• July 29, 2016

    Washington Post reporter Jose A. DelReal was denied entry to a Mike Pence rally in Wisconsin, even after he had stored his cellphone and laptop in his car at the request of security. Erik Wemple has a round-up of the many troubling aspects of Trump’s adversarial relationship with the press. Observer writer Lincoln Mitchell is the latest employee to resign from the newspaper owned by Trump’s son-in-law. Trump held an AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit Wednesday night which did not actually allow anyone to ask him “anything.” The AMA was held in a pro-Trump subreddit and moderated by the candidate’s supporters. According to The Daily Beast, who attempted to ask why Trump has yet to release his tax returns, “The result was a production so tightly controlled you’d think Trump was running for president of North Korea.”

    A Florida appeals court has granted a temporary stay that prevents Hulk Hogan from collecting the $140 million he was awarded earlier this year in his invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against Gawker Media.

    IBT Media, which went from a clickbait website to respected news source to floundering digital publication in just under a decade, is now being called out by former employees for failure to pay freelancers or offer severance to laid-off workers. Former employees are voicing their indignation with the hashtag “#IBTWTF.” One employee pointed out that the company, which has yet to comment, had enough money to donate $1.3 million to a controversial evangelical university, but not enough to pay their workers.

    Stephen Elliott. Photo: Larry D. Moore

    Stephen Elliott. Photo: Larry D. Moore

    LA Weekly profiles Stephen Elliott, the author of The Adderall Diaries, who has started his own film festival. The Rumpus Lo-Fi Los Angeles Film Festival, which begins on July 30, will feature Elliott’s own movie, After Adderall, a reflection on the author’s alienating experience of having his book optioned by James Franco, as well as three other films and two panel discussions: “How to Film Festival” and “Life Into Art, When Books Become Movies.”

    Deborah Shapiro, the author of the new novel The Sun in Your Eyes, writes about novels that describe fictional artworks—“works of art within works of art”—by authors such as Robert Stone, Rachel Kushner, and Dawn Powell.

    Decide which faction of writers you’d like to join in the “pantsing vs. planning”  debate and learn “How to Write a Novel.” Then, learn how to clear out space on your bookshelf for all your masterpieces.

  • July 28, 2016

    James Alan McPherson

    James Alan McPherson

    James Alan McPherson—the author, longtime teacher at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a MacArthur Fellow—has died at age seventy-two. In 1978, McPherson became the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his story collection Elbow Room, and in 2000, John Updike selected one of his stories for the anthology The Best American Short Stories of the Century

    Since Google shut down Dennis Cooper’s blog on June 27, the question has been: Why? We may soon find out: On Facebook, the novelist says that Google has finally made contact, and that the company’s lawyers are now ready to talk with his lawyers about his deleted blog account.

    Poet and critic Michael Robbins has written one of the better analyses of Gay Talese’s much-talked-about new book, The Voyeur’s Motel. He finds a rich analogy in John D’Agata’s book The Lifespan of a Fact, which “contends that niggling details like facts can get in the way of important stuff like truth and art.” Robbins agrees. But he still doesn’t think much of Talese’s book, which he finds “plodding,” and overly reliant on a journal written by a voyeur who “evinces little self-consciousness.

    Le Monde’s editor in chief Jérôme Fenoglio has written an op-ed titled “Resisting the Strategy of Hate,” in which he states that the latest ISIS attacks in France—one of which led to the death of an elderly priest in a suburb of Rouen—are designed to inspire “blind vengeance” and to turn the country into an “empire of hate.” He also reiterates the paper’s decision not to publish photographs of attackers.

    How many free journalists are left in Turkey? After warrants were issued for forty-seven Turkish journalists on Monday, Reuters reports that the government has called for forty-two more to be arrested, most of them staff of the shut down Zaman newspaper.

    Peter Thiel—the billionaire PayPal cofounder, Trump supporter, and nemesis of Gawker Media—was recently scheduled to speak at a gathering organized by the Property and Freedom Society, which has been called “white-nationalist-friendly.” Thiel’s spokespeople say that he is no longer attending the event.

  • July 27, 2016

    The Man Booker Prize longlist was announced this morning. The list includes Paul Beatty’The Sellout, David Means’Hystopia, Ottessa Moshfegh’Eileen, and ten other novels. The winner will be announced on October 25th.

