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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Fwd: Four bylines on CNN scoop; Trump press conference coming Wednesday; Gretchen Carlson interview; Wolff's new Newsweek role; Lou Dobbs profiled

The other address is what I use to forward intake to one of the blog pages. 
By Brian Stelter & the CNNMoney Media team
Good evening from London... I'm here to visit the CNN bureau and speak on a panel about fake news... I was at a dinner with bureau colleagues when all of us were halted by a message on our cell phones. A big story was about to land.

5:08pm ET: "Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN."

This is a four-bylined story -- justice correspondent Evan Perez, national security correspondent Jim Sciutto, anchor and chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper, and Carl Bernstein. Of course Bernstein needs no introduction... He is one of the best known journalists in the world... And he has been a CNN political commentator for the past three years.

I'd love to hear the backstory to this story... For now, all I know is that I got curious when I saw Bernstein at work on Sunday... He wasn't there for live shots...

 -- How the news broke on TV: Watch the segment with all four reporters here...
Details on CNN's sourcing
CNN's story notes that "some of the allegations were first reported publicly in Mother Jones one week before the election."

Per CNN, "the allegations came, in part, from memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative, whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible."

Noteworthy sourcing graf from the story: "CNN has reviewed a 35-page compilation of the memos, from which the two-page synopsis was drawn. The memos originated as opposition research, first commissioned by anti-Trump Republicans, and later by Democrats. At this point, CNN is not reporting on details of the memos, as it has not independently corroborated the specific allegations. But, in preparing this story, CNN has spoken to multiple high ranking intelligence, administration, congressional and law enforcement officials, as well as foreign officials and others in the private sector with direct knowledge of the memos."

One hour after CNN's story landed, BuzzFeed published what it said were the memos "so that Americans can make up their own minds..."
Former Clinton aides seize on the story
Former Clinton spokesman Josh Schwerin weighed in on Twitter: "There's a reason all pres candidates traditionally release tax returns and have full financial transparency. Blackmail should be impossible.

So did former press secretary Brian Fallon. Referring to the alleged "compromising" information about Trump, he said, "This was long rumored during the campaign, and many reporters know at least some of what Russia was alleged to have."
Counting down to Trump's presser
Trump's press conference is set to take place at 11 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday... Now, of course, there's idle speculation he won't go through with it... Assuming he does, Tom Kludt will be in the room for us, so check back tomorrow for a behind-the-scenes report...

 -- Notable quote: Sarah Ellison previewing the press conference on Sunday's "Reliable Sources:" "Trump is always best when he is reacting against someone, when he has an adversary..."
Obama's farewell message
I'm hitting send on this newsletter before Obama's final prime time address... Hoping to stay up late here in London to watch...

The White House released excerpts in time for the network evening newscasts, showing Obama referring to his chosen location for the speech, Chicago, and saying "this is where I learned that change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand it."

"After eight years as your President," he says, "I still believe that. And it's not just my belief. It's the beating heart of our American idea..."
HarperCollins halting sales of Monica Crowley's book
"HarperCollins said Tuesday that it will stop selling a book by Monica Crowley that a CNN KFile investigation found to have more than 50 instances of plagiarism," CNN's Andrew Kaczynski reports.

The publisher's statement: "The book, which has reached the end of its natural sales cycle, will no longer be offered for purchase until such time as the author has the opportunity to source and revise the material..."
Sessions asked about investigations involving journalists
HuffPost's Michael Calderone reports: At Tuesday's confirmation hearing, the man in line to become the next attorney general, Jeff Sessions, said "that he has not studied the current guidelines for investigations involving journalists and wouldn't commit to not jailing them in the course of probing leaks." Senator Amy Klobuchar raised the issue. Read more...
For the record
By Tom Kludt:

-- MTV writer Ira Madison III stepped in it on Tuesday with a tasteless tweet about Jeff Sessions' granddaughter... (Business Insider)

 -- The Huffington Post will host a debate for the Democratic National Committee chair election on January 18. Lydia Polgreen and Ryan Grim will moderate... (Twitter)

 -- Trump's inauguration is expected to have a "soft sensuality." Um, what? (WashPost)
What's next for Gretchen Carlson?
Chloe Melas emails: I spoke with Gretchen Carlson Tuesday night at a Q&A for her new Good Housekeeping cover. She said she "definitely" wants to go back into the news business because "I've been doing it my whole life." As for where she'll land next? "We are exploring so many different opportunities right now. I think especially now it would be great to focus on stories that empower women..." She said an announcement will be coming "soon, soon, soon, soon..." And she added: "I'm versatile in that I've covered politics, hard news, murders and fires and all of the morning fare."

