May 11th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Behind the Behind

If this is the age of oversharing, self-promotion, and being famous for nothing, then Kris Jenner is a modern day hybrid of P.T. Barnum and Sun Tzu. She has mastered the art of warped values, dominated reality television at a time when everyone is taking selfies, and proven once again that things have value when you give them a price. Taffy Brodesser-Akner explains how Kris Jenner’s coaching influenced Bruce Jenner before his interview with Diane Sawyer: “He didn’t reveal how he looks dressed in women’s clothing in the interview or what his new name is. You’ll have to tune in to his show to see that. In the Kris Jenner playbook, you don’t give anything away.” From the NYT Magazine: Where Would the Kardashians Be Without Kris Jenner? (I have an answer, but it’ll cost you.)

+ Quartz: Vanity Capital — The global bull market in narcissism.

+ Dr. Kanye West?


Nailed It

“Nail salons that do not comply with orders to pay workers back wages, or are unlicensed, will be shut down.” Last week, the NYT published a two-part series on abuses at nail salons. This week, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new regulations and created a task force to conduct salon by salon investigations. That’s how excellent investigative reporting can have an immediate impact on injustice.


Less in Baltimore

“I’m hearing it from guys who were go-getters, who would go out here and get the guns and the bad guys and drugs. They’re hands-off now. I’ve never seen so many dejected faces. Policing, as we once knew it, has changed.” In the Baltimore Sun, Justin Fenton and Justin George take a look at how that city’s strife is playing out in the media and on the streets.

+ David Simon: “Overpolicing and a malignant drug prohibition have systemically repressed and isolated the poor, created an American gulag, and transformed law enforcement into a militarized and brutalizing force utterly disconnected from communities in which thousands are arrested but crime itself — real crime — is scarcely addressed.”

+ If you’re interested in the topic of urban violence and the challenges faced by the police, I highly recommend the book Ghettoside by Jill Leovy. Very interesting book written at the exact right time.

+ LA Times: Number of police officers killed in 2014 jumps 89%.


Flag Football

From the National Anthem to the military flyovers, I’ve always been interested in the juxtaposition of patriotism and professional sports. It turns out that some of that patriotism comes at a cost. From Newshour: Defense Dept. paid NFL millions of taxpayer dollars to salute troops.

+ ESPN: Why does the army care so much about women’s lacrosse?


Seymour Than a Feeling?

On Sunday, the Internet was busy sharing Seymour Hersch’s piece in The London Review of Books in which he claims that there was no firefight during the Osama bin Laden raid, the body was never buried at sea, and that Pakistan officials knew all about Osama’s whereabouts and handed him over as part of a deal.

+ Max Fisher in Vox: The many problems with Seymour Hersh’s Osama bin Laden conspiracy theory.

+ Slate: Besides being illogical, Hersh’s version of events is not new.



“The reality is Yemen is a complex place that is very hard to understand for outsiders, and even more so for insiders. Indeed, most of the people asking what is happening in Yemen are Yemenis themselves.” From The Atlantic: The confused person’s guide to the conflict in Yemen.


Branded a Fool

A frat at Dartmouth that inspired Animal House has lost its appeal to stay on campus after officials complained about hazing practices which included branding pledge’s buttocks with hot pokers. (Ever think there’s something subtly homoerotic going on at frat houses?) School officials really need to recall the words of Dean Wormer: “The time has come for someone to put his foot down. And that foot is me.” (What ever happened to toga parties?)


Seacrest Out

Next season will be the last for American Idol. At the show’s peak, Fox would pack more than 40 episodes into a season, and the 2006 finale drew 36 million viewers.

+ Last night, Game of Thrones broke the all-time digital piracy record. Who would have guessed that the combination of wanton violence and frontal nudity would be so popular?


It Gets Better

“Pessimism always sounds more sophisticated than optimism — it’s the Eden-collapse myth over and over again — and then you look at G.D.P. per capita worldwide, and it’s up and to the right. If this is collapse, let’s have more of it!” The New Yorker’s Tad Friend on Marc Andreessen’s plan to win the future.


Bottom of the News

A Chinese company treated 6,400 of its employees to a team vacation. And it’s getting so much coverage, they can probably write the whole thing off as a marketing expense.

+ An excellent correction from the NYT.

+ Howard Stern will be visiting with Dave Letterman on Monday night. It really should be a national holiday. While you’re waiting for the show, a few notable Hoosiers share their best Letterman memories.

+ There are only 4 days left to get your NextDraft Internet Superhero T-Shirt.

Copied to Clipboard