Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Thursday, Jan. 26:
Life in the Trump Era continues to, well, let's just say ... fascinate. In today's scan of (mostly) Trump-dominated news, Quartz's Ana Campoy looks at the president's border wall announcement through the prism of his lifelong obsession with dealmaking, while Bloomberg considers what it will actually take to build it (spoiler: lots of documented labor, which is in short supply). And while BuzzFeed hopes to make sense of the Trump-media symbiosis with an intriguing new hire, the Bad Lip Reading channel offers its entirely logical take on Inauguration Day.
1. "BuzzFeed hires reporter to cover Trump's relationship with the media," Politico reports this morning. The website Trump recently called a "failing pile of garbage" poached Steven Perlberg from The Wall Street Journal.
2. In a post titled "Trump's border wall is a negotiating tactic straight out of his book 'The Art of the Deal'," Quartz's Ana Campoy suggests that "reading the wall announcement as a tactic for revamping what Trump has repeatedly characterized as a lousy deal [NAFTA] with Mexico is not completely preposterous. After all, Trump himself has argued that one of his top qualifications to be president is his ability to make great deals."
3. Speaking of the wall, Lauren Etter and Shannon Petty of Bloomberg News are out with a piece titled "Trump Wants to Build a Wall. Finding Workers Won't Be Easy." A labor shortage in the border area, they report, "has left few hands to build houses and factories in the region, where wages have already been rising and projects delayed. Now, the president's plan for 'immediate construction of a border wall' will force the government to find legal builders for a project that could employ thousands if not tens of thousands. About half of construction workers in Texas are undocumented..."
4. Well, gosh, this is interesting: In a New York Times piece headlined "Peter Thiel, Trump Adviser, Has a Backup Country: New Zealand," David Streitfeld and Jacqueline Williams report that the billionaire PayPal cofounder and Gawker killer quietly secured New Zealand citizenship in 2011 and no one knows how or why (and Thiel ain't talking). Per the Times story: "If you like New Zealand enough to want to become a citizen, the country's Internal Affairs Department noted on Wednesday, one requirement is 'to have been physically in New Zealand for a minimum of 1,350 days in the five years preceding the citizenship application.' Another requirement is that you 'continue to reside' there after becoming a citizen. Mr. Thiel, 49, does not appear to have done either."
5. Here's a full transcript of David Muir's ABC News interview with President Trump that aired on Wednesday's "World News Tonight." A sample, regarding his much-criticized speech at the CIA:
That speech was a home run. That speech, if you look at Fox, OK, I'll mention you -- we see what Fox said. They said it was one of the great speeches. They showed the people applauding and screaming and -- and they were all CIA. There was -- somebody was asking Sean -- "Well, were they Trump people that were put--" we don't have Trump people. They were CIA people.
That location was given to me. Mike Pence went up before me, paid great homage to the wall. I then went up, paid great homage to the wall. I then spoke to the crowd. I got a standing ovation. In fact, they said it was the biggest standing ovation since Peyton Manning had won the Super Bowl and they said it was equal. I got a standing ovation. It lasted for a long period of time. What you do is take -- take out your tape -- you probably ran it live. I know when I do good speeches. I know when I do bad speeches. That speech was a total home run. They loved it. I could've ...
6. Actor Shia LaBeouf's ongoing anti-Trump "He Will Not Divide Us" livestreaming project has resulted in an arrest this morning -- his arrest. The BBC has the story.
7. And finally, late last night the beloved Bad Lip Reading channel on YouTube released "Inauguration Day" and it's already No. 1 on YouTube's Trending chart. For those of you confused by what went on last Friday, well, this might help you understand.
Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.