A federal court in San Francisco ruled on Friday that bloggers are entitled to the same free speech protections as a traditional journalists. “As the Supreme Court has accurately warned, a First Amendment distinction between the institutional press and other speakers is unworkable,” wrote Andrew Hurwitz, one of the three judges in a federal appeals court panel, which ruled that Crystal Cox, a blogger who lost a defamation case three years ago after writing a post accusing a financial services firm of tax fraud, deserved a new trial and could only be found liable for defamation if she had acted negligently, by the same standards applied, say, to newspaper reporters.
“My very photogenic mother died in a freak accident (picnic, lightning) when I was three,” and other fine examples (beyond that one, from Nabokov’s Lolita) of great punctuation in literature, including parentheses, em dashes, ellipses, and more.
Wendy Lesser reflects on the joys of literary destruction and writers who break the rules: “Literature that tells lies is not worth the paper it is written on, but a lie is not the same as a fantasy, an invention, an allegory, a myth, a dream. Fiction, drama, poetry, and even essays can be made up and also truthful.”
Not quite breaking news, but still noteworthy nonetheless: According to The Guardian, most writers are making virtually no money at all, less than $1,000 a year from their work.
At the New Yorker, Elias Muhanna writes beautifully about the antiquarian bookshop that burned in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, while Jon Michaud remembers his days working as a clerk at Rizzoli, the midtown Manhattan bookstore that is now running, once again, from a wrecking ball.