December 18, 2015

In the wake of the news that Republican super-donor Sheldon Adelson was the man behind the secretive purchase of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, many questions still remain. At Politico, Ken Doctor considers why Adelson paid so much for the paper (a reported $140 million in cash, which is three times what the paper was valued at in March), and what the impact of the sale could be on the news business. The new partnership has not gotten off to an auspicious start: An in-house story about the sale was halted last week by the paper’s publisher so he could remove quotes, including one by the Journal’s editor questioning who the new owners are and what their expectations are for the paper.

James Laughlin

James Laughlin

The New York Times has corrected a front-page story about the San Bernardino shooters. The paper had mistakenly reported that Tashfeen Malik has posted messages supporting jihad on social media, though the FBI later clarified that the missives were actually sent on private messaging platforms and on a dating site. This small error has big consequences for the story: Originally, the piece was a pointed and powerful critique of how the background check process for a US visa does not include checking public social media sites; now it is a somewhat garbled report about how the visa process had missed Malik’s “online zealotry.”  

Dwight Garner looks back at a year of reading, but rather than make a “best of” list (you can find that here), Garner recounts his favorite lines and the most memorable moments from books published in 2015. There are many gems on the list, including witticisms from Joy Williams, Paul Beatty, and Rachel Cusk, but our favorite quip comes from legendary New Directions publisher James Laughlin, as reported in the biography Literchoor Is My Beat. When asked if he feared dying, Laughlin replied, “I fear death because I can’t recall that Dante mentions any book in hell.”

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