May 19, 2017

The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard has released an analysis of news coverage of Trump’s first one hundred days in office. The report found that Trump received three times as much news coverage as previous presidents in their first months in office, and that the overwhelmingly negative attention set “a new standard for unfavorable press coverage of a president.”

Trump is considering a decrease in the amount of time Press Secretary Sean Spicer spends on camera. Sources told Politico that “the briefings have become one of the most dreaded parts of the president’s day,” and that the president “doesn’t want Spicer, who has developed a belligerent persona from behind the podium, publicly defending and explaining the message anymore.”

Former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes’s death yesterday may complicate legal matters at the network. The company is under a federal investigation and is facing numerous discrimination lawsuits.

Heather Dietrick. Photo: Victor Jeffreys

Heather Dietrick has been hired as the new president and publisher of the Daily Beast. Dietrick was most recently the president of Gawker Media, where she assisted Nick Denton with the company’s legal battle with Hulk Hogan.

Jeffrey Tambor talks to the New York Times’s “By the Book” section about his Los Angeles bookstore, libraries, and writing a memoir. Tambor said that he had been reading other actors’ memoirs, but that he didn’t find them useful for writing his own book. “Absolutely no help,” he said, “except producing a serious amount of awe and envy.”

The Times observes a Naples casting call for the television adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend. The show’s producers are searching for two sets of child actors to play eight- and fifteen-year-old versions of the main characters, Lila and Lenú, as well as “a large ‘Annie’-esque supporting cast of hard-knock lifers.”

At the New Yorker, Jia Tolentino mourns the death of the personal essay, a genre that once defined internet writing and is now rarely published. The genre was both women-dominated and poorly-paid, a fact that felt exploitative to many writers and editors. And after the 2016 election, writes Tolentino, using personal feelings to discuss broader issues feels particularly irrelevant. “Put simply, the personal is no longer political in quite the same way that it was,” she writes. “Many profiles of Trump voters positioned personal stories as explanations for a terrible collective act; meanwhile, Clinton’s purported reliance on identity politics has been heavily criticized. Individual perspectives do not, at the moment, seem like a trustworthy way to get to the bottom of a subject.”

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