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Trump floods Tuesday headlines with Pittsburgh trip, Axios interview

A version of this article first appeared in the Reliable Sources newsletter. ...

Posted: Oct 31, 2018 11:23 AM
Updated: Oct 31, 2018 11:23 AM

A version of this article first appeared in the Reliable Sources newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

With one week until midterm elections in the United States, President Trump is the center of attention. He's about to begin a week jam packed with campaign rallies. But Tuesday was much more somber.

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Trump in Pittsburgh

"Despite calls to stay away, Trump to visit Pittsburgh after massacre" read the WaPo homepage on Tuesday morning, setting a tense tone for the day. But the trip to the synagogue site and a local hospital came and went without much controversy. Trump did not give any public remarks. Local protesters were heard loud and clear. Bloomberg's; Jennifer Jacobs noted on Twitter that Trump did not talk to reporters on Tuesday: "He's following the White House plan -- letting this visit, to mourn for those killed at the synagogue, speak for itself."

Tuesday night's Post headline: "Trump's quiet visit to a grieving Pittsburgh met with hostility."

Trump talks to Axios for HBO series

Tuesday's other big Trump story was an Axios production. Jonathan Swan and Jim VandeHei interviewed POTUS on Monday for the site's four-part series "Axios on HBO," which premieres on Sunday. The first big headline from the interview: "Trump to terminate birthright citizenship."

The story hit before dawn, and the coverage lasted all day long. But Trump's pledge deserved a LOT of skepticism. As the hours went on, more and more skepticism was added to stories and TV segments. Just now the banner on "AC360" read, "Trump makes dubious claim just days before midterms that he'll ban birthright citizenship (he can't)."

→ Kellyanne Conway's husband George co-wrote this WaPo op-ed with Neal Katyal: "Trump's proposal to end birthright citizenship is unconstitutional."

Trump trying to "seize back" the spotlight

On Page One of Wednesday's NYT: "In the last days before a midterm congressional election that will determine the future of his presidency, Mr. Trump seems to be throwing almost anything he can think of against the wall to see what might stick, no matter how untethered from political or legal reality," Peter Baker writes. "Frustrated that other topics — like last week's spate of mail bombs — came to dominate the news, the president has sought to seize back the national stage in the last stretch of the campaign. Ad hoc though they may be, Mr. Trump's red-meat ideas have come to shape the conversation and, he hopes, may galvanize otherwise complacent conservative voters to turn out on Tuesday..."

FOR THE RECORD, PART ONE

-- Donie O'Sullivan emails: This NBC story serves as a good warning to take election rumors and viral videos of "malfunctioning" voting machines with a grain of salt next Tuesday — even if they do have thousands of retweets... (NBC)

-- Clever: CJR and TBWA\Chiat\Day set up a real-life newsstand full of fake headlines to "gauge the responses of New Yorkers" and "draw attention to misinformation..." (CJR)

-- Richard Kim, executive editor of The Nation, is joining HuffPost in early 2019 as director of enterprise... (Twitter)

Levitan's message to Lachlan

"'Modern Family' co-creator Steve Levitan has renewed his criticism of Fox News and its parent company amid backlash to the cable channel's coverage following the mass shooting Saturday at a synagogue in Pittsburgh," Variety's Daniel Holloway reported.

Levitan: "By espousing unfounded conspiracy theories and justifying Trump's reprehensible statements and actions, Fox News fuels our country's divisiveness. I sincerely hope Lachlan Murdoch recognizes the damage this is doing and finally brings sound journalistic ethics and standards to his network before more unhinged people are riled up to send bombs and shoot up churches and synagogues."

CONTEXT: Fox produces "Modern Family." Levitan's overall deal with Fox's TV studio expired in July, and he hasn't renewed or signed a deal with another studio yet...

Follow the money, Fox edition

Fox's critics, including some on the right, like Bill Kristol, have been increasingly vocal about calling out the company's management and board.

With that in mind, Forbes reporters Madeline Berg and Lauren Debter made a lot of calls. "Forbes reached out to each of the board members of 21st Century Fox — all except for one are foreign born, immigrants or have immigrant parents — for a comment on the latest controversies, but no one was willing to talk," they say.

A Fox spokesperson did respond by saying, "Many of the FNC and FBN programs regularly push back on the Trump narrative -- and just this morning, the FOX & Friends co-hosts called out Trump for his 'enemy of the people' attacks on the media."

Will advertisers react to this?

As I mentioned last night, the liberal media monitoring group Media Matters has been ratcheting up the pressure on major Fox News advertisers. Here's my full story in case you missed it...

Lowry's take

Brian Lowry emails: I'm coming to this a bit late, but Gabriel Sherman made a really important point about Fox News in his recent VF piece "No One Is In Charge" — namely, that the network's strident tone has a good deal to do with being relatively rudderless since losing Roger Ailes. While Ailes was a committed partisan, he was also a controlling influence who prided himself on being able to wrangle Fox's more eccentric talent. Simply as a practical matter, Ailes would have likely curbed some of the excesses that have taken root, precisely to avoid the PR blowback associated with them...

