Trump v. New York Times; Woodward weekend; Apple's newest idea; Armstrong leaving Verizon?; podcast with Michael Kruse; Lowry's weekend TV reviews

By Brian Stelter and CNN's media team
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Exec summary: TGIF! Here's the latest on the op-ed... and Bob Woodward's book rollout... Plus the rest of the day's media news...

Trump "obsessed" with finding the "senior official"

Brand new reporting from CNN's Jim Acosta: "Aides to President Donald Trump believe they have the search for the anonymous author of the New York Times op-ed that shook the political world down to a few individuals, a source close to the White House told CNN on Friday."

The source said Trump is still "obsessed" with finding the person, "though he is being counseled by White House chief of staff John Kelly to let it pass."

Sure, the ID matters. Of course Trump wants to figure it out. But the official's chilling message -- about a secret "resistance" out to protect the US from the president -- is what matters most...

Will the A.G. actually investigate this?!

More than 48 hours after its publication, the op-ed is still the most-read and the most-emailed article on, and the most-shared Times article on Facebook. As of Friday morning, it had clocked 12 million page views.

Trump continues to trash the NYT for publishing the op-ed. As I wrote today, it's the paper he both loves and hates the most. Remember when he called The Times a "great, great American jewel" in 2016? Now he's calling it "disgraceful."

While speaking with reporters on AF1 on Friday, Trump said Attorney General Jeff Sessions should ferret out the source. The Times responded in a forceful statement: "We're confident that the Department of Justice understands that the First Amendment protects all American citizens and that it would not participate in such a blatant abuse of government power." The DOJ declined to say whether it is undertaking such an investigation.

I wrote all about the Trump-Times relationship here...

Stepped up security at NYT

Sarah Sanders' call for people to flood the NYT switchboard # resulted in a "substantial uptick in incoming calls," an internal memo said on Friday.

The memo also said the Times had stepped up security at its offices "given the heightened nature of the attention we are receiving right now..."

Split screen moment of the day

As observed by WaPo's Philip Rucker: "Obama talking about American democracy on edge just as Trump tells reporters aboard AF1 that he wants DOJ to investigate anonymous op-ed..."

My podcast with Politico's Michael Kruse

At his home, Michael Kruse has a "Trump library." He has a copy of every book authored or co-authored by Trump, plus many Trump biographies. The titles take up "a frightening amount of shelf space in my home office," he quipped on this week's "Reliable Sources" podcast.

I wanted to talk with Kruse because I think he's doing something that more of us should do. At pivotal points in the Trump presidency, including this week, he revisits Trump's own words, finding clues from the past that help explain the present. 

Kruse told me: "Everything he does, everything he is, every way he thinks, he has said out loud, often repeatedly, over and over and over in many, many places. I sort of feel like anybody who is remotely surprised by almost anything that happens every day under President Trump has not done the reading." 

Listen to our discussion via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, or Spotify... And read Julia Waldow's recap here...

This Sunday on "Reliable"

I'll be joined by Carl Bernstein, Tony Schwartz, Olivia Nuzzi, Patrick Healy... Plus, Sarah Ellison on #MeToo fallout at CBS and NBC... and Stephen J. Adler on the convictions of two Reuters journalists in Myanmar... See you Sunday at 11am ET on CNN!
For the record, part one
 -- Important story by David Nakamura: "How Trump uses official events to wage campaign against press..." (WaPo)

 -- Kara Swisher's latest: "I would interview Steve Bannon..." (NYT)

 -- Joe Pompeo with word of two more DC books: Michael Schmidt's "Mueller/Russia-related book sold to Random House; Jim Stewart's on the White House/FBI/Justice/deep state is with Ann Godoff at Penguin..." (VF)

"This idiot Woodward"

Seriously. That's what POTUS really said on Friday. The revelations in "Fear" are continuing to come out, and the book is poised to get even more attention this weekend, since Bob Woodward's first TV interview will be airing on CBS. "Fear" remains firmly at #1 on Amazon... If the book could rank any higher, it would...

