paper trail

Jennifer Senior takes back praise of Jeff Flake's book; Wesley Yang on "The Souls of Yellow Folk"

Wesley Yang. Photo: Rich Woodson

CNN filed a lawsuit against the White House yesterday after Jim Acosta’s press pass was revoked last week. The Columbia Journalism Review rounds up opinions on the case from Knight First Amendment Institute director Jameel Jaffer, the New Yorker’s Masha Gessen, and CJR writer Jonathan Peters. “When a political leader puts journalists in a position of choosing between loyalty and access, he always wins, and journalists always lose,” Gessen said at a recent Columbia Journalism School event. “We can talk about how to minimize the loss, but it is certainly a net loss.”

At the New York Times, Jennifer Senior takes back her “mostly kind review” of Jeff Flake’s Conscience of a Conservative.“When his book came out last year, I saluted Flake for doing something politically contraindicated and Rubicon-crossing, establishing himself as the first Republican senator to call President Trump the domestic and international menace that he is,” she writes. “But . . . Jeff Flake’s book couldn’t even convince Jeff Flake. As of this writing, he has voted with Trump 84 percent of the time.”

Wesley Yang talks toNew York magazine’s Intelligencer about pain, identity, and how he came up with the title for his new book, The Souls of Yellow Folk. “The title is a kind of very irreverent and dry joke. . . . The point is that these are the essays that launched my career, and they did so by foregrounding the Asian-American identity and using it as a foil and proxy for the larger set of themes I wanted to deal with,” he explained. “I knew there was a risk that the book would be straw-manned by its critics. . . . The people who get it, get it, and they’re supposed to get it. And the people who don’t, don’t. I don’t want them to get it, and they can straw-man me in the pages of our major newspapers and magazines, which they have done.”

“I think that we like to embrace the gonzo and that Gawker was an inheritor of that gonzo spirit that didn’t originate with Gawker, but that they carried that mantle for a little while,” Daily Beast editor in chief Noah Shachtman tells Recode about the website’s style. “We really like the gonzo. We really like the weird. We really like the fun and we don’t give that many fucks. We don’t give zero fucks, but we don’t give that many fucks.”

Tonight at Books Are Magic in Brooklyn, Alice Sola Kim talks to Jonathan Lethem about his new book, The Feral Detective.