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By Brian Stelter & the CNNMoney Media team. Click here to view this email in your browser!
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"Democracy dies in darkness"

Take a look at the top of the Washington Post's section on Snapchat: The words "DEMOCRACY DIES IN DARKNESS" are featured right underneath the Post logo. A new rallying cry for real journalism in the age of "fake news?"

A tipster pointed it out on Friday, and Kris Coratti, a spokeswoman for the paper, confirmed that we're going to be seeing more of this slogan. Jeff Bezos used the phrase at a Post event last year.

"This is actually something we've said internally for a long time in speaking about our mission," Coratti said. "We thought it would be a good, concise value statement that conveys who we are to the many millions of readers who have come to us for the first time over the last year. We started with our newest readers on Snapchat, and plan to roll it out on our other platforms in the coming weeks."

The president's latest provocation 

President Trump is resorting to harsher and harsher language in his rants against the media. His Friday afternoon tweet: "The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!"

Shade from the WashPost: "It took the president two tries to properly post his message." Originally his tweet only mentioned the NYT, CNN and NBC, but he deleted it, added ABC and CBS, and reposted it.


Of all the reactions, this comment stood out to me: "Twitter isn't Trump's direct line to the People -- most of the People don't use Twitter. But most journalists do. His tweets are for you," media researcher Dylan McLemore wrote (on Twitter, naturally)...

What the "enemies" are saying

Axios's Jonathan Swan: Trump's tweet was "designed to make these same media outlets repeat this attack for next three days..."

Jim Sciutto on "The Lead:" "Let me just say, I'm an American and so I'm part of the American people, as are my many journalist colleagues..."

NPR's Steve Inskeep: "A journalist is a citizen. Who informs other citizens, as free citizens need. Some are killed doing it. I'm grateful to many who inform me..."

NYT's Maggie Haberman: "He is fighting very low approval ratings. Gonna be interesting to see how congressional Rs respond to this tweet..."

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough: "Conservatives, feel free to speak up for the Constitution anytime the mood strikes. It is time..."


NBC's Chuck Todd: "I would hope that our leaders would never believe that any American desires to make another American an enemy. Let's dial it back..."

Important: the view from a W.H. correspondent

A W.H. correspondent emails: "Hey, I'm sure Trump's tweet is already going to be a topic for your show, but it was certainly an alarming thing to see, even for people who have covered him for a while. He still doesn't seem to understand that saying something like that could incite a crazy person to act on it and do something dangerous. It seems particularly egregious given that Kellyanne Conway has said repeatedly she needs security because of what she calls attacks from the media that have led to threats on Twitter, etc. Apparently they don't think the president's attacks could have consequences?"

Former Obama aides react

Dan Pfeiffer: "State of Play: American President declares American Media enemy, GOP sits silent waiting for opportunity to give tax cuts to millionaires" ... Jon Lovett: "New and dangerous low" ... Ben Rhodes: "This is a gift to authoritarians everywhere -- will discredit any US efforts to support freedom of the press globally" 

Historians invoke Nixon

After Trump's tweet, Michael Beschloss reminded folks of Richard Nixon's infamous remark to Henry Kissinger: "The press is the enemy, the establishment is the enemy, the professors are the enemy." Of course, no one outside the White House knew what Nixon was saying at the time. Nowadays we know what Trump is saying instantly...

Programming note: On Sunday's "Reliable Sources," I'll ask Carl Bernstein about this...

Sunday's guest list

Also joining me on "Reliable:" Jeff Greenfield, Salena Zito, Glenn Greenwald, Dana Priest, Glenn Thrush... and hopefully you! Sunday, 11am ET, CNN... Send me your thoughts for the show...

"No impact whatsoever"

ICYMI Thursday: CNN president Jeff Zucker said a month-long "brand survey," meant in part to probe whether Trump's attacks have done damage, found "no diminution whatsoever in the CNN brand — it is as strong as it's ever been, incredibly trusted, and we've seen no impact whatsoever from all of those attacks..."