An incomplete list of Woodward's TV hits

Sunday: His first TV interview on "CBS Sunday Morning"

Monday: First live TV interview on "Today"

Monday night: First late night interview on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert"

Tuesday night: First cable news interview on "The Rachel Maddow Show"

Wednesday: Dana Perino's 2pm program on Fox News

Friday: "Washington Week" with Robert Costa 

Do you have a copy of the book yet?

It's still not out til Tuesday, but more and more copies are getting around...

Hadas Gold
Early copies of Woodward's book are feverishly making the rounds among the diplomatic corps. I've heard of at least two non-American diplomatic staff who have early copies and are sharing. It's clearly being devoured on both sides of the Atlantic...

Tapper and Papadopoulos

"Breaking his silence for the first time since his guilty plea," George Papadopoulos sat down with CNN's Jake Tapper... Clips from the interview aired on "The Lead," moments after Papadopoulos was sentenced to 14 days in prison for lying to investigators... More will air on Tapper's special report at 11pm ET Friday... 
For the record, part two
 -- Stage directions? Per Jim Acosta, Bill Shine appeared to be giving instructions to the Fox News crew while the crew members were setting up Thursday's Pete Hegseth chat with Trump...

 -- And about that Fox interview: It looked like a pre-game show, with Hegseth warming up Trump and the crowd. I discussed the coziness on CNNI... (Twitter)

 -- Remember Omarosa's tapes? Well ABC says she's going to reveal another tape when she appears on "The View" on Monday...

"Apple is talking to big newspapers about joining its subscription service"

That's Peter Kafka's Friday evening scoop. "Apple has been talking to some of the biggest newspapers in the U.S. about adding their stories to Texture, the magazine app Apple bought in March," he reported. "Apple executives, led by content boss Eddy Cue, have reached out to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post about joining the app." Details here...

The future of Oath

Oath CEO Tim Armstrong "is in talks to depart" Verizon, the WSJ's Sarah Krouse scooped on Friday. It could happen "as soon as next month." Other Oath execs may be leaving too, including CFO Vanessa Wittman and chief comms officer Natalie Ravitz.

So what's next for Yahoo, AOL, etc? "There were recent discussions about whether to spin off the Oath business," something Oath execs would have liked to see. "But Verizon has decided instead to integrate some of its operations more closely with the rest of the company..."

(What went wrong?)

The WSJ story has several answers. Including this one: "Verizon and Oath executives have disagreed over what some employees within the digital ad unit see as an overly conservative approach to using wireless subscriber data to boost Oath's advertising revenue, people familiar with those discussions say..."
For the record, part three
 -- "For the second year in a row, it appears that Mother Nature may have messed with the NFL Kickoff's TV ratings." Frank Pallotta has the overnight #'s here... (CNNMoney)

 -- Joseph Chancellor, the Facebook employee with ties to Cambridge Analytica, has left the company... (CNNMoney)

 -- "Viewers who come to YouTube for down-the-middle news may quickly find themselves in a world of extremists." This problem deserves a lot more attention... (NYT)

The workweek ends...

...Without any news out of CBS Corporation about Les Moonves' future. Or about the litigation between CBS and Shari Redstone. "But the week has seen steady progress in the negotiations" about Moonves' exit, Deadline's Dade Hayes reports.

On Friday CBS stock climbed another 3% "on twice the normal trading volume as investors continued to embrace the concept of a post-Les Moonves future for the company... Even though Wall Street views the CEO as difficult to replace, the cloud of uncertainty hanging over the company — as well as ongoing strife with controlling shareholder National Amusements — have cast a shadow..."

 -- Meanwhile, Barron's is giving Viacom a thumbs up, saying Bob Bakish has a "savvy plan" to "lift its sagging stock 20%..."

Charlie Rose says accusers are "exploiting the #MeToo Movement"

Tom Kludt emails: Friday might well have marked the beginning of Charlie Rose's counteroffensive, with the former newsman filing a pointedly worded motion to dismiss a sexual harassment lawsuit that was filed against him earlier this year.

Rose, who has reportedly been plotting a comeback for months, asserted in the motion that the three women who filed the lawsuit -- Katherine Brooks Harris, Sydney McNeal and Yuqing Wei, all of whom either worked at CBS or for Rose directly -- are "exploiting the #MeToo Movement and bootstrapping the accusations of sexual harassment made by third parties against Rose in articles published by The Washington Post." Read on...