    Michelle Goldberg, the author of The Means of Production: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World, traces the way irrational animosity towards Hillary Clinton has changed over the past two decades. In 1996, Henry Louis Gates Jr. wrote: “Like horse-racing, Hillary-hating has become one of those national pastimes which unite the élite and the lumpen.” Back then, Goldberg writes, Clinton was seen as a “moralist, a meddler, a prig.” Today, Goldberg suggests, the complaints are quite different: “She is disingenuous and she lies blatantly,” says one interviewee. (The impression that Clinton is dishonest is widely held, but fact checkers have found her to be fundamentally honest.) Elsewhere, Rebecca Traister, author of All the Single Ladies, argues that some progressives are lifting anti-Clinton rhetoric from the Republican National Convention.

    Novelist and critic Teju Cole (Open City) devotes his “On Photography” column to images of the Black Lives Matter movement, particularly the photograph of Leshia Evans, a protester in Baton Rouge who has been frequently compared to a superhero: “Her dress, abstractly patterned in black and white, swirls around her. She seems almost to be levitating.” Cole points to a “deeper genealogy” (which includes “Tank Man,” taken in 1989 near Tiananmen Square) and wonders whether, after news of more violence, he should revise his column, already edited but not yet in print. In a postscript, he explains why he did not revise. “The duty of critical writing is to listen to the noise of life without being deafened by it.”

    More than forty TED speakers give their summer reading recommendations.

    Although readers have been taking Rich Cohen to task on social media for his shallow portrait of Margot Robbie in his Vanity Fair cover story, the Suicide Squad and Wolf of Wall Street actress told an Australian TV show that it’s no different from any other day on the Internet: “I’ve read far more offensive, far more sexist, insulting, derogatory, disgusting things on a daily basis.”

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Edward Snowden. Photo: Open Road Films

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Edward Snowden. Photo: Open Road Films

    It’s been a good week for books with big screen dreams. The trailer for Snowden, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and based on Luke Harding’s The Snowden Files and Anatoly Kucharena’s Time of the Octopus, premiered at San Diego’s ComicCon. Two books by investigative journalists on the Panama Papers leak are being adapted into movies. Hulu announced that Orange is the New Black actress Samira Wiley has signed on to its series based on Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. The Hollywood trend of “turning subversion of its own tropes into its chief box office asset” might be a good thing for “Discworld” series author Terry Pratchett—studios have struggled to adapt the prolific novelist’s often pessimistic works to the big screen.

    Revolution Books, the New York City bookstore that raised $100,000 last year to move from its original Chelsea location to a new spot in Harlem, is starting an IndieGoGo campaign. The bookstore seeks $25,000 “to enable it to stock more books, add an air conditioning system, and build a stage for author events.” Spokesperson Andy Zee wrote in an email to bookstore members, “The simple and brute fact is that Revolution Books…cannot survive and grow by selling books alone.”

  • July 26, 2016

    A publicity still from Jill Soloway's "I Love Dick." Photo: Amazon Studios.

    A publicity still from Jill Soloway’s “I Love Dick.” Photo: Amazon Studios.

    Vulture has a behind-the-scenes look at Transparent creator Jill Soloway’s new Amazon series, I Love Dick, which premieres on August 19th. Soloway has taken Chris Kraus’s 1997 cult novel and transported it to Marfa, Texas, casting Kevin Bacon, Kathryn Hahn, and Griffin Dunne as the three leads in this story of a lopsided love triangle. Soloway has high hopes for the show’s radical potential: “It’s just so powerful for a woman to say, ‘No, I’m not the object of your story,’ . . . ‘I’m the subject.’ Just that simple sentence is enough to upend the entire planet.”

    In Turkey, forty-two journalists have been targeted for arrest following the failed coup attempt on July 15th. According to The Guardian, one of the reporters believed to have a warrant out for his arrest is Fatih Yağmur, who left the country after the coup. Yağmur told the paper, “I fear for my life, I do not feel safe in Turkey. I do not intend to return before the state of emergency is lifted.”

    Reverend Tim LaHaye, the author of the bestselling evangelical Christian apocalypse series, “Left Behind,” has died at the age of ninety. In 2003, Joan Didion considered LaHaye’s work and its influence on president George W. Bush.

    n+1 has released the annotated table of contents for their upcoming issue, “Dirty Work.” Highlights include Namara Smith on how Hillary’s “belief that what’s best for the market is best for women . . . has lost much of its force,” Stephen Squibb on “Prince Trump,” and Gabriel Winant on how “American workers can do everything right and still lose.”

    Patsy Tarr is resurrecting Dance Ink, the influential dance magazine last published in 1996.

