• January 31, 2017

    In response to the Trump administration’s hostility towards the press, Samantha Bee will be hosting an event on the same night as the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Proceeds from Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner will benefit the Committee to Protect Journalists. Although White House Correspondents’ Association president Jeff Mason told the Hollywood Reporter that the event will happen as planned, Bee told the publication that she suspects “it will either get called off or it will be the most sinister awkward thing you’ve ever seen.”

    Caitlyn Jenner will be co-writing her memoir with Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Buzz Bissinger, who also wrote the Vanity Fair cover story on Jenner’s transition. The Secrets of My Life will be published by Trapeze in April.

    After management voluntarily recognized an employee union last year, the Huffington Post ratified its first union contract yesterday. Changes include across-the-board raises, new minimum salaries, and severance pay. In a statement, the bargaining committee called the new contract an example of “what a newsroom can accomplish when it decides to come together and bargain collectively.”

    Three more journalists who were charged with felony rioting while covering Inauguration Day protests have had their charges dropped. RT America reporter Alexander Rubinstein, Story of America producer Jack Keller, and freelance journalist Matthew Hopard were facing prison sentences of up to ten years, along with fines of $25,000. Freelance journalists Shay Horse and Aaron Cantú still have charges pending.

    At the New York Times, Farhad Manjoo writes that social media is becoming a weapon of the resistance against Trump. Manjoo looks at the “instantaneous” protests that were organized after Trump’s executive order on immigration, and how the media—once Trump’s favorite propaganda machine—is now being used against him. “Throughout the campaign, the bigger a spectacle he created, the larger he loomed in the public consciousness,” Manjoo writes. “What has been remarkable during the last two weekends is how thoroughly Mr. Trump’s own media personage was blotted out by scenes of protesters.”

    Porochista Khakpour

    In the wake of Trump’s executive order, Porochista Khakpour reflects on coming to the US with her family from Iran as a child, her life as an academic, and the possibility of once more becoming a refugee. Khakpour writes of rumors that Trump’s next move will target naturalized citizens like her, and likens the fear to what she experienced after 9/11. Khakpour writes that she spent Friday evening “reading news articles, crying, and wondering: What is going to happen to this country, what will they do to my other country? You can be a refugee once, I’ve always thought, but how to be one twice?”

  • January 30, 2017

    The felony rioting case brought against Vocativ’s Evan Engel has been dropped. Engel was arrested while covering anti-Trump protests in Washington, DC, on Inauguration Day. In a statement, Engel said his “thoughts are with any other journalists who are facing charges for doing their jobs, as well as with journalists imprisoned around the world.”

    Julia Ioffe

    At The Atlantic, journalist Julia Ioffe writes about her family’s experience as Soviet refugees, describing what it is like to be the subject of debates and policy decisions made by strangers many miles away: “They don’t know you. They don’t know the days of your life that you have already lived, and the stuff of your mind and the strength in your hands. To them, you are an abstraction, colored by their fear and their hate, or by their heartrending idealism.”

    The Women’s Prize for Fiction, which has honored an outstanding English-language novel each year for twenty-two years, is looking for a new sponsor. The Irish drink company Baileys has funded the award for the past four years, but, according to the Prize’s website, the company is making way for a new backer because it now has a “need for marketing activities that work across different languages.” In an essay for The Pool, the Prize’s founder, Kate Mosse, frames the sponsorship search within the context of Donald Trump’s election and the recent worldwide women’s marches, writing, “A new sponsor for the WPF will help us take the Prize into a new era. Will help champion women’s stories in the days, weeks and years ahead when, frankly, who knows what might happen.”

    At the New York Times, Caitlin Dickerson looks at anti-refugee articles online, examining the ways in which they spread by preying on readers’ anxieties. Once found mainly on far-right websites, these articles are now beginning to change mainstream perception of refugees and immigrants, as untrue stories (as well as wildly exaggerated ones with a grain of truth) are shared widely. Brookings Institute fellow William Galston tells Dickerson that even if people don’t believe alarmist fake news, its presence on social media still changes the tone of the discussion about immigration: “I think . . . opinions are being intensified because the intensification of contrary sentiments is increasing polarization.”        