Wait. What?

Kludt adds: The Post published two stories -- one last November, and another in May -- detailing allegations of harassment against Rose. Harris, McNeal and Wei went on the record in the WaPo story from May. Irin Carmon, one of the co-authors of the WaPo stories, reacted to Friday's motion with puzzlement...

Weekend reads

Hare are a few recs:

 -- "The Bullet in My Arm," Elaina Plott's moving first-person piece about being shot in a drive-by...

 -- Arvin Temkar's piece for WaPo: "During my three-month journey around the United States, I noticed something unsettling about the American people. We are afraid..."

 -- Just out from the NYT, an in-depth look at Alex Jones' business and bizarre behavior, by Elizabeth Williamson and Emily Steel...

Mac Miller, 1992-2018

Via CNN's Sandra Gonzalez: "Mac Miller, a rapper and producer who began his rise in the music industry in his late teens, has died, his family tells CNN. He was 26." Authorities have not commented on the cause of his death. More...

 -- Sandra is also compiling reactions from Miller's heartbroken collaborators, former tour mates and friends here...

 -- Miller was the subject of a big new profile in Vulture just one day ago. The hopeful subtitle: "Mac Miller is finally making the music he's always wanted to make." Read it here...
The entertainment desk

Creative Arts Emmys this weekend! 

Via Gold Derby: "The lion's share of the television academy's prizes will be presented during two ceremonies on the weekend of September 8-9 honoring achievements in nonfiction, animation, short form, crafts and more." Here are the site's forecasts in 25 categories...

Amazon poaches Klum and Gunn

Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn are leaving "Project Runway" to create "a new show with Amazon," Sandra Gonzalez reports.

"The streaming platform did not unveil many details about Klum and Gunn's new project in the official announcement Friday, but said the reality series will make use of Amazon's retail DNA for a 'shoppable' experience..."

What will Bravo do?

"The news comes as Bravo recently brought 'Project Runway' back from purgatory after Lantern Entertainment acquired The Weinstein Co. assets, including the show, following the latter's bankruptcy," THR's Lesley Goldberg notes.

The network says "we are excited to announce our new host and mentor very soon..."

Lowry's weekend TV reviews

Brian Lowry emails: It's a good weekend for TV viewing -- and the new season doesn't even officially begin for another couple of weeks.

 -- "Kidding" marks Jim Carrey's return to TV after more than 20 years -- reuniting him with "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" director Michel Gondry on a bittersweet Showtime series...

 -- "The Deuce" returns for its second season, jumping ahead to the late 1970s and the so-called "golden age" of porn...

 -- "You" makes its debut on Lifetime, somehow making the cheeky concept of a girl-meets-stalker drama palatable, and even pretty addictive...

 -- Finally, there's "Rel," an early preview of the new Fox comedy series that isn't as promising as its star, Lil Rel Howery, who had a standout supporting turn in "Get Out..."

The "popular film" category idea will surely be back...

Brian Lowry emails: A postscript to the academy's decision to put on hold plans for a "popular film" Oscar category: In an interview with THR, president John Bailey said the goal was to provide a means to recognize films "that are being seen by the public," not to establish a carve-out for superhero/sci-fi franchises. That might be true, but one suspects that if the best-picture ballot again consists primarily of movies that, combined, haven't matched the box-office total of the latest "Mission Impossible," this debate is more likely to seriously rear its head again next year -- especially if the ratings remain in the ballpark of last year's historic low...

Geoffrey Owens' new job

Ending the week on a positive note: "Actor Geoffrey Owens has gone from being job-shamed to landing a major Hollywood gig" in the span of a week, Chloe Melas reports.

"A representative for Owens told CNN that he has accepted a job offer from Tyler Perry, who tweeted earlier this week that he wanted Owens to appear on his OWN television show, 'The Haves and The Have Nots.'"

 -- And: Nicki Minaj plans on donating $25,000 to Owens, Lisa Respers France reports...

Thanks for reading! Email me your feedback... See you Sunday...


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