Exec summary:Michael Oreskes is on leave from NPR... "House of Cards" is on hold... Tech execs are back on Capitol Hill on Wednesday... World Series game seven will be on Wednesday night...
Journalists scramble to cover terror attack right in their backyard
The initial reports of an "active shooter" in lower Manhattan were wrong. So were the reports a few minutes later of a "road rage" incident. But unfortunately the reports of multiple fatalities were right. The 3pm hour was consumed by confusing reports of injures along the West Side Highway in NYC. During the 4pm hour, it became clear that the injuries were from a truck attack -- and that it was being investigated as terrorism. In the 5pm hour, officials said eight people were dead in an "act of terror."
-- Anderson Cooper, anchoring "AC360" from downtown, said the attack happened on a "bike path along the Hudson River that so many people, myself included, consider one of the best things about living here in NYC..."
-- Page one headline in Wednesday's NYT: "MILE-LONG MANHATTAN TRUCK ATTACK KILLS 8"
"Here we go again..."
Brian Lowry emails: "Here we go again," said Fox's Martha MacCallum, introducing an interview in the 7pm hour. By that point Shepard Smith was reporting from the scene. On MSNBC, Chris Matthews referred to the tactic of using vehicles in acts of terrorism as "weapons of mass, not mass, but big destruction..."
Hannity promoting Trump's push for "extreme vetting"
@realDonaldTrump at 9:26pm: "I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!"
Oliver Darcy emails: In the immediate aftermath of mass shootings, Fox News opinion hosts traditionally argue against politicizing the deadly incidents. But in the wake of a terror attack, there's apparently another standard. Sean Hannity used Tuesday's attack in Manhattan to push for Trump's proposed extreme vetting. Laura Ingraham followed his lead on her program, warning of people "gaming" our immigration system. I'm just curious: Why one standard for mass shootings and another for terror attacks?
Inside the NY1 newsroom
Less than a mile away from the attack site, the Village Halloween Parade went on as scheduled Tuesday night. My wife Jamie, who works at NY1, co-hosts the official parade telecast with Pat Kiernan each year, so I was in the NY1 newsroom as producers and execs mobilized to cover the attack.
At 6pm, NY1 faced a very difficult decision. Authorities had just declared the truck attack an "act of terror." But they also said the parade would still take place, albeit with stepped-up security. The NY1 broadcast was supposed to start in two hours. So: Cancel it and keep covering the breaking news? Or stick with tradition and air the parade, with thousands of New Yorkers taking to the streets, refusing to be terrorized? As I listened in, I felt like I was back in a J-school ethics class. The execs came up with a compromise: No costumes or crazy banter. Send Kiernan to report from the parade for the breaking news coverage. Send Jamie and Roger Clark to host a parade telecast on Facebook Live and air it on TV overnight. The solution worked well. It just struck me as interesting because it's the kind of solution that wasn't possible until a few years ago... But now it's commonplace in newsrooms...
Keep "lone wolves" anonymous?
Speaking on "CNN Tonight," Nick Kristof said he's reflecting on the role of the media: "I do think that sometimes these 'lone wolves' want to be heroes. And I think maybe we in the media should have second thoughts about publicizing their names. I fear that we create an incentive for them to commit some of these acts, and that we should maybe keep them anonymous..."
THE WEINSTEIN EFFECT
NPR head of news Mike Oreskes placed on leave
WashPost's Paul Farhi broke the news on Tuesday afternoon: "NPR is investigating allegations by two women who said the head of its news department," SVP Michael Oreskes, "made unwanted physical contact with them" while he was employed by the NYT "nearly two decades ago." The two women shared the allegations with an NPR attorney in mid-October. Per Farhi's story, "both said they were motivated to come forward now by NPR's coverage of recent sexual harassment episodes, especially those involving Harvey Weinstein..."
Current NPR employee says Oreskes made her uncomfortable
Shortly after Farhi's story came out, NPR placed Oreskes on an indefinite leave. An NPR spokeswoman confirmed the move to me.
Perhaps the public radio network was bracing for other accusations from other women. On Tuesday evening, NPR's own media correspondent, David Folkenflik, followed up on Farhi's story with a current employee's account "of filing a formal complaint with the network's human resources division in October 2015." The journalist, Rebecca Hersher, "says she considers the incident less severe but nevertheless felt it crossed a line and made her uncomfortable."