    In a profile of Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer, the Times recaps his first week, noting that he was “pilloried as a liar, hammered by journalists, mocked by Stephen Colbert, taunted by the freeze-dried ice cream brand Dippin’ Dots and held up as the poster child for an administration that can play fast and loose with the facts.” Even his boss was unhappy with him: Trump reportedly criticized Spicer’s first press conference, imploring him to wear better clothes and carry himself more confidently, because, as Spicer explains, “He was disappointed with how the overall news cycle was going.” Still, the press secretary appears undaunted, saying of his job:  “You’re not here to be someone’s buddy. You’re here to enact the president’s agenda. . . . And if you think it’s going to be anything bad, then this isn’t the job for you.”

  • January 27, 2017

    Despite statements made earlier this week by Alex Jones, the Infowars’s site-runner has not been offered White House press credentials. BuzzFeed reports that in a YouTube video, Jones claimed that the Trump administration would be offering press credentials to him and his news site: “We’re going to get them, but I’ve just got to spend the money to send somebody there. I want to make sure it’s even worth it.” Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that Jones “is not credentialed for the White House,” and that they had not offered any credentials.

    BuzzFeed has hired Steven Perlberg to cover Trump’s relationship with the media. Perlberg was most recently at the Wall Street Journal.

    In an interview with the New York Times, chief strategist of the Trump administration Steve Bannon referred to the media as the “opposition party” and said that news outlets “should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile.” When asked about whether Press Secretary Sean Spicer had lost standing with the media for his insistence on the lie that Trump’s inauguration was the most well-attended in history, Bannon laughed. “We think that’s a badge of honor. ‘Questioning his integrity’—are you kidding me?” he said.

    Frank Langfitt, NPR’s London correspondent and former Shanghai correspondent compares the Trump administration’s PR tactics to those of China’s authoritarian government. “Like the new White House,” Langfitt writes, “the Chinese government has tried over the years to convince citizens not to believe their own eyes.” Langfitt draws on his experience of suspicious interviewees, blatant government lies, and calls for journalists to be more “objective,” and recommends that American journalists “get out of the office as much as possible, report and spend a lot of time listening to ordinary people about their concerns.”

    John Edgar Wideman

    In the New York Times Magazine, Thomas Chatterton Williams talks to John Edgar Wideman, whose most recent book, Writing to Save a Life: The Louis Till File, was published late last year. In addition to his new book, the pair discuss the violence that permeates both Emmett Till and Wideman’s own family history. Emmett’s father, Louis, was hanged after a court martial in Italy convicted him of the rape and murder of an Italian woman based on faulty evidence. Wideman’s brother was sentenced to life in prison after a robbery-gone-wrong resulted in the death of another man and his son Jacob, was sixteen when he was convicted of murdering his summer camp roommate. Around the time Writing to Save a Life was published, Jacob was released from prison after serving thirty years of his sentence. The decision came on Election Day. “It kind of put all the other news in perspective,” Wideman said.

  • January 26, 2017

    Author Harry Mathews died yesterday in Key West, Florida, at the age of 86. A long-time contributor to the Paris Review, Mathews was also the only American member of Oulipo, the French literary society “whose stated purpose is to devise mathematical structures that can be used to create literature.” During his nearly sixty-year career, Mathews published numerous works of fiction, poetry, and essays. With James Schuyler and John Ashbery, he started the journal Locus Solus. Of his novel Cigarettes (1987), Edmund White wrote: “This book is remarkable, as involving as a 19th-century saga and as original as any modernist invention—a rare combination of readability and ingenuity.” In their spring issue, the Paris Review will include an excerpt from the novel he finished shortly before his death.

    Roxanne Gay. Photo: Kevin Nance

    Roxane Gay has decided to pull her upcoming book, How to Be Heard, from Simon & Schuster after they decided to go ahead with the publication of Milo Yiannopoulous’s book on free speech. In a statement to BuzzFeed, Gay explained that although she believes in Yiannopolous’s right to free speech, “he doesn’t have a right to have a book published by a major publisher but he has, in some bizarre twist of fate, been afforded that privilege,” she wrote. “I’m not interested in doing business with a publisher willing to grant him that privilege.” Gay has yet to find another publisher for the book.

    Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Milk, has announced plans for a memoir about his red-state upbringing. Mama’s Boy: The Story of Two Americas will be published by Knopf, and details his relationship with his religious mother and how his Southern upbringing “gave him the tools and courage to stand up for gay rights and become the storyteller he is today.”

