1 For New York’s latest cover story, Olivia Nuzzi went inside President Trump’s chaotic 2020 campaign (“The Most Tremendous Reelection Campaign in American History Ever,” August 17–30). On The Chuck ToddCast podcast, NBC’s Chuck Todd said the story was “one of those pieces like, Wait, I can’t believe that anecdote. I can’t believe that anecdote! … The Pennsylvania field stuff is astonishing. Bill Stepien and this weird Chris Christie–Jared Kushner drama. There’s just so much of it.” Writer and editor Adam Banks tweeted, “This @Olivianuzzi portrait of the Trump campaign is dense and light, clever and plain, a meticulous insider brain dump—the kind of gonzo analytical reporting that shows you how things really are as best someone can.” Author-activist Amy Siskind said, “Yikes! If you thought Trump had an ace up his sleeve, or some grand scheme with his new campaign manager—read this. It’s a mess. No wonder he wants to take down the USPS.” The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson joked, “My takeaway from the @Olivianuzzi banger is that, thanks to the electoral college, the Trump campaign is like a prehistoric nomadic tribe that relies on tea-leaf augury for the hunt, but the land is so rich with caribou anyway that their superstitious incompetence might not matter.” Tim O’Brien illustrated the cover of President Trump punching himself. On Instagram, @mapletown reacted, “He cannot punch himself hard enough …”
2 Caitlin Moscatello wrote about the popular YouTubers Myka and James Stauffer, who gave away their adopted child (“After Huxley,” August 17–30). Many readers were excited to read the full breakdown of a once-viral story. The New York Times’ Taylor Lorenz tweeted, “I love when NY Mag does long pieces like this that give an in-depth reported look at a viral story that was all over the headlines.” Shannon Des Roches Rosa, senior writer and editor of the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism, wrote to the magazine about what she felt was missing in the piece: “The story on autistic Chinese toddler Huxley Stauffer’s failed adoption lacked a crucial detail: Huxley’s 30 hours per week of in-home therapy was Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). Despite being touted as a ‘gold standard’ for autistic kids, ABA is increasingly criticized as a form of conversion therapy that can cause and even compound trauma by teaching autistic kids that their innate autistic needs must be suppressed, and that they may not seek accommodations for their disability. Instead of helping him adapt or thrive, Huxley’s therapy may have made things worse for both him and the Stauffers.” Cyndi Peck, the coordinator of the Second Chance Program, noted, “Our organization, Second Chance Adoptions, helps about 30-40 families a year find new, more suitable homes for an adopted child in a similar situation. Every dissolving family is extremely concerned about judgment and vilification by others who have never experienced these problems. Because 95% of adoptions go well, the general population, both adoptive families and non-adoptive families, has never had a close encounter with an adoption dissolution. When a new, more suitable home is found, the child does extremely well. We find this in about 90% of our new adoptions. In the case of the Stauffer family, it sounds like Huxley is doing well in his new home. The Stauffer family, like all of the families who use our program to find a new home, are suffering and will continue to suffer drastically because of the loss of the child they loved, waited for, worked for, and traveled overseas for. It takes great courage and love to take this tremendously difficult step.” And writer and TV host Kae Lani Palmisano commented, “What a wild ride. So much to think about, but perhaps the largest takeaway is this: Don’t treat your life like a content strategy.”
3 James D. Walsh looked at one of the fiercest opponents of police reform: Ed Mullins, president of the NYPD sergeants union (“Sgt. Mullins Goes to War,” August 17–30). In a letter to the magazine, Communities United for Police Reform wrote, “For nearly two decades, Mullins and the NYPD union he represents [have] joined the historical tradition of other NYC police unions to regularly obstruct any efforts toward police accountability. It’s long past time to end the outsized power of police unions, which must start by decreasing the outsized budgets of police departments and redirecting those funds to crucial community infrastructure and services.” Many readers reacted with disdain toward Mullins. @Lis_on_Life tweeted, “Ed Mullins and Pat Lynch have thwarted efforts to reform NYPD and enabled their members to act with utter impunity. If any other union acted this way, the city would destroy them. Instead, @NYCMayor … bends over backwards to get their approval (which he’ll never get).” And @SarcasticHoney implored, “Get him out. If they cannot change, you don’t need them. They are a liability.”
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