SIMON HATTENSTONE. Last Christmas we lost George Michael. Now he’s an unlikely beacon of hope: “At a truly horrible time in our history – Brexit, Trump and the rise of populist bigotry – sad, sleazy George Michael stood out as a beacon of hope. We may have lost Michael last Christmas, but in 2017 he became a symbol of human goodness – a man who took pleasure in improving people’s lives without telling a soul.”
OBAMACARE ENROLLMENT. Robust.
THE COMING BLOODBATH. Republicans warn Trump of 2018: “The warning, several people close to the chairwoman said, reflected deepening anxiety that a full-throated Trump endorsement of accused child molester Roy Moore in the special election — which the president was edging closer to at the time — would further damage the party’s standing with women. McDaniel’s memo, which detailed the president’s poor approval numbers among women nationally and in several states, would go unheeded, as Trump eventually went all-in for the ultimately unsuccessful Republican candidate.”
FANCY BEAR. Russian hackers targeted journalists as early as mid-2014: “The AP identified journalists as the third-largest group on a hacking hit list obtained from cybersecurity firm Secureworks, after diplomatic personnel and U.S. Democrats. About 50 of the journalists worked at The New York Times. Another 50 were either foreign correspondents based in Moscow or Russian reporters like Lobkov who worked for independent news outlets. Others were prominent media figures in Ukraine, Moldova, the Baltics or Washington.”
SAN FRANCISCO. Gay publisher Michael Yamashita buys Bay Area Reporter: “Michael Yamashita has purchased the Bay Area Reporter making him the first gay Asian-American publisher and owner of an LGBT newspaper. The decision was announced on Monday. Yamashita has served as the newspaper’s publisher since 2013 and was also its former general manager. After receiving two shares from former investors, he was able to purchase the LGBT weekly newspaper.”
ATTENTION WALMART SHOPPERS. Jonathan Groff is in the sweater aisle.
TAIWAN. Largest gay nightclub Funky Club to close: “According to a report in the Chinese-language Apple Daily, the club has been facing competition from a growing number of similar establishments, and a moving away of its former clientele to newer clubs might be to blame for the closure.”
TRAILER OF THE DAY. A Futile and Stupid Gesture. “A Futile and Stupid Gesture is the story of comedy wunderkind Doug Kenney, who co-created the National Lampoon, Caddyshack, and Animal House. Kenney was at the center of the 70’s comedy counter-culture which gave birth to Saturday Night Live and a whole generation’s way of looking at the world.”
FRIDAY FLASH. Robert Oliveira.