Graydon Carter's great out-of-office message

The VF editor in chief's automatic reply lists several people to contact in his absence, then adds, "If this is about the current political situation, I'm sorry but you're on your own."
Quote of the day
"What Trump has yet to realize is that while short-term gains can be reaped from attacking the press... in the long run yelling at the press only focuses the public’s attention on the very reporting the yeller wants erased. It also invigorates reporters, and makes them feel important."

--Jack Shafer's latest column...

Trump pushing "media accountability survey"

Team Trump's latest "Mainstream Media Accountability Survey" provoked some backlash on Thursday. So the creators sent around a new email on Friday saying Democrats had tried to "sabotage the results." The message urged people to hurry up and fill out the survey... Of course, these surveys are usually about building up contact lists...

More: NPR's Danielle Kurtzleben says the survey could also be "helpful" to Trump by planting "ideas in people's heads..." And it could give them "more numbers to put out to bolster Trump's case that the news media really are the bogeyman he says they are..."

So what's the story on "the most honest morning show?"

Tom Kludt emails:

On Thursday, Trump went out of his way to lavish praise on the "very honorable people" at "Fox & Friends." On Friday, the three hosts returned the favor -- channeling Trump's anti-media tenor while demonstrating why the president enjoys the show so much. So here are some highlights from Friday's edition of "the most honest morning show:"

 -- "It's like stop, let us work, let us clean up this country." --Ainsley Earhardt, responding sympathetically to Reince Priebus' complaint about "putting out phony stories."

 -- "I don't think he looked smaller. Are you kidding me? He looked bigger than the -- I mean, he looked bigger than the superpower which he's representing." --Brian Kilmeade, reacting to a sound bite from Matthew Dowd, who said yesterday's presser made Trump look "smaller."

 -- "The mainstream media is freaking out about the president's immigration plans and everything else." --Steve Doocy.

"Television is his business." "No, that's his OLD business."

More from Tom: Trump said that the three hosts on "Fox & Friends" "hit me also when I do something wrong." That's probably overstating it, but Friday's broadcast did include one notable exchange. At the top of the show, Kilmeade questioned the wisdom of Trump's media obsession. "He's got so much to do, why is he even watching Don Lemon at 10:00 on CNN," Kilmeade said. Earhardt and Doocy disagreed. "But when most of the media is painting him in a bad light and not giving him a chance, as the president you would want to know that, you would want to watch it because you need to have your finger on the pulse," she said.

"But here's the thing about Donald Trump," Doocy chimed in, "television is his business."

"No, that's his old business," Kilmeade replied.
A coincidence? Yes
An emailer asks: "Anyone note Shep Smith NOT on his show today? Coincidence, after his post-Trump-lunatic-presser comments?" Yes, this was a coincidence, TVNewser confirms... He was scheduled to be off on Friday and on Monday for the holiday weekend...

Correction to yesterday's newsletter

On Thursday I linked to this WSJ scoop: Jared Kushner recently "met with a senior Time Warner Inc. executive, Gary Ginsberg, and "expressed the administration’s deep concerns about CNN's news coverage." A source confirmed the meeting, but I mis-read part of the WSJ story: Kushner's objections about CNN commentators Van Jones and Ana Navarro were not brought up during the meeting at the W.H.... They were something that Kushner had brought up in the past…
For the record, part one
 -- "Outside Your Bubble:" BuzzFeed News is introducing "a feature to help readers see what people outside their social-media networks are saying about the news..." (Bloomberg)

-- Ken Doctor talks with donor Craig Newmark, "journalism's new Six Million Dollar Man..." (NiemanLab)


 -- A surprise from Pew: "For election news, young people turned to some national papers more than their elders..." (Pew)

"NYT fans sponsored 209,000 student subscriptions in 8 days"

Impressive! Poynter's Ben Mullin reports: "Since The New York Times launched a program that allows supporters to sponsor digital student subscriptions last week, the program has already grown large enough to fund 209,000 subscriptions. Donations to the program, which began on Feb. 9, have ranged from $4 to $20,000... More than 100 contributions came from international sponsors even though the program only serves U.S. public schools..."