    Chaos Monkeys, Antonio Garcia Martinez’s account of the time he spent trying to get rich quick in Silicon Valley, has been hailed as “the most fun business book I have read this year” by Dealbook’s Andrew Ross Sorkin. Sorkin approves of Martinez’s combative dedication, “To all my enemies: I could not have done it without you,” figuring his attitude problem is what gives him the gumption to shine a light on tech-bro culture. But Sorkin seems to have ignored passages like this one: “Most women in the Bay Area are soft and weak, cosseted and naive despite their claims of worldliness. . . . They have their self-regarding entitlement feminism, and ceaselessly vaunt their independence, but the reality is, come the epidemic plague or foreign invasion, they’d become precisely the sort of useless baggage you’d trade for a box of shotgun shells or a jerry can of diesel.”

  • July 25, 2016

    Dennis Cooper

    Dennis Cooper

    The petition to restore novelist Dennis Cooper’s blog, which was deleted by Google without explanation, now has more than 3,000 signatures. Mark Edmund Doten, an editor at Soho Press and the author of the novel The Infernal, makes an impassioned plea at the petition’s webpage: “Google, give it back. We want all of it, the thousands of posts about art and literature, about roller coasters and defunct amusement parks, about haunted houses, optical illusions, and indie rock. We want the galleries of Halloween Masks and the tour of the Winchester Mystery House and Thomas Bernhard Day and the annual Bûche de Noël Beauty Pageant. Google, we want it all back, and we want it now.” At the New Yorker’s Culture Desk, Jennifer Krasinski tries to find out why the blog was erased, quoting a former Google employee saying that it was probably “just a stupid mistake.” Cooper told Krasinski that if he doesn’t get an answer from Google soon, he’ll have to sue the company, saying “I can’t let it go.”

    Roger Ailes has not spoken publicly since he resigned as head of Fox News on Thursday, but according to sources close to Ailes, he is planning to discuss his time at the network in a memoir. Ailes has a long-standing deal with HarperCollins; “the book is a priority for him now,” one longtime friend told CNN.

    At the Washington Post, Aaron Blake tallies the most damaging emails from the Democratic National Committee leak, which include messages that mock Sanders, call one of his campaign aides a “damn liar,” and question his loyalty to the Democratic Party. 

    To best understand Hillary Clinton, Carlos Lozada writes at the Washington Post, “don’t watch the convention.” Rather, you should read her “two contrasting memoirs,” Living History and Hard Choices.

    Marvel Comics has announced that Roxane Gay, the author of the essay collection Bad Feminist and the forthcoming memoir Hunger, will be co-writing a new comic series with Ta-Nehisi Coates. The first issue of Coates’s Black Panther was the best-selling comic of the year. Meanwhile, congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis’s graphic novel and memoir, March Book Two, won an Eisner award for nonfiction this weekend.

    The Guardian has a set of interviews with fiction translators, reflecting on how they got their start and how the difficulties of translating go far beyond grammar and syntax. Besides Ann Goldstein, the translator and face of Elena Ferrante’s novels in the US, there are insights from Edith Grossman—translator of Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Antonio Munoz Molina’s Manuscript of Ashes—and Don Bartlett, who has translated all six volumes of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle.

  • July 22, 2016

    Last night at the Republican National Convention, Jon Stewart took over the desk at The Late Show With Stephen Colbert to deliver a Daily Show–style monologue ridiculing Donald Trump, the Republican party, and Fox News. The New York Times has a full transcript of Stewart’s remarks, which he kicked off with: “I thought Donald Trump was going to speak. Ivanka said that he was going to come out. She said he was really compassionate and generous, but then this angry groundhog came out and he just vomited on everybody for an hour.”

    The New Yorker has a sensitive account of the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shooting. Daniel Wenger reports from Orlando, registering the subdued scene at the city’s oldest gay club, visiting an undocumented immigrant convalescing in a hospital, and attending the funeral of a twenty-six-year-old Dominican man named Oscar Aracena-Montero. “In Hispanic countries and Latin-American communities, where conservative family values still prevail, gay lives are often lived at least partially under the radar,” he writes. “For many of the survivors, the massacre seemed to deliver multiple blows: first the violence of the attacks, and then the intrusions, however well-meaning, of neighbors, police officers, federal investigators, journalists.”

    Mohamedou Ould Slahi

    Mohamedou Ould Slahi

    Prison authorities have recommended that Guantánamo detainee Mohamedou Ould Slahi, whose handwritten prison journal Guantánamo Diary was published in 2015, be released. Once free, Slahi hopes to “start a business and write books.”

