Firestorm coverage; Obama's book launch; Bourdain's final episode; election night continued; Acosta update; 'The Poddys;' week ahead calendar


Share
Tweet
Forward
Firestorm
California is living through the deadliest fire season in the recorded history of the state. 

Up until now the state's deadliest fire, according to Cal Fire, was the Griffith Park fire of 1933. It took 29 lives. In the past few days, the Camp Fire in northern CA has killed 29 people. The Woolsey Fire in southern CA has killed 2 people. And, as Lizzie Johnson of the SF Chronicle tweeted Sunday night, "we aren't out of this yet." Not even close. Red-flag conditions persist both up north and down south. Per Johnson, who's covering the Camp Fire, 228 individuals remain unaccounted for. 

Newsrooms are sending journalists into harm's way to cover these firestorms. For part of the day on Sunday, the editor of the Chico Enterprise-Record was having a hard time locating two of his employees. Thankfully they were both found safe...
 

SF Chronicle reporter Evan Sernoffsky tweeted this photo of a colleague, Jessica Christian, comforting an "elderly survivor who miraculously made it through" the firestorm in Paradise, CA:


Behind the scenes...


The paper's EIC, Audrey Cooper, tweeted a receipt of her newsroom's recent expenditures for fire coverage. "About $24,000 to outfit 9 journalists and keep them safe," Cooper said. Fire shelters, Nomex attire, gloves, goggles, boots, etc. Check it out here...
 


Trump's tone-deaf tweets


Someone needs to take his Twitter account away during a crisis like this. As I said on CNN Sunday night, it doesn't matter how "blue" California is, the state's citizens deserve a president -- not just a tweeter-in-chief.

Trump shifted blame and tweeted about "forest management" on Saturday and again on Sunday. So don't take it from me: Take it from CNN meteorologist Tom Sater, who said these current fires have "nothing to do with forest management." Besides, the federal government owns most of the forests in CA...
 

Lowry's view from L.A.


Brian Lowry emails: The pictures alone don't capture the severity of the fires in California. Even far from the front lines (L.A. is a sprawling place), a gray sky and the choking smell of smoke hung over the air all weekend. Given the the scope of these fires... and Trump's tweets blaming the state and its climate-change concerns... it's hard not to juxtapose that with reports of the GOP delegation's shrinkage as more races are called. Former GOP consultant Dan Schnur put it in context in San Jose's Mercury News: "There are now fewer Republicans in the California House delegation than there are players on the roster of the Golden State Warriors..."
 


Media week ahead calendar


Monday: WSJ D.Live conference begins in Laguna, CA...

Tuesday: Michelle Obama's book "Becoming" comes out...

Tuesday night: Quartz is making some news and throwing a big party in NYC...

Wednesday: 21st Century Fox's annual shareholder meeting...

Friday: "Fantastic Beasts" reaches theaters...
 
 

Questions...


Will Amazon announce its HQ2 plans this week?

Will NBC and Megyn Kelly ever reach an exit deal?

Will Jim Acosta's press pass be reinstated? Scroll down for the latest on that...
 
 

Michelle Obama interviews on ABC and CBS


Robin Roberts' one-hour special with Michelle Obama just wrapped up on ABC. Roberts will follow up on Tuesday: She has Obama's first live interview for the book, Tuesday morning on "GMA," in Chicago... That same day, Gayle King will sit down with Obama, also in Chicago, for an interview that will air Wednesday on "CBS This Morning..."
 

FOR THE RECORD, PART ONE
 -- Best thing on TV on Saturday: Congressman-elect Dan Crenshaw cracking jokes at Pete Davidson's expense... But also accepting his apology... During this "Weekend Update" segment... (CNN)

 -- Fresh off his "SNL" appearance, Crenshaw will be interviewed on Martha MacCallum's Fox show on Monday...
 
 

Will CNN sue?


Famed First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams says CNN has a "really strong" legal case to sue the White House for revoking Jim Acosta's press pass.

On "Reliable Sources," Abrams told me that Acosta's ouster sets a dangerous precedent. "This is going to happen again," he said. "It's likely to happen again. So whether it's CNN suing or the next company suing, someone is going to have to bring a lawsuit. And whoever does is going to win unless there's some sort of reason." Read Jackie Wattles' recap of the segment here...
 

