Media Matters

* “Drastic independence.” That was what Joseph Pulitzer–yes, that Pulitzer–argued for when it comes to the relationship between editors and publishers–as well as from government and the general public. Today that would win you a prize for naiveté.

* “I don’t like to hear (“fake news”) aimed at my colleagues, but it’s just white noise now. It has never affected what we do.” That was NBC News Anchor Lester Holt, who was in town this week as part of the network’s “Across America” series. That was a very tactful and professional way of characterizing something that has most media members fuming off camera. Ask Jim Acosta.

* The media spotlight that made Dr. Christine Blasey Ford a household name and a White House nemesis, has adversely impacted her a helluva lot more than less-than-credible, newly-minted Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. “This has been terrifying,” said Ford’s attorney, Debra Katz. “(She and her family) are not living at home. … The threats have been unending.”

In the aftermath of that deplorable SCOTUS crucible, we’re left with a sobering societal message to women wanting to come forward about being victimized by sexual predators. Thanks again, Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell and, yes, Susan Collins.

* Where politics, partisanship, opportunism, the Fox network and show business converge: Hope Hicks, former Trump Organization director of communications and former White House communications director, is now executive vice president and chief communications officer for Fox. Seamless career track.

* Should we be adding Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to the list of potential 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls? The articulate, telegenic 47-year-old is currently on a media-centric “College Tour,” where he is ginning up interest in the critically important mid-term elections.

* Presidential historian Michael Beschloss’ new book, “Presidents of War,” is a sobering, scary reminder that the Cuban missile crisis didn’t teach us all that we thought it had taught. And that includes never again putting this country and this globe in jeopardy of nuclear Armageddon.

Via recently declassified documents, Beschloss reveals a set of preparations by Gen. William C. Westmoreland to have nuclear weapons handy for American forces in Vietnam. Westmoreland had put together a secret operation that involved moving nukes into South Vietnam so that they would be available on short notice against North Vietnamese troops. That was 1968–six years after the missile crisis and 23 years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Westmoreland plan was ultimately rejected by President Lyndon Johnson.

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