July 24, 2017 Last Updated 8:57 am

Google (Alphabet) kicks off earnings season in earnest; NYT demands apology from Fox News that it will never get

Morning Brief: Most publicly owned media companies don’t report until next week, but Amazon and Facebook results will reveal just how much of the ad business is being lost by traditional media companies ahead of their results

The earnings season for Q3 of the calendar year begins in earnest this week as Google (Alphabet) today (after the bell), then Facebook and Amazon later this week, release their results. Apple goes next week, as does Tronc and Gannett, while Time Inc. is the following week.

The tech companies always get the headlines, and they should as they not only are much larger companies than media companies, but they dominate digital advertising (except Apple, whose in ability to work with others has always prevented them from gaining much traction in the ad market).

As I mentioned earlier this month, this quarter’s results could be crucial for a few companies that plan on resisting calls to sell off assets, or even their entire company.

This week will also mark the first time that Jarad Kushner will be called upon to talk to the Senate Intelligence Committee about what he has been up to. Kushner will not testify under oath today, for whatever reason, and this will allow him to claim, as he did this morning in his prepared remarks, that “I had no improper contacts. I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government.”

Senators like to ask those in the news to testify before them but they are usually better off having that testimony occur after they are pretty sure of the facts. This testimony today feels premature. Nonetheless, it has forced Kushner to admit that he had four meetings with Russian officials that he did not previously disclose, a pattern of behavior that is beginning to cause problems for that administration.

The Washington Post, Philip Rucker:

Kushner to detail four meetings with Russian officials in congressional testimony, but says ‘I did not collude’

Kushner portrays himself as a goal-oriented task master new to presidential politics who assumed increasingly important responsibilities on a fast-paced campaign in which decisions were made “on the fly,” including serving as the main point of contact for foreign government officials.

Kushner writes that his first meeting with a Russian official was in April 2016 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, where Trump delivered a major foreign policy speech, the execution of which Kushner says he oversaw. Kushner writes that he attended a reception to thank the event’s host, Dimitri Simes, publisher of the National Interest, a foreign policy magazine. Simes introduced Kushner to four ambassadors at the reception, including Kislyak, Kushner says…

…Kushner writes that he received a “random email” on Oct. 30, 2016, from a screenname “Guccifer400,” which he interpreted as “a hoax” that was “an extortion attempt and threatened to reveal candidate Trump’s tax returns and demanded that we send him 52 bitcoins in exchange for not publishing that information.”

Kushner says he brought the email to the attention of a Secret Service agent he was traveling with, who advised him “to ignore it and not to reply — which is what I did.”

The Guardian, Wendy Dent, Ed Pilkington and Shaun Walker:

Jared Kushner sealed real estate deal with oligarch’s firm cited in money-laundering case

A Guardian investigation has established a series of overlapping ties and relationships involving alleged Russian money laundering, New York real estate deals and members of Trump’s inner circle. They include a 2015 sale of part of the old New York Times building in Manhattan involving Kushner and a billionaire real estate tycoon and diamond mogul, Lev Leviev.

The ties between Trump family real estate deals and Russian money interests are attracting growing interest from the justice department’s special counsel, Robert Mueller, as he seeks to determine whether the Trump campaign collaborated with Russia to distort the outcome of the 2016 race.

The president has a habit of tweeting immediately after seeing something on Fox News, a habit that still has not gotten him into too much trouble. Yet.

Late last week he tweeted on what he has seen on Fox, a claim that The New York Times reported something that prevented the US from killing ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The item appeared on Fox & Friends on Friday, and on Saturday the president wrote his tweet. One day later, on Sunday, the NYT demanded an on-air apology and tweet from Fox & Friends. What the NYT got instead was an addendum to the story as it appeared on the Fox News website, and a response back that wondered why the NYT waited “more than a day before asking for the correction,” as if taking 24 hours to double check their facts was somehow an admission that they had nothing to complain about. What the NYT didn’t get, at least so far, is an on-air apology.

You might want to notice one rather odd thing about Politico’s story, however. It says that a Fox News executive spoke to them “on background” — then it quotes them without attribution. Bizarre.

The New York Times, Michael R. Gordon:

How Trump Got It Wrong in Saying The Times ‘Foiled’ Killing of ISIS Leader

Mr. Trump’s statement appeared to be based on a report by Fox News; he is known to be an avid viewer, and a version of the story was broadcast about 25 minutes before he posted…

…But a review of the record shows that information made public in a Pentagon news release more than three weeks before the Times article, and extensively covered at the time by numerous news media outlets, would have tipped off Mr. Baghdadi that the United States was questioning an important Islamic State operative who knew of his recent whereabouts and some of his methods of communication. Further, the information in the Times article on June 8 came from United States government officials who were aware that the details would be published.

Politico, Hadas Gold and David Cohen:

New York Times requests apology from Fox on ISIS story

Speaking on background, a Fox News executive slammed Rhoades Ha for seeking the apology only on Sunday afternoon and for alerting reporters at the same time.

“NYT PR VP Danielle Rhoades Ha did not contact Fox News until Sunday afternoon — a day and a half AFTER the FoxNews.com story was published. She sent a letter to the reporter on the story — Catherine Herridge — at 3:30 pm on Sunday while being too cute by half and sending it to the press simultaneously — likely bcc’ing reporters,” the executive said. (The Times directly emailed POLITICO a copy of the letter that was sent to the “Fox & Friends” weekend executive producer on Sunday at 3:33 p.m.) “Herridge interviewed General Thomas at the Aspen Security Forum on Friday and did a wrap-up story on the panel for FoxNews.com, which was published on Friday night. Seems like an awfully long time to wait to correct something if they were so concerned about accuracy. And Ha did not reach out to Fox & Friends until 2 p.m. on Sunday for a story that aired Saturday morning. … Why did it take them so long to reach out?”

The executive added: “If we notified the press every time the N.Y. Times had to update an online story or correct something, your inbox would crash.”

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