Aug 26, 2019

Axios AM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Breaking: President Trump told reporters that next year’s G7 summit will "probably" be held in Miami — at one of his golf resorts, Trump National Doral.

  • Trump touted the location as a few minutes from the airport, with hundreds of acres: "We can handle whatever happens. ... We're thinking about it."
  • Axios' Jonathan Swan scooped last month that the resort was a G7 finalist.

🌞 Happy Monday! Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,244 words ... ~ 5 minutes.

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1 big thing: Conservative media thrives under Trump

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Usually left- or right-wing media grows when it's in the opposition: Rush Limbaugh and Fox News rose during the Clinton years; HuffPost and Daily Kos launched with George W. Bush in the White House.

But major conservative media outlets are growing in the Trump era, broadening coverage and audience, Axios media trends expert Sara Fischer finds.

  • This is partly because the 2020 primary has been fertile ground for the right.
  • Why it matters: This reverses that classic pattern in which ideological media outlets take off when a president from the other side is in power.

An analysis of conservative websites by the Columbia Journalism Review found a rise in right-wing web "tabloidism" since President Trump took office.

  • Several right-leaning media outlets — including The Washington Examiner, The Washington Times and RedState — have racked up major online growth, Comscore data shows.
  • Their recipe: Cover whatever is capturing the world's attention that day, from human interest stories to trending entertainment developments.

This has long been a tactic of The Hill, a Washington-based outlet that boasts high social traffic numbers by covering breaking news quickly.

  • Outlets that don't go as wide, like The Federalist and Breitbart, haven't experienced the same growth, the report found.
  • And The Weekly Standard, which refused to go hyper-political, closed in 2018 after 23 years as a respected conservative journal.

On social media, Ben Shapiro's Daily Wire and Breitbart rank high among the news publishers with the highest engagement on Facebook in 2019.

  • Fox News is still the #1 news site on Facebook this year in terms of reader engagement, according to social analytics company NewsWhip.
  • CJR notes that "the most significant change in the conservative media landscape has been the astonishing traffic growth of Foxnews.com," which generates "ten times the audience of any other conservative news website."

On TV, Fox News continues to dominate virtually every metric.

  • The network continues to lead ratings for all of cable.
  • Fox continues to be a profit machine, despite ad boycotts. The average cost for a 30-second spot on "Tucker Carlson Tonight," for example, has doubled year over year, according to advertising analytics company SQAD. 

Podcasts have also given rise to up-and-coming right-leaning personalities.

2. Sea change in what Americans value most
Expand chart
Data: NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey of 1,000 U.S. adults, Aug. 10–14, 2019, with a margin of error of ±3.39 percentage points. Earlier poll was Feb. 26 to March 1, 1998. Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A comparison of a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll with one from 20 years ago finds a huge change in what Americans say they value most:

  • Patriotism, religion and having children have all fallen by double digits as values that Americans rate as "very important."

Why it matters, per The Journal: The poll highlights the difficulty "2020 presidential candidates will likely face in crafting a unifying message" for a divided country and increasingly diverse society.

3. New overnight: Trump expects China trade deal
Left: President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hold a bilateral meeting. (Photo: Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP) Right: Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel lean in. (Photo: Christian Hartmann/Pool/Reuters)

President Trump said at the G7 summit in France today that he now foresees a U.S.-China trade deal, after his negotiators received two "very good calls" from Beijing yesterday, AP reports.

  • "I think we're going to have a deal, because now we're dealing on proper terms," Trump said. "They understand and we understand."
  • "This is the first time I've seen them where they really want to make a deal."

Why it matters: A wide array of business organizations warned over the weekend that American consumers and workers will soon be caught in the trade-war crossfire, the N.Y. Times' Nathaniel Popper reports.

