paper trail

John Cook leaving Gizmodo Media; Predicting the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature

John Cook

Special projects editor John Cook is leaving Gizmodo Media. According to a memo obtained by Business Insider, Cook decided to take a cue from other Gawker staff who took a break after the company’s court battle with Hulk Hogan. "I've watched with envy in recent months as various friends — including the occasional former colleague — have taken some time away from the news grind to clear their heads and get their bearings," he wrote. "After the last year and a half — even with the distance we've been able to put between ourselves the the Troubles — I could still use some head-clearing."

The New York Times looks at the Russian-backed Facebook pages turned over to federal investigators earlier this week. The pages represented both ends of the political spectrum, from groups like “Defend the 2nd” to “LGBT United,” while some avoided politics altogether by appealing to “animal lovers with memes of adorable puppies.” BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel examines the company’s failure to weed out fake news stories on its crisis page for the Las Vegas shooting this weekend. At New York magazine, Max Read ponders the many forms of Facebook—“from the birthday-reminder mundane to the liberal-democracy significant”—and wonders how to understand a company that “has grown so big, and become so totalizing, that we can’t really grasp it all at once.”

David Friend talks to the New York Times about his book, The Naughty Nineties. Friend began writing the book long before the 2016 election, and had assumed that it would be published under another Clinton presidency. “I wrote an afterword about how the really logical thing the ’90s led us to was le grand orange,” he recalled. “It’s the only silver lining to Trump being elected; it made the whole book make even more ghastly sense.”

At the New Republic, Alex Shephard—who erroneously predicted that Bob Dylan would not win the Nobel Prize in Literature last year—offers his best guesses for this year’s winner based on betting site Ladbrokes’ odds. Shephard predicts that popular authors like Margaret Atwood and Haruki Murakami are less likely to win after two years of famous recipients. However, he writes, “I am as convinced that perennial favorite Haruki Murakami will not win the Nobel Prize as I was that Bob Dylan never would, so take this with a grain of salt.”

The Hill reports from the launch party of the Scaramucci Post, created by former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. Scaramucci told reporters that the post is a social media–driven, “millennial-first media company” that has no plans for a website but will “eventually hire reporters” and fact checkers. “We have no idea what the Scaramucci Post is and neither do you,” Scaramucci said. “But, we launched it today and we launched with great fanfare and so we’ll have to see how the whole thing unfolds.”

Tonight at Kings Theater in Brooklyn, Ta-Nehisi Coates presents his new book, We Were Eight Years in Power.