September 19, 2017

Paul Farhi reflects on why crime journalist Kevin Deutsch’s numerous instances of unidentifiable sources and possible fabrications were overlooked until the recent publication of his second book, Pill City. “One possibility is that Deutsch’s questionable sources were merely peripheral to his stories, providing ‘color’ about widely reported events,” Farhi writes. “But it’s also possible that a journalist dealing with people on the fringes of society faces less accountability than one reporting in the center of the public square.”

Michelle McNamara. Photo: Robyn Von Swank

Harper Collins will publish Michelle McNamara’s final book, which she was working on when she died suddenly last year. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer will be published in early 2018.

Jann Wenner plans to sell his controlling stake in Rolling Stone. Wenner and his son Gus, who is the current president and CEO of Wenner Media, told the Times that they “hoped to find a buyer that understood Rolling Stone’s mission and that had ‘lots of money.’” The paper also looks at the magazine’s legacy on its fiftieth anniversary.

Thomas Frank, who resigned from CNN after the network retracted an article he wrote about Anthony Scaramucci, has been hired as BuzzFeed’s first national security and counterintelligence reporter. Frank will focus on the investigations into the Trump campaign’s relationship to Russia.

The Associated Press looks at the trend of government agencies suing public records seekers in order to keep information from being released. Though the lawsuits don’t request damages, they enable public offices to avoid paying legal fees that they would normally be accountable for if sued by records seekers.

At CNN, Brian Stelter looks at the last-minute preparations for Sean Spicer’s Emmys sketch and wonders why Stephen Colbert and the Emmys are helping Spicer rebrand. The Times talks to Spicer about the cameo, which they call “his latest attempt to ingratiate himself with the largely liberal coastal entertainment and news elites he so acidly disdained as Mr. Trump’s alter-ego spokesman.” At The Atlantic, Spencer Kornhaber writes that “when opponents of the president talk about ‘normalizing’ an abnormal administration, they are talking about the sort of thing that took place onstage sunday night at the Emmys.”

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