The big media buzz on Monday was an editor at The New Yorker claiming she was fired because she raised concerns about gender and racial inequality at the magazine and because she accused its editor-in-chief — one of the biggest names in journalism — of inserting mistakes into her articles.
This one contains a lot of allegations flying in both directions, so follow along.
Let’s start with Monday.
In a quite lengthy Twitter thread, Erin Overbey, who was an archives editor at The New Yorker, said she was fired. It comes a week after another lengthy Twitter thread in which she said she was previously placed on “performance review” after raising concerns in an email to the company about gender inequity at the Condé Nast publication. In her tweets, she also said that David Remnick, the editor-in-chief of The New Yorker and one of the most respected names in business, added “errors” to her copy while she was under performance review. “I don’t pretend to understand why he did this,” Overbey wrote on July 19.
In Monday’s Twitter thread, Overby wrote that The New Yorker has not contested her many allegations and said, “Whenever you raise concerns, criticisms, or alarms about one of the most powerful institutions in media, they will use every tool at their disposal to oppose you. That is their prerogative.” She added, “But I will defend myself in the strongest of terms.”
The Twitter thread — actually both Twitter threads — have much, much more about her claims, and they’re too lengthy to publish in full here, but I encourage you to read it all. Overbey wrote Monday, “The @NewYorker is, in many ways, a wonderful institution. But it’s also ground zero for a kind of regressive literary gatekeeping, class exclusivity & old-school cultural thinking that simply no longer have any relation to, or frankly relevance in, the modern world as we know it.”
She also said she is considering filing a grievance with the publication’s union and said she has evidence to back up all her claims.
July 19 wasn’t the first time Overbey took to Twitter to raise questions about The New Yorker. Last September, Overbey had a Twitter thread about a lack of diversity at The New Yorker that started with, “Let’s talk about racism.”
Overbey has called herself a “female whistleblower.”
In a statement on Monday, Condé Nast said, “The New Yorker prides itself on professionalism, accuracy, and adherence to the highest journalistic standards. False allegations that malign our journalistic integrity and that attack colleagues are inappropriate and unacceptable in our workplace.”
Then came more.
The New York Post’s Ariel Zilber and Alexandra Steigrad wrote that a source told them Overbey was fired for a “pattern of conduct” that was considered “disruptive to the operation of the Company” and that undermined “the journalistic ethics of our magazine.” The Post also wrote that Overbey had been disciplined for “self-plagiarism,” which is using work that had already been published and passing it off as new material. When asked about these claims, Overbey told the Post that they were “completely absurd.”
Zilber and Steigrad wrote, “A source at the magazine told The Post that just days before her tweet thread in September, she was given a final warning about self-plagiarism. The source said Overbey’s tweets about diversity were a foil for her poor performance. The Post has seen a copy of Conde Nast’s termination letter to Overbey. The letter said that human resources had ‘repeated discussions related to performance and behavioral concerns.’”
The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Cartwright wrote that four current and former New Yorker staffers said Oberbey was “unnecessarily hostile” and “an opportunist” who took to social media whenever she had run-ins with management. Cartwright wrote, “The staffers further claimed that Overbey’s grievances with The New Yorker began years ago when she grew frustrated with changes to the management structure of the archive and was concerned about losing power over her ‘fiefdom.’”
Overbey told Cartwright that she thought Condé Nast brass was “targeting” her, adding, “I do feel like this is a concentrated effort to target someone who wouldn’t shut up about certain issues that the magazine wanted them to shut up about.”
Overbey had another Twitter thread Monday that started with, “So apparently, just as I predicted, several hit pieces incoming.” She added, “One of them is relying on multiple anonymous @NewYorker sources who claim I’m ‘hostile’ & ‘opportunistic.’ I guess women are ‘opportunistic’ when they query pay?? But also, I’d have to be the dumbest opportunistic person on the planet to keep putting myself on the line like this.” And then she wrote, “Anyway, this is how you smear someone. And all because I pointed out appalling inequities both in-house & publicly, and because I had the temerity to point out errors in my copy that weren’t my own.”
This story certainly is a long way from being over, it would appear.
The headline on the latest piece in New York Magazine from David Freedlander: “Why Republicans Stopped Talking to the Press ‘I just don’t see the point,’ said an adviser to a GOP presidential aspirant.”
Freedlander writes, “… while railing against the so-called liberal media has long been a part of the Republican playbook, more than a dozen GOP campaign operatives, senior Hill aides, and political reporters from major news outlets say the past few years have brought something new: actively courting the media’s scorn while avoiding anything that may be viewed as consorting with the enemy.”
One anonymous adviser to a potential Republican presidential candidate told Freedlander, “I just don’t even see what the point is anymore. We know reporters always disagreed with the Republican Party, but it used to be you thought you could get a fair shake. Now every reporter, and every outlet, is just chasing resistance rage-clicks.”
An example of ignoring the media …
Freedlander’s story goes along with an incident that happened last week in the state where I live — Florida. The Republican Party of Florida held something called the Sunshine Summit. On Saturday, there was a dinner that included Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. The Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Zac Anderson reported that “many media outlets” were barred from the event.
