Best Of The Web
“Ian Buruma was forced out last week as editor of the New York Review of Books after publishing an essay by a man who admitted that he has abused women. Mr. Buruma’s sudden departure caps a shameful season of American journalism.
In July, the Nation apologized for a poem for the first time in its 153-year history. In August, the New Yorker canceled a conversation at its annual festival between editor David Remnick and former White House aide Steve Bannon. All three publications were responding to outrage that they had dared provide a platform for views—or people—seen by a certain segment of the population as offensive, even dangerous.
The U.S. is deeply polarized, with divisions over race, class and sexuality widening under a president who exploits them. Social media brings out the worst in us. But good journalism has traditionally helped society find balance in unsettled times by giving voice to all sides of the debate, by helping people talk through their differences and seek compromise.
These three august institutions failed to do that. To put it plainly: They caved in.
In “How-To,” the poem published by the Nation, a street hustler offers advice on how to panhandle. The use of dialect suggests that the hustler is black, drawing complaints that the poem is racist. Because the hustler suggests faking a disability, it was condemned as “ableist.” The poet, Anders Carlson-Wee, who is white, was also accused of “cultural appropriation.” “We are sorry for the pain we have caused to the many communities affected by this poem,” wrote the magazine’s poetry editors, Stephanie Burt and Carmen Gimenez Smith. They said they were “revising our process for solicited and unsolicited submissions.” The New Yorker’s change of heart occurred after many liberals expressed outrage that Mr. Bannon had been invited to its festival and several celebrity speakers threatened to withdraw.”
JJ Best Of The Web
“America’s economy, thanks to Trump’s deep cuts in taxes and regulations, is powering ahead.”
“Donald Trump has this one right. Democrats have become a party of political radicals.”
“As long as Israel wasn’t explicit about what it meant to be Israeli, it was possible to be entirely Druze and, organically and inseparably, entirely Israeli.”
“Neil Armstrong was a quiet, sensible, level-headed guy, which makes him perfect for flying a spacecraft but not a particularly enthralling movie protagonist.”
“The number of IPOs is declining, and that could mean that small investors are getting shut out of the most lucrative deals.”
“The solution is so simple it’s almost laughable: just make our clouds a little more reflective, so they reflect more of the sun’s light, and thus reduce our heat.”
“Do you send Venmo requests for less than $5?”
“When female novelists write about female characters, or domesticity, or children, they face subtle charges of self-absorption.”
“Forget the game room and formal dining. You need space for aging parents and Airbnb guests.”
“Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat’s Samin Nosrat wants you to get off your butt and cook something.”
“Reality Is just a bunch of hallucinations we collectively agree on.”
“Let’s bring back the Sabbath as a radical act against ‘total work.’”