paper trail

Patrick Radden Keefe on his new essay collection; Jessica Valenti on “Canceled at 17”

Patrick Radden Keefe. Photo: Philip Montgomery

On the Death Panel podcast, Jules Gill-Peterson and Charlie Markbreiter discuss a recent New York Times Magazine cover story about gender therapy and medical transition. And at the New Inquiry, Gill-Peterson and Bea Adler-Bolton talk about anti-trans policies, with Gill-Peterson observing, “In the face of such dire circumstances, it’s stunning that some of the most visible criticisms of these laws have reduced them to the realm of identity politics, as if the difference between pro- and anti- trans is whether or not you rhetorically bless trans people.” 

In her Substack, Jessica Valenti argues that “Consequences are Good, Actually,” rejecting the framing of a recent viral New York magazine cover story, “Canceled at 17,” about a high school student who was ostracized after sharing a nude photo of a classmate without her consent. Valenti calls the article “a perfect example of how sexism and mainstream media collide and collude to convince Americans that abusive men are the real victims.” 

CNBC looks at how media companies may fare in the event of a recession. 

At The Forum, Gene Seymour writes about the testimony of the former Georgia election worker Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, who testified to the Jan. 6 Committee about the threats and racist abuse she and her family received after she found herself at the center of right-wing theories about election fraud: “This snapshot of age-old racial terror dusted off for the algorithmically charged twenty-first century should prompt us once more to probe the gradual atrophy of our collective political imagination.”

For the New York Times, Katie Robertson and Benjamin Mullin report on Ben Smith and Justin Smith’s plans for Semafor, a global digital news venture. Among the details: news articles will visually distinguish factual information from opinions; bylines will feature almost as prominently as headlines; and the organization’s first event will be a panel with tech columnist Taylor Lorenz, Politico cofounder John F. Harris, and Fox News host Tucker Carlson. 

Patrick Radden Keefe, author of books on the Troubles and the Sackler family, discusses Rogues: True Stories of Grifters, Killers, Rebels and Crooks, a collection of his essays for the New Yorker. Keefe tells the Los Angeles Times that he is “unabashed” about using novelistic techniques in his nonfiction writing, but “never tempted” to blur the lines between fact and fiction: “I tried writing fiction in college and failed. I couldn’t make up most of the stuff I discover in my reporting. If you put some of these details in a novel, no one would believe them. That’s what gives me so much satisfaction.