paper trail

Chuck Palahniuk working on new novel; The politics of Amazon reviews

Chuck Palahniuk

Rafia Zakaria looks at ways in which the 2016 presidential election is “being replayed in Amazon reviews.” Zakaria notes that it isn’t just high profile books like Hillary Clinton’s What Happened that receive politically-motivated one-star reviews. Mark Bray’s Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook received numerous poor reviews after an alt-right Reddit group encouraged its members to lower the book’s rating. Other authors have used these incidents to equate their own detractors with far-right trolls, like Democracy in Chains author Nancy MacLean, who accused academics who questioned her research of being “funded by the tycoons in her book.” “With the truth rendered tenuous, stars on Amazon take its place,” Zakaria writes, “making reviewing a political act for a divided polity.”

ESPN commentator Jemele Hill has been suspended from the network for two weeks after tweeting that football fans who disagreed with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’s plan to bench players who kneel during the national anthem should consider boycotting the team’s games. Hill recently apologized for a different tweet that called Donald Trump a white supremacist.

Lewis DVorkin has been hired as the Los Angeles Times’s new editor in chief.

Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk is working on a new novel. Adjustment Day will be published by W.W. Norton next May. In a statement, Palahniuk said that the book “is to Fight Club what Atlas Shrugged is to The Fountainhead — a bigger package of bold characters and norm-bashing ideas."

Axios compares late-night TV hosts’ reactions to Bill O’Reilly’s sexual harassment scandal with their treatment of the New York Times’s recent report on producer Harvey Weinstein’s own history of settlements and harassment. So far, only John Oliver has directly addressed Weinstein’s actions. Saturday Night Live removed planned jokes about the story from its show last weekend, “simply because the material seemed to fall flat with the show’s studio audience.” Page Six writes that New York magazine was working on a similar story last year, but killed it after Weinstein’s lawyers contacted them. The Wrap’s Sharon Waxman says that she was working on a piece about Weinstein’s behavior for the Times in 2004, but that the paper buried the story after Weinstein came to the newsroom “to make his displeasure known.” Jonathan Landman, the former Times editor named in Waxman’s piece, disagreed with her claim. “Sharon has now had more than a decade to pursue this story unencumbered by me or any New York Times editor,” he told Politico. “Why, if she had the goods on Weinstein in 2004, has she been unable or unwilling to publish something in the Wrap, where she was in charge? Could it be because she didn’t actually have the goods then, now or in between?”