-- Impressive transparency in Folkenflik's story:He says he looked into the Hersher incident in spring 2016, but she wouldn't go on the record, and he was "unable to confirm a pattern of behavior by Oreskes..."
NPR CEO's internal memo
Here's the message staffers received from NPR CEO Jarl Mohn: "The Washington Post reported on allegations that have been made against NPR SVP for News Mike Oreskes. We take these kinds of allegations very seriously. If a concern is raised, we review the matter promptly... As I have emphasized, we need to know if you believe you have experienced or are aware of any incidence of harassment or other inappropriate behavior at NPR... This is our NPR. And I will stand up for it, and every one of you."
"House of Cards" on hold
Sandra Gonzalez reports:Production on the sixth and final season of "House of Cards" was halted on Tuesday after star Kevin Spacey was accused of sexual assault by an actor who claims he was a minor at the time of the alleged incident. MRC and Netflix said production was suspended "until further notice" to "give us time to review the current situation and to address any concerns of our cast and crew..."
What's next for Spacey?
More from Sandra: Exactly how Hollywood organizations will react to the allegations against Spacey remains unclear. When reached by CNN, a spokesperson for the SAG-AFTRA, a labor union which represents actors and performers, would not comment on Spacey, an 11-time SAG Award nominee and four-time recipient. But other organizations were swifter to distance themselves from the actor... Read more here...
There were also new developments on Tuesday involving Mark Halperin and Harvey Weinstein... Scroll down for the details...
For the record, part one
-- President Trump's communications director Hope Hicks "is set to be interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller's team in mid-November..." (CNN)
-- A reporter for ShareBlue was "violently arrested while trying to film Virginia Gov. hopeful Ed Gillespie at a public event..." (ThinkProgress)
Day one of the Facebook, Twitter, Google testimony
Tuesday's hearing by the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism was the first of three sessions with Google/FB/Twitter reps. "The tech companies were pressed on their ability to prevent bad actors from taking advantage of their platforms through ads and regular posts," Seth Fiegerman and Dylan Byers report. Two more hearings on Wednesday. Here's a recap of day one...
"Your power sometimes scares me."
That was Sen. John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican, speaking at the Tuesday hearing. "I'm very proud that the three companies you are presenting here today are American companies and I think you do enormous good, but your power sometimes scares me," he said...
Dylan Byerstweeted:"Senate Judiciary hearing lacked focus: Not clear what Senators trying to achieve; whether they care about all content or just ads, etc... What's really at issue: Facebook et al should have recognized problem much earlier. So: What are they doing to handle differently in future?"
Quotes and notes
-- Sean Edgett, acting general counsel at Twitter, said the spread of "fake news" and propaganda "creates not only a bad user experience, but also a distrust for the platform... So we are committed every single day to getting better at solving this problem..."
-- NYT's Mike Isaac tweeted: "It's important to again note that of the three tech companies... sent their CEOs to testify today..."
-- Recode's Edmund Lee: "Main takeaway from #TechHearings so far -- your congressional representatives (both Dems and GOP) have no idea how social media works..."
-- Cox Media Group is selling the Palm Beach Post, the Palm Beach Daily News and the Austin American-Statesman... (Statesman)
-- Claire Wardle is introducing a new framework to describe the "information disorder" we are dealing with, distinguishing between Mis-information, Dis-information and Mal-information... (First Draft)
-- Reporting by three bloggers in Brooklyn played a role in the eventual indictment of Paul Manafort... (The Daily Beast)
Source: Two open NYPD investigations into Harvey Weinstein
CNN's Brynn Gingras reports: There are two open NYPD investigations into Harvey Weinstein based on accusers who say they were sexually assaulted, a law enforcement source tells CNN. One involves Lucia Evans, the source says, who first spoke with The New Yorker's Ronan Farrow. A second unnamed victim has also come forward through the NYPD's rape hotline with sexual assault allegations against Weinstein, the source adds. The NYPD has received other calls into the rape hotline related to Weinstein and investigators are looking into those claims as well...
