Reliable Sources: Don’t fall numb to this Facebook hack


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A version of this article first appeared in the Reliable Sources newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

Exec summary: Hello from the late night DC to NYC train… Here are the day’s media headlines, from “New Fox” to Facebook…

Facebook

Donie O’Sullivan emails: This could be Facebook’s worst week… and that’s saying something.

Amid the SCOTUS drama, it was easy to miss. But the breach Facebook announced last Friday is the worst in the company’s history.

I think we all have data breach fatigue. And it’s been a challenge for reporters to convey how serious this is. But here’s what you need to know: If you are among the 50 million people whose data was exposed, the hackers could log in as you. They had the chance to get into your entire Facebook world.

Facebook’s investigation is ongoing, but if they find anything other than the best-case scenario (that they caught the hackers before they accessed data) things could get ugly very fast.

Lawmakers will be briefed later this week

Donie adds: A source familiar with Facebook’s plans told me Monday night that the company is expected to brief lawmakers in Washington on the breach later this week.

You can log in to hundreds of websites (think dating apps) with Facebook. We did a story earlier in the day looking at how those companies are determining if their users’ data was also exposed. (Hint: not very well!)

Putting this in perspective…

“The reason the Facebook hack isn’t getting crazy attention is because the republic is falling apart,” NYT’s Mike Isaac tweeted Monday in his patented style. “Were we not in the middle of this SCOTUS thing, people would realize how mindblowingly bad this hack is.”

Kavanaugh’s future hinges on his past

“If you set yourself up to be a choir boy,” Don Lemon said…

“…You better be able to sing!” Chris Cuomo said.

While the FBI continues investigating Brett Kavanaugh, and lawmakers continue fretting about how extensive the investigation will be, stories keep coming about Kavanaugh’s past behavior. Accounts about his drinking in high school and college are relevant “because there are serious questions tonight about the veracity” of his testimony, Lemon said on CNN Monday night…

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A bar fight in 1985…

Right now the headline on CNN.com reads “Police questioned Kavanaugh after bar fight in 1985.”

The NYT had the story, backed up by a police report, first. There’s no disputing the police report. But Kavanaugh backers, including Sarah Sanders, are questioning the source, specifically NYT Mag staff writer Emily Bazelon, who had the first byline on the story.

Bazelon is a Yale grad and a lecturer there. She criticized Kavanaugh back in July, saying “he’s a 5th vote for a hard-right turn on voting rights and so much more that will harm the democratic process & prevent a more equal society.”

Sanders pointed to Bazelon’s tweet on Monday night and asked if her opinion of the judge motivated her “to write this ridiculous story…”

>> Heading into Tuesday, here’s the big picture, via CNN’s Lauren Fox: “Kavanaugh’s drinking at Yale comes into renewed focus…”

FOR THE RECORD, PART ONE

— As expected, FB’s head of News Feed Adam Mosseri is taking overInstagram, effective immediately… (CNNMoney)

— Speaking of Insta: Sarah Frier is writing a book about the app… (Twitter)

— “Google’s ad chief Sridhar Ramaswamy is leaving to be a general partner at Greylock Partners…” (CNBC)

— The News & Doc Emmys just wrapped up in NYC… I’ll have highlights tomorrow…

Variety’s New Power of New York list

Here’s a sneak peek at the cover of Variety’s annual New York issue, featuring Seth Meyers on the New Power of New York list:

Full disclosure/proud husband brag, my wife Jamie Stelter is on the list as “NY’s wake-up call…” The full list will be up on Variety.com on Tuesday morning, but here are the twelve featured pairings… mini-profiles written by colleagues, friends, admirers of those on the list:

Ronan Farrow by Samantha Bee; Suzanne Scott by Lachlan Murdoch;Meghan McCain by Joe Biden; Timothee Chalamet by Armie Hammer;Radhika Jones by Lena Waithe; Cardi B by Michelle Williams; Monica Lewinsky by Alan Cumming; Ryan Reynolds by Jake Gyllenhaal; Van Jonesby Kim Kardashian West; Zachary Quinto by Andrew Rannells; Zoe Kravitzby Jean-Marc Vallee; Awkwafina by Anne Hathaway.

