“Let’s Have a Real Conversation About Barbara Walters,” March 13–26
For a cover story by Irin Carmon, New York gathered 17 leading broadcasters to reflect on how Barbara Walters shaped the news industry for women. “If you’ve obsessed about women in TV news since you were a little girl like I have,” wrote The Hollywood Reporter’s Rebecca Keegan, “this piece is your Avengers.” Eileen Clancy praised the writing as “incisive but not mean. A bit sanguine, but not gushing,” while Jessica Ghilani called it a “super dishy must-read” and @reallyhillary tweeted, “I want to sit next to Connie Chung at lunch.” Fellow broadcasters commended the feature, with CNN executive Katie Hinman noting, “What a joy to read @irin’s unvarnished take on Barbara Walters and feminism and TV news, full of quips and insights.” But@InsideCableNews groused, “Half of them aren’t leading broadcasters. Some of them haven’t been leading in decades.”
“Tom Sachs Promised a Fun Cult”
After a job listing for a well-known artist went viral, Katy Schneider and Adriane Quinlan investigated what it’s really like working for him. “Is abuse disguised as art, or in the name of art, the cruelest of tricks?” asked musician Vanessa Carlton. “Important story. Thanks for writing it and to those that spoke on the record.” Sachs is a longtime Nike collaborator, and the Twitter account for the sneaker podcast Sockjig wrote, “If you want to be a weirdo obsessive artist stereotype, go do it by yourself at least. No art is good enough for this shit.” Kate Wagner, creator of the blog McMansion Hell, joked, “nike should make shoes with me, the internet’s architecture critic, now that tom sachs has been canceled for running his studio like horny art gitmo.” The story spawned follow-up investigations by both Artnet (“Former Tom Sachs Employees Detail New Allegations of Meager Pay and Dehumanizing Work for the Artist and His Wife, Sarah Hoover”) and Hyperallergic (“The Sick, Abusive World of Tom Sachs”). In the Hyperallergic report, Elaine Velie wrote, “The collective fascination with the story of Sachs’s studio culture reveals a morbid curiosity surrounding abuse — particularly when it occurs in an industry whose public image is largely one of wealth and glamour — and a worrying normalization of such behavior.” Nike put out a statement explaining that it is “deeply concerned by the very serious allegations. We’re in contact with Tom and his studio seeking to better understand this situation and how these issues are being addressed.” In response, Emily Colucci, the writer and curator who drew attention to the original job listing, said, “I want to know the process of ‘trying to understand’ this batshit.”
“Who Is Still Inside the Metaverse?”
In an essay about his quest to find friends on Meta’s VR platform, novelist Paul Murray asked, “Who Is Still Inside the Metaverse?” The Washington Post’s Dan Diamond wrote, “This piece on Mark Zuckerberg’s flailing metaverse is filled with so many lines and scenes that made me laugh out loud. Just delightful writing.” Archaeologies of Touch author David Parisi tweeted, “This is an incredible article for many reasons, but the thing that strikes me most: this is the same article that would’ve been written about Second Life in 2006.” For the tech and culture website Boing Boing, Rob Beschizza wrote, “The most Murray finds is a comedy club full of racist children. It’s a liminal space hinting at the Internet’s dead-worst hidden places. It’s limited, crude, bleak. Rarely has a supposed escape looked more like a cell.”
Lisa Miller explored how kickboxer turned manosphere influencer Andrew Tate wormed his way into the minds of a generation of young men. The New School’s Natalia Mehlman Petrzela said that “at least ten fellow moms of teen boys” had sent her the story: “It’s about Andrew Tate, but also about education, parenting, media, and masculinity and is an absolute must-read if you care even a tiny bit about such things.” Mystery-fiction writer Daniel Friedman argued, “There are two narratives that coexist yet are seemingly inconsistent. One is that the young people are all extremely woke, and the other is that all the young men are hooked on Andrew Tate.” And author Jason Colavito wrote, “You can complain all you want about how douchebag male influencers are toxic, but their success shouldn’t be a surprise. They are exactly what conservatives bitching about ‘feminization’ have claimed to want male role models to be for half a century.”
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