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Morning Reading List 06.27.13.

Reporters circle around Mandela like vultures — Reporters, like strippers and politicians, don’t have a good rap to begin with. But this week they sink a notch lower as reports surface of them “hovering” around former and ailing South Africa President Nelson Mandela like “vultures.” The story says the behavior of reporters is angering South Africans and Mandela family members. QUOTE: ”I’m going to say it. There’s sort of a racist element with many of the foreign media where they just cross boundaries,” said Zindzi Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader’s eldest daughter. “It’s like, truly vultures waiting for when the lion has devoured the buffalo.” The Takeaway has the scoop.

Sen. Mark Kirk touched by an angel – In an interview with National Journal‘s Matt Cooper, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) opens up about his stroke. For whatever reason, the author doesn’t offer a basic overview of what Kirk went through. He had a massive stroke in January, 2012. COOPER: You underwent brain surgeries. From what I’ve read it was a spiritual journey. KIRK: I spent a lot of time in the ICU on the edge of oblivion and really did think a lot of death and the process of being dead. They say there are no atheists in foxholes, and I was in a very deep foxhole. COOPER: I heard you had visions of angels, with New York accents, not Chicago ones. KIRK: That’s right. Sometimes I’d look over and see figures talking about me. They had a pretty good sense of humor. Read the full story.

NSA anonymously cozies to press — While the press doesn’t have a good rap, neither do publicists. This week Reuters’ media writer Jack Shafer details the sneaky ways that NSA tried to repair its relationship with members of the press. They show up anonymously in stories in WaPo, Reuters and others. Shafer mostly sits on the fence. He doesn’t like all the anonymous crap, but he also understands it and thinks there ought to be warning labels on stories heavily peddled by intelligence officials. “You might guess that I find this kind of water-carrying by the press corrupting. I do, but not absolutely corrupting,” he writes. “I’m fairly certain that the reporters who filed the stories cited here have broken stories that have angered the two unnamed intelligence officials and will gladly do so in the future.” Read the full column here.

Great @jackshafer column on “NSA charm offensive” with the press: reut.rs/11QQ62p

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