• September 23, 2016

    PEN America has released a new report on media censorship in China. The nearly eighty-page report found foreign journalists have had an increasingly difficult time doing their job since president Xi Jinping took office in 2012. The organization points to Chinese citizens’ wariness of being a source for foreign journalists due to increased crackdowns on and arrests of activists, writers, and others who question the party. Journalists have also found it more difficult to apply for and receive work visas, and foreign news outlets have shied away from publishing critical articles on their Chinese-language websites in order to avoid retaliation.

    Charles Harder, Hulk Hogan’s defense lawyer in the case that bankrupted Gawker Media, tells the Hollywood Reporter that he’s “anything but the enemy of a free press.” The entertainment lawyer once defended stars in “reputation protection” cases, usually against a retailer misusing a celebrity’s likeness to sell goods. “Now the simple act of him sending a warning letter makes news.” Although Harder was happy to talk about Hulk Hogan, Nick Denton, and Peter Thiel, he was less interested in expounding on his possible case against New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman. The attorney refused to confirm that he was defending Ailes, even after being reminded of the leaked warning letter to the magazine, responding with a question of his own: “If someone sends a private letter, is it public?”

    Jay McInerney

    Jay McInerney

    Bright, Precious Days author Jay McInerney tells the LA Times that his fictional character Russell Calloway “would have to finally make good on his threat to move to France” if Donald Trump is elected president. “I fear we may be moving toward a post-factual world. Yeah, I’ve certainly thought of this as the start of a new book.”

    The New York Times reports on the fashions of the New York Art Book Fair, held last weekend at MoMA PS1. As one attendee clad in all white tells the paper, “I realize it’s a controversy because it’s after Labor Day, but I’m pushing boundaries.”

    President Obama presented the 2015 National Medals of Arts and National Humanities Medals yesterday. Winners include Mel Brooks, Terry Gross, James McBride, and others.

    Graeme Macrae Burnet, whose novel His Bloody Project was included on the Man Booker shortlist, is outselling the other books on the list: Since the announcement of the finalists on September 13, Burnet’s book has sold over 10,000 copies. But Contraband, the book’s Glasgow-based publisher, has only two full-time employees and is struggling to meet the demand. Contraband founder Sara Hunt called the book’s popularity “fantastic and an utter surprise.”

    Tonight at the Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House, poets Janine Joseph, Solmaz Sharif, and Ocean Vuong read their work.

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