President Trump's handlers clearly see his current overseas trip as a chance for a do-over, following all the not-exactly-rave reviews of his foreign adventure in May. So how's it going so far? Depends, more than ever, on whom you ask. Anyway, let's get started ...
1. There are, let's just say, competing narratives surrounding the president's visit to Poland today. For instance, here are a couple tweets from "Citizens for Trump" author Jack Posobiec:
Thousands of patriots in Poland chanting "Donald Trump! Donald Trump! Donald Trump!" pic.twitter.com/mMklaN9V4f— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) July 6, 2017
Seen in Poland today! pic.twitter.com/QfmRtef4ex— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) July 6, 2017
And here's a tweet from Newsweek:
That links to a Newsweek report by Jason Le Miere that reads, in part,
The reason that Trump is even in Poland is thought to be in no small part due to the fawning reception he has been promised. And the country's right-wing government is taking no chances to ensure the U.S. president gets his wish. Supporters will be bussed to Warsaw, the scene of Trump's speech Thursday, from all over Poland to participate in what has been deemed a "great patriotic picnic." ... [Law and Justice Party member Dominik] Tarczynski, as all members of the ruling party have been instructed to do, will bus in 50 of his constituents to provide a very different reception for Trump than he is likely to receive in Hamburg, where up to 100,000 protesters are expected.
(More on Hamburg below.)
2. Some context from The Daily Beast's Erin Gloria Ryan on how this is not just about optics: "President Snowflake: Trump Needs a Safe Space in Europe" (subhead: "He's a self-proclaimed brawler, but Trump didn't head straight for the handshake-snubbing Macron or mean lady Merkel at the G-20. No, first he needed an adoring hug from Poland").
3. What Trump has had to say about the media while in Poland has not escaped the attention of ... the media.
Trump attacks the media, CNN and NBC, in Poland: "They have been fake news for a long time." pic.twitter.com/xCxaUDE9pT— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 6, 2017
And I'll just leave this right here:
And these tweets too -- from Brian Klaas, author of "The Despot's Accomplice: How the West is Aiding & Abetting the Decline of Democracy":
Trump "jokes" about fake news w/ Poland's president: "Do you have that also?"— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) July 6, 2017
Poland's government has relentlessly attacked a free press.
Poland is a worrying illustration of "democratic backsliding," eroding democratic norms & institutions with damaging authoritarian tactics. https://t.co/AmrYDnYSxP— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) July 6, 2017
4. Speaking of Trump and the media, a story about his constant attacks on CNN -- and how they're reverberating among its employees -- dominates the front page of the business section of this morning's New York Times. Under the headline "A Network vs. the President" (tweaked to "The Network Against the Leader of the Free World" for the web), Michael M. Grynbaum writes,
The onslaught has contributed to a foxhole-like mentality inside CNN's offices, where security measures have been tightened and some hosts have considered abandoning their social media accounts because of abuse.
White House advisers have discussed a potential point of leverage over their adversary, a senior administration official said: a pending merger between CNN's parent company, Time Warner, and AT&T. Mr. Trump's Justice Department will decide whether to approve the merger, and while analysts say there is little to stop the deal from moving forward, the president's animus toward CNN remains a wild card.
5. Meanwhile, a reality TV star had a meltdown on social media -- but it wasn't President Trump. See "Rob Kardashian's Instagram disappears after Blac Chyna attack," per the AP (via Newsday).
6. If you were hoping this stressful week was going to get better, well, no. Looking ahead to Friday: "Hamburg braces for mass protests as G-20 makes the city a site of global discord," per The Washington Post.
7. And finally, in not-Trump and not-Kardashian news (!), a video on the isthishowyougoviral channel titled "Beastie Boys | Sabotage | Sesame Street Mashup" is climbing up YouTube's "Trending" chart this morning after going live yesterday. As NPR's Robin Hilton explains,
Back in 1994, The Beastie Boys released one of the decade's best videos. The spoof of '70s crime dramas, directed by Spike Jonze, helped make the band's full-throttle rap-rock song "Sabotage" a classic. Now a fan has recreated that video, scene for scene (more or less), using existing footage of Sesame Street Muppets.
And here's the original Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" video:
Thanks to Brian Braiker, Anthony Crupi, Ann-Christine Diaz and Jessica Wohl for their roundup suggestions.
Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.