What We're Reading

Morning Reads: TV Exec on the 2016 Campaign: “The More They Spend, the Better It Is For Us.”

A roundup of some of the stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Morning Reads: “The More They Spend, the Better It Is For Us"

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Good for business –> “The more they spend, the better it is for us and: Go Donald! Keep getting out there!” said Les Moonves, the chief executive of CBS Corporation, in a presentation to investors. The ever-increasing sums of money in elections mean great business for television networks, who screen attack ads. In fact, notes Lee Fang, networks are engaged in a public relations campaign to get campaigns to spend more money on ads.

Home stretch –> The Paris climate deal is almost ready, and, in some ways, is stronger than many expected. Negotiations are scheduled to wrap up today. A few big questions remain unanswered, however, and Suzanne Goldenberg reports for The Guardian that the talks are likely to go into overtime.

Rubio bags a few more –> Art Pope, a Republican megadonor, has chosen to back Marco Rubio, Colin Campbell reports for the Raleigh News & Observer. (A 2014 Moyers & Company documentary looked at Pope’s operation to help conservatives take over and consolidate control in North Carolina.) Hedge fund manage Ken Griffin, who once complained that the wealthy have “insufficient influence” over politics, is also going to support (and do his best to influence) Rubio.

Common sense –> “With the mass shooting in California last week focusing attention on terrorism and guns, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut announced on Thursday that he intended to sign an executive order barring people on federal terrorism watch lists from buying firearms in the state.” Gun-rights groups, however, say the ban may be unconstitutional, report Elizabeth A. Harris and Eric Lichtblau for The New York Times.

Lasting damage –> With all the talk of how the government should handle Muslims of various types both inside and outside of the country, Muslim voters, often out of the spotlight, are also front and center. Shane Goldmacher at Politico: “Muslim Republicans fear Donald Trump’s escalating anti-Muslim rhetoric — capped this week by his call to block all Muslims’ entry into the country — could turn Muslims away from the GOP for a generation, severing all ties with a constituency just as its population is bulging in three crucial presidential battleground states.”

Contested convention –> Robert Costa and Tom Hamburger at The Washington Post: “Republican officials and leading figures in the party’s establishment are preparing for the possibility of a brokered convention…” Steven Yaccino at Bloomberg: “The math behind a deadlocked convention is simple: If three or more Republican candidates are still competitive in the presidential race beyond March 15, as seems increasingly possible, it will be difficult to avoid a situation in which no candidate accumulates over 50 percent of delegates, so multiple ballots could be needed to select the Republican nominee in Cleveland next summer.”

Off the cuff –> In an interview with The Nation’s Ari Berman, former Attorney General Eric Holder shared some candid thoughts on the unwinding of the regulation governing America’s elections. Of the now-gutted Voting Rights Act, he says, “Some folks weren’t particularly happy with what an unfettered electorate did—they put a black man in the White House. At a whole bunch of levels, that was something certain people weren’t happy with and were determined to do something about.”

Best and worst –> The Columbia Journalism Review has collected some examples of good and bad journalism from the past year. John Oliver made the “good” list. Underestimating Donald Trump made the bad list, as did handwringing about the ineptitude of millennials. AND: The New York Times offers a list of stories that its readers spent the longest time reading in 2015.

Tales from the new gilded age –> Devin Leonard and Annmarie Hordern have the odd story at Bloomberg Businessweek of how 32-year-old pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli spent millions of dollars to win the right to be the only person ever to listen in full to a much-anticipated Wu-Tang Clan album. Shkreli was denounced by pretty much everybody when, earlier this year, he chose to raise the price of a critical drug by 5,000 percent. He hasn’t gotten around to listening to the album yet.

Reciprocity –> “As of this writing, more than 450,000 people in the United Kingdom have responded in kind to Donald Trump’s call for banning Muslims from entering the US (and to other comments of his, including that parts of London are so rife with Islamic extremists that police are terrified to patrol them): They’ve called for a blanket ban of their own—on all Donald J. Trumps entering the UK.”

Morning Reads is compiled by John Light and edited by Michael Winship.

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