    Facebook announced yesterday that it will no longer tailor Trending Topics to each reader, in an attempt to minimize the impact of fake news. Instead, readers across the country will see the same news items regardless of what their algorithms think they’ll be interested in. Additionally, the topics will be chosen based on the amount of news outlets covering the story, rather than the number of pageviews for a single article.

    At The Atlantic, Rosie Gray looks at Breitbart News’s attempt to enter the mainstream, and what that might mean for their outsider credibility. In recent weeks, the extreme right-wing website has poached numerous reporters away from established publications like the Wall Street Journal, and are looking to hire more in the coming months and several former staff have taken on roles in the Trump administration. “It would be hard for any news organization to maintain an identity as an iconoclastic truth-teller if its main mission is to amplify the president’s message, as Breitbart’s critics allege is now the case,” Gray writes.

    After many federal agencies were ordered to cease all social media activity and outside communication, The Verge reports that “the resistance will be tweeted,” now that unofficial Twitter accounts like @AltNatParkSer, @BadHombreNPS, and @ungaggedEPA have begun tweeting climate facts and sarcastic jibes to the president in response. Kaitlyn Tiffany writes that, “given Trump’s notoriously thin skin” and his reliance on Twitter to act as his press office, tweeting “might actually be the best way to get his attention.”

  • January 25, 2017

    Six journalists are now facing felony charges after being arrested while covering protests at the inauguration. Vocativ’s Evan Engel, RT America’s Alex Rubinstein, Story of America producer Jack Keller, and freelancers Matt Hopard, Shay Horse, and Aaron Cantú have all denied the charges. According to The Guardian, “none of the arrest reports for the six journalists makes any specific allegations about what any of them are supposed to have done wrong,” and five of the six arrest reports contain identical language. Carlos Lauria, the senior Americas coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, called for the charges to be dropped. “These charges are clearly inappropriate, and we are concerned that they could send a chilling message to journalists covering future protests,” Lauria said.

    After Svetlana Alexievich resigned from Russia PEN in protest over the group’s treatment of a jailed filmmaker, the organization released a statement that said that the author “has never been a member of the Russian PEN, so her declaration of leaving it sounds bizarre.” Alexievich responded with both a photo of her original membership papers from 1995, as well as screenshots of the website’s list of members from earlier this year. “Russian PEN is made out of really old people who don’t have an easy relationship with technology,” Alexievich said. “They forgot that the internet stores everything.”

    Howard Jacobson

    Man Booker prize-winning author Howard Jacobson has written a book in response to Donald Trump’s election. Pussy will be published by Jonathan Cape in April and tells the story of Prince Fracassus, an heir that presides over a land of “golden-gated skyscrapers and casinos.” Jacobson told The Guardian that he had been thinking about the book since the early days of Trump’s campaign in 2016, but that Trump’s win drove him to work on the book every day for two months straight. “Satire is an important weapon in the fight against what is happening and Trump looks like a person who is particularly vulnerable to derision,” Jacobson said.

    The Trump administration has placed a gag order on multiple federal agencies. The Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the US Department of Agriculture are just a few of the departments that have been ordered to cease all outside communication with the press and members of congress, as well as halt all social media, blog posts, and press releases.

    After Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway claimed that the administration was offering “alternative facts” about the size of the inauguration crowd, George Orwell’s 1984 has become the number-one best-selling book on Amazon. Penguin will be printing 75,000 new copies to keep up with demand.

    Netflix has bought the worldwide rights to Nobody Speak: Hulk Hogan, Gawker and Trials of a Free Press, a documentary which is being screened at Sundance.

    Frederik Obermaier and Bastian Obermayer, the journalists who first broke the story of the Panama Papers, implore journalists to work together in order to effectively cover Trump. Like the story of the Panama Papers, they write, much of the stories about Trump’s conflicts of interest will be “too big and too important to do alone.” The journalists also encourage White House correspondents to stand up for each other when Press Secretary Sean Spicer ignores or refuses to answer their colleagues’ questions. “If the media doesn’t want to see more press conferences like the disastrous one we saw recently,” the pair write, “they will need to be bold.”

  • January 24, 2017

    Philip Roth

    At the New Yorker, Judith Thurman emails with Philip Roth about the similarities between the Trump presidency and the presidency of Charles Lindbergh, which Roth invented for his novel The Plot Against America. Roth writes that a Lindbergh presidency makes more sense than a Trump presidency: “Lindbergh, despite his Nazi sympathies and racist proclivities, was a great aviation hero who had displayed tremendous physical courage and aeronautical genius in crossing the Atlantic in 1927. He had character and he had substance. . . . Trump is just a con artist.” According to Roth, the book that is a better explanation of Trump is Herman Melville’s The Confidence-Man, “the darkly pessimistic, daringly inventive novel—Melville’s last—that could just as well have been called ‘The Art of the Scam.’”

    National Book Foundation director Lisa Lucas talks to Time magazine about the National Book Awards, reaching the 27 percent of Americans who didn’t read a single book in the past year, and her recommended reading for President Trump. “We were so lucky to have such a wonderful reader in President Obama, who said that reading novels helped to make him a better citizen,” said Lucas, and recommended that Trump take a look at Claudia Rankine’s Citizen, Arlie Russell Hoschschild’s Strangers in Their Own Land, and Ibram X. Kendi’s Stamped From the Beginning. She also recommended books by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, as well as Nate Powell’s March trilogy, the third book of which recently won four American Library Association awards.

    The Independent profiles Dan Scavino, Trump’s director of social media and the man behind all @POTUS tweets not marked “DJT.” Scavino, whom Trump met as a golf caddy on one of his courses, often promotes fake news on his personal social media, is a follower of the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and has been tweeting for Trump since the presidential campaign. The Trump team says Scavino has been responsible for some of the Trump account’s most notorious tweets: He posted an image, which had originated on a neo-Nazi website, of Hillary Clinton with what appeared to be a Star of David (he said it was a “sheriff’s badge”) and the words, “Most corrupt candidate ever,” and he is the source of the famous misspellings, such as “honered,” “leightweight,” and, most memorably, “unpresidented.”

    The New York Times has apologized for an ill-advised article about fathers who took care of their kids while their partners were rallying at the women’s march. “How Vital Are Women? This Town Found Out as They Left to March” caused an immediate outcry from readers. The article’s author, Filip Bondy, says “I deserved it,” explaining that the article was meant to be lighthearted, “but these are not light times.”  

    Tonight at McNally Jackson books, Ottessa Moshfegh reads from her short-story collection, Homesick for Another World. In a recent review of the book, Moira Donegan notes that Moshfegh “makes her readers voyeuristically complicit in her depictions of poverty, compulsion, and physical decay. At the same time, she dares us to identify with these characters in their petty vanities and indulgences.”

  • January 23, 2017

    Women’s March on Washington. Photo: Mobilus In Mobili

    In September, New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet spoke on an “Inside the Timespodcast about the publication’s duty to call out candidate Trump’s untrue statements. This was certainly the case with the Times’s coverage of his first full day in office, when the paper published at least three articles about the president’s false claims regarding the size of the crowd at his inauguration and the origin of his feud with the CIA: “White House Pushes ‘Alternative Facts.’ Here are the Real Ones;” “With False Claims, Trump Attacks Media on Turnout and Intelligence Rift;” and “Trump’s Inauguration vs. Obama’s: Comparing the Crowds.” The paper also dedicated significant coverage to the women’s marches against Trump that took place all over the world on Saturday, including an article with a headline that seems almost tailor-made to infuriate him: “Crowd Scientists Say Women’s March in Washington Had 3 Times More People Than Trump’s Inauguration.” 

    At the Washington Post, Margaret Sullivan writes that the most important thing about the administration’s statements on Saturday was not necessarily the lies, but rather the hostile tone toward the press. Sullivan implores reporters not to “rise to the bait”: “Trump wants a flat-out war with the nation’s media for one well-calculated reason: Because he believes it will continue to serve his political purposes, as it has for months.”

    After New York Times public editor Liz Spayd argued that the paper was “too timid in its decisions not to publish the material it had” concerning Russian connections to the Trump campaign, Baquet told the Washington Post that she “doesn’t understand what happened.” Baquet said that the Times “reported the hell out of this . . . and we could prove nothing more than that there was some packets of information from a bank to Trump Tower. Sorry, Liz is just wrong. That is not journalism. It is typing.”

    The Guardian profiles Paul Auster and talks to him about his new book, 4 3 2 1, which, he says, he wrote with a feeling of imminent doom: “I started the book at 66, which is the year my father dropped dead of a heart attack. And once I passed that boundary, I began to live in a very creepy world. . . . There was a thought of sudden death in my head.” Now that he’s finished the novel and emerged from his “bunker,” Auster’s thoughts are turning to what his role as a writer in the Trump era should be. He’s taking over as president of PEN America early in 2018, and says, “I’m going to speak out as often as I can, otherwise I don’t think I can live with myself.”

    Novelist Yaa Gyasi is also reflecting on the Trump presidency. She writes that since the election, a Ghanaian proverb—“the ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people”—has been on her mind. “Something deeply private, like the filth in our homes, has been made public,” she writes. Gyasi wonders how so many Americans didn’t see the election results coming. “Either many Americans did not know that the house was in disarray, or they knew but hoped that the disorder wouldn’t get out, be seen, like laundry shoved into a spare cupboard before the guests arrive,” Gyasi writes. “Here we are now, our dirty laundry visible and stinking and everywhere.”

    By deleting a misspelled tweet, Trump may have violated both the Freedom of Information Act and the Presidential Records Act. After writing on his personal account that he was “honered” to serve America, both that tweet and a corrected follow-up tweet were deleted. Although it might seem like a minor issue, Rhett Jones writes that “history might tell a different story. If this man is so careless with his official communication less than 24 hours after becoming president, we’ll need the documentation to show that.”

  • January 20, 2017

    The intrepid investigative reporter Wayne Barrett, who enjoyed a long tenure at the Village Voice in the newsweekly’s heyday, died yesterday. Barrett’s books included Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11 and Trump: The Deals and the Downfalls. The latter book, which was originally published in 1992, had a resurgence this year, selling for hundreds of dollars on Amazon until it was rereleased as an e-book with a new introduction by the author. Barrett remained an expert critic of Trump, who once had the reporter physically removed from a party, until the end. Barrett criticized many politicians, but in the process also won many local leaders’ respect. Michael Bloomberg writes: “Wayne Barrett was a tenacious reporter in the tradition of the old muckrakers who could sniff out corruption and special interest politics a mile away. No elected official always saw eye-to-eye with Wayne, including me. But I always respected his deep sense of moral purpose and encyclopedic knowledge of city politics, accumulated through a lifetime of tireless research.”

    Patrick Kingsley

    Guardian migration reporter and The New Odyssey author Patrick Kingsley will join the New York Times as an enterprise-investigative reporter.

    After criticism from both conservative and liberal media, the Times is standing behind an earlier article that alleged Rick Perry did not initially understand the job of Energy Secretary, a role that he has been nominated for by the Trump administration. The article cited only one named source, former Trump transition official Michael McKenna, who later told the Daily Caller that his words were misinterpreted by the paper. In a statement to Politico, a Times spokesperson said, “We stand by our story, which accurately reflected what multiple, high-level sources told our reporters.”

    The Hill reports that the Trump administration plans to defund the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among other departments. According to Brian Darling, a staffer at the conservative Heritage Foundation, “Targeting waste like the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities would be a good first step in showing that the Trump Administration is serious about radically reforming the federal budget.”

    At New York, Jonathan Chait details six books that can help readers understand “how the GOP went crazy.” Titles include EJ Dionne’s Why the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism—From Goldwater to the Tea Party, Kimberly Phillips-Fein’s Invisible Hands: The Businessmen’s Crusade Against the New Deal, and Paul Krugman’s Peddling Prosperity: Economic Sense and Nonsense in an Age of Diminished Expectations.

    Women’s Wear Daily looks at which media outlets are allowing employees to attend the Women’s March on Washington as private citizens. The New York Times, the Washington Post, and BuzzFeed—all of which are sending reporters to cover the event—are only allowing reporters to attend if they are on assignment. Magazines don’t seem to be adhering to the same restrictions—Glamour staff who are not covering the event have chartered their own bus to DC, and employees at Hearst and Conde Nast are also reportedly attending.

    At Time, Eddie S. Glaude Jr. writes that Americans should refuse to watch Trump’s inauguration, arguing that lower ratings might be the only form of protest that can get through to him. “We should blank out: we should refuse to watch the Inauguration on television,” Glaude writes. “Help raise funds for the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and Earthjustice. Spend time with the people you love. Disengage from the spectacle. Turn off the television.”

  • January 19, 2017

    Helen Oyeyemi. Photo: Tom Pilston

    The finalists for the PEN America Literary Awards were announced yesterday. Nominees include Helen Oyeyemi’s What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, Solmaz Sharif’s Look, Arthur Lubow’s Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer, and Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing.