Heilemann says he was "shocked" about Halperin allegations
Oliver Darcy emails: John Heilemann, who has declined CNN's requests for comment over the past several days, told the NYT's Michael Grynbaum in an article published Tuesday afternoon that he was "flabbergasted and shocked" by the sexual harassment allegations against Mark Halperin. Heilemann called the allegations "horrific and shocking" and said they were "not consistent with the person I thought I knew."
The partnership between Halperin and Heilemann is now over, according to the Times, though it's still unclear what will happen to the reporting Halperin did for the now-canned third installment of "Game Change." Heilemann said the duo had conducted approximately 300 interviews for the book and that the reporting "touches on important things both for history and the current national dialogue."
>> Grynbaum also reported on Twitter that Halperin has been dropped by his longtime agency CAA...
Laura's big launch night
"Laura Ingraham's new 10pm Fox News show came in first for the hour, drawing 3.27 million total viewers and 622,000 in the A25-54 demo. While the viewer lead was commanding," TVNewser's Chris Ariens writes, "Ingraham's edge in the demo over Lawrence O'Donnell was by just 10,000 viewers..."
At 11pm, Brian Williams was #1 in the demo, while Fox's new 11pm host Shannon Bream was #1 in total viewers...
October cable #'s are in
TVNewser has the spin from all the cable news networks here. The "rising tide" continues to lift all "cable news boats," Mediaite's Justin Baragona said in this column that focuses on CNN's success. "For the year, CNN looks to be on pace to secure its highest ever number when it comes to total day viewership in both total viewers and the key demo," he wrote. "It also looks like it will have one of its best years in primetime viewership as the network should end with its second largest viewership in primetime since 2008..."
The median age #'s
Brian Lowry emails:There's an interesting nugget buried in CNN's ratings press release for October, suggesting that the growth in MSNBC's audience has disproportionately come, not surprisingly, from older viewers. CNN noted that its total-day median age was its lowest since 2008, "while MSNBC is at its oldest on record." The takeaway image is one of MSNBC viewers, in the age of Trump, behaving a bit more like Fox News viewers -- namely, parking in front of the TV and keeping the all-day outrage machine running...
For the record, part three
By Francesca Giuliani-Hoffman:
-- PBS has ordered a travel food series from Vox Media. It will be called "No Passport Required" and hosted by Red Rooster Harlem chef Marcus Samuelsson... (THR)
-- Speaking of Vox Media, Vox did some interesting text analysis on a week's worth of Fox News transcripts to document how the narrative questioning Robert Mueller's credibility took shape... (Vox)
-- Visitors from "flyby" readers are more valuable than initially thought. Parsely data says 68% of those visits are longer than 15 seconds... (Digiday)
Trump has a fog machine. Journalists have to see through it
Oliver Darcy emails: I spoke with several Fox News employees on Monday and Tuesday about their network's coverage of the latest revelations in the investigation into Russian election meddling -- and it's safe to say, some staffers were not happy. A Fox News personality texted me while watching the network's Russia coverage saying, "I'm watching now and screaming. I want to quit."
A senior Fox News employee told me "Fox feels like an extension of the Trump White House." That person added to me it was "another blow to journalists" at the network who want to be fair and objective. Other Fox News employees characterized their network's coverage as "an embarrassment" and said such coverage "does the viewer a huge disservice and further divides the country."
After our story published, a Fox News spokesperson insisted to me that the network covered the breaking news yesterday accurately and fairly across both news and opinion programming...
Media Matters testifies against Fox in hearing about Sky
"The UK regulator investigating 21st Century Fox's proposed takeover of UK broadcaster Sky plc heard testimony last week from a longtime Fox foe: The liberal watchdog group Media Matters," Hadas Gold reports.Media Matters prez Angelo Carusone testified last Friday... Details here...
Frank Pallotta emails: As is the tradition, the hosts of popular A.M. shows got into their best costumes for the Halloween holiday. "Today" had a country music theme that saw Matt Lauer dress as Dolly Parton (seriously) and NBC newbie Megyn Kelly strut her stuff as Shania Twain, who then popped in to guest on Kelly's show...
My favorite costume from this morning, however, was the switcheroo on "Live with Kelly & Ryan" with Ryan as Kelly and Kelly as Ryan...