White House to hire communications director
The Trump administration is about to name Crossroads Media founder Mike Dubke as communications director, lessening the load on press secretary Sean Spicer, who has held both roles since Inauguration Day. There’s skepticism about the pick in the White House, with some longtime Trump aides telling CNN they would have preferred a fellow loyalist instead of an outsider.
About that press conference…
Reports of Dubke’s imminent hire were posted hours after President Donald Trump held a rambling, hour-plus press conference in which he repeatedly took on the "fake news" media. The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein reported on Twitter late Thursday that the event did not go unnoticed by U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward, who turned down the job of National Security Adviser that day.
Zucker: CNN thriving under attack
CNN president Jeff Zucker told reporters on Thursday that the president’s attacks are a "badge of honor" and are boosting morale at his network. Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, has aired out his complaints about the network to Gary Ginsberg, EVP of corporate marketing and communications at CNN parent company Time Warner, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Studio apologizes for fake news campaign
20th Century Fox apologized late Thursday for using a fake news campaign to promote the horror film A Cure for Wellness, complete with sites designed to look like mainstream news sources. The studio acknowledged that "the digital campaign was inappropriate on every level." Not a fan: Edelman CEO Richard Edelman denounced the push on his 6 a.m. blog, saying it went "over the edge of decency and intelligence to irresponsibility."
In case you missed it on Thursday
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued a lengthy anti-isolationism manifesto; Recode’s Kara Swisher went behind the scenes to explain what he was thinking; Samsung succession in turmoil after heir apparent’s arrest on corruption charges.
And finally, Friday fun
Sean Spicer has bungled a few names in the White House press briefing room, and now he can bungle yours. Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald has developed a name generator to "Spicer-ize" your name. Full disclosure: Mine translates into "Franken Washer."