Why is the New York Times freaking out about book deals?

What's happening to Sports Illustrated?

So, a bizarre deal where they're selling the brand to ABG. But Meredith Corp. is going to license back that brand to continue publishing the actual magazine for up to two years. Presumably while ABG, which is really just a retail group, learns what the hell it means to publish a magazine. What it actually means is that the brand is worth more than the product that it publishes. It's a harsh truth for the newsroom but it is the truth. And my money is actually on S.I. folding eventually in the next two years.

Why is the New York Times freaking out about book deals?

So there are more than 25 New York Times reporters right now with a book deal, which means they're going to apply for book leave to go actually write the thing. Now the New York Times leadership had to crack the whip because they need your staff at their desk doing the job or out in the field doing the jobs they were hired for.

What this highlights to me is how insane it is that newspapers still haven't gotten in on the action. It's a thing in journalism you get a book deal it builds your reputation it's good for the brand but at some point newspapers that are looking for new income streams are going to realize that they funded the journalism in the first place that led to the book. If you look at John Carreyrou, all his Theranos reporting that was paid for by the Wall Street Journal, ended up being a book, it ended up being an HBO show. They got none of the money. What the hell. So if I was running that business and I know journalists are not going to like it. But I would definitely go there.

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Does Boris Johnson strengthen or weaken the US-UK relationship?

Well I mean strengthens it in so far as he and Trump like each other. They're both oriented towards Brexit. They're kind of right-wing populists that aren't ideologically moored. But will it last? Boris could flip on a dime on any major issue as can Trump. So it's kind of volatile. Plus they both really love the media and when they're in front of each other with other people the potential to - I mean Boris upsets people and Trump easily takes offense. So this could easily go south.

Will Iran release the captured UK oil tanker?

I mean over time I suspect it will. But remember the UK has an Iranian tanker as well, so it's much more likely they work these things out together even if they're not explicitly linked, than suddenly the Iranians say, "Oh I'm sorry. Here's your tanker"

Will protests continue in Hong Kong?

It certainly seems that way. The question is what will China do about it? Xi Jinping is now saying that they are reaching the danger zone and the ability of the Chinese to hit back and hit back hard is real. I worry about those protesters.

Will Robert Mueller reveal anything new when he testifies on Capitol Hill?

I highly doubt it. He said very clearly that he does not intend to go beyond what was in his report. So Democrats looking for bombshells on collusion or obstruction are likely to be disappointed.

Can President Trump expand his electoral college edge in 2020?

Well he thinks he can. He thinks he can win in places like Minnesota and New Hampshire. I think it's more likely that he just hangs on to the Rust Belt states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin that got him there in 2016.

Should the governor of Puerto Rico resign?

Absolutely. Governor Rossello should resign. He's lost the confidence of the island. Puerto Rico needs a fresh start particularly after all these terrible text messages. He should definitely resign.

Finally for The Rant: today's rant is on Elizabeth Warren who put out a report today saying the economy is on the brink of collapse. It was very alarmist, certainly there are problems with the economy. Issues that could be fixed but she risks sounding like she's yelling fire in a crowded theater with calls like that.

"A regime willing to kill en masse to stay in power,' Karim Sadjadpour, an expert on Iranian, discusses the challenges facing the rise of democracy within the country.

Avi Loeb, The Chair of Harvard University's Astronomy Department, delves into the search for extraterrestrial life.