Weinstein in court; "Fourth Estate" premiere; Friday news dump; fact-checking chat; Olbermann is back again; "Star Wars" fatigue?

By Brian Stelter and CNN's media team
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Exec summary: Hey, I hope you're skimming this email somewhere warm and relaxing. 🌞 Scroll down for reactions to Harvey Weinstein's arraignment... A worrisome box office outlook for Disney's "Solo" launch... And my brand new podcast with WashPost fact-checker Glenn Kessler...

Weekend media guide

The unofficial start of summer doubles as a sigh of relief. Maybe peace and quiet and sanity will prevail this summer? (LOL.) This newsletter will be off Sunday, back Monday! 

Sunday night: "The Fourth Estate" premieres

Brian Lowry emails: NYT editor Dean Baquet has been pretty upfront about his reason for participating in Showtime's "The Fourth Estate." He wanted to illustrate how hard the paper works at getting it right -- contradicting the president's "fake news" broadsides.

The four-part docu-series does this. But filmmaker Liz Garbus also seeks to humanize Times personnel, while providing a window into larger issues about the challenges journalism faces in the digital age. As Baquet notes during the program, "The number of institutions that can do this is shrinking, unfortunately."

The first episode premieres on TV on Sunday night... And all four episodes will be available right then on VOD/streaming. They'll continue to roll out on TV each Sunday. Read Lowry's full review here...

Panel highlights

The NYT screened episode one and held a panel with four NYT journalists on Thursday night. A few of the highlights:

 -- Michael Schmidt on the Trump era: "The remarkable thing about the story is that every week it seems to out-do itself."

 -- Garbus said that when she started shooting the documentary, she sorta expected to see "liberal bias spilling out all over the place." Maybe "that was my fantasy of what The New York Times was," she said. But "these guys are equal opportunity truth-finders..."

 -- Maggie Haberman on Rudy's role: He's "a free agent TV star." White House aides "have no idea what he's going to say." So "they're trapped in the car with him driving." (BTW: He's going to be on "State of the Union" this Sunday.)

Memorial day: HBO's McCain film

"John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls" premieres Monday evening.

The most striking aspect of this HBO production "is McCain's serenity as he reflects on what he describes as 'an honorable life,' for which he expresses gratitude," Brian Lowry writes in his review.

Key McCain quote: "I love life, and I want to stay around forever. But I also feel that there's a great honor that you can die with."

Solo's weak weekend?

Disney had been projecting a four-day opening weekend of $130 to $150 million for "Solo." On Friday it revised the projection downward... The new range is $105 to $115 million.

The studio is "almost assuredly being conservative. But anything under $120M is going to be seen as a disappointment," the NYT's Brooks Barnes tweeted.

This is all about "Star Wars"-sized expectations versus reality. As Frank Pallotta notes in his story, the movie's $14.1 million haul on Thursday night was "a record for the Thursday before Memorial Day," BUT "half of what 'Rogue One' brought in on its opening Thursday..."

 --> THR's lead: "The Force is being tested in a serious way..."

 --> Are we witnessing "Star Wars" fatigue? Scroll down for Frank's full story...

Some more options

Megan Thomas emails: Here are 11 films to see this holiday weekend, courtesy of Vulture...
For the record, part one
 -- Was this a holiday weekend news dump? "President Trump issued three executive orders Friday aimed at overhauling the federal bureaucracy..." This is the most-read story on the Post's site right now... (WashPost)

 -- Friday's "huh?" story: "Russian oligarch met with Michael Cohen at Trump Tower during transition..." (CNN)

 -- The oligarch story cited video from the Trump Tower lobby. As Maggie Haberman tweeted, "The C-SPAN camera in the Trump Tower lobby has served an important archival purpose -- documenting a meeting that people involved may have preferred to try to keep people from learning about..." (NYT)

 -- Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens, two conservative activists who are regulars on Trump's favorite Fox shows, met with him on Friday... (Axios)

This Sunday on "Reliable Sources"

I'll be joined by Carl Bernstein, Joan Walsh, Daniel Dale, Charlie LeDuff, Donté Stallworth, and Jim Rutenberg...

Plus, a closer look at EPA boss Scott Pruitt shutting out reporters... the Trump media playbook on steroids? Rep. Dan Kildee and Mother Jones reporter Rebecca Leber will join me... See you Sunday at 11am ET on CNN...

Kessler says Trump's truth problem is getting worse

Trump keeps WashPost fact-checker Glenn Kessler very busy. Kessler is my guest on this week's "Reliable Sources" podcast... I asked him about Trump's "fog machine" about spying, the president's tendency to repeat bogus claims, and the WashPost's count of 3,000 "false or misleading claims" by Trump since inauguration day.

We also got into the debate about whether to call something a "lie." And Kessler explained why he prefers "divided government." Listen to the conversation via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or TuneIn...
Quote of the day
"After decades of abusing women with impunity, finally, the beginning of the end of Harvey Weinstein's reign of terror. I wish I could say this brings me peace. Unfortunately, the damage he has done to women can never be undone. He belongs in prison."

--Asia Argento, one of the women who spoke out publicly against Weinstein last fall...

Weinstein cuffed

TheWrap's headline called Friday "The Day Harvey Weinstein's Comeback Fantasy Ended."

The Daily Beast's Michael Daly described the scene outside the First Precinct station house this way: "The onetime cultural king of this Manhattan neighborhood had his hands cuffed behind him. His girth had required the police to link two sets of cuffs with a third."

The NYT's Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, who wrote the first story about Weinstein's misdeeds last fall, were waiting for him in the courtroom. "For so long he had his own private system -- fancy lawyers who paid to silence women, private investigators and spies. Now he answers to the same system as the rest of us," Kantor tweeted.

