Good Tuesday morning. Situational awareness ... "Sexual harassment cases flood state legislatures," per USA Today lead story: "Since last year, at least 40 lawmakers – nearly all men – in 20 states have been publicly accused by more than 100 people of some form of sexual misconduct or harassment."
In 12 short hours, elites lost their star anchorman, the New York Times benched a star Trump reporter, and Congress moved one step closer to losing a star Democratic senator — and possibly inheriting a Republican senator who may be booted. Plus the longest-serving Democratic congressman used money to hide harassment charges.
Why it matters: The speed and sweep of this are unmatched in social history. What we're hearing: The tech world's dark secrets have been seeping out for months, and it's just under seven weeks since the N.Y. Times detonated its Harvey Weinstein exposé. So this may feel like a crest, but here's the amazing thing: Every sign is that for the East Coast, there's lots more to come.News organizations are looking into specific congressmen, some with years-old reputations for leering, infidelity and more.Reporters have been asking around about other well-known media figures. We hear one top name is the target of two media investigations. And consider this: The wave has yet to hit the New York corporate suites. I'm told they're hardly immune.P.S. The excuses ... "Franken and Trump, Hiding Behind Their 'Jokes,'" by N.Y. Times TV critic James Poniewozik: "[B]oth are examples of the collision of politics with the world of celebrity, where men have long felt entitled to indulge their ids, to play the grabby adolescent and then to laugh it off.""The entertainment defense is attractive because of the leeway our society has given performers. A politician's gaffe is a comic's laugh."
The Justice Department's suit to block AT&T's proposed $85 billion bid for Time Warner puts on hold a slew of media and telecom transactions that may have been in the works, Axios tech editor Kim Hart writes:
The editor of The Economist, Zanny Minton Beddoes, says in the magazine's prediction issue that three forces will help swing "the pendulum of power" back towards the state and away from markets:
Her conclusion: "At worst, [this decisive shift in the West's balance between the state and the market] will be a back route to a more regulated, defensive and protectionist kind of capitalism. But with luck, the new balance will be marked by a broader embrace of competition as the best way to counter the power of entrenched elites, and involve an imaginative rethinking of the state's role in protecting the individual."
Facebook insiders with detailed knowledge of the company's operations are increasingly voicing concerns that the tech giant is putting profits ahead of its users' best interests, Axios' Sara Fischer reports:
"German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she would prefer new elections to leading a minority government, after a breakdown in coalition talks plunged the country into political crisis," BBC reports:
"Yankees Are Crowdsourcing Their Manager Vetting Process: Most sports teams try to conduct coach or manager searches privately. The Yankees are parading their candidates in front of the news media, one by one," the N.Y. Times' Yankees beat writer, Billy Witz, writes: