Jul 30, 2018

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Situational awareness:

  • President Trump is willing to meet Iran's leaders "with no preconditions," he said today. This follows last week's all-caps tweet Trump targeted at Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
  • Breaking... CBS indicated today that Les Moonves will remain in his job for now, as its board prepares for an independent investigation.
1 big thing: Terrible teen tweets come back to haunt

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Today's professional athletes are facing unprecedented blowback over racist and homophobic tweets they sent as teens, the AP's Cliff Brunt reports.

Why it matters: Some teenagers do — and say — stupid things. Now those bad thoughts are preserved forever.

Pro sports are a hotbed of examples:

  • Washington Nationals shortstop Trea Turner, now 25, was 18 when he tweeted homophobic slurs and a racially insensitive joke from a movie. He deleted the tweets after they resurfaced and said in his statement, "[T]hose regrettable actions do not reflect my values or who I am."
  • Atlanta Braves pitcher Sean Newcomb was cruising through a near no-hitter Sunday when fans resurfaced offensive tweets from when he was 18. He called reporters back into the clubhouse after the game to apologize, and has been ordered to undergo diversity training.
  • Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Josh Hader will also face diversity training after fans discovered old tweets laced with the n-word halfway through his All Star Game appearance. Nearly a week later, Hader is still in apology mode.
  • "Former Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen apologized for a series of offensive tweets he sent while in high school that were revealed right before the NFL draft, when the Buffalo Bills selected him seventh overall."

The big picture: This issue goes well beyond the sports world, Axios' Zach Basu notes.

  • James Gunn was fired from his role shepherding Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" franchise earlier this month due to offensive tweets.
  • Claudia Oshry's "Girl With No Job" show was cancelled by Verizon's Oath earlier this year after a Daily Beast reporter dug up old Twitter posts expressing clear anti-Muslim sentiments.
  • Even journalists have had to temper their opinions online at the risk of damaging their own careers.

What's next: "[P]ublicist Lauren Walsh recalls how she dealt with a football player who had offensive Facebook posts years before he prepared for the NFL draft," per Brunt.

  • "She went through his whole social media history, taking down any posts that even raised an eyebrow."
  • "Scrubbing tweets, Instagram posts and other comments, captions and status updates has grown into a top priority for LW Branding, Walsh’s company that has helped 40 NFL athletes with image control in the past 3 1/2 years."

For the rest of us, from Axios' Sara Fischer: "More users are flocking to ephemeral social media networks, where posts disappear after a certain amount of time, as a result."

  • The other side: There's also a media cottage industry of Snapchat screenshots getting people fired.

Be smart: You can no longer share racist and homophobic things online without expecting consequences.

Chart du jour
Expand chart
Reproduced from MTV/AP-NORC poll of 1,030 young people nationwide; Chart: Axios Visuals
2. What you missed
  1. Rudy Giuliani made the morning news show circuit rounds today, notably claiming that "collusion is not a crime" during an appearance on Fox & Friends. Go deeper.
  2. Eight are dead from more than a dozen wildfires in California, including six from the ferocious Carr Fire that roared into Redding, California. Go deeper.
  3. There's new data on the tech industry's lack of diversity, including a previously-unstudied metric: educational background: 40% of VCs went to Harvard or Stanford. Go deeper.
  4. Chinese students are coming home: The share returning after studying abroad has spiked in the last decade, Quartz's Youyou Zhou reports, citing Chinese government data. Go deeper.
  5. Seven U.S. states are suing the Trump administration over 3-D guns. They want to block the public from being able to download blueprints to the weapons. Go deeper.
Photo du jour

Photo: Jason Connolly/AFP/Getty Images

Joe Polonsky struggles to pull his burro Jake around the Mosquito Pass marker sign at an elevation of 13,188 feet during the 70th Annual Burro Days Race in Fairplay, Colorado, on July 29, 2018. 

3. 1 rich thing

Bloomberg's Suzanne Woolley tagged along in June at the Swiss bank UBS Group AG's Young Successors Program in New York City, which the headline describes as "rich kid summer camp."

  • Attendees ranged in age from 21 to 34... Their family accounts start in the 8-figures.
  • Jon Bon Jovi’s son Jesse hosted a rosé tasting, featuring his own branded wine. "Bongiovi hooks up regularly with five guys he met in the program."
  • "[O]ne set of alums dubbed themselves the 'Group of 13' and convene every year to talk about family issues. 
  • "The gatherings also allow private banks to show off the broad range of services they offer..."
  • "The world is poised for a generational shift in wealth... and the banks can’t afford to take any [8-figure] accounts—current or future—for granted."

The big picture: Firms with similar programs include Citi Private Bank, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse.

Mike Allen