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Media recommendations and tidbits for your weekend review
Attorney General Merrick Garland, shown here last November. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
The big news Thursday was that the Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel to investigate the case of classified documents found at the former office and home of President Joe Biden. More on that in just a moment.
A quick note: in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, there will be no newsletter on Monday. The Poynter Report will return on Tuesday. Now, on to some recommendations and media tidbits for your weekend, starting with the Biden document news.
* The Washington Post’s Perry Stein, Devlin Barrett and Matt Viser with “Garland appoints special counsel to probe Biden classified documents.” ([link removed])
* Also in the Post, Mark Berman with “Who is Robert Hur, special counsel for Biden classified documents probe?” ([link removed])
* The Associated Press’ Meg Kinnard with an excellent explainer: “What are special counsels and what do they do?” ([link removed])
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** Collier Prize for State Government Accountability
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** Now on to other news and stories …
* The New York Times’ Alexandra Berzon and Grace Ashford with “The Mysterious, Unregistered Fund That Raised Big Money for Santos.” ([link removed])
* HuffPost’s Sebastian Murdock with an exclusive: “Alex Jones Phone Dump Reveals Text Convos With Tucker Carlson.” ([link removed])
* The always-sensational Sally Jenkins, sports columnist at The Washington Post, with “The breathtaking violence of an ordinary NFL hit.” ([link removed])
* For The New York Times, Joseph Bernstein with “It’s the Coolest Rock Show in Ann Arbor. And Almost Everyone There Is Over 65.” ([link removed])
* For Andscape, Monique Judge with “Yes, Jerrod Carmichael hosted the Golden Globes because he’s Black.” ([link removed])
* Vogue’s Chloe Schama with “Florence Pugh’s Radical Self-Acceptance.” ([link removed])
* Notable media move: Robert Samuels, a national enterprise reporter for The Washington Post, is joining The New Yorker. Samuels has covered everything from George Floyd and systemic racism to figure skating during his time at the Post. Before Washington, Samuels worked at the Miami Herald.
* Another media move from Thursday: Politico star reporter Alex Thompson is moving over to Axios as a national political reporter. The New York Times’ Katie Robertson tweeted ([link removed]) that Thompson turned down offers from The Washington Post, Politico and Semafor.
* NBC News and MSNBC underwent a round of layoffs on Thursday. Several media outlets reported the number of layoffs were around 75 among a workforce of about 3,500. Deadline’s Ted Johnson reported ([link removed]) that no on-air staff was impacted. The layoffs come one day after a reorganization of the top executives at NBC News with New York Times’ deputy managing editor Rebecca Blumenstein being named the president of editorial for NBC News.
* Legendary rock guitarist Jeff Beck died Wednesday. He was 78. According to Beck’s publicist, the cause of death was bacterial meningitis. Daniel Kreps and Kory Grow have an obit in Rolling Stone ([link removed]) . Also, The New York Times’ Jon Pareles with “Jeff Beck’s 10 Essential Songs.” ([link removed])
* Washington Post national columnist Philip Bump with “Even the weather is now political.” ([link removed])
* Slate’s Nadira Goffe with “The World of Crackers Has Lost a Giant.” ([link removed])
* Do you like media dustups? Here’s a fun one from local sports radio. ESPN New York’s Michael Kay went on the air and threatened to get a producer from his station fired because the producer made a crack about the falling ratings of Kay’s show. Kay later claimed it was all just an act, that he was just performing. Gregg Giannotti, during the show he co-hosts with Boomer Esiason on station rival WFAN, crushed Kay for the whole thing. Awful Announcing’s Brandon Contes has the details ([link removed]) and here’s the clip ([link removed]) of Giannotti’s entertaining comeback.
** More resources for journalists
* Subscribe to PolitiFact’s weekly newsletter ([link removed]) . Get facts delivered straight to your inbox.
* Improve your skills to spot misinformation and find credible news online in one week with MediaWise’s free Find Facts Fast ([link removed]) text message course.
* Leadership Academy for Diversity in Media ([link removed]) (Seminar) — Apply by Feb. 17 ([link removed]) .
* Lead With Influence ([link removed]) (Feb. 2023) (Seminar) — Register by Jan 30 ([link removed]) .
Have feedback or a tip? Email Poynter senior media writer Tom Jones at .
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