CNN: "No decisions have been made" about a lawsuit


A few minutes later, Sam Donaldson surprised me by saying that he's been asked to prepare an affidavit to support CNN. He said he thought there was a hearing scheduled for Tuesday. But to be clear, no lawsuit has been filed. In response to reporters' questions, CNN said in a statement, "No decisions have been made. We have reached out to the White House and gotten no response."

 >> Right now Drudge is linking to this headline from the Washington Examiner: "CNN gearing up to sue over Jim Acosta's suspended White House press pass..."
 

Donaldson's message to Acosta: "Keep it up"


Donaldson said on Sunday's show that Acosta is "doing his job properly." The two men sometimes exchange emails... And in the wake of the White House's action, Donaldson emailed Acosta and told him to "keep it up" despite criticism...

 --> Another clip from the show: Here's Donaldson on how the Trump era will end...

About that distorted video...


The facts are clear: An InfoWars personality posted a distorted video of Acosta and a White House intern that misled people about what really happened at the press conference. Two hours later, Sarah Sanders shared the same video.

And the White House continues to mislead people about the presser and the video. On "Fox News Sunday," Kellyanne Conway said the video wasn't altered, it was just "sped up." Hey, she said, "they do it all the time in sports." What?! And she falsely said that Acosta's move to hold onto the mic "looked like a karate chop almost." C'mon...
 

Rutenberg's latest


"CNN chief Jeff Zucker gave his troops unexpected orders" after Acosta's press pass was revoked, Jim Rutenberg writes in Monday's NYT. "The temptation to play it big was strong... But at the regular morning meeting on Thursday, Mr. Zucker told his producers to stand down. This time, CNN would not be led by the nose into giving significant airtime to another Trump attack on the news media, especially when Democrats were preparing to take over the House and Jeff Sessions was being forced out of the attorney general's office."

I disagree with Rutenberg's assertion that this was a "first step toward a revised approach in dealing with the president's anti-media antics." But it was definitely another step... And I'm glad he pointed out that CNN didn't take the bait...
 

FOR THE RECORD, PART TWO

 -- Sarah Ellison's latest: "Like any married couple, Fox News and the White House have started to resemble one another. The West Wing contains various factions; so does Fox." Trust me, this story is a must-read... (WaPo)

 -- YouTube videos keep getting longer, chasing changes to the algorithm. "As videos balloon in length, YouTube genres are shifting dramatically," Emma Grey Ellis reports... (WIRED)
 
 

The midterms are not over yet

 
The 2018 midterms story was really just a first draft on Tuesday night. Every day since, the story has improved for the Democrats. The "blue wave" in the House is now expected to surpass 35 seats, and maybe even more.
 
So did the press underplay the Dem results? If so, why? I talked about it with David Zurawik and Frank Sesno on Sunday's show. They said the reasons include sluggish vote counting and Trump's spinning. Zurawik also blamed "the nanosecond news cycles we have." Amen to that...
 

"Election Night in America Continued"

 
Votes are still being tallied and recounts are being fought over. So CNN is doing something special on Tuesday night -- a three-hour special called "Election Night in America Continued." It will feature Wolf Blitzer, Jake Tapper, Dana Bash, Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo, and John King. The special will be a chance to assess what really happened in this election...
 
 --> Joe Lockhart tweeted: "This is an incredibly smart thing to do. I hope it becomes standard and others follow CNN's lead. Too much of election night is lost if it doesn't happen in the first few hours..."
 

Harry Enten's intel

 
I asked CNN forecaster Harry Enten for his impressions of the midterm landscape. "It turns out that you couldn't judge the book of the 2018 midterms by its cover," he told me. "Early last Tuesday, it looked dour for Democrats. It looked like a net loss of at least three seats in the Senate. It wasn't clear if Democrats would regain the House majority, let alone score a blowout in the House." But since then, almost everything has been in the Dems' favor. "Democrats look destined to pick up between 35 and 40 seats in the House. They have won the Nevada Senate race and they are holding what looks to be an insurmountable lead in the Arizona Senate race, which would keep their net loss at 2 under a very difficult map."
 
