August 1, 2017 Last Updated 8:04 am

Firing of Scaramucci is front page news in both US and UK, but memo revelation likely to have greater consequences

Morning Brief: Condé Nast Italia to shutter the four sister magazines of Vogue Italia, the move coming half a year after the death of longtime editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani

Things continue to spiral out of control in the White House, as you know. But the good news is… that things seem to be spiraling out of control in a lot of places. Brexit isn’t exactly going swimmingly, and in Spain there remains the issue of whether there will be a referendum on Catalonian independence. (At least for now, a second referendum on Scottish independence appears to be only a remote possibility.)

NY Tabs

The week has started out with a bang, of course. First there was the news that Anthony Scaramucci had been fired as White House communications director, a position he really hadn’t had officially. John Kelly, President Trump’s new chief of staff, lowered the boom after Scaramucci’s infamous interview with Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker appeared.

A sign of just how much the press loved the Mooch story can be seen not just in the US papers, but in the UK, as well. The firing of Scaramucci was front page news in The Times, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail. Murdoch’s The Sun, though, had a story on Princess Diana on its cover.

Recode, Peter Kafka:

The New Yorker gets an intense Mooch bump

Donald Trump says the “fake news media” are “the enemy of the people.” His advocates at Breitbart say their goal is “the full destruction and elimination of the entire mainstream media.”

But in the meantime, the Trump administration continues to be good news for much of the media world…

  • Ryan Lizza’s piece generated 4.4 million unique visitors, making it the publication’s best-read piece of the year so far.
  • It also generated 1.7 million entries on social-media platforms, and 100,000 concurrent visitors in the first few hours after it ran on the NewYorker.com.
  • Most important for the magazine, whose business model is dependent on subscribers, the piece has attracted new sign-ups. While the magazine won’t spell out how many new subs the story has generated, it says it has “seen a 92 percent increase in the July daily average of new subs.”

The Washington Post, Alex Horton:

The only communications director booted faster than Scaramucci had been outed for Nazi ties

Anthony Scaramucci may occupy a few lines in future political history books with his remarkably short tenure, but it is not even the shortest as White House communications director. Forced out 10 days after he started, his brief stint was marked by a public battle with former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus — only to have John F. Kelly, the new chief of staff, orchestrate his removal, according to two people knowledgeable about the decision.

But John O. Koehler, who was the chief communicator for President Ronald Reagan in March 1987, had an even shorter tenure of less than one week…

…Soon after Koehler’s hiring announcement, NBC News reported that he had been a member of a Nazi youth group when he was 10.

Koehler said he disclosed his participation in Jungvolk, the Hitler Youth program used to indoctrinate young boys with Nazi ideology through outdoor activities, when he went through the security clearance process, The Washington Post reported Feb. 20, 1987 — eight days before he was scheduled to take over the position.



That would have been enough for a Monday in the middle of summer. After all, Congress is supposed to be in recess and Washington DC emptied out except for the locals as the summer heat and humidity builds.

But no, The Washington Post dumped a story that said that it was not Donald J. Trump Jr. that crafted the misleading statement regarding his meeting with he Russian lawyer which claimed that the meeting was just about adoption of Russian children, but it was the president himself who did it. Yet another example of the president doing things on his own, without listening to sound legal or political advice.

The Washington Post, Ashley Parker, Carol D. Leonnig, Philip Rucker and Tom Hamburger:

Trump dictated son’s misleading statement on meeting with Russian lawyer

The extent of the president’s personal intervention in his son’s response, the details of which have not previously been reported, adds to a series of actions that Trump has taken that some advisers fear could place him and some members of his inner circle in legal jeopardy…

…Although misleading the public or the news media is not a crime, advisers to Trump and his family told The Washington Post that they fear any indication that Trump was seeking to hide information about contacts between his campaign and Russians almost inevitably would draw additional scrutiny from Mueller.

Trump, they say, is increasingly acting as his own lawyer, strategist and publicist, often disregarding the recommendations of the professionals he has hired.

“He refuses to sit still,” the presidential adviser said. “He doesn’t think he’s in any legal jeopardy, so he really views this as a political problem he is going to solve by himself.”



The UK papers went to press too early to present the news about Trump’s statement to readers, and it is likely that most British editors still would have gone with the Scaramucci firing story anyways.

But the story they really would have like to have gone with is the one that did not appear until this morning: the new YouGov poll regarding Brexit. In it, the pollsters assert that both the Leave and Remain side are radicalized in their stances to the point that they would consider damage to the British economy “a price worth paying” to prove that their stance was right.

Brexit poll

The pollsters do something many journalists are accused: find a way to blame both sides, because while 61 percent of respondents who supported Leave say that causing significant damage to the economy is a price worth paying for bringing Britain out of the EU, only 39 percent of Remain supporters say having a family member lose their job is a price worth paying.

In other words, they actually asked two different questions.

YouGov, Matthew Smith:

The ‘extremists’ on both sides of the Brexit debate

Older Leave voters are significantly more willing than their younger counterparts to see the country, themselves and their families be economically compromised in order to achieve Brexit. Whereas 46% of 18-24 year old Leave voters say significant damage to the economy is a price worth paying for Brexit, this figure increases with every subsequent age group to 71% of 65+ year old Leave voters…

…The research shows that Brexit extremism is by no means restricted to Leave voters. One accusation that some have levelled at Remainers is that they want to see economic harm come to Britain, either to avert Brexit or out of sheer vindictiveness for having lost the referendum.

For instance, accused of having said that Remainers have to hang on while the economy deteriorates before the public mood on Brexit changes, Vince Cable recently denied on the Andrew Marr show that this meant that, on Brexit, he wants Britain to fail economically.

However, it seems that a significant minority of Remain voters would be happy for the economy to suffer should it mean that Brexit were averted. One in three Remain voters (34%), say that “significant damage to the UK economy would be a price worth paying if it meant that Britain stayed in the European Union”. This was only a slightly lower figure than the 38% who thought that averting Brexit at such a cost was too high (the remaining 27% don’t know).



Condé Nast Italia is set to close four of Vogue Italia‘s sister magazines: L’Uomo Vogue, Vogue Bambini, Vogue Sposa and Vogue Gioiello.

Obviously, the move will result in job losses, though how many is not known.

The announcement comes half a year following the death of longtime Vogue Italia editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani.

Condé Nast Italia

WWD, Alessandra Turra:

Condé Nast To Discontinue Vogue Italia’s Sister Publications

The company will continue to publish the Vogue Italia main title, which was re-launched this month under the direction of editor-in-chief Emanuele Farneti, who, in January, succeeded the late Franca Sozzani.

“The biggest mistake in such a moment of huge changes would be to not make decisions. Our vision is simple – we selectively invest in top brands and in digital development. This also implies taking difficult yet necessary decisions,” said Condé Nast Italia chief executive officer Fedele Usai. “We want to give the best visibility possible to our advertisers through the brands which have the potential, especially digitally, to greatly support their communication. The success of Vogue Italia’s September issue demonstrates that we are on the right path.”

Comments are closed.