Monday, July 7th, 2014
5

New York Times Executive Editors Ranked, After Much Deliberation

8. Abraham Rosenthal (1977-1986)

7. Howell Raines (2001-2003)

6. Jill Abramson (2011-20141)

5. Bill Keller (2003-2011)


4. James Reston (1968-19692)


3. Turner Catledge (1964-1968)

2. Max Frankel (1986-1994)


1. Joseph Lelyveld (1994-2001)

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0

How to Write John Updike's Deathbed

A couple of weeks ago, Adam Begley was in town to publicize his biography of John Updike, which is, as Louis Menand put it, “an extended essay in biographical criticism, an insight into the man through the work and the work through the man.”

I’d intended to talk to Begley, who I’ve known for years, about a scene towards the book’s end. Updike is dying at home, surrounded by his wife, Martha, and ex-wife, Mary. It’s a vividly rendered paragraph and I wondered: Had Begley been present?

He was still at home when Mary telephoned Martha and said she’d like to come see her ex-husband. Martha suggested that [...]

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6

You Are What You Tweet

Are you what you tweet? Let's say yes. Using Tweetails, we obtained the data of most-used words for different Twitter accounts. Some groupings began to suggest themselves. Certainly, some unflattering self-portraits emerged.

Sir Mix-A-Lot

Justin Bieber

Tina Brown

Nick Denton

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1

Black Larry King (Isn't Any Of Those Things)

Doesn't matter what town we're in, my friend Chris Tucker always knows where the best dim sum is.

— Black Larry King (@BlackLarryKing) February 3, 2014

A friend of mine suggested that BuzzFeed deputy editor-in-chief Shani O. Hilton was harboring the identity of the genius behind @BlackLarryKing, the quietly funny, under-the-radar account. “I think Shani knows but she refuses to admit it,” she told me a few days ago. My editor, when we talked about interviewing Black Larry King, wrote back: “Shani claims not to know but I dunno if I believe her.” Others think Ms. Hilton might actually be BLK. “We are onto you,” [...]

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1

My Own Private….

Mangaung 1 Iceland 2 Tokyo 3 India 4 Omaha 5

Alamo 6 B.O. 7 Pyramid 8 Architecture 9 Asparagus festival 10

Hero 11 Librarian 12 Spaceship 13 Hammer time 14

Kalifornia 15 Germany 16 Cuba 17 Wichita 18 Iowa 19 Wyoming 20

Focus group 21 Bollywood 22 Instagram 23 Goldman testimony 24 Nietzsche 25

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0

Topless Geraldo

I don’t habitually spend time looking at topless men. I’ll see them at the gym and sometimes, if I’m not careful, catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. But generally, this diversion doesn’t comfortably fit into my routine. This year, though, for about four months, I made an exception. For reasons known only to my analyst (LOL, kidding. I don’t have an analyst, because life isn’t a Woody Allen movie!), I turned again and again to a blurry portrait of a lithe, 70-year-old Puerto Rican Jew.

To the extent that I was obsessed by anything this year, this was it.

At approximately 2 a.m. on July 21, [...]

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2

A Complete Guide To People That The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza Has Commanded To Call Their Offices

A

Todd Akin, call your office. http://t.co/ZkwFPZRD

— The Fix (@TheFix) August 19, 2012

B

Doug Band, call your office. http://t.co/ebaQQfsjby

— The Fix (@TheFix) September 23, 2013

Haley Barbour, call your office. http://ht.ly/4egEP (Hat tip @benpolitico)

— The Fix (@TheFix) March 14, 2011

Georgetown basketball, call your office. http://t.co/YsAFuYfZ

— The Fix (@TheFix) November 30, 2012

Michael Bloomberg, call your office. http://t.co/iTOIuCEB

— The Fix (@TheFix) January 28, 2013

Cory Booker, call your office. http://t.co/GBpXAk1cpU

— The Fix (@TheFix) August 29, 2013

Scott Brown, call your office. http://t.co/RAU7Yj1s

— The [...]

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2

What Youngsters Are You Fabulous Writers Reading?

Yesterday we cornered Brooklyn Book Festival panelists and asked them: who do you like among the younger generation of writers? Some of them had great answers!

Claire Messud, The Woman Upstairs

Gosh, the younger generation being under what? [“That’s up to you.”] You know, I’m a big fan of Sheila Heti. Does she count as the younger generation? She’s over thirty, though, she’s 35. [She’ll be 37 on Christmas.] Turn it off a for second, I just have to think! Because I’ve been mostly reading old and dead people, lately, so it takes me a minute to—turn that off! [The recorder is turned off. Then turned back on.] There’s a [...]

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1

"Sit On My Face"

He ordered. 1 He implored, barely audible. 2

Nina's expression doesn't change. 3 Would that turn you on, boob momma? 4 Because I am one horny motherfucker! 5

For another couple of minutes. 6 If you pay me enough. 7 And tell me that you love me. 8 For a bit. 9

Perfectly, he said. 10 Yeah. 11 By accident. 12

Stevie Nicks! 13 “HELL NO!” 14 “Man.” 15 Chorused a third. 16

ANY TIME. 17 Anytime. 18

1. Letters To Penthouse XXVII: The First Time Is the Hottest [source]

2. Pleasures of the Flesh, John Patrick [source]

3. The Way the [...]

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15

The Letter

William Shawn began work at The New Yorker in 1933, was appointed managing editor in 1939 and, quite shortly after the death of founding editor Harold Ross, became the magazine's editor in 1951.

In 1985, 34 years later, Shawn was still the editor, but Peter Fleischmann, the son of founding partner Raoul Fleischmann, owned only 25% of shares in The New Yorker. Paine Webber owned the next largest share, and the Newhouse family's Advance Publications already owned around 17% of the publication. Advance wanted, and got, the rest, for a price something like 20 times current revenues, according to the Times.