Anderson wrote, “Journalists working at Politico and Florida Politics said on Twitter Thursday that they also haven’t been able to get press credentials to cover the Summit. A New York Times reporter tweeted that the event is ‘not going to be open media or livestreamed.’ A Miami Herald reporter tweeted about also being among the ‘Sunshine rejects.’” Anderson also reported that among national publications, The Wall Street Journal was credentialed, but The New York Times and The Washington Post were not.
DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw then mocked the media by tweeting, “It has come to my attention that some liberal media activists are mad because they aren’t allowed into #SunshineSummit this weekend. My message to them is to try crying about it. Then go to kickboxing and have a margarita. And write the same hit piece you were gonna write anyway.”
Her kickboxing and margarita line was in reference to something former White House press secretary Jen Psaki once said on “The View” when Republicans blocked a new voting rights bill filibuster.
Now back to the New York piece …
Freedlander wrote, “… sitting down with the mainstream press has come to be seen by Republican primary voters as consorting with the enemy, and approval by the enemy is the political kiss of death.”
Politicians from both sides, but especially among the right, have always distrusted the media. But they also knew it was important to cooperate with the media. And if you had hopes to be a major player on the national scene, working with the media and agreeing to major profiles were a part of the game.
Maybe not anymore.
Freedlander wrote, “No one I spoke to for this article thought the current situation was likely to change. The era of the political profile — for Republicans, at least — might be over.”
Interestingly, the one who still might court the media is the one who helped spark the latest “enemy of the people” slam of the media: Donald Trump.
Are you ready for some football? Uh, you have a credit card?
The NFL launched a new streaming service on Monday. Of course, it’s going to cost you. For $39.99 a year or $4.99 a month, NFL+ will offer a lot of the same content that has previously been free on the NFL mobile app. The streaming service will include live regular-season and playoff games.
It’s a way for the NFL to reach viewers who have cut the cord and no longer get traditional cable TV. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Flint, “What we’re really looking at now is future platforms. We have to be there with our content.”
Flint wrote, “NFL+ will offer its subscribers a similar experience to traditional-TV users — access to live in-market Sunday afternoon games as well as national games in prime time on Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights — with one key difference: The games on NFL+ can only be viewed using a tablet or mobile phone, not a regular TV set.”
Flint also adds, “The NFL’s new streaming service will be available in two tiers — NFL+ and NFL+ Premium — costing $4.99 and $9.99 a month, respectively. Both services will carry in-market Sunday afternoon games as well as national games in prime time on Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights. NFL+ users won’t be able to access out-of-market regular season games through the platform.”
The NFL website has a breakdown of what you get with each package.
For now, this does not impact those who already watch games on traditional TV. The league’s current deals with the various networks go through the next decade. As CNN’s Frank Pallotta writes, “The NFL may be dipping its foot into more streaming waters, but it is not throwing away the old fashioned way of watching games. This is good news for the television industry, because the NFL is among the biggest ratings drivers on the air. But it allows the league to experiment a bit in the streaming world, make some extra cash and build a subscriber base with fans who are more focused on streaming.”
- The Associated Press’ Allen G. Breed with “How an AP reporter broke the Tuskegee syphilis story.”
- Variety’s Brian Steinberg with “Samantha Bee’s ‘Full Frontal’ Canceled in Latest Late-Night Cutback.” The show’s Twitter account put out an amusing tweet that said, “After 7 seasons, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee will not be returning to TBS this fall. We’re so thankful for our loyal audience, our amazing team, and that we got to annoy the right people every week—that there wasn’t wrestling or baseball or a very special episode of Big Bang.” Then, it tweeted what former President Trump told insurrectionists on Jan. 6, 2021: “To our loyal fans – we love you, you’re very special. Go home, and go home in peace.”
- Here’s some juicy gossip from, of all places, The Wall Street Journal. It’s Kirsten Grind and Emily Glazer with “Elon Musk’s Friendship With Sergey Brin Ruptured by Alleged Affair.”
- The New York Times’ Jeremy W. Peters with “As Jan. 6 Panel’s Evidence Piled Up, Conservative Media Doubled Down.”
- And for The Washington Post, Greg Sargent with “Why the right-wing media is fracturing in its defense of Trump.”
- Speaking of which, Mediaite’s Colby Hall with “Trump Rages at ‘Terrible’ Fox & Friends for ‘Botched’ Poll Numbers: They’ve ‘Gone to the Dark Side.’”
- The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple wrote last week about how Bloomberg News wrote a story about Fox News being sued by Dominion Voting Systems. The article said that Fox News didn’t “immediately” respond with a comment. But Fox News claims “immediately” was all of 18 minutes. Wemple’s story weighs in on what’s a fair amount of time for someone to respond with a comment on a story.
- Reminder: Dan Abrams will conduct the first TV interview with former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo tonight on NewsNation at 9 p.m. Eastern.
- Here’s a powerful and gut-wrenching story getting lots of recognition the past two days. From The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, it’s Gillian Graham (with photos from Brianna Soukup) with “‘Nobody would choose this’: A turnpike rest area and a van become home for one Maine family.”
- Popular Information and Rolling Stone team up for this piece. It’s Judd Legum and Jon Blistein with “Coachella’s parent company is donating major cash to an anti-abortion political organization.”
- New York Magazine’s Margaret Hartmann with “Long Island Shark-Attack Story Is Summer News at Its Finest.”
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Correction: This story has been updated to say Zac Anderson is a reporter for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Another paper was listed in the original version.