August 30, 2017

Sarah Palin’s lawsuit against the New York Times has been dismissed. Palin had sued the paper over an editorial that linked the 2011 shooting at a Tucson rally for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords to an image from Palin’s PAC that showed crosshairs over certain congressional districts. No link between the shooter and the map had been proven, and the Times corrected the article. “Nowhere is political journalism so free, so robust, or perhaps so rowdy as in the United States,” Judge Jed Rakoff wrote in his dismissal. “In the exercise of that freedom, mistakes will be made, some of which will be hurtful to others.”

KHOU reporter Brandi Smith

At The Hill, Brian Klaas argues that the heroic work of reporters covering Tropical Storm Harvey in Houston shows that “President Trump owes journalists and apology.” From local stations that stayed on air as studios flooded, to major national publications that unlocked paywalls on articles about the storm, as well as the journalists who relayed pleas for help found on social media to rescue teams, Klass writes that “it is blatantly obvious that the press saved countless lives this week.”

Joe Pompeo details the steps that investigative reporters are taking to keep sources safe and receive sensitive information without running afoul of Trump’s campaign against leakers. “The president has toyed publicly with the idea of putting reporters in jail,” Pompeo notes, “so it’s no surprise that journalists and sources are on edge.”

Actress Vivien Leigh’s library will be up for auction next month in London. The lot, which includes a handwritten poem by Gone With the Wind author Margaret Mitchell and a signed copy of Evelyn Waugh’s The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold, is expected to sell for over £500,000.

In the New York Times, Thomas Mallon and Liesl Schillinger debate the function of critics, and whether they should be “open-minded” or “pass judgement.” Mallon writes that both aspects are important to a good essay. “Today’s literary reviews too often turn into participation trophies, quiet tour-guide appreciations,” he writes. “Few things, of course, are duller than self-indulgent put-downs; but informed and spirited dismissals are another matter, and they remain in too-short supply.” Schillinger remembers the negative reviews she wrote at the beginning of her career. “A pan is the fledgling critic’s calling card,” she writes, “and the second review I published remains the most negative I’ve ever written.” After receiving a voicemail from the author’s boyfriend defending the book, Schillinger writes that while she didn’t feel bad about what she had written—”the book was truly vile”—the message “strengthened my resolve to never censure without compelling reason—even if it meant that each of my nay votes would earn me a foe.”

Advertisement