Out in three hours; Met Gala highlights; Denver's rebellion; Trump's book club; Roberts v. Iger; North leaving Fox for NRA; "This is America"

By Brian Stelter and CNN's media team
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Exec summary: With Comcast thinking about a bid for 21CF, Disney is about to report earnings... With primaries in several states, James Fallows is here with some advice for reporters...

Also coming Tuesday: Trump's Iran deal announcement, protests against The Denver Post's owner, and more...

The New Yorker's reporting prompts Schneiderman's resignation

6:47pm: The New Yorker publishes its investigation into Eric Schneiderman. Headline: "Four Women Accuse New York's Attorney General of Physical Abuse."

9:46pm: Schneiderman resigns.

This was a stunning turn of events for several reasons. Schneiderman was an outspoken proponent of the #MeToo movement. His office is suing Harvey and Bob Weinstein. Just a few weeks ago, he publicly congratulated the NYT and The New Yorker for winning a Pulitzer for uncovering Weinstein's abuse. Little did he know that The New Yorker was looking into allegations against him.

Per Yashar Ali, this story had been "in the works for at least 4-6 weeks." Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow interviewed two women on the record and reported the accounts of two other women -- all of whom "accuse Schneiderman of having subjected them to nonconsensual physical violence." He says he "strongly contests" the allegations...

What now?

Schneiderman's last official day on the job will be Tuesday. As I reported on "CNN Tonight," the work of the NY A.G. office -- like its lawsuit against Weinstein -- will continue, at least for the time being...

 --> And the speculation about his successor is already underway. On the air, Bakari Sellers brought up Hakeem Jeffries and I mentioned Preet Bharara...

Scoop after scoop for Farrow

 —— This story was Farrow's first co-byline at The New Yorker... Jane Mayer was the first name on the story...

 —— Mayer will be on "Morning Joe" and "Morning Edition" in the A.M...

 —— I have to wonder: Every time Farrow breaks another story, do staffers at NBC wince? Chris Hayes gave him a shout out on MSNBC Monday night... "Yet another incredible piece of reporting from The New Yorker..."

 —— He's a juggler: This is Farrow's second big story in 24 hours. On Sunday night he dropped a piece about an Israeli intel firm hired to discredit the Iran deal. Meantime, he's on a book tour for "War on Peace..." His next stop is London... And he's working with HBO on a series of investigative specials...

Comcast is thinking about a Fox bid

Reuters' Greg Roumeliotis and Liana B. Baker broke this news Monday evening: Comcast is speaking to investment banks "about obtaining bridge financing for an all-cash bid" to gate-crash Disney's $52 billion acquisition of most of 21st Century Fox. The reporters cited "three people familiar with the matter."

There's no official comment from Comcast... But Brian Roberts is obviously considering a move to trump Bob Iger's bid for the Fox assets...

 -- WHAT NOW? Well, it largely depends on what the judge rules in the US vs. AT&T case...

 -- HOW WE GOT HERE: Dylan Byers' PACIFIC newsletter is essential reading on this subject... Last month he wrote about the "deep animus" between Roberts and Iger...

The Denver rebellion

Virtually the entire newsroom of The Denver Post has come together to protest the actions of its owner, the hedge fund Alden Global Capital. A rebellion that began about a month ago with a remarkable editorial continued on Monday when staffers condemned what they called last week's "censorship" of editorial page editor Chuck Plunkett. You'll recall that he resigned when management rejected his latest anti-Alden piece.

Monday's open letter to readers was signed by 55 of the newsroom's roughly 70 staffers. Now the ball is back in Alden's court. My emails to the company were unanswered... And newsroom staffers say they haven't heard anything, either... Here's my full story...

Protests on Tuesday

Per tipsters in Denver, there are pro-Post, anti-Alden protests being organized in NYC and Denver... In New York, the action will take place outside Alden's HQ at noon ET... In Denver, there will be a gathering outside the paper's offices at noon MT...

 --> What's it like in the Post newsroom? "We're all trying to put out a newspaper with a very diminished and demoralized staff while also fighting for our ethics and jobs," a staffer says...

 --> Ken Doctor hears: "A fresh round of budget cuts in the range of 10 to 15% is being planned for the paper, along with other Digital First Media properties..."
Happening on Tuesday...
 -- Discovery will report Q1 earnings before the bell... Disney, after the market close...

 -- Trump is promising a 2pm ET announcement about the fate of the Iran deal...

 -- In prime time: Results from key primary races in WV, IN, OH, and other states...

 -- 🔌: I'll be joining Dan Rather on his SiriusXM talk show around 10:30am...

Reports: POTUS not happy with Rudy's media blitz

Rudy Giuliani was added to Trump's legal team 19 days ago. This means he's already outlasted Anthony Scaramucci in Trump's orbit. But the "will he last?" chatter is getting louder. "Trump has grown frustrated with Giuliani's scattershot TV appearances," the AP's Jonathan Lemire reported Monday evening.

