Colbert Has Some Alternatives to The Washington Post's New 'Democracy Dies in Darkness' Slogan

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Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Thursday, Feb. 23:

Yesterday in this space we attempted something risky: a (relatively) Trump-free edition of your morning media roundup. It actually went pretty well. Today, though, is another story -- or, rather, a day (like most other recent days) when Trump-related stories explictly or implicitly dominate our mix. We were just going to suggest you head over to TMZ for a Trump-free experience, but we just checked and of course one of the top stories on its homepage this morning is Trump-related: "'Cash Me Ousside' Girl: My Hired Muscle Has Trump Rally Experience!!! ... HowBow Dah?!" For the record, we could not bring ourselves to read it. Anyway, let's get started ...

1. "Apple, Uber and Microsoft took aim at President Donald Trump after he issued a directive on Wednesday that rolls back federal protections for transgender students in public schools," Politico's Tony Romm reports this morning in a post headlined "Tech opens new war with Trump over transgender rights rollback."

2. Alan Colmes, 1950-2017. "Fox News Channel's Alan Colmes has passed away at age 66 after a brief illness," per Fox News. "Bill Hemmer announced the sad news this morning on 'America's Newsroom,' which then aired a tribute package from Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity, his former co-host on 'Hannity & Colmes.' In a statement this morning, Hannity called Alan Colmes "one of life's most decent, kind and wonderful people you'd ever want to meet."

3. "Kellyanne Conway, once the most visible spokesperson for the Trump White House, was sidelined from television appearances for a week for making statements that were at odds with the administration's official stance, White House sources told CNNMoney on Wednesday," per a post by Dylan Byers headlined "Kellyanne Conway sidelined from TV after Flynn debacle."

4. "The Truth Is Hard." So says The New York Times in its first-ever Oscars commercial in a new brand campaign out of Droga5. Creativity has the story (and the 30-second spot).

5. Speaking of The New York Times, its front page this morning features a story headlined "Uber's Culture of Gutsiness Under Review" -- retitled for the web as "Inside Uber's Aggressive, Unrestrained Workplace Culture." That's actually a rather restrained headline for a story that includes passages such as:

Among the most egregious accusations from employees, who either witnessed or were subject to incidents and who asked to remain anonymous because of confidentiality agreements and fear of retaliation: One Uber manager groped female co-workers' breasts at a company retreat in Las Vegas. A director shouted a homophobic slur at a subordinate during a heated confrontation in a meeting. Another manager threatened to beat an underperforming employee's head in with a baseball bat.

6. Per The Washington Post's Philip Bump: "New surveys from Quinnipiac University and McClatchy-Marist reveal that Trump -- never terribly popular nationally -- continues to be seen as dishonest, a poor leader and unstable. What's more, the U.S. is embarrassed by him."

7. And finally, speaking of The Washington Post, in the wake of it introducing a new slogan -- "Democracy Dies in Darkness" -- that appears just below its logo at, Stephen Colbert declared on CBS's "Late Show" last night that the paper "has officially entered its goth phase" and then served up alternatives he claims the paper rejected, including "No, You Shup Up!" and "Come At Me, Bro!"

Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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