    Textbook publisher Pearson announced plans yesterday to sell its 47 percent stake in Penguin Random House, which it owns in partnership with Bertelsmann. The move has staff and authors concerned about consolidation. One anonymous author told The Guardian that although the company seems to be doing fine financially, “you always worry that any added pressure to streamline the business will narrow its publishing focus further. . . . For any author, you are only as good as your last book, so it’s a worry you could be vulnerable when things like this happen.”

    The Washington Post announced plans for a news product for women yesterday. The Lily, named after the first newspaper run by and for women, will launch later this year as “an experimental, visually-driven product designed for millennial women that will boldly reimagine The Post’s award-winning journalism.”

    In his final press conference, President Obama emphasized the need for close contact between the White House and the media, a possible reference to the Trump administration’s plan of moving journalists to another building nearby. Obama also encouraged the press to maintain its adversarial stance toward the next administration. “You’re not supposed to be sycophants,” Obama said. “You’re supposed to be skeptics.”

    The Society of Professional Journalists has partnered with sixty other journalism organizations to request a meeting with president-elect Donald Trump to discuss media access to the administration. Similar to requests made by the SJP to the Obama administration, the group wants to discuss the media’s ability to speak with government employees directly rather than through Public Information Officers, access to the President, and ways to maintain the strength of the Freedom of Information Act. In their press release, the SJP writes of hope that “they and the Trump administration can improve the lines of communication between the White House and the press.”

    The Trump International Hotel in DC has banned media during the week leading up to inauguration. The building, which is owned by Trump and his children, is on a sixty-year lease from the US General Services Administration. Politico’s Daniel Lippman attempted to look into whether “the hotel’s decision to ban media from property owned by the federal government and from a hotel controlled by the president-elect” violated any aspects of the lease.


  • January 18, 2017

    The New York Times released their “2020 Report” yesterday, which outlines the publication’s strategies and goals. The authors of the report focused on increasing subscribers and embracing digital journalism. “Too often, digital progress has been accomplished through workarounds; now we must tear apart the barriers,” the introduction states. “We must differentiate between mission and tradition: what we do because it’s essential to our values and what we do because we’ve always done it.” In a memo to staff, executive editor Dean Baquet and managing editor Joseph Kahn clarified which of the report’s directives would be implemented in the newsroom. Throughout their list of changes—including streamlining of the editing process, an improved focus on staff diversity, and a $5 million investment in reporting on the Trump administration—the threat staffing cuts loomed. “Let’s not be coy,” Baquet and Kahn write. “These changes will lead to fewer editors at The Times. One of our overarching goals is to keep as many reporters, photographers, graphics experts and videographers on the ground as possible.”

    The release date for Ivanka Trump’s upcoming book, Women Who Work, has been pushed back from March to May of this year. In a statement, her publisher, Portfolio, said that the postponement will allow Trump to “accommodate these momentous changes . . . and give her time to settle her children into their new home, schools and city.”

    BuzzFeed is partnering with ProPublica, the Times, WYNC, and other news and civil-rights organizations to track and investigate reports of hate crimes in the US through the Documenting Hate project. “By getting better information on hate crimes and bias incidents in the US, we aim to make it harder for the authorities to ignore the problem,” BuzzFeed news reporter Peter Aldhous writes.

    Poynter writes that Donald Trump has no libel case against BuzzFeed after the website published a dossier of unconfirmed intelligence findings on the president-elect. Due to his status as a public figure, as well as the news value of the article, a lawsuit against the site would most likely have no standing. But there’s another reason Trump may hold off on suing anyone: According to Frank LoMonte, the director of the Student Press Law Center, “In a legal sense it would only open the door to look further into Donald Trump’s’ private life.”

    Jon Meacham

    In “The Long View,” a new series of articles in the Times, Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Jon Meacham looks at how three novels from the 1930s—Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here, Edward Dahlberg’s Those Who Perish, and Nathanael West’s A Cool Million—are still relevant today. Meacham compares the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt  to Donald Trump’s, writing that though “the 45th president of the United States comes to office at a calmer time than the 32nd . . . Donald Trump’s demagogic populism and his movement’s willingness to traffic in ethnic and racial stereotypes have put many Americans in the mind of the chaos of the 1930s. From Long to Charles Coughlin, we have been here before.”