  • Business Roundtable President and CEO Josh Bolten said on CBS' "Face the Nation": "[T]he risk is that everybody's going to slam on the brake and that would be a disaster, not just for the Chinese, but for the United States."
4. Pics du jour: Life close up, and from a distance
Photo: Michel Spingler/AP

As Paris prepared to celebrate the 75th anniversary of its liberation from the Nazis, a firefighter adjusted the French flag on the Eiffel Tower.

  • Firefighters unfurled the huge flag to recreate the moment when a French tricolor, stitched together from sheets, was hoisted atop the monument to replace the swastika that had flown for four years. (AP)
Photo: Michel Spingler/AP
5. Brexit pic worth 1,000 words
Photo: Markus Schreiber/Pool/AP

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who's taking a hard line on Brexit, greets European Council President Donald Tusk.

  • Mr. No-Deal: Each suggested that the other is bent on scuttling the chances of an orderly divorce by Oct. 31.
6. Record year for hate crimes in D.C.

Washington, D.C., has the highest rate of hate crimes per capita of any major city in the U.S., Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University at San Bernardino, tells the WashPost's Michael Miller.

  • The vast majority of suspected hate crimes in the District in 2018 received no media coverage, and went unpunished.

"The Post examined all 204 incidents investigated by police as hate crimes, interviewing two dozen victims and a handful of suspects."

  • "What emerged was a portrait of pervasive bigotry and violence: gay men and women assaulted on the street, transgender people threatened by strangers, African Americans taunted with slurs, Muslims harassed for wearing headscarves, synagogues subjected to anti-Semitic calls."
7. Amazonia from space
Fires detected from NASA Terra/MODIS satellite analysis. Graphic: AP
8. Why climate change is so hard to tackle
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

To address climate change on the level scientists say we must, the world would need to slash its use of oil, natural gas and coal within 30 years, a Herculean task given our deep dependence, Axios' Amy Harder writes in her "Harder Line" column.

  • Democrats on the presidential campaign trail and international leaders preparing for a UN summit next month say urgent action is needed, but few actually have viable plans for how and when to cut our fossil-fuel use.
  • This column and last week's edition explore what makes this such a uniquely difficult problem.

What’s next: If a Democrat wins the White House, America will suddenly be a political and technical test case for policies to swiftly reduce fossil-fuel use.

9. Luck's retreat raises issue of player danger
Photo: AJ Mast/AP

The stunning retirement at age 29 by Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck, once one of the nation's most promising young athletes, raises massive questions for the NFL about the toll the game takes on its top talent.

  • One of the greats, Green Bay Packers legend Brett Favre, battled addiction to painkillers — and said in a 2016 interview that he used to take a month's worth in two days: "I tell people all the time that I took 15 Vicodin ES at one time."

Luck puts a new face on how dangerous and debilitating the sport can be:

  • N.Y. Times' Ken Belson: "Players of Luck’s generation now consider a more ruthless calculation of health versus money, and that is putting them in conflict with team owners, who are always looking for more football, not less."
  • WashPost's Jerry Brewer: "It will take about a dozen players on the level of Luck ... to quit around the same time to spark a dramatic shift. Right now, we’re inching toward a moment."
10. 1 fun thing: Little League World Series winner
River Ridge celebrates. Photo: Tom E. Puskar/AP

In South Williamsport, Pa., the boys from River Ridge, La., shut out Curaçao, a Dutch Caribbean island, 8-0, in the Little League World Series Championship game, taking home the state's first Little League title.

  • The team from suburban New Orleans fought its way back through the losers' bracket after dropping its opening game of the tournament to Hawaii, Tyler King, a Penn State journalism student, writes for AP.

Louisiana won six games in eight days, with victories over some of the tournament's best teams, including Oregon, New Jersey and Virginia.

  • Pitcher Egan Prather tossed a two-hit shutout yesterday, throwing 88 pitches over six innings.

Home plate umpire Kelly Elliott Dine became just the second woman to call balls and strikes for a Little League title game.

Mike Allen

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