaning of ‘health insurance’ can start to become a little murky. The second is that, in a world in which no one has to offer maternity coverage, no insurance company wants to be the only one that offers it.” Alison Kodjak says the piece offers a “Nice explanation from @SangerKatz on why minimal insurance requirements matter,” and Rosalind Bentley calls it a “Good explainer of what's at stake.” “And somewhere in Florida,” tweets Matt Fuller, “Alan Grayson draws on a poster board: GOP health care plan: Aromatherapy not chemotherapy.”

Trump family price tag

Remember the budget discussion from last week, which admittedly feels like several months or possibly a decade ago? Well, amid all the massive cuts, the Secret Service asked for $60 million extra for Trump-era travel and protection, documents show (41,000+ shares). According to Amy Brittain's new piece in The Washington Post, which is based on internal agency documents reviewed by the paper, the amount reflects “the most precise estimate yet of the escalating costs for travel and protection resulting from the unusually complicated lifestyle of the Trump family.” As Ed O'Keefe points out, “Nearly 1/2 of USSS $$ request, $26.8M, would pay to protect NYC's Trump Tower.” And Mike Madden retweets this, from Andrew Exum: “Just to put it in perspective, $60 million is roughly half of the Appalachian Regional Commission's FY17 request.” That’s the “Trump family price tag,” as Clarence Page puts it.

Douchebaggery diplomacy

Speaking of the Trump family, Liam Stack writes in The New York Times that Donald Trump, Jr., Criticizes London Mayor After Deadly Attack. Explains Jamil Smith, “Trump's kid went on Twitter to lie about London mayor @SadiqKhan, a Muslim, on the same day London was attacked.” Says Rob Cox, “More Douchebaggery Diplomacy from the First Family.”  Meanwhile, Scott Tobias is working on a “Kickstarter to send Donald Trump Jr. back to that stump in the woods.” Says Ben Greenman, “After this article, I'm positive that the stump is the second dumbest thing in this picture. “

London attack coverage

For ongoing updates on the London attack, check out The Guardian’s live coverage here. Some of what we know so far: Four people have died, including a police officer and the attacker, and another 29 people were injured, seven of whom are in critical condition. Police have identified the assailant as Kent-born Khalid Masood. 

This is not terrorism?

Elsewhere, “It is absolutely wild that this has barely registered as a national story,” says Jamelle Bouie. Ashley Southall reports in The New York Times that a military veteran with "a long-simmering hatred of black men claimed responsibility on Wednesday for the fatal stabbing of a homeless man in Manhattan this week" (11,000+ shares). Matthew Haag highlights this from the piece: “Mr. Jackson had a manifesto explaining his desire and plans that he had wanted to deliver to The New York Times.” “This is not terrorism?” asks Jim Sterngold.

Also, “What the heck?” Aya Batrawy tweets the question in light of the news, reported by Adam Goldman and Alan Blinder in The New York Times, that “An Israeli American is apparently behind many of the bomb threats on U.S. Jewish centers.” Or as Niv Elis puts it, “OMFG. Seriously?”


In other cover story news, Peter Waldman of Bloomberg goes Inside Alabama’s Auto Jobs Boom and finds “Cheap Wages, Little Training, Crushed Limbs.” M. Scott Havens says it’s a “Great read,” and Megan Murphy tweets, “The dark side of America's manufacturing renaissance - this week's must read @BW cover.” Says Aaron Rutkoff, “Make time for this stunning @BW horrorshow on the maimed bodies caught in Alabama's auto factory boom.”

Finally, some good news

We can’t end it on that note, so how about this: As Brady Dennis tweets, “Interior secretary, who rode a horse to work his first day, is letting his employees bring their dogs to the office.” Lisa Rein and Karin Brulliard report in The Washington Post, In a first for the government, dogs will be welcome at the Interior Department. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke tweets, “In celebration of #NationalPuppyDay I'm announcing Doggy Days at @Interior to boost staff morale and lower stress.” And Kayla Epstein “*applies to work at Interior Department*”

Question of the Day

Yesterday, we asked: Chief justice William Rehnquist wore four gold stripes on each sleeve of his robe. What inspired that fashion choice?

Answer: Rehnquist reportedly modeled his design after a robe he had seen in a production of Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe.

Many of you know your Supreme Court fashion and musical theater references, but congrats go to Craig Pittman, who was first to tweet the correct answer.

Your question of the day for today is…The Gong Show’s grand prize award of $516.32 wasn’t as “highly unusual” as it seemed. What did that amount represent?

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

Career Updates
Changes at The Wall Street Journal

POLITICO reporter Eli Stokols will join The Wall Street Journal in early April to help cover the White House. Alexandra Berzon is joining the investigations team at the paper, where she previously covered gambling and casinos. In the WSJ’s Hong Kong bureau, Yun-Hee Kim, previously the Asia technology editor, has been named senior editor for live journalism, Asia. And Andrew Peaple, previously the paper’s Asia commodities editor, is the new deputy markets and finance editor for Asia.

Meanwhile, Donna Borak, who has covered banking policy for The Wall Street Journal from the Washington news bureau, is moving to CNNMoney, where she will be senior economics writer.

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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