"I think we can all acknowledge that Rudy is making a fool of himself," Jeffrey Toobin said on "AC360." He predicted that Giuliani would leave the team once a decision is made about whether Trump will speak with Robert Mueller...

Trump's book club

"Something very strange has happened over the past three and a half months: President Donald Trump has started a book club of sorts -- recommending no fewer than seven books to his Twitter followers." It's strange, Chris Cillizza writes, "because Trump is a notoriously disinterested reader."

Trump's latest recommendation, on Monday, was Salena Zito and Brad Todd's book "The Great Revolt." Todd coined "take Trump seriously, not literally," a notion Zito popularized during the campaign...

Better to be opposed than endorsed?

Here's the thing. Trump's tweets do give the books a temporary bump on Amazon. As Publishers Weekly editorial director Jim Milliot told me, "Given the great need for a book to find a way to rise above the hundreds of thousands of books that are published annually, any kind of plug from Trump would be welcomed." But Trump hasn't shown an ability to make someone else's book No. 1 through his endorsement. Instead, it's the books he has opposed -- specifically Michael Wolff and James Comey's books -- that have been the biggest beneficiaries of his tweets...

Three newsy books out on Tuesday

Jon Meacham's next book, "The Soul of America," is #2 on Amazon right now... It's out on Tuesday, along with James and Deborah Fallows' "Our Towns" and the aforementioned "The Great Revolt..."

Getting beyond the national "sound bites"

"Our Towns" is about "a 100,000-mile journey" across America, reaffirming that the country is far stronger than its politics suggest. I've been looking forward to this book for a while. I asked James Fallows if there's a lesson for the news media embedded in it... Here's his response:

"Our experience is that the very least enlightening way to learn about conditions and attitudes across the country is the one that comes most naturally to people in our business. Namely, to start out by asking people to place their own stories, or the community's story, on the too-familiar grid of national politics. That is, Does their experience make them more likely to support Trump? Or less so? More supportive of Robert Mueller? Or less?"

Fallows says that's the worst approach to take.

"Over the years we were continually impressed by the nationwide spread of what you could consider 'talk-show suitable sound bites.' If you ask almost anyone, anywhere, one of these familiar topics, you'll get an answer that you've already heard somewhere in the cable-verse. Instead we found it usually more enlightening, and always more interesting, to ask people about their families, communities, and institutions on their own terms: What was getting better, what was getting worse, what they thought the most important changes would be. If they thought of some connection to national-scale R/D struggles, they could volunteer that -- but they rarely did."

Fallows' point: "Life in every part of the country, major metropolis or small hamlet, is lived in three dimensions -- or more. Asking people 'So how do you like Trump now?' etc flattens everything into a misleading 2D realm..."
For the record, part one
 -- The Cannes Film Festival gets underway on Tuesday... This year, the festival is alerting attendees to the existence of a sexual harassment hotline... (Variety)

 -- Ahead of next week's upfronts, NBC Entertainment chair Bob Greenblatt talked with Dylan Byers about his push for lighter ad loads... (CNNMoney)

 -- The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group is "launching an investigation into whether its president interfered in stories about a record executive friend accused of sexual harassment..." (The Daily Beast)

Phnom Penh Post sale rings alarm bells

CNNMoney's Charles Riley emails with his latest: "Press freedom campaigners have warned of the death of independent journalism in Cambodia after a pioneering newspaper was sold to an investor who reportedly has close ties to the government."

The Phnom Penh Post, and its rival paper, the Cambodia Daily, have long served as a proving ground for foreign journalists in Asia. But the Cambodia Daily was shuttered last fall. And now "at least five leading journalists at the Phnom Penh Post -- including the top editor -- have resigned or been fired." The paper has been "sold to an investor who reportedly has close ties to the government."

Riley's point: "The top ranks of western publications are filled with former Phnom Penh Post reporters and editors, and losing that pipeline would have significant implications for journalism in Asia, and elsewhere." More...
BACK IN THE USA...

Oliver North leaving Fox News for the NRA

Oliver North will become the National Rifle Association's new president "within a few weeks," the group said Monday... Which means he is leaving his longtime home, Fox News.

A Fox spokeswoman said North has retired from the network, "effective immediately." Fox may still air North's long-running docuseries "War Stories" in the future, but that's TBD...

Reality check about Trump's approval rating among African Americans

Sometimes I think it's worth dissecting a single false claim to see HOW it happened. That's what I did with Trump saying "I doubled my African American poll numbers," a bogus idea that originated on The Daily Caller website. On Sunday Reuters said its survey data had been misconstrued. On Monday, a new CNN poll backed up that assessment.