FOR THE RECORD, PART TWO

-- A huge new funding round: The Athletic has raised $40 million, Sara Fischer reports... (Axios)

-- A new example of the John Oliver effect: "Last Week Tonight" sparked a 2,000% spike in visits to Vote411.org... (The Wrap)

-- "Meghan Markle's close friend and stylist Jessica Mulroney just landed herself a new role as fashion contributor on 'GMA...'" (Page Six)

Facebook's slow-down

Facebook's quarterly revenue and user growth fell short of expectations on Tuesday, Kaya Yurieff reports: "Monthly active users totaled 2.27 billion as of September 30, an increase of 10% year-over-year. Meanwhile, daily active users for the month averaged 1.49 billion — an increase of 9% year-over-year, according to Facebook. Analysts, however, were expecting 2.29 billion monthly users and 1.51 billion daily users. It also was only an incremental increase over the previous quarter..."

STILL: The WSJ's Deepa Seetharaman notes that "the results, in tandem with the guidance from the company, were largely well received by investors, many of whom feared even worse after the company's earnings report in July resulted in a historic collapse of the stock price." $FB is up 3% in after-hours trading...

Read more of Tuesday's Reliable Sources newsletter... And subscribe here to receive future editions in your inbox...

FB is pushing Stories and videos

Yurieff says the company is prioritizing new formats, such as its popular Stories feature. "People want to share in ways that don't stick around permanently," Mark Zuckerberg said on the earnings call. But "Zuckerberg acknowledged that ads in Stories don't make Facebook as much money as ads in News Feed, and revenue growth may be 'slower' during the transition period, which he compared to the shift to mobile from desktop..."

→ Zuck also said that video is growing "dramatically across the ecosystem..."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 35712

Reported Deaths: 2207
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion10037594
Lake3806202
Allen174371
Cass15927
Elkhart143529
St. Joseph132035
Hamilton118094
Hendricks118074
Johnson1120110
Madison59761
Porter55329
Clark52841
Bartholomew52238
Howard43734
LaPorte43624
Tippecanoe4214
Shelby39822
Jackson3942
Delaware38740
Hancock34928
Floyd32140
Boone31835
Vanderburgh2902
Morgan28324
Noble25121
Montgomery24417
Clinton2401
White2389
Decatur23031
Grant22123
Dubois2053
Harrison19622
Henry18412
Vigo1758
Greene17125
Dearborn17021
Monroe17012
Warrick16728
Kosciusko1661
Lawrence16524
Marshall1472
Miami1411
Putnam1377
Orange13122
Jennings1314
Scott1223
Franklin1158
Ripley1086
LaGrange1022
Daviess9516
Carroll933
Steuben872
Wayne865
Wabash802
Fayette797
Newton7810
Jasper701
Jay530
Clay522
Washington511
Rush503
Randolph503
Fulton501
Pulaski490
Jefferson471
Whitley443
DeKalb431
Starke393
Sullivan371
Owen341
Perry340
Huntington342
Brown331
Benton320
Wells320
Knox310
Blackford272
Tipton261
Crawford240
Fountain222
Switzerland210
Spencer211
Adams201
Gibson182
Parke180
Posey160
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin120
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0175

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 36792

Reported Deaths: 2300
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin6112290
Cuyahoga4669247
Hamilton2739164
Marion267931
Lucas2296256
Pickaway209537
Summit1487181
Mahoning1463188
Butler93333
Columbiana88952
Stark75299
Lorain70960
Montgomery69516
Trumbull58451
Belmont43914
Warren39021
Medina36623
Miami36230
Tuscarawas3604
Ashtabula34537
Delaware34414
Portage33257
Lake31812
Fairfield3108
Clark3067
Wood30348
Geauga29533
Wayne28851
Licking26510
Mercer2207
Clermont2165
Allen21433
Richland2093
Darke18423
Erie18216
Madison1627
Washington11819
Crawford1174
Morrow1071
Ottawa10217
Greene1025
Putnam9514
Sandusky8512
Monroe7914
Auglaize763
Ross732
Hocking705
Jefferson672
Hardin640
Huron601
Williams561
Union551
Muskingum521
Hancock511
Shelby463
Holmes463
Clinton451
Fulton450
Wyandot442
Coshocton400
Logan400
Fayette400
Preble391
Guernsey362
Defiance342
Carroll313
Brown301
Lawrence300
Champaign281
Highland261
Knox251
Seneca242
Vinton212
Ashland210
Perry191
Athens181
Henry170
Scioto170
Paulding140
Jackson140
Adams101
Harrison100
Pike90
Gallia81
Van Wert70
Noble60
Meigs60
Morgan50
Unassigned00
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