June 12, 2017

NPR has been investigating the deaths of journalists David Gilkey and Zabihullah Tamanna, who were ambushed last year in southern Afghanistan. Gilkey and Tamanna appear to have been the victims of a targeted strike: “The two men were not the random victims of bad timing in a dangerous place, as initial reports indicated. Rather, the journalists’ convoy was specifically targeted by attackers who had been tipped off to the presence of Americans in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.”

The New York Times has twice altered the headline on a profile of NBC News correspondent Katy Tur after reader complaints of sexism. “Katy Tur is Tougher Than She Looks” was changed to “Katy Tur’s Swift and Surprising Rise.” Finally, the paper settled on, “‘You Can’t Rattle Her’”: Katy Tur on the Rise.”  

Delta Air Lines and Bank of America are pulling their funding of the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar. On Sunday, Fox News reported that the “New York City play appears to depict President Trump being brutally stabbed to death by women and minorities,” and Donald Trump Jr. wondered on Twitter where the play’s funding was coming from. The New York Times has also been pressured to denounce the play, but a Times spokeswoman said the paper would continue to support the production, which features a contemporary-looking Julius Caesar wearing a blond wig and overly long tie. As Chris Hayes points out on Twitter, the play’s message seems to be getting lost in the uproar: “THE ENTIRE GODDAMN PLAY IS ABOUT ASSASSINATION BEING A TOTAL DISASTER! THE PATH TO RUIN!!! Read a book for the love of God.”   

Business Insider examines Gizmodo Media’s struggle to retain staff after the company was purchased by Univision last year. Since the sale, more than twenty employees have left and former staff say that a “toxic” work culture is to blame. “It felt like Univision was determined to stamp out all the great things about working at Gawker Media,” one former employee said.

Barbara Browning. Photo: Kari Orvik

At the New Yorker, Alice Gregory profiles The Gift author Barbara Browning, who “can sometimes seem less like a real person than like a character imagined by Rachel Kushner or Dana Spiotta—a heroine of downtown New York, whose performative life and prankish habits were invented to be written about.” In preparation for their interview, Browning asked Gregory to leave a voicemail apologizing “in advance for this article and any imprecise or inadequate characterizations of her that might appear in it.” Browning responded with “a video of herself dancing, semi-seductively,” as the message played in the background.

Tonight at Book Culture in Manhattan, Patricia Lockwood reads from her memoir, Priestdaddy.

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