At Vulture, David Edelstein responds to criticism of his review of Wonder Woman, which some readers found superficial and offensive. Although Edelstein writes that some of his words were taken out of context, he notes that others were simply not clear to readers. “To have to unpack my descriptions means, in the end, that they weren’t good or nuanced or sensitive enough to their ramifications,” he writes. “The lesson was learned on that score—and plenty of others.”
Milo Yiannopoulos will self-publish his book, Dangerous, which was dropped by Simon & Schuster earlier this year. After the book was put back on Amazon for pre-order, it quickly moved to the top of the “humor” category.
The Knight First Amendment Institute has requested that Trump unblock the Twitter accounts of his critics. The group argues that Trump’s Twitter is now a “designated public forum,” which is subject to First Amendment rules, and plans to bring legal action if their request is ignored. “This is a context in which the Constitution precludes the President from making up his own rules,” said Knight Institute executive director Jameel Jaffer. “Though the architects of the Constitution surely didn’t contemplate presidential Twitter accounts, they understood that the President must not be allowed to banish views from public discourse simply because he finds them objectionable.”
Sante Fe Reporter writer and New Inquiry editor Aaron Cantú was indicted for felony charges received after being arrested while reporting on Inauguration Day protests in DC. Cantú is one of two journalists who are still facing charges from covering the protests.
After NSA contractor Reality Winner was arrested for allegedly providing The Intercept with evidence of targeted Russian election hacking, journalists wonder whether the website should have taken more precautions to conceal Winner’s identity. In a statement, The Intercept denied knowing the identity of the leaker, and added that Winner has not yet been tried for her alleged crimes. “It is important to keep in mind that these documents contain unproven assertions and speculation designed to serve the government’s agenda,” they write, “and as such warrant skepticism.” At New York magazine, Jake Swearingen writes that both the reporters and the leaker share some of the blame—The Intercept for revealing the postmark on the document, and Winner for contacting the website while at work. The Washington Post explains how the NSA was able to trace the document back to Winner through nearly-invisible dots left by the printer she used. At The Outline, William Turton writes that Winner should have been more careful in light of the current administration’s vendetta against leaks. “These teams have been on red alert ever since NSA contractor Edward Snowden took a trove of documents and turned them over to the media,” he writes. Snowden himself noted that Winner has been charged under the Espionage Act, which means that the jury will not hear her motives for leaking the document. “Winner is accused of serving as a journalistic source for a leading American news outlet about a matter of critical public importance,” he writes. “The prosecution of any journalistic source without due consideration by the jury as to the harm or benefit of the journalistic activity is a fundamental threat to the free press.”