Comments: Week of January 17, 2022


“ ‘My Dad Wasn’t Just a Nobody,’ ” January 3–16

Photo: New York Magazine

In New York’s latest cover story, Bliss Broyard and Lisa Riordan Seville memorialized the 15 Rikers detainees who died last year. “I forced myself to read all of them ,” tweeted Genius Guild’s Stacey Ferguson. “Thank you for telling their stories.” Commenter crsulli called the tales “sickening. Being incarcerated at Rikers without ever having been convicted is on a par with a death sentence for these poor souls.” Commenter imspeaking4000+ wrote, “NYC saw almost 500 murders this year. I think analyzing and trying to correct the issues at Rikers is important, but this publication feels really biased in always thinking about people that commit crimes. You don’t just end up at Rikers. I’m feeling so much more compassion for the victims of crimes.” On Instagram, @lescarletwoman countered, “The amount of people in these comments who think that just because someone has committed a crime means that they suddenly should be stripped of all human rights is depressing as hell.” @iamsamanthamaisano added, “We seem to forget that more often than not people in Rikers are awaiting trial. It’s a holding cell. This shit is horrific.”


“The Political Life of Dr. Oz,” January 3–16

Olivia Nuzzi explored what made the TV surgeon think he belongs in the Senate. “This story is like a holiday gift to all of America,” the political strategist Steve Schmidt said. Political analyst Alexander Ziperovich called it a “scathing portrait of yet another empty American celebrity that just can’t wait to sell his soul for glory in the GOP. A devastating profile of a dangerous phony.” Some readers were most intrigued by Nuzzi’s account of how Mehmet Oz and his wife, Lisa, carried on a conversation after trying, and failing, to hang up on her. @GothamNurse wrote, “The phone call alone that Oz’s wife accidentally left connected is the stuff of Succession-like television,” and music journalist Sowmya Krishnamurthy added, “smh to someone running for office who can’t work Bluetooth in their car.”


“Why Did Keisha Lance Bottoms Quit?” January 3–16

Photo: New York Magazine

Zak Cheney-Rice asked “Why Did Keisha Lance Bottoms Quit?” in his profile of the now-former mayor of Atlanta. Author Rashaun J. Allen called the story “a good read and insightful about the challenges Black leadership face and how the poor who oftentime are Black can get left behind even when the intention to do better is present.” The Atlantic’s Tom Nichols said it was “a fascinating read, especially about how the Floyd protests actually led in major cities not to reform, but to ‘realigning with the police.’ ” Political theorist Jared Anthony Loggins wrote, “This profile is not framed in terms of making an argument. But there is one: Black managerial elites in Atlanta really really do not like the poor.” Alex Camardelle of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies noted in response that “the power of Black mayors to do more for the poor is constrained by a white-led GOP state government, which preempts progress & bans Black-led cities from implementing good policy.” And @mcgarrygirl78 added, “The kind of progress many Black folks want to make, and deserve to make, doesn’t mesh well with white supremacy and capitalism. And once in positions of power, it’s often impossible not to adhere to America’s structural rigidity. Especially in the South.”


“The Spine Collector, August 16–29, 2021

In August, Reeves Wiedeman and Lila Shapiro told the story of an unsolved mystery in publishing: a shadowy figure who has been stealing manuscripts for reasons unknown. On January 5, the FBI arrested Filippo Bernardini, 29, a rights coordinator at Simon & Schuster UK, in connection with the case; he has been charged with wire fraud and identity theft. TikTok user @literaryfling called it “the most exciting news I have ever seen” and urged her followers to read about the “insanely dramatic and absurd four-year-long scheme against the publishing industry.” @lilliana.09 commented, “I ran to look for this article and now i’m so invested i need this to be turned into a movie.” Literary agent Karolina Sutton said she was “amazed the FBI took this seriously. For years we were told no one would (and certainly no one did in Britain!). [Wiedeman and Shapiro] did some seriously time-consuming sleuthing too, raising the profile of this case.” And indie-folk band the Mountain Goats tweeted, “If you did not know about this amazing, should 100% be award–winning story … read every word.”

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Comments: Week of January 17, 2022