June 1, 2017 Last Updated 8:08 am

UK papers now have opportunity to lead in Trump-Russia story as Nigel Farage becomes ‘person of interest’ to investigators

Morning Brief: NY Post report says Time Inc. has brought in the consulting company McKinsey & Co. in order to provide cover for future layoffs, magazine title sales

Thursdays have been a busy news day of late, and today promises to be a whopper. The president has said that he will announce his decision concerning the Paris Agreement on climate change, with several reports saying that the US will join Syria and Nicaragua as the only two countries to decide to be outside the voluntary union.

Already this morning, news organizations are reporting that former Ukip leader has been drawn into the Trump investigation as a “person of interest” — a term which means that they are not being involved in the investigation because of suspected wrong doing, but because they have information of importance to the investigation.

The Guardian, Stephanie Kirchgaessner, Nick Hopkins and Luke Harding:

Nigel Farage is ‘person of interest’ in FBI investigation into Trump and Russia

Sources with knowledge of the investigation said the former Ukip leader had raised the interest of FBI investigators because of his relationships with individuals connected to both the Trump campaign and Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder whom Farage visited in March…

…Sources who spoke to the Guardian said it was Farage’s proximity to people at the heart of the investigation that was being examined as an element in their broader inquiry into how Russia may have worked with Trump campaign officials to influence the US election.

“One of the things the intelligence investigators have been looking at is points of contact and persons involved,” one source said. “If you triangulate Russia, WikiLeaks, Assange and Trump associates the person who comes up with the most hits is Nigel Farage.

Daily Mail, James Tapsfield:

Farage dismisses ‘hysterical’ claims he is a ‘person of interest’ in FBI probe into Trump campaign’s Russia links

Mr Farage said: ‘I would describe this as hysteria…. I think the whole thing is absolutely ridiculous.
‘How can I be a person of interest when I don’t have any Russia links?’

Mr Farage famously enjoys close ties with Mr Trump. He campaigned with the billionaire businessman during the presidential campaign last year, and was christened ‘Mr Brexit’ as the Republican promised to emulate the shock of the EU referendum.

Here is an interesting little story, interesting because only two news organizations are at this time reporting it. The accusation in the story, which is only ten sentences long, is that the Trump administration has gotten a FISA court to eavesdrop on the phone calls of journalists in an effort to stop leaks from government officials.

I find that hard to believe simply because it would be a bad precedent for a FISA court to allow this. But it becomes harder to believe when you discover that the only two news organizations currently reporting this claim are Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid the NY Post, and Sputnik News, which picked up the Post story.

NY Post, John Crudele:

The government is spying on journalists to find leakers

The Justice Department has gotten a warrant from the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court — also known as the FISA court — to conduct electronic surveillance on a group of journalists who’ve been the recipient of leaked information, the source said.

The journalists are not the target, according to my source — and I say, thank goodness for that. Instead, the Trump administration is looking for the leaker. Who could it be?

Some in the administration are focusing on a retired, high-ranking military officer who held important posts in the intelligence service, according to the source.

A few years back (actually, more than a few years back) I worked for McGraw-Hill in San Francisco as a publisher of a daily trade newspaper. It was a great job, for what was a great company, but one that was finding it hard to succeed in publishing to the degree it was used to. There was, as you can imagine, a lot of politics and court intrigue, but otherwise I loved working for the company.

That is, until the company brought in a new president to run our division, then all hell broke loose. The problem was that this guy believed in managing based on the concepts being espoused in the book Reengineering the Corporation: A Manifesto for Business Revolution. Released in 1993, the book is described as a “guide to remaking a company’s processes, organization structure, and management systems through reengineering shows companies how to make money in the 1990s by improving speed, productivity, quality, and service.”

The book, in other words, was a guide to cutting costs under the guise of trying to improve efficiency. Soon, production for my daily newspaper was not being done in SF but in LA, production of my magazine and directories was done in Baton Rouge. In the end, I was forced to be become an expert in Photoshop and Quark if I wanted to get anything done. Those were great skills for a publisher to learn, but it made no sense that a publisher should become an art director just so that projects could be completed on time. It was insanity, and within a year I left the company to take a job publishing a B2B magazine in Chicago.

Now, Keith Kelly of the NY Post is reporting that Time Inc. is about to be “reengineered” — and Kelly knows what that really means for Time Inc.

NY Post, Keith Kelly:

Time Inc. hires McKinsey & Co. to help with ‘reengineering’s

Time Inc. has hired dreaded McKinsey & Co. to suggest ways to “reengineer” itself, several sources tell Media Ink.

CEO Rich Battista, in announcing no-sale news in late April, said the company would be aggressive in cost controls.

Translation: Layoffs loom and properties likely will be sold.

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