Good morning, friends. I got many lovely emails from you all last week and had some really interesting conversations about the way we read the news today, some of which made it into today's piece. So thank you! Let's do this again soon.
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We're getting a little meta this week. We've been talking for a while now about how quickly news moves these days and how overwhelming it can be for people following politics. And the last two weeks have been particularly news-heavy — from White House palace intrigue (Godspeed, Mooch) to surprise policy changes that have serious implications for thousands of jobs (the ban on transgender military personnel).
So, I asked you last week, how are you coping with this onslaught of news? Responses ranged from people who have culled all political posts from their social media; stopped watching TV news; found themselves in a fugue state scrolling through Twitter all night (okay, that one was just me). A Philly-based Democratic activist told me she finds a kind of peace in protesting; a former GOP spokesman said he tries to spend the first half-hour of his morning away from his phone.
Still: "It's getting increasingly harder to be the person who says, 'Oh, I didn't see that,'" Sherri Hope Culver, a media literacy professor at Temple, told me. "There's an increasing value between being put on being instantly informed."
President Trump, tweets aside, isn't the only factor behind these seemingly unrelenting news cycles: the national media has invested heavily in politics, the media reporter David Uberti told me, and if you get your news from social media, you're getting your news mostly in fragments — which makes everything that much more disorienting. And things probably aren't going to change much. Our president approaches the news in a very different way than his predecessors, and that means he's driving the news in a very different way, too — one that keeps readers, viewers and reporters alike almost constantly on our toes.
"The swamp will not defeat him." — since-fired White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, referring to himself in the New Yorker last week. (This is one of the few sentences from his interview that I can include in a family newsletter.)
"A great day in the White House!" — President Trump on Twitter, hours after Scaramucci was fired Monday.
"He doesn't think he's in any legal jeopardy, so he really views this as a political problem he is going to solve by himself." — a White House adviser, speaking anonymously to the Washington Post about President Trump's approach to the Russia investigation.