    Biteback Publishing has acquired imprisoned Turkish journalist Can Dündar’s new book, We Are Arrested: A Journalist’s Notes from a Turkish Prison. Dündar was arrested in November after the newspaper he edited, Cumhuriyet, ran an exposé on illegal arms shipments from the Turkish government to Syrian rebels.

    Catapult has just published Watchlist, a new anthology of writing about surveillance. Contributors include Etgar Keret, T. C. Boyle, Robert Coover, Aimee Bender, Jim Shepard, Alissa Nutting, Charles Yu, Cory Doctorow, and others.

    Natalie Portman isn’t the only A-list actress to be experimenting with a role behind the camera: Actress Kirsten Dunst is set to direct an adaptation of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. Dunst cowrote the screenplay; Dakota Fanning will star as Plath’s alter ego Esther Greenwood. In other adaptation news, Donna Tartt’s bestselling book, The Goldfinch, is being made into a movie by Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy screenwriter Peter Straughan and Brooklyn director John Crowley. Natasha Vargas-Cooper offers some help with casting.

    Bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell is one of the headliners at the OZY Fusion Fest, an all-day food-music-comedy-ideas event that will take place in New York on Saturday. According to the website, Gladwell will open the festivities with a keynote speech, about “America and the world . . . at a cultural crossroads.”

  • July 21, 2016

    On Tuesday night, Charles Kinsey became the latest victim of a police shooting—a particularly baffling case since Kinsey, an unarmed African American caretaker trying to help an autistic patient playing in the street, was lying on the ground with his hands in the air when cops shot him in the leg. Kinsey survived and told the Miami Herald that the police “realize this was something inappropriate regarding the shooting. If [they] admit fault, that would probably go a long way.” As the Times reports, Silicon Valley wants to take on the problem of police violence, but have so far settled for trivial interventions: Uber made its car icons into small peace signs and advised users to take “one minute to reflect on gun violence” while waiting for their ride, while Twitter attempted to commission a “#StayWoke” mural for their New York offices. As Jenna Wortham writes, “what the tech industry really cares about is ushering in the future, but it conflates technological progress with societal progress.”

    When Donald Trump Jr. gave his RNC speech, his resemblance to a certain serial killer made “Patrick Bateman” start trending on Twitter, reminding us of the Donald’s starring role in Bret Easton Ellis’s 1991 novel American Psycho.

    At a Buzzfeed party in Cleveland celebrating blacklisted journalists—which featured “scenes of McCarthy-era hearings played via giant projector” —BuzzFeed’s DC bureau chief, John Stanton, was wrestled to the ground by Rudy Giuliani’s security team. Stanton’s offense? Attempting to ask the former New York City mayor, who was also attending the party, a question.

    As former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage offers breakfast interviews at the RNC in Cleveland, and reports criticize the Cameron government for not creating a contingency plan in case of a “Leave” vote on the Brexit referendum, Zadie Smith reminds us that while walls, literal and figurative, can protect, they can also leave us “separated, private, paranoid, preoccupied with security.” In “Brexit Blues,” journalist and novelist John Lanchester tries to figure out how a proposal that was ridiculed in 1997 was realized in 2016: “One of the characteristics of the story is a distinctly British unseriousness: tragedy and farce, as so often in this country’s political life, were hard to tell apart.”

    Jean Stein. Photo: Brigitte Lacombe

    Jean Stein. Photo: Brigitte Lacombe

    A committee that includes Hulk Hogan and others who are owed money by Gawker are asking whoever buys the site to take down “defamatory, tortious content that’s currently on the web pages.” Gawker founder Nick Denton, who is on the hook for $10 million of the $140 million court penalty, has hinted that he too might file for bankruptcy. Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley titan who bankrolled the lawsuit and will be speaking tonight at the RNC, likely agrees with the nominee’s feelings on libel laws: “We’re going to open up those libel laws. So when the New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace . . . we can sue them and win money.”

    PEN America has announced two new awards, one of which includes a $75,000 prize, in honor of author Jean Stein, whose oral histories include Edie: American Girl and West of Eden: An American Place. Selections will be chosen and judged by an anonymous panel.

