This article was originally featured in the Muck Rack Daily Email. August 17th, 2016 View in browser Hello from Muck Rack, where you can get a snapshot of what journalists around the world are reading, thinking and commenting on right now. Before we begin our daily round-up, we hope you don’t mind if we venture a tiny humblebrag, because we really were flattered by this review of our services via Alaniz Marketing: “Born in the age of social media, Muck Rack is optimized to help businesses and journalists communicate through the channel that journalists have embraced like no other: Twitter.” Read on here! And now for the news We’re kind of a fan of starting off the Daily with some lighter fare, and we have The Omaha World Herald to thank for today’s appetizer. “Warning: Pot makes you mean to your pets,” concludes Philadelphia Inquirer‘s John Timpane, sharing this latest amazing headline: Omaha dad finds pot brownies, eats 4 of them, says mean things to cat. Yes, that is a real headline, and it’s already received 10,000+ shares. “And I’m suddenly thankful nothing I’ve said to a cat has ended up in a police report, or the newspaper,” confesses Albuquerque Journal‘s Dan McKay. “Apparently cats in Omaha have something to worry about,” John Celock of The Celock Report. “This and Zombie Weed-Eating Sheep are my favorite news stories of 2016,” decides Bustle‘s Jenny Hollander. We especially agree with the takeway from Tad Vezner of St. Paul Pioneer Press: “Best part of this story is 1st comment: ‘Kevin, did you just ruin your journalism career or did you just make it?’ We vote for “make it.” Kudos, Mr. Kevin Cole! Disclaimer: The above gif is not at all related to the story, but it’s what came up when we searched for “cat pot brownie,” okay? All right, fine, back to politics: In further confirmation of previous suspicions, we learn from the Wall Street Journal that the U.S. withheld its cash payment to Iran until that nation freed their American prisoners. “Obama: ‘We Don’t Pay Ransom for Hostages‘ … Lots of ppl having trouble w truth these days,” observes National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar. The Associated Press sources say Trump campaign chairman is tied to undisclosed foreign lobbying, which leads The Huffington Post to pontificate on the unhappy campaign of Paul Manafort. “This anecdote about Manafort cautioning against the taco bowl tweet is amazing,” declares The Daily Beast‘s Gideon Resnick. You may be surprised to learn the speechwriter who wrote Patricia Smith’s RNC speech about Benghazi may also join the ranks of GOP defectors voting for Hillary Clinton in November. But because Clinton has developed a recent allergy for pressers and would rather do her own podcast, one Chicago Tribune columnist decided to matters into his own hands. “Hillary hates press conferences. So I used her campaign podcast to create MY EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE CANDIDATE!” chirps Chicago Tribune‘s Rex W. Huppke. Three out of 5 Texan Trump supporters want secession if Clinton is elected. Trump casinos’ tax debt was $30 million. Then Chris Christie took office. “NJ got 17 cents on the dollar from Trump. I guess this is what he’d do with America’s creditors?” muses Politico‘s Julia Ioffe. When asked about being down in the race, a Trump adviser replied, “Says who?” … which led to this awkward exchange. The Hill claims Trump voiced distrust for U.S. intelligence just hours before his classified briefing. And of course, Trump’s latest reshuffle of his staff, “in his own image.” More on that in our media section! Also, Aetna’s CEO reportedly threatened to pull out of Obamacare if the Feds opposed their Humana merger. And in non-politics, Brazilians are angry now that holes are emerging in American swimmer Ryan Lochte’s story about getting mugged in Rio. SHARE Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Permalink Matters of the media In yet another shake-up for the campaign, Trump has hired Breitbart executive Stephen Bannon for a top campaign post. Campaign chairman Manafort gets to keep his title, but some media analysts are calling this a demotion. Meanwhile, senior adviser and pollster Kellyanne Conway becomes the campaign manager. “Thinking past November 8… Trump has a great team in place for a new television network or digital media startup,” realizes CNN‘s Brian Stelter. BuzzFeed Ben Smith‘s take: In Donald Trump’s new media, “Political communications and media activism take a step closer.” P.S. A tip o’ the hat to Stelter for inspiring this one, but what do you think of the term “fact-slapping?” Think we can make it happen? And in media thinkpieces, we turn our attention to sexual harassment in the sciences: is this a new journalistic beat? “If you’re a science journalist & not covering science culture, you’re missing big stories,” advises The Verge‘s Elizabeth Lopatto. Also, NPR is the latest media group to say goodbye to comments, and it isn’t just about trolls: “Just 4,300 users posted about 145 comments apiece, or 67 percent of all http://NPR.org comments.” Or as columnist Glenn Fleishman points out, “Besides the rancor, cost, and effort, commenting systems often skew the way NPR’s does.” Basically, per NPR‘s Scott Montgomery, they want to find better ways to connect with readers. Plus, the NLGJA announced its 2016 Excellence in Journalism Award recipients. Congrats to all the winners and honorees! Oh, and agree to disagree if you will, but we put to you that this dancing kid named Reuben is way more interesting than the news report he’s videobombing. SHARE Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Permalink Question of the day Our last question asked: Director Kevin Smith is making headlines today after going to bat for whom (and for what reason?) His teenaged daughter, Harley Quinn Smith, who was targeted by a supremely nasty online troll. Smith posted to Instagram: “The best revenge is living insanely well – so if you wanna get back at a 17 year old girl for the grievous crime of enjoying her life, the best way to do it is to succeed in your OWN existence. Show the world WHY we should be paying attention to you instead of anyone else. Because randomly attacking others merely communicates how creatively and emotionally bankrupt you are.” Congrats to CNN‘s David Daniel (at right) for being the very first to get that right! Honorable mentions go out to Charlotte LoBuono, Lucia A. Walinchus (who adds “Kevin you are my parenting goals”), Mark Gibbs, Craig Pittman, Jade Walker, Janet Beatrice, Natalie Tindall, Ron Casalotti (who suggests the cyberbully would “have to greatly evolve to even aspire to be a character in ‘Clerks‘”) and Martin Berliner for all answering that correctly, as well. As for today’s question, here it is: Move over, cargo shorts story, because this is the real Wall Street Journal feature of the summer. According to recent Journal headline, England is looking for a few good what? Click here to submit your answers to @MuckRack. IMPORTANT: If you choose not to click that link, please include the word “answer” in your tweet so we can find it (the link will automatically do so for you)! … We’ll announce the winners in the next Daily! SHARE Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Permalink Featured journalist: Joanne DiBona Today we’re pleased to spotlight the work of Joanne DiBona, freelance journalist and contributor to USAToday 10Best. An award-winning travel writer and photographer, she is a “small cruise ship/ soft adventure expert.” Once the Director of Communications for the San Diego Tourism Authority, DiBona began her journey in journalism in 2010. Her first assignment–that of contributing writer and travel photography expert for USA TODAY/10Best–continues to this day, but her images and articles can be found in countless publications and on travel web sites around the world, including the San Diego Union Tribune. DiBona also works with her husband and USA TODAY contributing photographer Tony DiBona, specializing in experiential travel. Check out her Muck Rack portfolio here for her adventures, which includes such feats as swimming with whake sharks in Baja Mexico and walking the ancient Kiso Road in Japan. Remember: If you also want to be featured, you should 1) set up your own journalist portfolio 2) get verified and 3) let us know by emailing Kirsten.