Weinstein is free for now on $1 million bail. His next court date is set for July 30. His lawyer says he will plead not guilty to the charges. Here's our main CNN story about Friday's developments...

The pictures carried so much meaning

Weinstein's baby blue sweater. His choice of books. The brief smile. The photographers shouted "Harvey! Harvey!" But this time they weren't on a red carpet.

The NYT's Jessica Bennett wrote: "They say a picture is worth a thousand words." For the image of Weinstein in handcuffs, "two words may actually get the job done: Times Up."

 --> Related: Brian Lowry's column: "Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein cases send a Time's Up message"

Rose McGowan's comment to Weinstein: "We got you"

"I actually didn't believe this day would come. I didn't believe this day would come," Rose McGowan told Megyn Kelly on Friday morning. She sounded floored by the arrest. "I can say this, the man who pinned me down had handcuffs on him today," she said. Here's my recap of the remarkable live interview...

Weinstein's long fall

On this day last year, Weinstein was "the toast of Cannes" at the amfAR AIDS Benefit.

Lisa Respers France wrote about Weinstein's "long fall" on Friday. She emails: A crisis management expert told me that even if Weinstein's acquitted, there's no coming back for the former Hollywood mogul. "Even if Cyrus Vance is not able to win in court, he still faces all of the civil allegations," attorney and crisis management expert Richard Levick said. "He is no more redeemable than Bill Cosby."

Is he in denial?

Fresh reporting from CNN's Jamie Gangel: Weinstein is likely in denial, according to a source who has worked closely with him for decades. The source told Gangel that Weinstein is someone who never gives up and is a fighter. The same source believes that in Weinstein's mind, these relationships were consensual...

 --> Re: the Times Up reckoning in Hollywood, her source added, "The question now is will others face criminal charges..."

Visa suspends Morgan Freeman campaign after accusations of inappropriate behavior

"Visa is suspending its marketing campaign with Morgan Freeman following a CNN investigation that uncovered a pattern of alleged harassment and inappropriate behavior by the actor," Chloe Melas reports.

Another one: "Vancouver public transit system TransLink announced on Thursday that it would 'pause' its current ad campaign..."
For the record, part two
 -- MSNBC's Chris Hayes calling attention to a "despicable" (his word) new policy: "The U.S. government is now systematically taking children as young as 53 weeks old away from their parents at the border, thanks to new directives issued by the Trump administration..." (MSNBC)

-- Philip Bump crunched the #'s and confirmed: "Sarah Sanders has held briefings less frequently than her two predecessors" and "her briefings have been shorter..." (WashPost)

 -- A White House mystery: "Trump says the first lady is 'doing great.' She hasn't been seen in public for two weeks..." (WashPost)

GDPR fallout: Tronc-owned sites block European readers 

Why were Tronc-related sites like The Chicago Tribune and the LA Times unprepared? The NYT reports that those sites -- as well as some other smaller news outlets -- abruptly blocked access "from Europe on Friday, choosing to black out readers rather than comply with a strict new data privacy law in the European Union that limits what information can be collected about people online." Everyone had two years to prep...

FT and NYMag yank Facebook ads after new labeling policies

"The Financial Times and New York Media, owner of New York magazine, have pulled certain ads from Facebook after the social media giant rolled out new policies for labeling ads about issues deemed political," Hadas Gold reports. Get the details here...

"Keith Olbermann is back (for the sixth time) at ESPN"

That's NBC's headline for this news. ESPN announced an expanded pact with Keith Olbermann on Friday, following several months of appearances by the infamous broadcaster. He'll be a guest anchor of "SportsCenter," among other roles. "Olbermann's first assignment under the new deal comes Monday, as he will call the Astros-Yankees game on ESPN Radio," USA Today reports. "Olbermann also will co-host some editions of PTI and will make appearances on Outside the Lines..."
The entertainment desk

"Star Wars" fatigue?

Frank Pallotta emails: We're experiencing "Star Wars" saturation. When the first movie came out 40 years ago, fans had to wait three years for each new film. It's only been five months since "The Last Jedi," but now here comes "Solo."

What will the four-day total be? $110 million? An opening over $100 million is nothing to snicker at, but it's an indication of "Star Wars" fatigue.

"It's certainly possible after four movies in two and a half years, although fatigue is a relative term in the case of 'Star Wars,'" said Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at BoxOffice.com...

Remembering Paul Bloch

Brian Lowry emails: Paul Bloch, who has died at 78, was a true throwback to the old days of Hollywood publicists, with a client roster to show it -- Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and John Travolta among them... Read THR's full obit here...

Ridley Scott gets it 

Brian Lowry emails: This isn't a particularly new thought, but it's still interesting to see this quote come from director Ridley Scott, who has worked pretty extensively in TV as well as movies, in an Indiewire interview:

"There's so much original, inventive, innovative stuff coming out of television as well. It's really presenting a big problem for the feature film business."

That observation somewhat dovetails with mine about the paranoid thriller -- a standout movie genre of the 1970s -- having largely migrated to television. And as a footnote, Scott also throws in an endorsement of the BBC America series "Killing Eve," which concludes its first season in splendid fashion on Sunday night...
For the record, part three
 -- Lisa Respers France emails: It's the Kardashians versus the Wests on "Celebrity Family Feud." Yup, that's totally happening...

 -- Via Megan Thomas: After an awkward interview with the NYT's Sopan Deb this week, Netflix has canceled a planned UK press tour for the cast of "Arrested Development." EW has the details here...
HEY, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THIS LETTER? Email your feedback and thoughts to brian.stelter@turner.com... the feedback helps us improve this newsletter every day... Thank you!

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