The Environmental Protection Agency has accused the New York Times of writing “elitist clickbait trying to attack qualified professionals committed to serving their country.” The comment was in response to Eric Lipton’s story, “Why Has the E.P.A. Shifted on Toxic Chemicals? An Industry Insider Helps Call the Shots.” The spokesperson who sent the message, Liz Bowman, had previously been employed at the American Chemistry Council, a trade association for chemical companies. She told Erik Wemple that she is happy to cooperate with reporters, but feels that Lipton is biased: “There are a lot of reporters at the New York Times that we are happy to work with. In this particular case, it was clear that Lipton was acting on behalf of other officials with an ax to grind. It was clear he was not going to change his mind and certainly would not produce a balanced story.” The Times is giving readers a chance to decide for themselves, if they’re willing to wade through a lot of paperwork: the publication posted 374 pages of annotated reporting notes for the story, including answers from Bowman to reporters’ detailed questions.
HBO and Penguin Press are both cancelling projects with Mark Halperin in the wake of sexual harassment allegations by five women. Halperin is also resigning from his job as a political analyst for MSNBC.
Jennifer Eagan, whose new book, Manhattan Beach, takes place in the years before and during World War II, tells the Dallas News about one advantage to writing historical fiction: “I think part of what appealed to me about writing about the ’30s and ’40s was the idea of just eliminating technology in the form that I’m often obsessed. It was wonderful to just get rid of it.”
As part of New York magazine’s fiftieth-anniversary issue, Christian Lorentzen writes about New York literary parties and shares what he’s learned over the years: “Never go to a networking event. Poetry readings are either the best or the worst things. You can skip any book party because they only happen once, they end too soon, and there’s no narrative to them, especially if you’re not there. . . . The best way to befriend famous people is to have no idea who they are.”
More than 6,000 letters written by Marcel Proust will be posted online next year.
Tonight at Book Culture in Manhattan, Brit Bennett reads from his debut novel, The Mothers