Today I'm introducing the Media Guy Poll, using revolutionary new rhetorical-polling technology. The secret to this cutting-edge approach is that I don't really want an answer to any given question -- seriously, keep it to yourself -- which greatly simplifies the collection and tallying process, and dramatically reduces the margin of error. Today's poll question: How happy or sad are you to hear about President Trump's latest poll numbers? (See No. 1, below.) IMPORTANT: If you insist on sharing your answer, please see this. Anyway, let's get started ...
1. Per an analysis this morning by The Washington Post's Aaron Blake headlined "Trump's base is officially crumbling":
A CNN poll and an Investor's Business Daily poll, both released late Monday, show somewhat different pictures of Trump's overall approval. The CNN poll pegs it at 38 percent -- around where it has been in other polling for a while -- while the IBD poll shows it at a painfully low 32 percent. That's the lowest of any high-quality poll in Trump's entire presidency. But both polls actually reinforce the idea that Trump's support among the base is in decline.
+ "Why Trump's Poll Numbers Matter for the 2018 Midterms," via NBC News.
+ "Voters to Trump: Never Tweet," via CNN.
2. Because ... of course. "Trump uses Twitter to promote leaked intelligence on North Korea," via MSNBC.
3. "Hackers of US television network HBO have released personal phone numbers of Game of Thrones actors, emails and scripts in the latest dump of data stolen from the company, and are demanding a multimillion-dollar ransom to prevent the release of whole TV shows and further emails," per The Guardian's Samuel Gibbs. "In a five-minute video letter from somebody calling themselves 'Mr Smith' to HBO chief executive Richard Plepler, the hackers told the company to pay within three days or they would put online the HBO shows and confidential corporate data they claim to have stolen."
+ The Hollywood Reporter says that it was emailed nine files "with such labels as 'Confidential' and 'Script GOT7'" -- but it's not playing ball with the hackers. "THR is not revealing the contents of the emails or the substance of the leaked Game of Thrones materials, which also includes marketing spreadsheets and media plans for the hit series," per THR's Tatiana Siegel.
4. "Alphabet Inc.'s Google has fired an employee who wrote an internal memo blasting the web company's diversity policies, creating a firestorm across Silicon Valley," per Bloomberg News (via Ad Age). "James Damore, the Google engineer who wrote the note, confirmed his dismissal in an email, saying that he had been fired for 'perpetuating gender stereotypes.' He said he's 'currently exploring all possible legal remedies.'"
5. Remember Anthony "The Mooch" Scaramucci, the short-lived character on America's daily reality show "The Real Househusbands of Trump's White House"? While he may be gone-ish, he's not forgotten. "The Mooch mobbed by female fans at Italian joint," via Page Six.
6. Well done, The Daily Beast! You made me click! Ben Collins' Beast post headlined "I Found Nicole Mincey, Trump's Biggest Twitter Fan. She Isn't a Bot, But She Has a Ton of Secrets" begins:
Even though she's been wiped clean from the web, I still found Nicole Mincey. The Nicole Mincey who was personally thanked by President Trump on Twitter over the weekend. The one everyone thinks is a bot.
7. And finally, are you sick of August yet? Get ready to get sick of the fall. Listen to this: "Criticism Of The Fall TV Season Is Off And Running," courtesy of NPR TV critic Eric Deggans, who's been enduring the TV Critics Association summer press tour. He reveals his personal pick for the fall's "least worst new show" (partial spoiler: it's a "Big Bang Theory" spin-off).
Thanks to Ann-Christine Diaz, Nat Ives and Erik Spooner for their roundup suggestions.
Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.