Netflix working on “choose your own adventure” shows

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This is the coolest thing I read today. Netflix is “developing a slate of specials that will let viewers choose the next storyline in a TV episode or movie, according to people familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw reported. “The company expects to release the first of these projects before the end of this year.”

>> In one episode of “Black Mirror,” we’ll be able to pick our own paths through the story…

>> Shaw tweeted: “Interactive TV has been sitting at Hollywood’s kids table for a few years. Netflix’s big investment could change that…”

FOR THE RECORD, PART TWO

Donie O’Sullivan emails: On Monday evening, Twitter announced new rules re: the distribution of hacked materials ahead of the midterms…

— Twitter also revealed that “in August, we removed approximately 50 accounts misrepresenting themselves as members of various state Republican parties…”

— Planning ahead: On Monday the RNC announced that its 2020 convention will be held August 24-27, 2020, in Charlotte…

Nickelodeon’s new president is…

Brian Robbins. He co-founded Awesomeness TV and he’s been running the Paramount Players division for Viacom. Now he’s being tasked with, in Bob Bakish’s words, ensuring “the brand remains the dominant force with young audiences.”

Robbins is replacing Cyma Zarghami, who stepped down in June. Sarah Levyhad been the interim boss.

“Nickelodeon has experienced ratings declines of more than 20% compared with a year ago among its key demographic of children 2 to 11 years old,” the WSJ’s Joe Flint and Keach Hagey report. But “despite its challenges, Nickelodeon is Viacom’s most successful cable channel…”

“New Fox” is taking shape

Who’s going to Disney as part of the 21st Century Fox deal, and who’s staying at Fox? Disney is about to make some announcements. And Deadline reported on Monday that Gary Newman “is in final negotiations to remain at ‘New Fox’ for the near future and oversee the broadcast network as it ushers a new era as an independent.”

Plus, the WSJ reported that Marianne Gambelli, Fox News president of advertising sales, will be gaining ground at “New Fox,” overseeing ad sales “for most of its assets, including sports channels and the Fox broadcast network.” Fox Network Group President Joe Marchese will be leaving after the deal closes, per the WSJ…

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The Atlantic hires Jemele Hill

“The former ESPN host is joining the magazine as a staff writer covering the intersection of sports, race and politics. She will also have a podcast,” CNN’s Jordan Valinsky reports.

Note Hill’s statement, easily interpreted as a jab at ESPN: “You can’t talk about sports without talking about race, class, gender and politics. I want to explore the complications and discomforts with a publication that has a long history of supporting this kind of work…”

Newspaper retracts and apologizes for Seth Rich column as part of settlement

Oliver Darcy emails: The Washington Times on Monday retracted and apologized for an op-ed that peddled a conspiracy theory about Aaron Rich, the brother of the murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich. The stunning reversal came as part of a settlement Aaron Rich reached with the conservative newspaper.

Read more of Monday’s Reliable Sources newsletter… And subscribe here to receive future editions in your inbox…

“The column included statements about Aaron Rich, the brother of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, that we know believe to be false,” part of the retraction read. It added, “The Washington Times apologizes to Mr. Rich and his family.” In a statement, Aaron Rich said he accepted the publication’s apology…

FOR THE RECORD, PART THREE

— Meghan McCain said Monday that she’ll return to “The View” next Monday, the 8th…

— Kevin Jackson, who was fired from Fox News last week for calling the Kavanaugh accusers “lying skanks” and other derogatory terms, claims that a Fox executive told him “I could have said something to save my job.” Some sort of apology, presumably? But he said “Hell no.” A Fox News rep is denying this… (Contemptor)

— Chloe Melas and Laura Ly have the latest on Cardi B: She was charged with reckless endangerment and assault on Monday… (CNN)

Correction: Last night I misspelled the name of NatGeo Global Networks CEO Courteney Monroe. My apologies!

CNNMoney (New York) First published October 2, 2018: 12:33 AM ET





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