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Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Fake News means never learning a lesson

Is Fake News a new category in the Pulitzer Prize awards?

On New Year's Night, Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng of the Daily Beast reported, "Anthony Scaramucci Is Telling Pals That Donald Trump Wants Him Back."

Scaramucci is best known for two things: lasting 10 days as White House communications director -- after Ryan Lizza of CNN and the New Yorker quoted things Scaramucci said off the record.

But Scaramucci also is known for getting CNN to retract a story and get rid of all three people involved in its production. That false report ran on June 22, 2017: "Congress investigating Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials."

Scaramucci tried to warn them that his seeing with Russian investment banker Kirill Dmitriev at a summit in Davos was nothing.

From that ill-fated story:
Scaramucci, the founder of SkyBridge Capital, minimized his January meeting with Dmitriev in the resort town of Davos, Switzerland, at the celebrated annual gathering of the World Economic Forum. Scaramucci had met Dmitriev at previous Davos meetings, although at the gathering in January, Scaramucci was expecting to be named White House liaison to the business community.
Dmitriev "came over to say hello in a restaurant, and I was cordial," Scaramucci said in a recent email to CNN. "There is nothing there."
Within 24 hours, Scaramucci's lawyers got CNN to destroy the story and get rid of the people responsible for it.

Six months later, the Daily Beast is messing with Scaramucci.

I would not mess with him, but that is just me.

Scaramucci just got back together with his wife, who started divorce proceedings because she did not like his delving into politics. Thus, no one paying attention would think he wants back in.

Come on. To work even Fake News has to be plausible.

Someone should write a book about this proliferation of Fake News.


Please enjoy my two books about the press and how it missed the rise of Donald Trump.

The first was "Trump the Press," which covered his nomination.

The second was "Trump the Establishment," which covered his election.

To order autographed copies, write

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  1. I think he was hired solely for the purpose of getting rid of Preibus, and that his tenure was always seen as meeting a temporary need. The whole "off the record" interview may have been contrived as well.

    1. I also think he was hired as a classic corporate "hatchet man".

  2. How soon will your Fake News Press book be out, and how soon can we send you the money for the autographed copies?

    1. Another month to go. This is the part I hate. It gets edited and typeset. All I can do is look at the cover and sigh.

  3. I read you column every day. Great stuff. I'm an old news type myself (TV news in Washington, DC). I'm applying to teach Journalism at the college level. I've been compiling the lessons learned in my own career. But I can see your next book as a valuable textbook for budding journalists.

    1. I trust you didn't apply to Mizzou's J-school.

    2. No. I moved to California to be near the grandkids so I'm only applying to schools between LA and San Diego. I've reviewed the background on the faculty at more than two dozen schools. I didn't find a single professor who actually worked in broadcast news in a top 100 market. They're all academics and we know which way they lean, don't we. Maybe we can get Don to become Professor Surber and set those J students on the right path!

  4. Newsweek's "Melania Trump Orders Removal of Near-200-Year-Old Tree From White House" was the absolute final straw for me.

    Just a disgusting manipulation of a story that twisted facts into a completely misleading smear.

    It's their own profession going up in flames, but they can't stop themselves. They can all go jump in a lake.

    1. Hahahaha! We had three big trees go down during Sandy. One got caught by another tree or it would have crashed into our bedroom. Another fell and blocked our driveway. The third scored a hit on the truckbed of my wife's Silverado.

      Newsweak's headline: Palmer, the Tree Murderer.

      I'm with ya. Fuck em.

    2. Painful, agonizing, long-lasting immolation.

      What's not to like?

    3. Anon 3:08 Wait! If they are going up in flames, they should not under any circumstances 'go jump in the lake' as that would put OUT the fire.

  5. Didn't Walter Duranty win a Pulitzer? Fake news isn't a category, it's the whole game.

  6. I'll echo the others. Mooch was broght in to be a hachetman. "Communications director"? Ha! Since when does a janitor fire a Chief of Staff?
    He was the out-of-town hitman, called in to do one specific job. He came, he whacked, he left. Done and done.

  7. Looks like Pres. Trump is getting ahead of you:

  8. I hear Col. Sanders will posthumously win the Pullet Surprise.