Feb 27, 2018

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Situational awareness: Jared Kushner's security clearance has been downgraded from Interim Top Secret to Interim Secret, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports. Details.

1 big thing: the no-win corporate tightrope

Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

Corporations have faced bipartisan social media mobs over how they handled calls to sever ties with the NRA in the wake of the Parkland shooting, Axios' Erica Pandey notes.

  • When Delta said it was ending its NRA ties, Georgia politicians threatened to kill a tax break on jet fuel that the airline is lobbying to reinstate.
  • But when FedEx chose to stay out of the fight against the NRA, #BoycottFedEx was born on Twitter.

Why it matters: Delta and FedEx took opposite approaches to handling the culture wars — and they both lost.

Go deeper: The United States of Corporate America

2. What you missed

Hope Hicks arrives at the U.S. Capitol today to testify behind closed doors to the House Intelligence Committee. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

  1. Trump 2020: The president's re-election campaign named Brad Parscale as campaign manager today. He was the campaign's digital director in 2016.
  2. Axios scoop: Senior communications official Josh Raffel is leaving the White House, per Axios' Jonathan Swan.
  3. Broward County Sheriff's Office responded to at least 45 calls relating to Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz or his brother between 2008 and 2017, despite Sheriff Scott Israel publicly insisting there were no more than 23. Details.
  4. Bill Gates doesn't see cryptocurrency's anonymity as a positive. Speaking in a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session, Gates said it allows people to buy drugs and hurts the government's ability to collect taxes and crack down on terrorism. Why it matters.
  5. The Supreme Court doesn't seem convinced that storing emails on an overseas server should put them outside the relatively easy reach of American law enforcement. More.
  6. Amazon has agreed to buy video doorbell startup Ring. No word yet on price, although a source calls this Amazon's second-largest acquisition of all time (behind Whole Foods). Details.
3. 1 film thing

As Marvel's "Black Panther" continues to break box office records worldwide in its first two weeks of release, a new diversity study from UCLA's Bunche Center reveals that minorities are leading the charge behind the biggest blockbuster hits.

  • Key finding: UCLA's research shows that people of color "accounted for the majority of ticket buyers for five of the top 10 films at the global box office, and half of ticket buyers for two more of the top 10," according to the AP.
  • Yes, but: Despite minorities coming out in big numbers and driving movie records, they are still severely underrepresented in the entertainment industry.
  • By the numbers: Only 13.9% of the year's film leads were people of color, 12.65% were directors, and 8.1% were writers. On TV, minorities accounted for 18.7% of broadcast scripted leads, 20.2% of cable scripted leads, and 12.9% of digital series leads.
  • Go deeper...
Mike Allen