  • July 20, 2016

    Embattled Fox News boss Roger Ailes, accused of sexual harassment by the television host Gretchen Carlson, is negotiating his exit from the network he started twenty years ago, according to one of Ailes’s lawyers. His career there ends as Fox-style rhetoric has all but taken over the GOP. As the New York Times writes: “Mr. Trump’s convention has been a triumph for Mr. Ailes’s brand of smash-mouth and ‘politically incorrect’ politics. . . . It is, in a way, the most Fox News-y convention in the network’s history.” Ailes’s imminent departure was announced as two more women, Megyn Kelly and Ann Coulter, spoke out against Ailes’s conduct.

    As Donald Trump officially clinched the Republican nomination for president, he continues to be literary fodder. Martin Amis reviews two books by the candidate, looking for signs of madness, or failing that, any ideas at all. Meanwhile, Richard Ford weighs in with his assessment of the Donald’s mental soundness: Trump, he says, is not displaying symptoms of insanity, but is instead a symptom of “our national malaise with life . . . our American disease.”

    JT Leroy

    JT Leroy

    The Asian American Writers’ Workshop has awarded its 2016 Editorial Achievement Award to Chris Jackson, an editor who has worked with authors including Victor LaValle, Eddie Huang, and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

    HarperPerennial will reissue two books by JT LeRoy, the novel Sarah and the story collection The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things, in late August—just before the September 9 theatrical release of Jeff Feuerzeig’s documentary Author: The JT LeRoy Story. The film will chart the rise and fall of LeRoy, an HIV-positive gay male author with a traumatic backstory (including a stint as a teen truck-stop prostitute) who turned out to be the persona of thirty-something author Laura Albert. “JT LeRoy” had a significant following (Lou Reed, Mary Gaitskill, Dennis Cooper, Billy Corgan, Dave Eggers, and many others once celebrated his work). But the unmasking of LeRoy (the result of an article by novelist Stephen Beachy) left him few admirers. The new edition’s blurb, by Adam Langer, tries to reclaim Albert as an author worth reading despite the elaborate hoax, calling her “a tremendously gifted and empathetic writer who found herself overshadowed by her own creation.”

    #MyIdeaOfFlirtingIs … tweeting at corporate Twitter accounts? The tactic worked for Victoria Carlin, whose reply four years ago to a tweet about Pokémon by London bookstore Waterstone’s resulted in a wedding to Jonathan O’Brien, the man behind the “nerdy tweets.” The rest of their story is a wedding announcement made in clickbait heaven, complete with doughnuts, secret cocktail bars, and Pokémon Go. At the reception, the bride, groom, and best man all cited the tweet that started it all. O’Brien told Mashable, “None of us knew the others would mention it.”

  • July 19, 2016

    In New York magazine, Gabriel Sherman—the author of The Loudest Voice in the Roomreported yesterday that Rupert Murdoch and his two sons are planning to get rid of Roger Ailes, the Fox News boss who has been sued by Gretchen Carlson for sexual harassment. 21st Century Fox, the network’s parent company, has recently hired a private law firm to conduct an independent review of the Ailes case. The company’s executives quickly responded to the New York article, saying that the Ailes case “is not yet resolved, and the review is not concluded,” but, as the New York Times points out, the denial’s tone is chilly, a far cry from an earlier statement saying that 21st Century Fox had “full confidence” in Ailes.

    As the Republican National Convention got off to a “fiery” start yesterday in Cleveland, with anti-Trump delegates calling for a floor fight and allegations that Melania Trump plagiarized parts of Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech, a Cleveland.com reporter wanted to know what RNC delegates thought about her city. The verdict, she writes, was that “we impressed them with our friendliness, our food and our police force.”

    Tony Schwartz

    Tony Schwartz

    Tony Schwartz, Donald Trump’s ghostwriter for The Art of the Deal, is making the media rounds, warning the public about how “terrifying” he thinks a Trump presidency would be. Schwartz expressed extreme regret about ghostwriting the book in a New Yorker profile by Jane Mayer (which reached one million views five hours after it was posted). Schwartz also made his way to Good Morning America, where he said that a Trump presidency “would end civilization as we know it.” The National Review notes that “Schwartz is a liberal tortured now by thoughts that he helped launch Trump from New York tabloid fodder to national icon, so draw your own conclusions about his credibility,” but concedes that Schwartz’s description of Trump as unfocused and uninterested in books is  “wholly consistent with his public behavior—the rambling speeches and interviews . . . the inability to describe in depth any of his own proposals, the unfamiliarity a year into the campaign with the basics of American civics.”

    Gavin Eugene Long, the gunman who shot six police officers in Baton Rouge on Sunday, had self-published three books comprised of, as the Los Angeles Times puts it, “New Age-style jargon, pseudoscience, motivational bromides, health tips and racial theory.” Amazon removed the books from its website on Monday afternoon.

