It’s hard right now to think about the business of the media after the president gave a dictatorial speech last night, outlining how he would “dominate” protesters by sending in the military.
He staged a reality TV environment (I wrote some thoughts last night over at Medium; I didn’t want to send another newsletter last night and clog your inboxes. One email a day from me is sufficient, but click over if you want to read); instead of calming the fears of Americans, addressing the tensions at the heart of protests, he spoke at exactly the time the evening network news programs began and told us he will send in the military to our cities because he is the “law and order” president.
All the while, just yards away, peaceful protesters were shot with tear gas. And this capstone was after the speech: the president walked to a church, grabbed a bible, and stood for a photo op (which is now being reported that ahead of the photo op police forcibly removed the priest of the church).
(Image via Twitter)
While the president was putting on a show, doubling down on this law and order behavior because he didn’t like getting made fun of for retreating to the White House bunker, journalists were shot at and/or arrested for doing their jobs. Scott Nover, who has a substack about the freedom of the press, compiled 160 threats to reporters this week. It’s Tuesday.
MSNBC @MSNBCWATCH: @jolingkent is hit with fireworks during live broadcast as protests in Seattle, Washington, quickly escalate. https://t.co/0KdpGXzhH6
And civilians, like Rahul Dubey, are helping both reporters and protesters, opening their doors to allow them cover from police.
Ken Duffy, WTOP FM News anchor:
An interview with Dubey:
So, yeah, it’s difficult to focus today on the media business.
Though one item did catch my eye. My former employer was sold to yet another private equity firm (I believe this is the third or fourth consecutive PE firm to own the company, but you wouldn’t know this if you looked at the company’s Wikipedia page, which serves as cherry-picked revisionist history promoting ego over facts). I wish my former colleagues well, and hope they are afforded the ability to do some journalism.
Gonna keep this one short today. As always, thank you for allowing me in your inbox. I truly appreciate it. If you have tips, or thoughts about this newsletter, drop me a line.
Public Enemy, “Fight the Power”
Some interesting links:
Civil rights leaders say they’re ‘disappointed and stunned’ after call with Facebook’s Zuckerberg and Sandberg (CNBC)
Marketers bring anti-trust suit against Google (MediaPost)
Corporations tweet support for Black Lives Matter. Their FEC filings tell a different story. (Judd Legum’s Popular Information)
This Treasury Official Is Running the Bailout. It’s Been Great for His Family. (ProPublica)
How brands are making sense of measurement during a pandemic (Ad Age)
White instigators to blame for mayhem in some protests, local officials say (Washington Post)
Facebook Employees Stage Virtual Walkout to Protest Trump Posts (NYT)