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Comments: Week of February 5, 2018


1. “To date, 390 women are planning to run for the House of Representatives, a figure that’s higher than at any time in American history,” Rebecca Traister reported in New York’s latest cover story (“The Other Women’s March on Washington,” January 22–February 4). Senator Patty Murray responded, “I see a passion among women who understand that if you sit at home and don’t go out and participate, you lose what’s important to you. Proud of all the women who are making their voices heard.” Abby Finkenauer, whose run for Congress was featured in Traister’s story, wrote, “It’s time to not just watch but to get involved: no race is too small and no challenge is too big.” One of the voices championing the story was Time’s national correspondent Charlotte Alter, who reported on the same phenomenon. She tweeted, “The surge of women candidates is so huge that my personal hero [Traister] also wrote about it, for the cover of New York mag … There are so many women candidates out there that our stories barely overlap.” Vox’s Matthew Yglesias wrote, “If all turns out well for America it will be because of educated women’s post-2016 political mobilization.” Added Ann Snitow, a New School gender-studies professor, “Thank you for the space you have devoted to Rebecca Traister’s extraordinary, unfolding work about #MeToo. While her current story brings us the heady news of high numbers of new women candidates, there are no starry-eyed moments here. Only suspense: Can women become public actors in spite of the many forces Traister sees aligned against them? More of her work, please.”

2. Simon van Zuylen-Wood went to Rio de Janeiro to profile Glenn Greenwald, the pundit once lionized by liberals who’s become a Russia-investigation skeptic and Fox News favorite (“Does This Man Know More Than Robert Mueller?,” January 22–February 4). More than a few readers, including Greenwald himself, took issue with that (admittedly cheeky) headline. National-security attorney Mark Zaid called it “idiotic,” while the writer Giovanni Tiso deemed it “criminally stupid.” But many of those leveling these critiques praised the actual story, and journalist David Klion wrote, “This is how you conduct and write up a skeptical interview.” Unsurprisingly, Greenwald chimed in, tweeting: “Though I disagree with some of the opinions [van Zuylen-Wood] inserts in this profile, it’s largely a fair & illuminating discussion of the skepticism on Trump/Russia I share with many, as well as the post-2016 shifts in political coalitions.” Among those who criticized the profile was national-security expert and former Intercept writer Marcy Wheeler, who was interviewed for the story but ultimately not quoted. She wrote in the New Republic that “van Zuylen-Wood fails to quote even one woman to test Greenwald’s insistence that the Russia investigation is much ado about nothing … The end result is not just to turn the national security debate into a de facto boys’ club, but to prioritize the more bombastic claims of men over the sometimes quieter work of women, skewing the debate itself toward more polarized territory.” To this point, Greenwald added, “The omission you cite is especially notable because most of the key people in my journalism career have been women: Digby, Jane Hamsher, Joan Walsh, Janine Gibson, Betsy & Laura, etc.” Many readers were drawn to Greenwald’s discussion of Reality Winner (whose story Kerry Howley chronicled for us in the December 25, 2017–January 7, 2018, issue). Former Intercept journalist Dan Froomkin tweeted, “Notably, @ggreenwald points out that @theintercept’s story that led to the arrest and imprisonment of NSA source Reality Winner was ‘bullshit’ in the first place. Makes the whole thing even more tragic.”†

3. James D. Walsh charted the mysterious case of Nathan Carman, whose mother went missing on the high seas shortly after his grandfather was murdered (“Dead Wake,” January 22–February 4). Mark Zinni, a Connecticut news anchor who has reported on the case, wrote, “The Nathan Carman story is fascinating — and this @NYMag feature is riveting.” Sarah Weinman, a leading voice on crime writing, tweeted, “I was waiting for the magazine version of this story, and it is even more bizarre than I expected.” @AnnaHider added, “I’m gonna read this word for word into a mic and it will be the Next Big True Crime Podcast.”†


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