Wednesday's Breakfast Briefing, with a side of covfefe

Say you're a normal person on a normal schedule. You go to bed. You wake up. You check your smartphone. If that describes you, you're probably wondering what covfefe is and why it's taken over social media this morning.

Maybe he meant "coffee," or more likely he meant "coverage." Either way President Donald Trump left the rest of the world befuddled early Wednesday when he posted an unfinished tweet saying only "despite the negative press covfefe." After keeping everyone confused for more than five hours, the president deleted the errant tweet and posted a self-mocking followup. The right-before-bed mistake was a high-water mark in Twitter mockery, including from the reigning champ of brand trolling, Merriam-Webster.


There’s something else going on with the president’s Twitter account. Social media monitors have noticed Trump’s Twitter following has grown by millions of accounts in recent days, and many of them appear to be bots. A Twitter spokesperson told McClatchy that measurements used by twitteraudit.com are flawed, and many of the accounts could be held by new users who don’t know how to use the platform yet.

Whether or not the president is becoming more popular on Twitter, his unorthodox communications and management style is one reason he’ll have a hard time filling usually plum White House roles such as communications director, which was just vacated by Mike Dubke. Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele bluntly told The Hill, "The talent pool is shrinking, because who wants to sign up for crazy?" Former White House Communications Director and current Burson-Marsteller global CEO Don Baer chatted with PRWeek on Tuesday about Dubke’s resignation.

Scott Pelley is out as the frontman of the CBS Evening News, but he will continue to serve as a correspondent for 60 Minutes, according to a report in the New York Post’s Page Six that was quickly confirmed by several other outlets. Pelley has been mired in third place in the ratings behind ABC News’ David Muir and Lester Holt of NBC News this season, according to The New York Times. Veteran media reporter Dylan Byers noted on Twitter late Tuesday that CBS’ communications team seemed to be unprepared for the news and had still not released a statement by nearly 11 p.m. EST.

In other media news, NYT executive editor Dean Baquet said at the Code Conference on Tuesday that he wishes his rivals at The Washington Post luck—most of the time, anyway. The Trump administration has been a boon for both newspapers, which have gone blow-for-blow over #RussiaGate scoops. "I want The Washington Post to succeed," Baquet said at the Recode conference. "I don’t want them to succeed on each story. I want to beat them on most stories, but I want them to succeed."

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