The employees, however, were not happy [...]

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3

"Full Disclosure"

I'm an adviser to John McCain's campaign. 1 Siri calls me “Funk Deity.” 2 Aside from lessons in pole dancing——another fad workout sweeping Southern California——this may be the least macho exercise of all time. 3

I am not a cat person. 4 My mother was one for many years. 5 I am a professor of Shakespeare, among other subjects, at UCLA, and this has never happened to me. 6

I am a sucker for the man-befriends-nonhuman-creature genre of sitcoms. 7 I have no complaints about how much I make. 8

When the New America Foundation moves its offices in D.C., next week, Foreign Policy will become our tenants, but [...]

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13

The Most Special Victim: Law and Order's Sneaky Attack on Christopher Meloni

Twitter greeted last week's "Law & Order: SVU" with mostly unbridled glee. "#SVU with the victim from New Canaan… REPRESENT!!" cheered @TotesMagotesMG3. "Law+order Svu episode about new Canaan kids yoloing and havin to go to rikers for pullin down their friends shirt made my night," confessed @BernbabyBern268. "Damn these rich little high school students from New Canaan CT are going to Rykers," observed @EyezWydeShut. Alas, sighed @bginns: "Not a good night for New Canaan."

New Canaan is my hometown. It’s where I went to high school, worked on the school paper with Merrill Garbus and ran cross country, terribly, until I realized girls were an [...]

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1

David Grann, What Is Up With Your Twitter?

Last week, David Grann and I met in his office at The New Yorker, in midtown Manhattan. It is a glorious fire hazard because he doesn't throw anything away. Grann has been a staff writer at the magazine since 2003 and published two books, the enthralling The Lost City of Z, and The Devil and Sherlock Holmes, a collection of his reportage. Stacks of papers related to finished stories ("That's Z, that's Cuba, that's Willingham…") line the walls, while the floor is devoted to a book-in-progress, as yet untitled, on the Osage Indian murders and the birth of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

For fans, a new [...]

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2

There's A Special Place In Hell…

For witches.1 For vampires once they're staked or burned.2 For the Halloween spoilers.3 For puppeteers like Paxton.4

For the systems integrators.5

For a number of Federal court judges, As I am sure there will be for Members of Congress.6 For non-disabled drivers who sport a handicapped placard on the dash And park free all day at a downtown metered spot.7

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5

How Should We Pronounce That Name, 'New York Times' Obituary Writer Margalit Fox?

From Shulamith Firestone’s obituary: "The family Americanized its surname to Firestone when Shulamith was a child; Ms. Firestone pronounced her first name shoo-LAH-mith but was familiarly known as Shuley or Shulie."

From Paul Roche’s obituary: "The author of several well-received volumes of poetry, Mr. Roche (pronounced 'rawsh') taught over the years at colleges and universities throughout the United States, among them Smith College; the University of Notre Dame; Centenary College in New Jersey; and Emory & Henry College in Virginia, where, his family said in a statement, 'He used to wander stark naked through the woods carpeted with violets.'"

From Giorgio Tozzi’s obituary: "At his [...]

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5

The Mystery Of The 1969 Naked Esquire Photo Shoot

It sounds preposterous, and it is. But the story of Esquire's grand plan to shoot a bevy of distinguished men and women in the altogether is, so far as I know, true. Here's the first paragraph of the unbylined, unheadlined story from the February 1970 edition of The Los Angeles Advocate:

Amazing! But how is it possible there is no record of these scandalous plans, save for a microfilm'd squib in a West Coast gay rag? (Go ahead and look. You will find nothing.) Before consigning this to the realm of the urban legend—albeit a legend that no one seems to know—I ran it by Gerald Clarke, Capote's [...]

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14

Wurtzel, Crichton & Yoo: Inside The Delightful 'Harvard Crimson' Archives

A series on the stuff that delighted us on the Internet this year.

In my case, this year's Internet experience didn't suck, exactly, but it was—at least in the precincts I frequent—drearily focused on the predictive. Ninety percent of what I read, excluding pornography, maybe, was either authored by, a celebration of, or a brief against Nate Silver. And that's nice! On balance, that a smart, gay adopted son of Brooklyn is a big deal is a good thing. But oh, how I wish we purveyors and consumers of the written word would spend a bit less time quantifying the probability of future events and a bit more [...]

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15

Who Was The World's First Blogger?

Sei Shōnagon, b. 966: "Her writings were eventually collected and published in The Pillow Book (public library) in 1002. An archive of pictures and illustrations, records of interesting events in court, and daily personal thoughts, many in list-form, this was arguably the world’s first 'blog' by conceptual format and Shōnagon the world's first blogger."

Michel de Montaigne, b. 1533: "It's been said—by Bakewell, with reservations, and others—that Montaigne was the first blogger. His favorite subject, as he often remarked, was himself ('I would rather be an expert on me than on Cicero'), and he meant to leave nothing out ('I am loath even [...]

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2

Yes, Virginia

There is a gender wage gap.1 There is a real world.2 There is poop in your well.3

There is hope.4 There is a G-Spot.5 There is a Bob Hope.6

Regular folks can be taught to code.7 Black love still exists.8 Macy’s stock is a good value Even near highs.9

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6

If I Weren’t An Actor…

I think I’d have gone mad.1 I’d probably be in prison or dead.2 I'd always look like someone out of Middle-earth.3

I’d be a lawyer.4 I’d be an event planner.5 I’d be a hypnotist, like Paul McKenna.6 I'd be a surgeon, like my dad.7

I would have been a journalist.8 I would have been a photographer.9

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