The FBI, the CIA ... and TBS too? (See No. 6, below.) Clearly, every private conversation by everyone everywhere is being monitored. Have you been bad? Or good? Either way, it's getting marked on your permanent record. (So be good for goodness sake.) Anyway, let's get started ...
1. The Guardian is liveblogging International Women's Day 2017 "as events take place around the world to mark the ongoing fight for equality."
2. "Minnesota Sen. Al Franken said he now believes that Attorney General Jeff Sessions committed perjury during his confirmation hearing when he did not disclose meetings with a Russian ambassador," writes CNN's Eli Watkins, reporting on Sen. Franken's interview by Jake Tapper on "The Lead" yesterday.
3. WWD's Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke notes that the prospect of Tronc (formerly Tribune Publishing) buying Wenner Media's Us Weekly has been "met with a big shrug on Wall Street." The New York Post's Claire Atkinson broke the news online early yesterday afternoon, and in this morning's New York Times Sydney Ember lays out some of the potential math:
Tronc and Wenner, which also publishes Rolling Stone and Men's Journal, are negotiating a price of more than $100 million for Us Weekly ... The talks are in progress, and a deal could fail. In 2006, Wenner spent $300 million to buy back the 50 percent share in Us Weekly it sold to the Walt Disney Company for $40 million five years earlier. Wenner still makes significant debt payments each year stemming from the loan it used to fund the transaction.
4. In a post titled "Right revolts on ObamaCare bill," The Hill's Peter Sullivan reports that GOP leadership may have a tough time selling the American Health Care Act to key members of the GOP:
The leadership-backed legislation ... took heavy fire from outside conservative groups, including the Club for Growth, Heritage Action and Americans for Prosperity, which is backed by the billionaire GOP mega-donors Charles and David Koch. They saddled the plan with names like "RyanCare" and "ObamaCare lite" and attacked centrist Republicans who fear the measure already goes too far.
5. A non-shocker from The Wall Street Journal's Carol E. Lee and Peter Nicholas: "The rapport between Barack Obama and Donald Trump is unraveling, with the president convinced that Mr. Obama is undermining his nascent administration and the former president furious over Trump tweets accusing him of illegal wiretapping, people close to the two men said."
6. Speaking of wiretapping, once again Conan O'Brien has somehow obtained secret recordings of calls made by Trump to Obama. The latest batch, as shown in this segment from last night's "Conan" on TBS, includes a call in which the sitting president talks to the former president about his wiretapping accusation, as well as other calls about Women's History Month, Sean Spicer and more.
7. And finally, here's a take on presidential call recording from New Yorker cartoonist Pat Byrnes:
Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.