paper trail

Jared Kushner's attempts at a media empire; Charles Johnson on his life story

Charles Johnson

Jason Miller, communications director for the Trump transition team, has turned down an offer to serve as White House communications director. His duties will be taken over by former RNC spokesperson Sean Spicer, who was recently named White House press secretary. Former campaign manager and recently-appointed White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told ABC News that, contrary to his current attitude toward the media, the Trump administration will offer “a great deal of press availability on a daily basis.”

Business Insider takes a look at Jared Kushner’s attempts to amass a media empire, a plan which sources say “often lacked vision, cohesion, and passion.” Revelations include a failed deal with Cablevision to purchase Newsday and Kushner’s fleeting interest in purchasing the New Republic.

Recode editor-in-chief Kara Swisher spoke to Peter Kafka on the website’s podcast about the media’s added responsibility in the post-truth era. Responding to the idea that Trump voters don’t want to be confronted with opposing viewpoints on issues like racism and gay marriage, Swisher pointed out that "people said the exact same things about interracial marriages.” “They’re wrong. I don’t want to reach across the aisle on that issue. They’re 100 percent wrong, and history will bear this out."

The Way of the Writer author Charles Johnson tells the New York Times’s “By the Book” that he’s not interested in anyone writing his life story. “I feel my life is boring, uneventful,” said Johnson. "All I do is work. . . . That wouldn’t make for a great biography, since I like to have drama in my stories but not in my personal life.”

In the countdown to 2017, Gizmodo Media staff detail “The Least Important Writers of 2016.” Honorable mentions go to media figures like “Jann Wenner’s Kid” and David Brooks, but the website concludes that no one had a worse year than writers of the now-defunct, who were “smeared as pornographers, crushed in court, bankrupted, sold, and then closed down altogether.” Noting that Peter Thiel, the man who bankrolled Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against the website, now has a place in the Trump administration, they write, “It is hard to imagine anyone in the media could have a more demoralizing year of getting their ass kicked. But 2017 is just around the corner.”