Breakfast Briefing, 2.14.2017: PewDiePie dropped by Disney, YouTube

The YouTube star and former in-demand influencer is in the spotlight for the wrong reasons after posting anti-Semitic jokes.

PewDiePie was dropped by Disney and YouTube.
PewDiePie was dropped by Disney and YouTube.

YouTube, Disney drop PewDiePie
Disney has cut ties with YouTube star and brand influencer PewDiePie after he included anti-Semitic jokes and Nazi imagery in videos. YouTube has cancelled the second season of the Internet star’s reality show and removed his channel from its premium advertising platform. PewDiePie, real name Felix Kjellberg, has 53 million subscribers on YouTube, making him the platform’s biggest star.


Mixed messages on Flynn resignation
National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned on Monday night, setting a dubious record for the shortest-ever tenure in the cabinet-level role. Earlier in the day, the White House released mixed messages about his standing, with counselor Kellyanne Conway telling MSNBC he had the president’s "full confidence" before press secretary Sean Spicer said the White House was "evaluating the situation." The reason for the change in message may have been a Washington Post story published Monday evening saying the Justice Department warned administration officials last month that Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail by Russian officials.

Washington and Moscow respond
What happened next: the White House named Retired Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Kellogg interim national security adviser. The Russian Embassy appeared to defend Flynn by posting an odd tweet with a pic of burgers, fries, and plenty of ketchup. Hillary Clinton retweeted a former aide dinging Flynn and his son for spreading fake news.


Speaking of fake news…
Apple bigwig Eddy Cue said Monday night that technology companies have a responsibility to fight its spread. The Apple SVP and Apple Music head Jimmy Iovine also discussed details about the company's scripted video entertainment, set to debut this spring, at Recode’s Code Media Conference.

Overshadowed by Flynn’s resignation…
Two cabinet confirmations for President Donald Trump happened Monday night. The Senate confirmed financier and former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin as treasury secretary and physician David Shulkin as secretary of veterans affairs.

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