 -- BTW: Carlson wouldn't talk about Megan Kelly's move to NBC, but she did say that she personally "loved the opportunity to do the 'Today' show" last week...

 -- More: She has launched a fund called Gift of Courage to help empower young women in the workplace..."
Carney jumps to Breitbart
An overnight scoop by Bloomberg's Joshua Green: Breitbart News "has hired veteran financial journalist John Carney of the WSJ to lead a new finance and economics section..." For Breitbart, this is a "bid to expand its influence in the era of Donald Trump..."

Carney says "Breitbart was way ahead of the curve on politics and the rise of Trump. I think there's an opportunity to do that for business, finance and economic news." Larry Kudlow will be contributing to the site...
Clare Hollingsworth, 1911-2017
A must-read obit by the NYT's Margalit Fox:

"From a single gust of wind, Clare Hollingworth reaped the journalistic scoop of the century. Ms. Hollingworth, the undisputed doyenne of war correspondents, who died on Tuesday in Hong Kong at 105, was less than a week into her first job, as a reporter for the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, on that windy day in 1939. Driving alone on the road from Gleiwitz, then in Germany, to Katowice, in Poland — a distance of less than 20 miles — she watched as the wind lifted a piece of the tarpaulin that had been erected on the German side to screen the valley below from view."

She saw hundreds of tanks and troops -- revealing Germany's plan to invade Poland -- "marking the start of World War II." In 2015 The Guardian said her story was "probably the greatest scoop of modern times." Read more...
Trump and the media
Lou Dobbs is making his ratings great again 
Tom Kludt emails his latest story: There were more than a few Trump media boosters who benefited professionally from last year's events. Jeffrey Lord, Tomi Lahren, Sean Hannity all come to mind. But you could make a case that Lou Dobbs was the biggest cheerleader of them all – and that he gained the most. Dobbs has seen his star fade since joining Fox Business Network six years ago. But in Trump, Dobbs found a candidate who echoed his own views on border security and trade -- issues that made the host a ratings draw for years at CNN, and have now helped put him firmly in sync with both Trump and Fox's audience. And in hosts like Dobbs and Hannity, Fox executives may have found a template for the next four years, particularly following the departure of Megyn Kelly, who repeatedly drew the ire of Trump.

Check out Tom's full profile of Dobbs here...
Michael Wolff's take on Kelly's departure
Michael Wolff writes for Newsweek: "For the Murdoch boys — thought by many to be quite willing to risk the Ailes money-making machine that delivered $1.5 billion in profit last year — the Trump victory, likely as unimaginable and horrifying to them as it was to the rest of the liberal media, together with the loss of Kelly, may curiously have the effect of saving them from themselves. The network that they hoped might become more global in its outlook is suddenly more…Fox."

He calls the new prime time lineup, with Tucker Carlson at 9, "a solid three hours of Trumpery..."
BTW -- Wolff's new role at Newsweek
Wolff has filed two columns for Newsweek this week. EIC Jim Impoco tells me that Wolff will be writing a "bi-weekly column and will be a contributing editor." The new role is effective this week. Wolff will continue to write for other outlets as well...
Americans to Trump: Delete your account
Busy day for Tom Kludt -- he also emails this: A wide majority of Americans (64%) want Trump to shutter his personal Twitter account. The percentage is even higher among young Americans: 71% of those aged 18-34 say that @realDonaldTrump should go. Nearly half of Republicans say the same.

Bad news for these folks: Sean Spicer said last week that Trump will likely tweet from both his personal account and @POTUS, the official account currently held by President Obama. Read more...
Quote of the day
"You don't have to make your point by shitting on someone else's thing, because a lot of people love football and the arts."

--Trevor Noah criticizing a portion of Meryl Streep's Golden Globes speech...
The entertainment desk 
"A Series of Unfortunate Events" on Netflix
Brian Lowry emails: The backstory on "A Series of Unfortunate Events," Netflix's new "Lemony Snicket" series starring Neil Patrick Harris, might be as interesting as the show. Barry Sonnenfeld backed out of directing the 2004 movie over budget constraints. Now he's back working on the show with the book's author, Daniel Handler... Read more here...
Watch/listen/read Sunday's "Reliable Sources"
Watch all of the stories from Sunday's show here... Listen to the podcast... Or read the transcript...
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