May 10, 2017

'Nightmare scenario' / Journalism! / Lollapalooza agony

‘NIGHTMARE SCENARIO.’ Lawfare calls President Trump’s dismissal of FBI Director James Comey “a profoundly dangerous thing.”

Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin: “A grotesque abuse of power by the president of the United States.”
 Chris Cillizza: “Removing the person charged with overseeing an investigation into a foreign country attempting to influence U.S. elections … sends a chilling message.”
 Charlie Pierce in Esquire:The Great American Ass-Covering” leaves the whole Justice Department “hopelessly compromised.”
 And raises the prospect of a constitutional crisis.
AP analysis: “Trump is propelling the presidency into rarely traversed territory” …
enraging Democrats.
baffling Republicans.
… bringing FBI agents to tears.
… and setting news organizations into action.

BUT. Developing: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is rejecting calls for a special prosecutor.

‘TRUMP IS … LYING.’ Matthew Yglesias in Vox: No reason to believe Trump’s rationale for firing Comey.
After Trump sacked Comey, his staff scrambled to explain why.
Comey thought it was a joke.
Trump tweets: “Comey lost the confidence of … Republican and Democrat alike. When things calm down, they will be thanking me!”

‘YOU’RE NOT ACTUALLY TELLING THE TRUTH RIGHT NOW.’ Morning Joe cohost/fiancee Mika Brzezinski slammed White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders this morning after Sanders said investigations of the Trump-Russia connection had come up empty-handed.
 Kellyanne Conway directly contradicts the official story.
PolitiFact: A year of checking stuff about Comey.
CNN: Grand jury subpoenas have been issued in the FBI’s investigation of Russian meddling in the election.

ANOTHER ‘SATURDAY NIGHT MASSACRE’? NOT SO FAST. Politico’s Jeff Greenfield sees a big difference between now and Nixon’s Watergate scandal.
 Plus: Comey gave Trump a “golden opportunity” to fire him.
 How Comey escaped from L.A.
The Los Angeles Times:Nothing about James Comey’s firing passes the smell test.”

CULT OF DEATH, TRAIL OF MURDER. The Chicago Tribune’s Steve Schmadeke explores rising violence among Chicago’s Latino gangs.
Neil Steinberg: “Chicago was founded by Frenchmen.”

JOURNALISM!
The Tribune has won a Freedom of Information Act appeals court fight against the College of DuPage, and it could mean closer scrutiny ahead for other government agencies that outsource responsibilities to non-governmental operations.
A West Virginia journalist was arrested after asking questions of U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Price.

COUNT HIM OUT. The head of the U.S. Census Bureau, a decades-long veteran of the agency, has abruptly quit.
… endangering the 2020 count and the scientific research that depends on it.

UNRELATED DEVELOPMENTS.
An Illinois State senator wants to know why State Comptroller Susana Mendoza hired a guy on the City of Chicago’s “do-not-hire” list.
Chicago rat complaints up 30 percent over the last year.

LOLLAPALOOZA AGONY. Greg Kot says the newly released schedule could leave “some festivalgoers wishing they could tear themselves in three.” (Photo: EMR.)
Wheel of Fortune airs five Chicago-themed episodes next week.

CORRECTION. The link for this …

Tribune Media’s sale to Sinclair may be bad news for local TV anchors: Sinclair has a rep for dumping high-priced journalists.

… in yesterday’s Chicago Public Square email edition was broken. Thanks to reader Nancy Burns for flagging the mistake. If you’re first to spot a goof in Square and email ThisIsWrong@ChicagoPublicSquare.com, you too can see your name in pixels here.

More on the Sinclair-Tribune deal:
Mary Schmich: “First, they took our Frangos. Now they’ve come for WGN.”
Eric Zorn: “What will be left of WGN stations when the right owns them?”
The Tribune’s printing plant, Freedom Center—now owned by Sinclair—is on the block, “one of the best development sites in the country.

Your ad here. Email MeToo@ChicagoPublicSquare.com.

IF YOU DON’T DO IT, WHO WILL? Dept. Vote for Chicago Public Square as Best News Site in the Chicago Reader’s Best of Chicago 2017 poll.

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