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Why The Trump/Russia 'Skeptics' Are Wrong

Over the weekend, several prominent news media figures announced themselves as Trump/Russia skeptics. Politico’s Blake Hounshell seemed to kick off the discussion with this essay. This isn’t “fake news” type skepticism. It’s much more focused and I think reasonable. These folks fully grant the extensive and multi-pronged Russian effort to interfere in the 2016 election. That involved fake news, email hacking, and multiple approaches to Trump associates to gauge interest in working together. The skepticism is whether we’ll ever find a proven and explicit agreement between President Trump and Vladimir Putin or some other similarly high-level Russian official to collaborate in subverting the 2016 election. If not documented proof of such an agreement then at least well-attested evidence of the same.

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Layoffs At Vox

Vox today announced a round of layoffs, joining a seemingly endless list of digital media companies that have laid off staff in recent months. First, this is not “Vox”, the political news / explainer site, which you may be most familiar with. It’s the parent company, Vox Media – which owned Curbed, Racked SB Nation, Polygon, The Verge, etc. The latter owns Vox and maybe ten other sites, many of which are big or dominant players in their respective spaces. Vox Media is laying off 50 employees.

I’ve written about this meta-topic a lot in recent months – what amounts to a crash in digital media. Vox is laying off 50 employees, what they say is roughly 5% of their staff, a comparatively small number in percentage terms relative to other recent blood letting. What I wanted to flag your attention to is what seems to be getting cut.

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Quite the Photo

This is quite the photo. (Click the headline of this post to see full sized image.)

Dan Scavino (L), White House Director of Social Media, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (2nd L), Johnny DeStefano (2nd R), Director of the Office of Presidential Personnel, and Keith Kellogg (R), Chief of Staff of the National Security Council. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

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