CNN holding a DNC chair debate

"Just days before the Democratic National Committee elects its new leader, candidates for the job will hash out their visions for the party at CNN's 'Debate Night: Democratic Leadership Debate' on Wednesday," CNNPolitics' Elissa Nunez reports. Dana Bash and Chris Cuomo will moderate the event. "CNN has not yet announced which candidates will be attending..."
Trump and the media

New W.H. comms director

Jim Acosta's Thursday night scoop: "Crossroads Media founder Mike Dubke is expected to be named as White House Communications Director, two administration officials tell CNN..."

Things that make you go "hmmm"

Olivia Nuzzi has the headline of the day: "Trump Might Be Planning to Deploy the National Guard Against Undocumented Immigrants, or He Might Not, Who Can Say? But It Definitely Seems Like He’s Been Thinking About It." This is about the AP's story about the admin possibly mobilizing the Guard, which Sean Spicer and co. denied right after the story was published.

So what happened? Nuzzi: "The AP asked the W.H. and the Department of Homeland Security for comment about the draft memo. They received none prior to publication, but the White House was quick to condemn the story once it hit Twitter with explosive force — a clever way to perpetuate its narrative that the mainstream media pushes 'fake news.'" Read more...


 -- Another take: The Atlantic's David A. Graham wrote this "anatomy of the news cycle..."

Prosecutions ahead?

Will Trump's anti-leak talk prompt prosecutions? Politico's Josh Gerstein and Bryan Bender sized up the possibilities here. "Spokespeople for the Justice Department and the FBI declined to comment on whether any leak investigations were ongoing, but Trump indicated they were..."

"Pres. Trump Was Right When He Said He Gets Good Ratings"

TVNewser's Chris Ariens has the #'s for Thursday's presser...

For late night comics, "being nimble is clearly an asset"

Brian Lowry emails: Both Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers junked their opening monologues Thursday to address the Trump presser. In this news climate, being nimble is clearly an asset. Speaking of late night, producer Chuck Lorre regularly uses his vanity cards to opine about politics in an amusing way, but his latest included a rather dark prophecy, and referenced Bill Maher, Samantha Bee and John Oliver...

BTW...

Colbert, who continues to top Jimmy Fallon among total viewers, is going live on the night of Trump's address to a joint session of Congress on February 28...
Entertainment desk

Reports: Brad Grey on the way out

It's been a busy day of Brad Grey rumors: TheWrap's Matt Donnelly was first to report that he is "in talks with top leadership at Viacom to step away from his role as Paramount Pictures Chairman and CEO." THR's Borys Kit and others published similar stories within minutes. By evening, the trades said that Grey IS leaving, and the details are now being ironed out. 

Grey's fate has been a constant subject of Hollywood chatter. Kit says "at issue was Viacom's desire to install a greenlight committee to make decisions on which movies to make. Such a move would have violated the terms of Grey's employment contract, which gives him sole greenlight authority..."
Looking ahead to "Billions" season two
Brian Lowry emails his latest review: "Billions" was a bright spot for Showtime its first season. But the second looks like less of a sure thing -- and given the Trump administration's Goldman Sachs connection, perhaps a little ill-timed...

 -- Attempted counterpoint by Stelter: I watched the first episode of season two and thought it was excellent. So did CNNMoney boss Rich BarbieriBut Lowry has seen four episodes... and he's a professional! 

Lowry reviews "The Great Wall"

More from Brian Lowry: "The Great Wall" -- not great, but pretty good, in a B movie kind of way -- is already a hit in China. It's expected to fare much worse in the U.S., despite casting Matt Damon to heighten its appeal. Read more...
For the record, part two
Via Lisa France:

-- "This Is Us" star Chrissy Metz is defending her co-star Chris Sullivan's fat suit...

 -- #OscarsSoAgeist? A study has found that people 60 and older were under-represented in the best picture nominees of the past three years...
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