February 26, 2016

Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem

Land’s End has issued an apology for including excerpts from an interview with Gloria Steinem in its spring catalogue. “We understand that some of our customers were offended by the inclusion of an interview in a recent catalog with Gloria Steinem on her quest for women’s equality. We thought it was a good idea and we heard from our customers that, for different reasons, it wasn’t. For that, we sincerely apologize.” As Jezebel points out, the apology was issued shortly after anti-abortion activists flooded the Land’s End Facebook page with angry comments.

Time magazine’s list of the women authors whose books are most read (or assigned, at least) in college courses was disturbing for at least two reasons: First, it ranks Barbara Bush at number 19 (just below Susan Sontag, and above writers including Hannah Arendt, bell hooks, and Edith Wharton); second, the list included Evelyn Waugh.

This week, a number of fiction writers have weighed in on the Democratic presidential campaigns. At the New Republic, novelist Joshua Cohen examines, with critical insight and historical context, Bernie Sanders’s speeches, his relationship to Judaism, his references to Dante, and more. Meanwhile, in a contribution to Buzzfeed’s ongoing series about Hillary Clinton, Lynne Tillman expresses her support of Clinton in an eloquent and wide-ranging essay about, among other things, the art of writing, trust, disagreement, reason, and why being a “woman with a past” is different from being a “man with a past.”

The Village Voice, which recently has been adding to its editorial staff, has hired Bilge Ebiri to write about film. Also, Genius has hired former Gawker features editor Leah Finnegan to manage its News Genius site, a community of Genius users who annotate news articles and other web pages.”

Yesterday morning, Al Jazeera America, which is about to close its doors, posted an article titled “Six Hot Media Startups to Watch in 2016.” The piece, clearly satirical in nature (Al Jazeera itself was one of the six startups listed), was soon taken down, and replaced by an editor’s note: “Al Jazeera America has removed the satirical piece originally posted on this link, which included commentary on our company that we believe was not appropriate given its imminent closure.” The “author,” “Professor Jeff Jarvis” (a pseudonym based on a parodic Twitter account), responded: “We have self-driving cars. Will we now have self-censoring global news outlets?” Gawker has posted a link to the archived article.

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