1. How can you get people to stop talking about the whole Trump-Russia thing for a minute? How about a series of tweets like this?:
After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
....Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
....victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017
Think of this as the strategically-timed tossing of dual-purpose red meat that will please some of Trump's most socially conservative voters and also send the media into a (helpfully distracting) frenzy.
+ See also: "Attorney General Jeff Sessions will soon announce several criminal leak investigations," per Fox News. "A U.S. official familiar with the discussions said Tuesday that the planned announcement surrounding stepped-up efforts on leak investigations has 'been in the works for some time and will most likely happen sometime in the next week.'"
2. The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The New York Times all feature large photos of John McCain above the fold on their front pages this morning as part of their coverage of the Arizona senator's role in the current healthcare legislative drama -- with the later paper offering the most vivid (and poetic) account of McCain's headline-making return to D.C. Per NYT's Jennifer Steinhauer,
Senator John McCain is less the lion of the Senate than its wildcat, veering through the decades from war hero to Republican presidential nominee to irascible foil for an unlikely president. On Tuesday, Mr. McCain ambled gingerly into the Capitol to sustained applause less than two weeks after brain surgery, casting a vote to aid President Trump, who has served as more tormentor than ally. But moments later in a speech on the Senate floor, Mr. McCain turned what had been an uplifting moment for his Republican colleagues -- whom he saved from an embarrassing failure on the floor -- into an ominous cloud for any health care legislation. He said that ... he would definitely not vote for a Senate health care bill without major changes.
3. "Viacom Inc. has informed Scripps Networks Interactive it is willing to pay all cash to acquire the U.S. TV network operator, sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday," Jessica Toonkel of Reuters reports. "The move by Viacom, which had $12.17 billion in debt as of March 31, could potentially mean that the $14.3 billion media company would lose its investment-grade status to buy the $10.6 billion Scripps."
4. So Keith Kelly was right. Per his "Media Ink" column in this morning's New York Post,
The big selloff is under way at Time Inc. "We are looking to sell Coastal Living, Sunset and Golf," a Time Inc. spokeswoman confirmed on Tuesday, ending weeks of speculation. Media Ink had reported back on June 15 -- in the wake of Time' s announcement that it was chopping 300 jobs worldwide and would engage in "portfolio rationalization" -- that rumors were swirling that those three titles were going to be sold.
5. Speaking of magazines ...
6. Sure, OK, yeah, that makes sense. "'Daily Show' Alum Jordan Klepper Says New Comedy Central Show Is 'Alex Jones Meets Garrison Keillor'," per Variety.
7. And finally, to come full circle to the Twittersphere, "#TrumpWritesHallmarkCards" was a top 10 trending topic on Twitter this morning. I leave you with half a dozen of the most retweeted and hearted:
Roses are red, Rosie is fat,— FTJ (@fairytalejedi) July 26, 2017
If you're over 30, I'm not into that.#TrumpWritesHallmarkCards
It's Hillary's Fault I Forgot Your Birthday— Dreamweasel (@Dreamweasel) July 26, 2017
Happy Quinceañera. Most of your relatives are murderers and rapists and some, I assume, are good people. #TrumpWritesHallmarkCards— Dont Thinkso (@DontThinkso555) July 26, 2017
You're another year older. SAD! #TrumpWritesHallmarkCards— Jamie Lynn 🏄🏼♀️ (@jamielynn8282) July 26, 2017
Merry Christmas, which you couldn't even legally say when Obama was President. #TrumpWritesHallmarkCards— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) July 26, 2017
#TrumpWritesHallmarkCards Sorry for your loss but I like people who aren't dead.— Dana (@sunkisseeddd) July 26, 2017
Thanks to Jeanine Poggi and E. J. Schultz for their roundup suggestions.
Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.