December 15, 2016 Last Updated 7:46 am

Social media blunder used to the advantage of different factions; New Jersey public notice fight

Morning Brief: California governor says state ready to push back against possible Federal government rollback of climate change initiatives in a new Trump administration

The social media bug has hit Julia Ioffe, recently hired by The Atlantic to cover politics. Ioffe made a social media blunder yesterday, offering up a tweet that many observers found to be offensive when responding to a new story in The Hill:

The first tweet, which appears last in the above screen capture, referred to the story, the second was (obviously) the one that got her in trouble.

Ioffe is right that Ivanka Trump getting an office in the White House would be a problem – after all, she is  to be running the Trump business. But the story, which apparently originated with CNN, and was picked up by The Hill, was later denied by the Trump administration. But Ioffe jumped the gun, and then went there, tweeting something that might have been on her mind, but should have stayed right there.

This led Politico to terminate their agreement with Ioffe a couple of weeks earlier than scheduled (Ioffe was a contributor to Politico and the contract would be over at the end of the year).

This was not, however, a very brave move by Politico, as many journalists saw this as simply taking advantage of her mistake and punishing her for her move to The Atlantic.

In the meantime, her new employer issued a statement saying “Julia Ioffe made a mistake on Twitter, which she regrets and for she has publicly apologized. We’re confident that when she joins The Atlantic next month she will adhere to our standards.”

How the media, and other observers will present this story, however, will be entirely based on one’s politics. Ioffe, you see, is the reporter that faced anti-Semitic harassment during the campaign, with some right-wing websites publishing a Photoshopped image of the reporter wearing a yellow star of David, and dressed in concentration camp garb.

The Times of Israel:

Writer who was subjected to anti-Semitic abuse fired for Trump incest tweet

A writer who was subjected to anti-Semitic abuse from supporters of Donald Trump during the presidential campaign has been dismissed from news website Politico after tweeting a vulgar joke about the president-elect and his daughter Ivanka…

…Ioffe, who is Jewish, received a barrage of anti-Semitic tweets, emails and threatening phone calls during the US presidential campaign from Trump supporters after writing an article critical of the president-elect’s wife Melania Trump.

“It’s unsettling,” Ioffe told The Guardian in April. “I started the day off having a sense of humor about it but by the end of the day, after a few phone calls like this, with people playing Hitler speeches, and the imagery, and people telling me my face would look good on a lampshade, it’s hard to laugh.”

“If this is how Trump supporters swing into action what happens when the press looks into corrupt dealings, for example, or is critical of his policies?”

Breitbart News, Warner Todd Huston:

CNN’s Fake News Gets Trump-Hating Politico Reporter Fired

A statement from President-elect Donald Trump’s office quickly denied a CNN report that Trump’s daughter Ivanka would get an office currently being used by outgoing First Lady Michelle Obama.
But that denial came after CNN’s Wednesday rumor was shared via Tweet by a Politico reporter, who was quickly fired for her crude comments.

The rumor started with a Tweet from CNN’s Lisa Mirando.



For the past eight years, Republican governors and legislatures have passed state laws or sued the Federal government over new regulations or executive branch actions. Now the shoe is on the other foot, and starting in California, blue states are preparing to push back against perceived new threats from the incoming Trump administration. One of those threats is to scientific data regarding climate research.

Sacramento Bee, Christopher Cadelago:

Jerry Brown: ‘California will launch its own damn satellite’ if Trump stops climate data collection

Gov. Jerry Brown, rallying a room of scientists Wednesday with his most heated rhetoric yet on the topic, suggested California would defy the federal government should President-elect Donald Trump impede the state’s efforts to thwart climate change.

“We’ve got the scientists, we’ve got the lawyers and we’re ready to fight. We’re ready to defend,” he said to boisterous applause at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco…

…He said if the federal government “starts messing with” the state’s renowned science facilities, such as Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, “I am the president of the Board of Regents. I am going to say, ‘Keep your hands off. That laboratory is going to pursue good science.’ ”

Later, he jabbed at former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who before becoming Trump’s pick for Energy Department secretary tried to poach jobs from California. “Rick, I got some news for you,” Brown said. “California is growing a hell of a lot faster than Texas. And we’ve got more sun than you have oil.”

NPR, All Things Considered:

Scientists Race To Preserve Climate Change Data Before Trump Takes Office

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Some scientists are rushing to copy and preserve reams of federal public climate data before the Trump administration takes office. Earlier I spoke with Eric Holthaus, a leading voice in this social-media-driven archiving campaign. He’s a meteorologist and hosts “Warm Regards,” a podcast on climate change.

We started by talking about what’s driving the effort given that as far as our science reporting team can see, there’s been nothing to suggest the incoming administration plans to dump or delete data.

ERIC HOLTHAUS: I wouldn’t expect the Trump team to come out and say, you know, by the way, we’re going to just delete all of the work that you guys have done for the last decades. I think the most likely scenario is that there will be across-the-board budget cuts in the realm of climate science across multiple parts of the government. NASA and the EPA and the Department of Energy come to mind. People that work there are going to have to make tough choices, and maybe that means not being able to maintain data sets in the same way that they have over the last several years.

New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who will apparently not had a spot reserved for him in the new Trump administration, has proposed a state bill that would end the requirement for public notices to be printed. Some see this as retribution against years of negative press coverage. But the state likely sees this as both a cost saving measure, and one that recognizes the reality that fewer residents subscribe to a newspaper, and many more get their news online.

I once was the publisher of a trade journal that made the majority of its revenue from ads placed by construction firms that were bidding on new projects. The ads were solicitations for bids from subcontractors that were owned by minority or women owned professionals. The ads were mandated by the state, so we basically got the advertising with a minimum of effort. Any change to the regulations would have naturally effected our business.

So, I am sympathetic to both the position of the newspaper, as well as the government here. There are sound arguments to be made on both sides. But it really points to something else: the fact that much of the profitability of newspapers has resided in advertising at risk of modernization: classifieds, notices, local retail.

The New York Times, Patrick McGeehan:

Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey has made no secret of his disdain for the news media, so when legislation that could hurt the state’s newspapers appeared suddenly this week, fingers pointed at the governor’s office.

Democratic lawmakers and newspaper industry officials said they suspected that Mr. Christie was pressing for quick passage of a bill that would eliminate the requirement for public notices to be printed. The change could cost the state’s already-strapped newspapers millions of dollars in advertising revenue.

“It’s a broadside against a free press, nothing more, nothing less,” said Assemblyman John Wisniewski, Democrat of Sayreville. “I think it’s revenge.”

The Star Ledger, George White:

N.J. Press Association: Stop vindictive Christie from punishing newspapers

Gov. Chris Christie and the state Legislature have formed an unholy alliance to punish newspapers, and it’s the public and the public purse that will also be the victims of a blatant, politically-motivated act of governmental spite — spite not service.

It’s an initiative that came from the governor, and the Legislature is playing ball with him all the way.

In a quick legislative maneuver meant to catch the state’s newspapers by surprise, a bill to remove legal advertising from newspapers was introduced Monday, set for committee hearings in both the Assembly and Senate Thursday and a quick vote this Monday by both houses.

The bill would allow the state’s 565 municipalities and many more public bodies to post legal notices on their web sites. At first glance it sounds like a great idea if you haven’t done your homework, and, sadly in this case, in their haste to get even with the press, the Legislature hasn’t.

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