Enten added: "Spinning this as some sort of sports game, in which one side gains momentum, would be easy to do. It would also be dead wrong. The votes were always there for the Democrats. It's just that they did better in states which closed their polls later or take longer to count their votes. In the future, it might be wise to wait just a little bit before forming an opinion on which side came out on top in the election..."
 
 --> David Atkins made a similar point in this Washington Monthly piece...
 

The final episode of "Parts Unknown"


I miss him. I'm know you do too. We lost Anthony Bourdain five months ago, and the wound still feels so raw. CNN aired the final episode of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" on Sunday night. 

Instead of a "sentimental tribute to the late host," this episode, the series finale, "set in New York's Lower East Side, is an almost entirely selfless examination of the artists who shaped Bourdain's life during the early days of his restaurant career," The Daily Beast's Matt Wilstein wrote. Read his recap here... And watch the episode via VOD, DVR, etc...
 


New name for the NYT's business section


When I worked for the NYT, I mostly wrote for the business section, and I always thought its name was a little bit odd. "Business Day." Okay, fine, but why not just Business? As of Monday, "Day" is going away. The section will be "Business." This is the second part of a two-parter by The Times. It also introduced a redesigned Sunday Business section over the weekend, with lots of new columns and features...
 


Joanna and Chip Gaines are getting a cable channel


The "Fixer Upper" couple foreshadowed this news on "The Tonight Show" on Friday. Discovery Communications shared some details on Saturday: The Gaineses are "near a deal with Discovery to rebrand one of its cable channels," the WSJ's Keach Hagey reports. "The deal, which would include content production across all screens, would likely give the Gaines' company, Magnolia, a minority stake in one of Discovery's smaller channels, such as DIY, Destination America or Great American Country, according to people familiar with the matter. The Gaines would then become the creative leaders of the channel, and it would be reprogrammed and rebranded with their lifestyle content..."

 -- This is a bit like Oprah and Discovery's deal for OWN... But in a very different cable marketplace...


How it happened


Per Hagey's story: Discovery CEO David Zaslav "learned that 'Fixer Upper' was coming to an end after five seasons just before his company took over HGTV parent Scripps last year. 'It sucked all the air out of my lungs,' he recalled. He traveled to their home in Waco, Texas, where the couple runs a sprawling lifestyle empire that includes a restaurant, market and store, to woo them back..."
 
 

Lowry recommends this NatGeo special


Brian Lowry emails: Even if you think you know a lot about North Korea, you'll be reminded of a lot of the bizarre details about the "hermit kingdom" and its "strange psychology" by National Geographic Channel's four-hour "Inside North Korea's Dynasty," which premiered Sunday night...
 

FOR THE RECORD, PART THREE

 -- Another WSJ must-read about Netflix: "As the company plunges deeper into originals, its L.A. wing is doing the once-unthinkable: overriding the metrics..." (WSJ)

 -- Sapna Maheshwari's latest: "Influencers are so 2014. And microinfluencers are so last week. Now advertisers see value in people with as few as 1,000 followers." Yes, meet the nanoinfluencers... (NYT)
 
 

Update: Police still investigating protest at Carlson's home


I checked in with the DC police on Sunday about the investigation info the Antifa activists who showed up outside Tucker Carlson's home last Wednesday. The police say the investigation is still open, and there are no new updates.

Liberal Twitter was full of Carlson criticism this weekend, with some people questioning Carlson's claim that his front door was cracked by the protesters. The police report contains no such detail. But the police previously said that protesters broke the law by defacing private property, so there's more to come...

 -- On "Reliable," Carlson's friend and business partner Neil Patel said "targeting somebody's family and terrorizing them because you disagree with their dad or their husband's viewpoint is insanity." Watch...
 


Ryan says some of Trump's attacks are racial


On Sunday's show, April Ryan said it's "not a coincidence that three African American women, within a span of two or three days, were singled out and targeted so harshly" by President Trump. She said it's "personal," and yes, she said in response to my Q, it's "racial..."  
 


Lakoff's message for the media


Instead of repeating and denying emotionally charged phrases like "fake news," journalists should create entirely new frames, George Lakoff told me in this podcast interview. We aired a portion of it on Sunday's show.

"We are responsible reporters, reporting the truth," Lakoff said, suggesting a positive frame. "We are doing our job and we are doing it well. And in doing so we are serving the American people." By emphasizing the public service role, "you're getting patriotism on your side," he said. "This is what the freedom of the press is about. This is why we have freedom of the press in this country." Read Daniella Emanuel's recap here...
 


