The leader of the free world is expected to, you know, lead ... but according to a new Politico report (see No. 2, below), members of President Trump's staff have found that they can lead him in one direction or another simply by making him read news, or "news," they think will help make their case. Meanwhile, other staffers are making it their business to lead the leader away from where he's been led, which probably has something to do with him being "frustrated" and "angry at everyone" (see No. 1, below) and contemplating the ouster of some of those leading him astray. Got all that? Anyway, let's get started ...
1. Day Trump vs. Night Trump: Per a Sunday Mike Allen scoop at Axios, "At the urging of longtime friends and outside advisers, most of whom he consults after dark, President Trump is considering a 'huge reboot' that could take out everyone from Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon, to counsel Don McGahn and press secretary Sean Spicer, White House sources tell me. ... 'He's frustrated, and angry at everyone,' said one of the confidants."
2. Spinning, re-spinning and de-spinning Trump: "When Trump bellows about this or that story, his aides often scramble in a game of cat-and-mouse to figure out who alerted the president to the piece in the first place given that he rarely browses the Internet on his own," per a Politico post by Shane Goldmacher titled "How Trump gets his fake news" that notes the president was recently handed a well-known fake Time magazine cover (widely circulated over the years by climate change-deniers) by Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland, but "Staff chased down the truth and intervened before Trump tweeted or talked publicly about it." Goldmacher adds that "Some in the White House describe getting angry calls from the president and then hustling over to Trump's personal secretary, Madeleine Westerhout, to ferret who exactly had just paid a visit to the Oval Office and possibly set Trump off."
3. "Eyes Drift. Marketers Stick to TV." That's the headline of a story fronting the business section of this morning's New York Times (recast as "As Viewers Drift Online, Advertisers Hold Fast to Broadcast TV" for the web version). John Koblin and Sapna Maheshwari note that while "audience attention has drifted toward platforms like Netflix, Facebook and YouTube, there is one group of stubborn holdouts who are not ready to give up on broadcast television: advertisers." Why? The answers -- including brand safety and reach -- won't be a surprise to anyone who reads Ad Age's ongoing coverage -- but you might appreciate this visual:
As a media analyst at Pivotal Research, Brian Wieser, put it, advertising on TV is "as archaic as water flowing through pipes."
"You could set up a drone to take water from a reservoir and use fascinating technology and cutting-edge approaches to deliver it, but there's a good reason we use these systems," he said.
4. Who's to blame for the massive ransomware attack that targeted Microsoft Windows users starting on Friday? One take: "WannaCry Ransomware: Microsoft Calls Out NSA For 'Stockpiling' Vulnerabilities," as NPR sums it up. Another take (actually more or less the same take): "Cyber attack latest: Vladimir Putin blames US for hack as thousands more computers hit by ransomware," per The Telegraph of Britain.
5. Howard Stern is back on the job this morning -- and he's fine(ish), people. He's fine(ish)!
"Why was it such a big deal that I took a f–king day off?" https://t.co/rzzIZdwOJP— Page Six (@PageSix) May 15, 2017
6. In print-media-about-print-media news:
Things are getting dark at Washington Post Magazine pic.twitter.com/9mNZj2t3jr— Ned Oliver (@nedoliver) May 14, 2017
7. And finally, John Oliver of HBO's "Last Week Tonight" has posted this special web-only update to his "Go FCC Yourself" net neutrality rant/campaign. Watch it to find out why Oliver wants you to hold off on commenting to the FCC at the moment:
Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.