• May 8, 2014

    The New York Public Library

    The New York Public Library

    In response to public outcry, the New York Public Library has abandoned its plans to redo the 42nd Street building. The renovation, which would have eliminated the book stacks under the main reading room and sent them to an off-site location, had a price tag of $150 million, and many critics. No fewer than four lawsuits had been filed against it.

    The Daily Mail has apologized to J.K. Rowling and paid her “substantial damages” for an article that she claimed mischaracterized a piece she wrote.

    With the American Scholar’s “Next Line, Please” project, the public is invited to build a sonnet line by line, beginning with this one: “How like a prison is my cubicle.”

    In the next month, Hillary Clinton and Timothy Geithner, two of President Obama’s top first-term advisers, will release memoirs shedding light on the administration’s handling of the economy and foreign affairs. Geithner has not, apparently, shown the White House an advance manuscript of his book Stress Test. But “drafts of Clinton’s book, Hard Choices, have been circulating for months among a small number of officials in Obama’s National Security Council.”

    Responding to a rigid new criminal code introduced by the Sultan of Brunei, which will punish “indecent behavior” (drinking, pregnancy outside of marriage, the failure to attend Friday prayers), the West Coast branch of PEN has canceled its plans to host its 2014 benefit at the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is owned by the Sultan.

    Last night on Fox News, Lynne Cheney presented a theory for why Vanity Fair has chosen to publish a much-discussed essay by Monica Lewinsky in its June issue: “I really wonder if this isn’t an effort on the Clintons’ part to get that story out of the way. Would Vanity Fair publish anything about Monica Lewinsky that Hillary Clinton didn’t want in Vanity Fair?” Beth Kseniak, the magazine’s executive director of public relations, has this response: “Seriously?”

    At Salon, Elon Green presents Bloomberg News’ hiring of political journalists John Heilemann, formerly of New York, and Mark Halperin, formerly of Time, as a “hack nightmare.” “What do Heilemann and Halperin bring to the table? Well, says Justin Smith, chief executive of Bloomberg Media Group, they’re the ‘epitome of the type of quality journalistic talent that moves seamlessly between different kinds of platforms.’ This word salad is a fancy-talk for ‘they’re good on television,’ which isn’t exactly true.”

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