ICYMI...


If you missed "Reliable Sources" on TV, you can listen to the pod via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or TuneIn... Watch the video clips on CNN.com... Or watch the full program via CNNgo or VOD...
 
 

Inside the Houston Chronicle...


I ran out of time for this segment on TV, but you can watch it right here on CNN.com. Steve Riley, the interim exec editor for The Houston Chronicle, told me about the paper's in-depth probe of allegations that a former reporter made up sources for his stories. Riley said the paper wanted to be completely transparent with readers and show that "this is an isolated circumstance." I think the Chronicle deserves a lot of credit for being so forthcoming...
 


"The Poddys"


This "SNL" impersonation of "The Daily" host Michael Barbaro was not half bad! Check out this split screen of Barbaro and Liev Schreiber:
I thought the podcast award show sketch fell flat after the first two minutes, but it's still worth watching... Cecily Strong also reprised her Sarah Koenig impression... Here's the clip on Hulu...
 
 

Another week without Alec Baldwin


As Frank Pallotta noted here, Baldwin has only played POTUS on one episode of "SNL" this season. He was absent again on Saturday... Of course, he was arrested ten days ago in NYC, but he was released within hours and he's free to work...
 

FOR THE RECORD, PART FOUR

 -- Fascinating read: "Westworld, Ho! Inside Evermore, where the future of theme parks is not about rides but play..." (LAT)

 -- The People's Choice Awards were hosted by E! for the first time on Sunday... THR has the winners list here... (THR)
 

Weekend box office results


Via Frank Pallotta's story: "The Grinch," Universal and Illumination Entertainment's new take on the Dr. Seuss holiday classic, "snagged an estimated $66 million opening in North America this weekend. That was enough to give the the animated film the No. 1 spot at the box office. It also made an estimated $78.7 million worldwide." Overall, the film exceeded expectations...

 -- Scoreboard: "The Grinch marks Universal's fourth No. 1 opening over the past eight weeks, along with "The House with a Clock in its Walls," "Night School" and "Halloween...

 -- Big picture: "comScore announced Sunday that domestic grosses for the year have hit $10 billion faster than any other year in box office history," The Wrap's Jeremy Fuster reports...
 

Lowry's box office take


Brian Lowry emails: Universal's big premiere numbers for "The Grinch" have to be encouraging for Disney, which has two big family holiday releases – "Ralph Breaks the Internet," premiering heading into Thanksgiving; and the "Mary Poppins" sequel – waiting in the wings.

Also, Sony offset a weak debut for "The Girl in the Spider's Web" by scoring a jaw-dropping $111-million opening in China for "Venom," ranking behind only "Avengers: Infinity War" in that genre. While already a success stateside, "Venom" now looks like the kind of global powerhouse that's going to inspire a slew of follow-ups from the studio as it builds out its slice of the superhero pie as proprietor of the Spider-Man universe...
 


Bill Carter's latest for CNN Business


His latest Perspectives column: Remake-mania isn't absurd at all, given the condition of the TV biz. "The broadcast networks especially face a new daily reality: They used to be lumber yards; now they sell toothpicks. And it is very hard to make a toothpick stand out. A huge part of the network business was, and is, marketing." And remakes sort of market themselves. Read on...



Thanks for reading. Email me feedback anytime! See you tomorrow...
Share
Tweet
Forward
® © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc.
A WarnerMedia Company. All Rights Reserved.
You are receiving this message because you subscribed to
CNN's "Reliable Sources" newsletter.

Our mailing address is:
Cable News Network, Inc.
Attention: Privacy Policy Coordinator
One CNN Center, 13 North
Atlanta, GA 30303

unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences
We work across the world

From London to San Francisco, to our home base in (Saint Helier) Jersey, we’re looking for extraordinary and creative scientists to help us drive the field forward.

AC Investment Inc. currently does not act as an equities executing broker or route orders containing equities securities. If AC Invest’s business model were to change and it begins routing non-directed orders in NMS securities, it will comply with the disclosure requirement of Rule 606.

77 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02139 617-253-1000 pr@ademcetinkaya.com