The optics re: Mike Flynn turned out to be too toxic. Same deal with YouTube star PewDiePie. Meanwhile, CKE Restaurants (Hardee's and Carl's Jr.) CEO Andrew Puzder has an emerging optics problem that turns out to be related to an old "Oprah Winfrey Show" episode. Hey, at least it's not "Access Hollywood" ...
1. The big political news of the moment may be the resignation of National Security Adviser Mike Flynn, but the No. 1 story on Politico's "Most Read" chart this morning is headlined "Oprah gives tape with Puzder abuse allegations to Senate." Burgess Everett and Marianne LeVine report that "Senators in both parties have viewed an episode of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' in which President Donald Trump's Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder's former wife leveled allegations of physical abuse against him, according to sources familiar with the matter. The decades-old video, which is not easily found, has been provided by the Oprah Winfrey Network, those sources said."
2. But back to Mike Flynn for a moment. Here's a view from overseas: "Mike Flynn might be done -- but Trump's nightmare has just begun." That's the headline of a post this morning by Richard Wolffe in The Guardian. (Subhead: "This resignation and scandal is not a surprise. After all, we have a president who is too careless to handle a national security incident in a confidential manner.") And here's another (somewhat adorable) view from overseas: "Russia Today tweets about Flynn 'retirement.'"
3. Speaking of Russia ...
4. "Hollywood's movie marketing operation has discovered a new outlet -- fake news," writes Pamela McClintock of The Hollywood Reporter in a post headlined "Fox Plants Trump-Putin Fake News Story to Promote New Movie." The movie in question is "A Cure for Wellness" and the fake news story carried the headline "BOMBSHELL: Trump and Putin Spotted at Swiss Resort Prior to Election"; it appeared on several faux news sites that "turned out to be marketing outlets for the film," per McClintock.
5. From The Wall Street Journal this morning: "Disney Severs Ties With YouTube Star PewDiePie After Anti-Semitic Posts." This is actually news that the Journal itself helped prompt, as the story's subhead makes clear: "Move came after the Journal asked about videos in which he included anti-Semitic jokes or Nazi imagery."
6. "Apple is making a TV show," per Recode's April Glaser. "It's called 'Planet of the Apps,' and it's literally celebrities telling app developers why their app will never be profitable and will never be used by anyone. The apps are judged by a star-studded panel: Jessica Alba, Will.i.am and Gwyneth Paltrow, among others." (Among the "others": Gary Vaynerchuk.) At Recode's Code Media conference last night during a conversation led by Peter Kafka, Eddy Cue, Apple's SVP for internet software and services, and Propagate CEO Ben Silverman (Apple's partner on the production) talked about "Planet of the Apps," which is due to start streaming on Apple Music in the spring. See the trailer for the show at the 10:07 mark in this video:
7. Finally, do you have any conference calls today that you're dreading? While you're on mute and not paying attention, here's a Geekwire post for you to read: "Amazon unveils Chime, looks to reinvent the conference call with new Skype and GoToMeeting competitor."
Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.