September 19, 2017 Last Updated 10:53 am

CNN reports Trump campaign chair wiretap target, right-wing media sees vindication for claim Trump Tower was bugged

Morning Brief: Are city/regional magazines a dying format, or is the problem that these magazines tend to be nothing more than restaurant guides, not something a reader would take seriously, be willing to pay for?

The right wing media is having a field day today after CNN reported last night that the FBI had wiretapped Paul Manafort as part of an investigation that began in 2014. Donald Trump’s claim was that Trump Tower had been wiretapped, but no matter, that was close enough for Breitbart News and other right-wing news sites to claim that the president’s charges were vindicated.

Of course, if there was any information that might have helped the investigation to come out of the wiretaps, the cheering from the right will be short lived.

CNN, Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz and Pamela Brown:

US government wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman

US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election, sources tell CNN, an extraordinary step involving a high-ranking campaign official now at the center of the Russia meddling probe.

The government snooping continued into early this year, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump.

Some of the intelligence collected includes communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign, according to three sources familiar with the investigation. Two of these sources, however, cautioned that the evidence is not conclusive.

Esquire, Charles P. Pierce:

Robert Mueller Seems to Be Closing the Distance on Russia

The OMIGOD TRUMP WAS RIGHT! cries from Breitbart’s Mausoleum For The Chronically Unemployable already have begun and they are very convincing, as long as you don’t know that the surveillance of Manafort apparently began in 2014, when he was a bagma…er…lobbyist for Ukrainian oligarchs, and that the Trump campaign put him in charge two years later anyway. You can almost hear the deals being cut in the minds of people who have any connection to these events. Unobstructed, Mueller seems to be closing the distance between the quid and the quo with increasingly impressive acceleration.

The Washington Post: Mueller tightening the screws on Manafort
The New York Times: With a Picked Lock and a Threatened Indictment, Mueller’s Inquiry Sets a Tone
InfoWars: CNN Forced to Admit Trump May Have Been Right About Being Wiretapped

Hurricane Maria looks to be a repeat of Irma, with Caribbean islands set to take the brunt of the hurricane’s power.

The New York Times, Austin Ramzy:

Hurricane Maria Does ‘Mind Boggling’ Damage to Dominica, Leader Says

The Caribbean island nation of Dominica sustained “mind boggling” damage from Hurricane Maria, its prime minister said on Tuesday, after the storm hit with maximum sustained winds of nearly 160 miles per hour that ripped roofs off buildings, including his own home…

…The National Hurricane Center said just after 5 a.m. that the storm, now moving away from Dominica, had regained Category 5 strength, after briefly dropping to Category 4. It is expected to remain “extremely dangerous” as it approaches the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Tuesday night and Wednesday, the center said.

Punching Nazis… who the hell would have thought that this would be a real issue? Honestly, if this is what we have come to then we are seriously in trouble.

So, this time only, I will weigh in.

Here is the thing, I am against violence, especially unprovoked violence. Walking up to someone and punching them in the face is a crime, and anyone doing it is probably going to spend the night in jail for it.

Nazis, on the other hand, advocate violence against others not to their liking. In the past, Nazis have been responsible for the deaths of millions of people, and given another opportunity to have power would do so again, they say as much.

Therefore, if punching Nazis will prevent getting anywhere close to a repeat of history, I’m cannot be against it, and understand the urge to do it. There are thousands of descendants of holocaust victims out there who do not want to repeat history. They are not wrong to want to let potential murders know that they should crawl back under the rocks they came out from under.

NY Post, Chris Perez:

Guy in Nazi armband learns the hard way he’s a jerk

Seattle “antifa” 1, Nazis 0.

“Anti-facist” Twitter users banded together to track down — and then knock out — a man who was wearing a swastika armband around Seattle on Sunday.

A video clip, which has gone viral, shows the white Nazi sympathizer crumbling to the ground after being socked in the face by a much-larger black man.

“Night, night,” a bystander says, moments after the man sporting the swastika gets laid out.

Are city/regional magazines a thing of the past? I doubt it. But as a real industry it appears to be the case.

Emmis Communications, the largest publisher of city/regional magazines is out of the business, having sold off its titles to Hour Media for next to nothing — a sign that revenue at their titles had declined precipitously and that there were no profits that could be used to calculate a multiple when it came time to sell. A situation, I might add, that is becoming all too common (and why the NY Daily News ended up being sold for $1).

Hour Media just hired a new publisher at Los Angeles magazine, but if it were not for a story in the LA Business Journal who would have known? Hour Media’s website is from the mid-90’s and does not even list Los Angeles magazine has a title it owns.

Still, I am not convinced that the format is dead. What won’t work, however, is publishing a magazine that purports to reflect its city, but is really just a restaurant guide.

LA Business Journal, Diane Haithman:

Los Angeles Magazine Names New Publisher

Los Angeles Magazine has named media veteran Josef Vann as its new publisher. The new hire comes several months after a leadership housecleaning at the magazine, spurred by the February acquisition of the 46-year-old publication by Detroit-based Hour Media from Emmis Communications Corp.

The new owner reportedly laid off a half-dozen staffers immediately, including Publisher Erika Anderson, Editor-in-Chief Mary Melton and Editor-at-Large Amy Wallace. Executive Editor Matthew Segal stepped in as editor-in-chief following Melton’s departure.

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