    After reporting on Politico’s leadership struggle and how it tore the newsroom apart, author Luke Mullins conducted a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) where he explains the high burnout rate at Politico and reflects on the possibilities for the publication’s future under recently-announced editor Carrie Budoff Brown. Writing about the up-to-the-minute breaking news coverage that made Politico famous, Mullins says he “can’t imagine things getting any more saturated than they are right now—but I probably would have said that a couple years ago.” According to the AMA, there’s still no word on Politico founder and former CEO Jim VandeHei’s next project.

    Former London Mayor Boris Johnson’s new position as UK foreign secretary doesn’t leave him much time for writing. Johnson was expected to publish Shakespeare: The Riddle of Genius in October, but has now put the project, which reportedly came with a £500,000 advance, on hold. Johnson, who wrote the 2014 book The Churchill Factor, has also given up his weekly column for The Telegraph.

  • July 18, 2016

    Late last week, Benjamin Wallace-Wells asked, “What Have the Freddie Gray Trials Achieved?” Today’s decision, to acquit Brian Rice, the highest-ranking officer charged in the case, affirms Wallace-Wells’s assertion that “whatever justice for Freddie Gray’s death looks like, it will probably not involve long prison sentences for cops.” Three more cops involved in the case are scheduled for trial in the coming months, but the lack of new evidence for upcoming trials and failure to convict in all preceding cases have legal experts and The Sun’s editorial board calling on Baltimore’s State Attorney Marilyn Mosby to reevaluate whether bringing the next three officers to trial is advisable. Maybe Williams could offer an online course in criminal evidence and the requirements for guilty verdicts. Maybe Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby should sign up for it.”

    Screen Shot 2016-07-17 at 6.30.34 PM

    Tijen Karas reading a military statement on Turkish TV while being held at gunpoint.

    In “A tug-of-war for power in Turkey, with journalists in the middle,” Poynter reports on how, during the attempted coup on Friday night, CNN Türk was shut down by soldiers. At 8:43 pm, the TV network tweeted “Coup plotters are ending @cnnturks broadcast now,” with a picture of an eerily empty studio. On Saturday morning, journalist Ismail Saymaz shared a video that apparently shows police and citizens forcing the military out of the building. A group of soldiers arrested journalists at the Hürriyet Daily News, according to Emre Kızılkaya, who was on the scene. At TRT, the Turkish state-run TV network, news anchor Tijen Karaş was forced to report that the coup had succeeded. “They ordered us to read the statement after taking us out of the locked room” she said, “You must have realised the fear in my eyes and my lips were trembling. These were hours that loomed over like a nightmare.” Zeynep Tufekci, the Turkish writer and technology scholar, noted how heavily the government relied on social media to stop the attempted coup, tweeting: “Never thought I’d write: Erdogan takes to Twitter & FaceTime as a coup attempt in Turkey is thwarted by gov’t supporters using social media.” She also observed the heavy use of Facebook Live for disseminating anti-coup messages.

    Jelani Cobb, the New Yorker writer whose books include The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress, has written about the distinction between “blue lives matter” and “black lives matter.” The first statement—the “blue” here refers to police—enjoys the status, says Cobb, of a “fact.” “Black lives matter,” on the other hand, remains a “reminder, or an aspiration.”

    The weekend edition front pages of Le Monde and Libération both ask: Why? The number of young people killed in the attack prompted Le Parisen’s headline “They Were Children.” The New York Times has a wrenching story focused on these children, quoting one parent, Raja El Kamel, explaining the importance of seeing the Bastille Day fireworks: “You have to bring your children because if you don’t, you will pay for it all year—all their friends are there.”

    In the New Yorker, Margaret Talbot writes about the Cleveland police force’s preparation for the potentially volatile crowds expected to descend on the city for the Republican National Convention. On Cleveland.com, Andrew J. Tobias reports on a news conference in the city, where officials said they were going to use “community policing and community engagement” rather than riot gear, though deputy chief Ed Tomba stressed that “we’re not going to stand for any lawlessness.” These words were considerably more measured than those of the head of Cleveland’s police union, Steve Loomis. On Sunday, Loomis told Fox News that President Obama had “blood on his hands” after three officers were killed in Baton Rouge, and asked: “”How the hell did we ever become the bad guys in this country?”

    PEN has released a statement in support of Dennis Cooper as he tries to discover why Google deleted his blog and Gmail account without warning or explanation.