paper trail

MacArthur "Genius" grants awarded; The "Times" addresses Sharon Waxman's Weinstein reporting

Jesmyn Ward

The MacArthur Foundation has announced the recipients of their 2017 “Genius” grants. Winners include novelists Viet Thanh Nguyen and Jesmyn Ward, as well as New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones.

Axios rounds up the “dirty old men exposed in sex scandals” over the past year. At The Awl, Silvia Killingsworth sends a message to the Harvey Weinsteins and Bill O'Reilly’s of the world. “Every industry, from food service to the art world to the field of Antarctic geology has its own Harvey Weinstein, and we’re not keeping quiet about it anymore,” she writes. “So let this serve not a vague threat but rather an explicit notice: the whisper networks have officially become shouting conference calls. Our truth is that your power is no longer as great as you think it is. It’s not over exactly, but everything is different now.” New York Times editor Dean Baquet responds to Sharon Waxman’s charge that the paper killed her article about Weinstein’s behavior after pressure from the producer. “I’m sure Ms. Waxman believes she had a story,” he said in a statement to the Times’s Reader Center. “But if you read her own description, she did not have anything near what was revealed in our story.”

After being contacted by the Times with legal concerns, BuzzFeed has removed its slogan “All the news too lit for print” from its new morning show, “AM to DM.”

The Columbia Journalism Review talks to the victims of fake news, from parents of the children murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School to business owners affected by Pizzagate. Nina Berman compares the current media landscape to 1938, when Orson Welles broadcast The War of the Worlds. “The morning after the broadcast, Welles owned up to the hoax and apologized for any harm it might have caused. Today, the most outrageous spinners of hateful, horrific, and fake stories show absolutely no evidence of regret or remorse for the damage they do,” she writes. “On the contrary, refusing to exhibit civil decorum or own up to their lies even when confronted with irrefutable facts often bolsters their reputations.”

In an excerpt from her new book, NBC journalist Katy Tur remembers her first interview with Donald Trump and his personal attacks on her during his campaign. Yesterday, Trump threatened to challenge NBC’s broadcasting license for reporting that he “wanted a tenfold increase” of the country’s nuclear arsenal.

Tom Hanks talks to Maureen Dowd about his childhood, having his writing critiqued by the late Nora Ephron, and his new story collection. Hanks’s first piece of writing, an essay in honor of a retiring makeup artist, was published by the Times after rigorous editing by Ephron, who advised that “it shouldn’t be in the Sunday Styles section but maybe in the Thursday Styles section.” Dowd notes that after a decade of writing, directing, and producing, Hanks is “still going to be in Thursday Styles.”

In his introduction to Know That What You Eat You Are, a collection of food writing from Harper’s Magazine, Nick Offerman compares our relationship with food to a marriage: “In our perpetual wedlock with our daily grub, there are certainly moments that might be likened to a honeymoon, e.g. a bountiful sweet corn harvest or the arrival at table of a sizzling rasher of bacon, just as there are patches of stormy weather (most salad courses).”