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'Death Panels' and Pink Slips at The New York Times Even As It Takes Down Trump Jr.

By Published on .

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Wednesday, July 12:

Today's media scan has everything: death panels (see No. 2, below), an apology (No. 5), a witch hunt (No. 6), a Category 5 hurricane (No. 4) and even cornichons and castelvetranos (No. 3). Let's get started, shall we?

1. Rage Against the Media Machine: "The snowballing revelations about Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer during last year's presidential campaign have broadsided the White House, distracting from its agenda as aides grapple with a crisis involving the president's family," per Jonathan Lemire and Julie Pace of the Associated Press, whose report leads Time.com's homepage this morning. "The public has not laid eyes on the president since his return from Europe Saturday. But in private, Trump has raged against the latest Russia development, with most of his ire directed at the media, not his son, according to people who have spoken to him in recent days."

2. Hey, maybe this will cheer up the president: "'Death panels' to break pink slip news to dozens of NY Times copy editors," per Keith Kelly in his Media Ink column in this morning's New York Post. He writes,

While buyout talks continue, it currently looks like the number of editors who will be given pink slips at the New York Times will be around 60, sources tell Media Ink. The seven two-person teams of editors breaking the news to those who are staying and to those who are going are being referred to in the newsroom as "death panels," insiders said.

3. Soppressata! Capicollo! Striata! Speaking of The New York Times, the ridicule of David Brooks over his Tuesday op-ed column titled "How We Are Ruining America" -- he became a media-world obsession and Twitter trending topic yesterday because of a "gourmet sandwich shop" anecdote contained therein -- has reached its zenith thanks to Lucy Huber and her "Course Catalog for David Brooks' Elite Sandwich College" post at McSweeney's. Huber quotes Brooks' instantly notorious anecdote and then elaborates on the (imaginary) college's course offerings, such as,

Fancy Condiments and Toppings 305
Prerequisite: Mayonnaise and Mustard Only 101

Students will learn the basics of topping a sandwich beyond just meat and vegetables. Techniques include the seasoned olive oil drizzle and distribution of aioli. If time in semester permits, students will dabble in use of cornichons and castelvetranos. Three lectures and one lab weekly.

4. But back to D.C.! The Washington Post offers up the most vivid headline of the day: "'Category 5 hurricane': White House under siege by Trump Jr.'s Russia revelations." Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker write,

Even supporters of Trump Jr. who believe he faces no legal repercussions privately acknowledged Tuesday that the story is a public relations disaster -- for him as well as for the White House. One outside ally called it a "Category 5 hurricane," while an outside adviser said a CNN graphic charting connections between the Trump team and Russians resembled the plot of the fictional Netflix series "House of Cards."

5. In his "Late Show" monologue last night, Stephen Colbert was ... sorry: "I'd like to apologize to Eric Trump. We always thought you were the dumb one. We were wrong." Colbert also served up a hilarious reading of a series of weary, exasperated tweets from independent journalist Jared Yates Sexton about Donald Trump Jr.'s self-incrimination:

+ bonus "Late Show" moment from last night -- when MSNBC's "Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough announced he's leaving the Republican party because of Trump:

+ bonus tweet from Jared Yates Sexton this morning:

6. So, other than hiding out in the White House and raging at the fake media, what else has POTUS been up to? Oh, you know, the usual: promoting Fox News programming, watching Fox News programming and tweeting about Fox News programming. For example, last night:

And then this morning:

+ ICYMI: "Donald Trump Jr. tells Sean Hannity: 'In retrospect I probably would have done things a little differently'," via Fox News.

7. And finally ...

Thanks to Jessica Wohl, George Slefo, Ann-Christine Diaz and Laurel Wentz for their roundup suggestions.

Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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