Last week Trump thanked Kanye West while claiming his approval rating among African Americans had "doubled." But CNN's new poll conducted by SSRS has him at just 7% approval among African Americans. The last time CNN polled, in March, it was at 11%. Not a significant change since then...
For the record, part two
 -- Shan Wang reports: "The New York Times is ramping up conference calls for subscribers that are run a little like radio shows..." (NiemanLab)

 -- YouTube and Vevo "signed a new deal at the end of last year, but never announced it," Peter Kafka reveals... (Recode)

 -- MTV vet Lauren Dolgen is the new head of BuzzFeed Studios... She "will oversee the company's slate of original content..." (Variety)

THE MET GALA

The Met Gala! Over-the-top outfits and moments. What's not to love? My wife Jamie went to bed a bit early, but some of her favorites on the carpet were Rihanna (above), Lena Waithe (below), Kate Bosworth, Mindy Kaling, Katy Perry, Jared Leto, and SZA...

Chloe Melas emails: Katy Perry hit the carpet wearing six-foot angel wings, Rihanna was giving us major pope feels, and 2 Chainz proposed to Kesha Ward on the carpet... She said yes, though it was unclear if this was Epps' original proposal... Read the full story here...

Kanye laying low?

Melas adds: People were wondering whether Kim Kardashian would be accompanied by her husband Kanye West... Since he's been in the news lately... But on Monday, he was a no show. Perhaps he's laying low? Probably a good idea...

For more highlights...

I recommend Vogue.com... Here's the website's best dressed slideshow...
For the record, part three
 -- Variety's new TV critics: "Veteran journalist Daniel D'Addario is coming on board as chief TV critic, and Caroline Framke is joining as TV critic..."

 -- Chloe Melas emails: Thought you had a pretty cool 30th birthday? Adele just topped yours...
The entertainment desk

28 million views (so far) for "This is America"

How many times have you watched Childish Gambino's "This Is America" video? I've been watching its YouTube view count skyrocket on Monday... Right now, it's over 28 million, and climbing fast...

Decoding the video

Lisa Respers France writes: "Directed by 'Atlanta' director Hiro Murai, the video is pretty surreal and packed full of messages. It's expansive and filmed in a warehouse, which allows for a lot of action. As much as your eye will be drawn to Donald Glover as a shirtless Gambino, pay close attention also to what is happening in the background."

Here's a complete breakdown of the video... And here are the lyrics...
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL

Will Netflix bid on "Everybody Knows?"

"Netflix executives have expressed interest in acquiring 'Everybody Knows,' the opening night film at this year's Cannes Film Festival," Variety's Ramin Setoodeh reported Monday.

This is noteworthy given the serious tension between Netflix and Cannes... Details here...

Ken Jeong rescued a fan

A whole lot of distressing news today. So let's try to end this newsletter on an upbeat note.

Lisa Respers France emails: "Hangover" star Ken Jeong didn't just play a doctor on TV, he was also once a practicing physician. The comedic actor who left medicine to pursue Hollywood stardom reportedly used his skills over the weekend after a fan fell ill during his standup comedy show...
 I C Y M I 

Here are some highlights from Sunday's "Reliable Sources"

You can listen to the podcast via Apple Podcasts or other apps... Watch video clips on CNN.com... Watch the full episode on VOD or CNNgo... Or read the transcript here...

Writing through the pain

It's been a week since ten Afghan journalists were killed on a single terrible day in the country. Mujib Mashal is the NYT's senior correspondent in Afghanistan -- and he put work on hold to bury his friend Shah Marai -- so on Sunday's "Reliable" I asked him how he copes with the pain. "I write it," he said, adding, "The emotions that I feel, the loss that I feel, I try to put that into words and share..."

The "forgotten war"

Mashal said he agrees with the common characterization of Afghanistan as "the forgotten war:" "Where else around the world do you have 50 people dead in a day, and it gets such little attention?" So he writes... Read/watch the full interview here...

Both "brilliant" and a "predator"

Kyle Godfrey-Ryan is one of Charlie Rose's former assistants. She was one of the sources for the original WashPost story about Rose's behavior. And she is now a co-founder of Press Forward. On Sunday, in her first TV interview about Rose, she told me he was both "brilliant" and a "predator." It is "possible to be more than one thing," she said. Here's a full recap of the interview by CNNMoney's Jackie Wattles...

Amanda Carpenter's take

"Assume the lies will keep working until someone can go toe to toe with him and confront him." That was Amanda Carpenter's message about Trump on Sunday's "Reliable Sources." She said "I don't see anyone other than Michael Avenatti doing that right now. He's doing a better job than anyone in the entire Democratic Party -- where are they?"

"Almost a grifter"

Carl Bernstein, speaking with me on "Reliable Sources," said that Giuliani has been portraying Trump "as almost a grifter with no interest in anything but conning the American people..." Presenting Trump as "totally unconcerned with truth, especially about this question of whether the Russians have interfered in our electoral campaigns and [whether] he was a knowing or unknowing participant in what they were doing." That's the "BIG story," Bernstein said -- the story reporters have to stay focused on...
What do you think?
Email your feedback and thoughts to brian.stelter@turner.com... the feedback helps us improve this newsletter every day... Thanks!
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