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Is This NYMag Cover Story Prescient or Wishful Thinking?

By Published on .

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Monday, June 26:

Did you miss this media scan last week during its hiatus? Were you in the south of France for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity? Or, like me, were you not in the south of France but still sort of doing Cannes? Well, welcome back! Or not! Anyway, let's get started ...

1. Uh oh. "CNN is imposing strict new publishing restrictions for online articles involving Russia after the network deleted a story and then issued a retraction late Friday, according to an internal email obtained by BuzzFeed News," per a report by BuzzFeed's Jon Passantino. "The email went out at 11:21 a.m. on Saturday from Rich Barbieri, the CNNMoney executive editor, saying 'No one should publish any content involving Russia without coming to me and Jason [Farkas],' a CNN vice president."

+ previously: "CNN Deleted A Story Linking Trump And Russia, Then Issued A Retraction After Questions Were Raised" (subhead: "The now-retracted story was a 'massive, massive fuck up and people will be disciplined,' a source close to the network told BuzzFeed News"). BuzzFeed's Passantino coauthored that report with Jim Dalrymple II; they write,

The now-deleted story, by investigative reporter Thomas Frank, was published Thursday and cited a single, unnamed source who claimed that the Senate Intelligence Committee was looking into a "$10-billion Russian investment fund whose chief executive met with a member of President Donald Trump's transition team four days before Trump's inauguration." But by Friday evening, the story had vanished from CNN's website.

2. The big story on NYmag.com's homepage this morning is headlined "Trump, Nixon, and How a Presidency Ends." It teases the magazine's print cover story, by Frank Rich, that runs under the headline "Just Wait" (subhead: "Watergate didn't become Watergate overnight, either") online. Rich writes that for "those of us who want Donald Trump gone from Washington yesterday," but fear that he may hang on,

There's a handy antidote to despair: a thorough wallow in Watergate, the actual story as it unfolded, not the expedited highlight reel that most Americans know from a textbook précis or cultural artifacts like the film version of All the President's Men. If you look through a sharp Nixonian lens at Trump's trajectory in office to date, short as it has been, you will discover more of an overlap than you might expect. ... You will find reason to hope that the 45th president's path through scandal may wind up at the same destination as the 37th's -- a premature exit from the White House in disgrace -- on a comparable timeline.

+ "13 Predictions on How Long Trump's Presidency Will Last," a sidebar to the Rich piece pulled together by New York Mag's Alex Carp, quoting everyone from Newt Gingrich to Larry Wilmore.

3. Speaking of print covers ...

4. In social media news, here's a NSFL Instagram post from over the weekend:

+ the backstory via The Telegraph (UK): "Passengers told to 'say a prayer' after engine in AirAsia plane 'shudders like a washing machine and shuts down'."

5. The BET Awards were last night and I'm so very sorry that you didn't win -- unless you're Beyoncé (Best Female R&B/Pop Artist) or Bruno Mars (Best Male R&B/Pop Arist) or any of the other stars on this list (at BET.com).

BTW, are you wondering what the Fox News take on the BET Awards might be? OK, here you go: "BET Awards: Solange does not thank sister Beyonce."

6. In the July 3 issue of The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin profiles American Media (AMI) chief David Pecker -- a guy I've got a few opinions about -- in a story headlined "The National Enquirer's Fervor for Trump" (subhead: "The tabloid is defined by its predatory spirit. Why has it embraced the President with such sycophantic zeal?") A key passage quotes Gus Wenner, the son of Wenner Media (and Rolling Stone) founder Jann Wenner. Toobin recounts a lunch the younger Wenner (Jann's heir apparent) had with Pecker after AMI bought US Weekly from Wenner Media:

Wenner was curious to hear about Pecker's relationship with the President. "I thought I would have to pull it out of him smoothly," he said. "But he offered it up pretty readily, and I was all ears. He was painting Donald as extremely loyal to him, and he had no issue being loyal in return. He told me very bluntly that he had killed all sorts of stories for Trump. He hired a girl to be a columnist when she threatened to go public with a story about Donald."

Read on for Pecker's response to that. Oh, and get this:

Pecker remains interested in running Time, Inc., with its stable of weeklies, including Time, Sports Illustrated, and the great prize, People. ... A.M.I. faces many of the same financial challenges as Time, Inc., and an adviser to Pecker describes the prospect of a merger between them as "two drunks trying to hold each other up."

7. And finally, ICYMI, Stephen Colbert was very out of town last week -- and he's got video to prove it. Just in case you don't speak Russian, I'll let Meredith Blake of The Los Angeles Times explain:

"I am considering a run for president in 2020 and I thought it would be better to cut out the middleman and just tell the Russians myself," Colbert said in a vodka-soaked appearance on "Evening Urgant," a talk show inspired by American late night TV and hosted by Ivan Urgant. "If anyone would like to work on my campaign in an unofficial capacity, just let me know."

Thank you to George Slefo and Chen Wu 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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