So, yeah, "The Rachel Maddow Show" last night. ... First, let's just point out that that 7:36 p.m. ET teaser tweet from @maddow -- "BREAKING: We've got Trump tax returns. Tonight, 9pm ET. MSNBC. (Seriously)" -- made it seem like we were getting two feet of snow, but instead we got a lot of bluster and the tax-return equivalent of light flurries: two measly pages -- Trump's 1040 form -- from 2015. And for the White House, the flurries ended up being almost kind of scenic (and conveniently distracting). Anyway, let's get started ...
1. In a post headlined, "Op-Ed: Donald Trump just got a nice victory, thanks, of all people, to Rachel Maddow," CNBC Executive Editor Jay Yarow lays it all out:
On her Tuesday show, Rachel Maddow teased a scoop: She had Donald Trump's 2005 tax returns. It was the first time his federal returns would be released. Small digression: MSNBC's Maddow didn't have them. Investigative reporter David Cay Johnston got them, and went on her show to talk about it.
Anyway, when she finally revealed what was in the taxes, it was not a huge deal. Trump earned about $150 million in income in 2005, and paid $38 million in taxes, thanks to the alternative minimum tax, which he wants to kill. ... [S]ure, for a billionaire, you can argue that he should pay more in taxes. But, $38 million is a big number. As is $150 million in income.
2. Near the start of his appearance on "Maddow," David Cay Johnston said that he thought it possible that Trump himself leaked the tax return. The Washington Post's Derek Hawkins points that out -- and cites a bunch of other such theorizing from the right and the left -- in a "Morning Mix" column headlined "Did Trump have his own tax return leaked? That was the big question after Maddow."
3. Johnston, by the way, is a Pulitzer Prize winner who spent more than a dozen years as the tax reporter at The New York Times. Here's what Trump thinks of him:
Does anybody really believe that a reporter, who nobody ever heard of, "went to his mailbox" and found my tax returns? @NBCNews FAKE NEWS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2017
4. I'll just leave this right here:
5. "Tronc's bid to buy Us Weekly has collapsed -- and National Enquirer owner American Media Inc. is now on the brink of getting the celebrity weekly," the New York Post's Keith Kelly reports. "It is a stunning turn of events that has sent a new round of panic through the ranks at Us Weekly, currently owned by publishing magnate Jann Wenner. The fear is that up to 100 layoffs may ensue."
6. Elsewhere in magazineland, "Time Inc. has named Clifton Leaf Editor-in-Chief of Fortune, it was announced today by Rich Battista, President and CEO and Alan Murray, Chief Content Officer. Leaf, who most recently served as Fortune's Deputy Editor, continues to report to Murray, who becomes President of Fortune in addition to his role as Chief Content Officer," per a Time Inc. press release this morning.
7. And finally, this "Honest Trailer" from the Screen Junkies channel on YouTube has racked up more than a million views in less than 24 hours:
Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.