September 12, 2016

Jeffrey Toobin

Jeffrey Toobin

Univision, which bought Gawker Media in auction last month, has voted to remove six posts from still-running sites like Jezebel and Deadspin, saying that the posts are legal risks. John Cook, the executive editor of Gawker Media, wrote to his staff that deleting the articles, such as “Wait, Did Clowntroll Blogger Chuck Johnson Shit on the Floor One Time?,” was “a mistake”: “Disappearing true posts about public figures simply because they have been targeted by a lawyer who conspired with a vindictive billionaire to destroy this company is an affront to the very editorial ethos that has made us successful enough to be worth acquiring.”

After Norwegian author Tom Egeland’s was suspended from Facebook for posting the Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph “The Terror of War,” Norway’s largest newspaper posted the photo, which depicts children fleeing a napalm attack in Vietnam, on their own Facebook page. Although Facebook gave them the option to delete the photo or pixilate then-nine-year-old Kim Phuc’s naked body, the social media giant removed the photo before the newspaper could respond. Now, Aftenposten has published an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg about the editorial decisions of a company that still maintains that it is not part of the media. “Dear Mark, you are the world’s most powerful editor. … I think you are abusing your power, and I find it hard to believe that you have thought it through thoroughly.”

On the fifteenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, young-adult novelists struggle to adapt the story of that day for the readers who weren’t yet born. Writers worry about exploiting the event, balancing real details with what young readers can handle, and about the quality of their work. David Levithan, who wrote Love Is the Higher Law in 2009, told the New York Times, “Writing a bad book is O.K., but writing a bad 9/11 book, that was terrifying.”

Rich Juzwiak talks to Laura Albert, the author formerly known as JT LeRoy, and Jeff Feuerzeig, the director of the recent documentary Author: The JT LeRoy Story, about making the film, the nature of identity, and how her former selves affected her career. While writing for Deadwood, Albert says her many personalities confused producer David Milch: “I’d started out as JT and then I went to Speedie. Then I’m Emily Frasier, because I didn’t want everyone else to know. Then I’m Laura. He comes in and the rest of the staff still didn’t know. He’s standing there and he has to talk to me because there’s crazy shit going on. I see it on his face—what to fuckin’ call me? He’s just like, ‘…You!’”

American Heiress author Jeffrey Toobin talks to Hazlitt about paying for source material, Patricia Hearst’s unwillingness to participate, and the state of the nation in the 1970s. “I was completely flabbergasted and amazed at what a wreck the country was back then. A thousand bombings a year, two hijackings a month, Watergate, the energy crisis, economic decline, the Yom Kippur War, and nowhere was it worse than in the Bay Area.”

The BBC talks to Brian Bilston, the “unofficial poet laureate of Twitter.” Bilston says he never aspired to be a poet: “A poet to my mind was someone of intensity, a serious type, the kind of person you wouldn’t want to get trapped in a kitchen with at a party (if poets received invitations to parties at all, that is).”

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