October 31, 2017 Last Updated 7:44 am

Busy news cycle leads to golden age for art directors; Catalan separatist leader flees Spain

Morning Brief: The White House and world events have inspired great magazine covers, as well as tabloid newspaper front pages, but hiding inconvenient news can be a real challenge for editors and designers who work for Murdoch-owned dailies

Whatever else one may think of this time in our lives, one must admit that this is a good time for the press, and especially art directors who have turned out some wonder and provocative work this year. One easily remembers magazine covers from TIME, Der Spiegel, The New Yorker and other titles who have illustrated the Trump administration or the man himself in inventive ways.

Newspapers are generally at a disadvantage when it comes to producing dramatic front pages. It is the extremely rare exception when a paper like the NYT or WaPo give up their entire front page to a story. Some local metros do this when their team wins the World Series or Super Bowl, but otherwise the front page is designed in a regular, standard, and boring way.

In this regard, tabloids are at an advantage. They can essentially turn over their entire front page to one subject. On most mornings this is actually a huge disadvantage — what one story is worth dedicating the front page to? But on a day like today, following the unsealing of indictments in the Mueller investigation, being a tab can be a huge advantage.

Of course, today is a pretty tough day for the Murdoch press, which has been downplaying the Mueller investigation, and must now figure out how to make it seem like a guilty plea by an aide, and an indictment of the former campaign chair is somehow a minor story. It must be tough to be an anti-news editor on days like today.



One has been wondering just why Chief of Staff John Kelly would have sullied his reputation by attacking a sitting Congressman, and why he would continue to serve the most unpopular president in living memory. He provided the answer last night in an interview with Laura Ingraham on Fox News: it is about race.

This administration has a serious issue with people of color, especially women of color. Kelly’s attack Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla) was particularly disgusting because it involved blatant lies that were easily checked. Now, it is important to note, the judge involved in the Mueller indictments is also a woman of color, and one can be pretty confident that the Trump White House will soon be in attack mode once again.

The New York Times, Maggie Astor:

John Kelly Pins Civil War on ‘Lack of Ability to Compromise’

If, by appearing on Laura Ingraham’s show on Monday night, John F. Kelly was trying to do damage control after the indictments of Trump associates earlier in the day, it did not work.

Instead, Mr. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, resurrected the debate over Confederate monuments — previously fueled by his boss, President Trump, over the summer — and the Confederacy itself. He called Robert E. Lee “an honorable man who gave up his country to fight for his state,” said that “men and women of good faith on both sides made their stand where their conscience had them make their stand,” and argued that “the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War.”

Politico, Brent D. Griffiths:

Kelly reignites feud with Rep. Wilson

Monday’s comments are the latest in an ongoing tit-for-tat between President Donald Trump, Kelly, other White House officials and Wilson. The weeks long back-and-forth began when Wilson claimed that Trump was insensitive during a call to Myeshia Johnson, the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, who was one of four U.S. servicemen killed earlier this month in Niger.



Carles Puigdemont has gone from President of the Government of Catalunya, to refugee in Brussels, bolting the country for fear of being arrested and charged with rebellion. His escape has made him look like a coward, and the effort to gain independence for the region a naive dream advocated by fools.

Today, Puigdemont gave a press conference he tried to explain himself, but he looked weak.

The breaking away of a region is rarely something that can be accomplished without the spilling of blood. It is rare when, say with the case of Czechoslovakia, that a country can split apart peacefully. For this to happen in Catalunya, Spain would want to get rid of the region as badly as Catalans want to rid themselves of Spain.

This is why talk of states seceding from the US turns negative the minute big states like Texas or California are discussed. On one really cares if Alabama or Rhode Island would want to go, but take out a big state like Texas or California and the balance of power in the rest of the US shifts dramatically. Liberal states would want to go with California, and conservative ones with Texas.

Catalunya leaving Spain would start the disintegration of the country, and Spain’s hardline politicians will not let that happen, not without a fight. And when one side will fight, and the other will not, the side who will fight will always win.

The New York Times, Raphael Minder, Patrick Kingsley and Milan Schreuroct:

Catalonia Leader Turns Up in Belgium After Spain Seeks Prosecution

Hours after the Spanish authorities announced that they would seek to prosecute Catalonia’s separatists for rebellion, Carles Puigdemont, the region’s dismissed leader, turned up on Monday in Belgium, where he may seek asylum.

Mr. Puigdemont’s reputation for unpredictability has grown with every turn of Catalonia’s secessionist drama. On Monday, he all but disappeared as the Madrid central government began using emergency laws to take over direct administration of Catalonia after its declaration of independence last week.



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The Daily Pennsylvanian, Deena Elul:

Penn students are creating an educational magazine for West Phila. schools that can’t afford them

unEarthed Magazine, founded at the end of last year by a group of Penn students, is an educational publication geared toward middle and high school students in West Philadelphia. The student team plans to distribute the magazine for free in public schools that might not be able to afford magazines such as Scholastic or National Geographic.

Engineering junior Daphne Cheung, who is unEarthed’s founder and president, said she was motivated to start the project because educational magazines shaped her own love of learning. She said that magazines such as National Geographic for Kids were “the most exciting thing[s]” she read as a child and led to her interest in science and history.

Realizing that not all students have access to these materials prompted her to start unEarthed. “I found that there’s this unmet need that a group of Penn students could very easily fill, and I thought it would be very fun at the same time,” Cheung said.

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