Dear reader, are you OK? Did this week almost break you? (Because it almost broke me.) Anyway, let's get started ...
1. "President Shifts Rationale for Firing F.B.I. Director, Calling Him a 'Showboat.'" That's the big headline atop the front page of The New York Times this morning, which quotes from Lester Holt's NBC News interview with Trump. The Times also adds to the unraveling White House narrative with its own report by Michael S. Schmidt, which the paper sent out as a "breaking news" alert (it arrived in my inbox at 8:37 p.m. ET last night) titled "President Trump pressed James Comey for loyalty at a private dinner in January. The F.B.I. director promised only 'honesty'" (the alert linked to a story headlined "In a Private Dinner, Trump Demanded Loyalty. Comey Demurred").
2. What important business is the president of the United States attending to this morning? Tweeting, of course.
Again, the story that there was collusion between the Russians & Trump campaign was fabricated by Dems as an excuse for losing the election.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
The Fake Media is working overtime today!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
As a very active President with lots of things happening, it is not possible for my surrogates to stand at podium with perfect accuracy!....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
...Maybe the best thing to do would be to cancel all future "press briefings" and hand out written responses for the sake of accuracy???— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
3. The big headline on the homepage of New York magazine's website this morning: "Trump Just Incriminated Himself" -- a post by Andrew Sullivan. A sample:
An attempt to obstruct justice is an impeachable offense. And Trump has just openly admitted to such a thing. When, one wonders, will the patriots in the Republican Party stand up and confront this? If Clinton had done such a thing, the House would be drawing up articles of impeachment right now. ... If this is swept under the rug, we take one giant step toward the authoritarianism Trump has always threatened. When a democracy believes its own president can put his finger on the scales of justice whenever his own interests are at stake, and get away with it, it is on its way to disintegration.
4. The big headline on White House-favorite Breitbart News this morning: "Damn Skippy! WATCH: Podesta Stokes Russian Conspiracy Theories About Donald Trump" -- teasing a story with the same headline, minus the "Damn Skippy!" part (subhead: "Former Hillary Clinton campaign chief John Podesta broke his silence on Twitter to fuel conspiracy theories about Donald Trump and Russia"). Breitbart helpfully calls attention to the video Podesta shared in this tweet:
If your head is spinning on the Trump/Russia connection, watch this short video to connect the dots https://t.co/wHJMl8bFMs— John Podesta (@johnpodesta) May 12, 2017
5. The big headline on the homepage of The Daily Beast this morning: "FBI Agents Fear Russia Probe May Be Dead," which points to a post by Jana Winter and Betsy Woodruff titled "FBI Agents Worry White House Will Kneecap Russia Probe" (subhead: "The acting FBI director may promise that the investigation into Trump-Russia connections will continue. Many agents aren't buying it").
+ If the FBI won't do it, Mother Jones will. "Mother Jones is raising $500,000 to go after the Trump-Russia story," per Poynter's Benjamin Mullin. In the magazine's own words:
We're launching a new reporting project to get to the truth on the Trump team's connections to Russia. If you want to find out what they're trying to keep secret, please join us with a tax-deductible donation so we can dig deep -- for every new reader who gives $15 a month or more, the Glaser Progress Foundation will match it with a $50 donation to boost your impact.
6. Yes, that's Attorney General Jeff Sessions dragging fired FBI Director James Comey off an overbooked flight (Trump Airlines?) as the pilot, Donald Trump, looks on:
7. And finally ... "The president of the United States has personally come after me and my show. And there's only one thing to say: [gleeful laughter] Yay! Yay!" --Stephen Colbert on "The Late Show" last night
Thank you to Ann-Christine Diaz, Brian Braiker, Angela Doland, Zharmer Hardimon, Nat Ives, Judy Pollack, George Slefo, Laurel Wentz, Jessica Wohl and Chen Wu for their media roundup suggestions this week.
Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.