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Afternoon Reading List 07.18.13

That’s “Mr.” to you — Though the lede mentions the Trayvon Martin verdict, don’t worry. It’s not another opinion piece about the trial or verdict. Instead, Slate’s Katy Waldman looks at the difference in applying for a job as a man versus a woman. Specifically, she outlines the case of Australian business manager Kim O’Grady. His account of gender bias as he applied for a series of jobs in the late 1990s, titled “How I Discovered Gender Discrimination” (such a compelling title) went viral this week. In the account, O’Grady said he was “experienced in managing technical & trade supply businesses” as well as engineering and sales. He figured it should be easy to find a job. But he wasn’t contacted once in four months, and the rejection letters began to pile up. After closely examining his CV, he noticed the ambiguity of his first name. Not that he thought it would make a huge difference, but just in case, he added “Mr.” in front of his name. After the next round, he netted two interviews. A Yale study 10 years later yielded similar results. Though this has been identified as a problem, Waldman points out that there really isn’t a solution, other than giving your daughter a man’s name, which is probably not the best idea.

Why you should read it: Gender discrimination is widely talked about, Waldman provides succinct anecdotal evidence that helps illustrate just how big of a problem it can be.

Looking back at The Hill‘s Most Beautiful List — If you’ve ever heard of The Hill, chances are you’ve at least heard of, if not excitedly anticipated each year, the 50 Most Beautiful People List. For those unfamiliar with the list, it’s a reader-nominated list of the best-looking men and women on Capitol Hill. This year will be the 10th anniversary of the list, so Emily Goodin of The Hill (where else?) looked back at its start. The first list came out in 2004, and was the brainchild of one Betsy Rothstein, now the editor of FBDC and my boss. Audra Ozols Gannon was rated No. 1 on that first list, and she said recently that she was “surprised, flattered and a little bit unsure of what it was” when she found out she was on the list. Others had similar reactions and getting photos of all of them proved difficult. Rothstein, who got the idea for the list from a still-unnamed source, said sometimes, in the early days, putting the list together involved staking out hallways of office buildings and waiting for someone worthy to walk by. “We’d literally chase people down the hallway,” Rothstein said. The next year, however, was much easier. As photographer Patrick Ryan said, the difference between year one and two was “night and day,” and people began campaigning to get on the list. Each year, the list has grown in popularity to become a widely-anticipated part of summer for those on the Hill.

Why you should read it: The list is a pretty big deal around Washington, and Goodin looks back at how it got started. Plus it mentions my boss, so this is me sucking up. Editor’s note: Austin, you can take the rest of the day off! Go enjoy yourself.

What This Town could do to this town — Hey, have you heard about Mark Leibovich’s new book, This Town? Of course you have. Politico’s Lois Romano examines the fear spread around Washington since Leibo did a good deal of his reporting at parties and a funeral where he was considered a guest. Romano writes that the book will “send a chill through the elite after-hours social circuit—where the real business of this town often gets down between reporters and sources.” As Romano, who fully discloses that she has partied with Leibo, she points out that there have been long-standing unwritten rules about what’s fair game in covering parties and social events. Traditionally, reporters had a notebook or camera obviously displayed to show that they were covering the event. If they appeared to be there as a guest and did not have this equipment, it was assumed that people around them could relax and not worry about being written about or photographed. Leibo, on the other hand, says that he learns a lot at parties, and he’s not the only journalist to do so. As long as it’s a public event with public figures, he doesn’t see the need for certain identifiers that he is working. And as he rightfully puts it, he is always a working journalist. He realizes he probably won’t be as popular and won’t be getting as many party invitations, but he said he doesn’t think he’ll lose any “real friends” in Washington.

Why you should read it: There has a been a lot written about this book, but this piece solidly looks at the effects it could have for reporters in this town. Noteworthy: Mob boss/uber party thrower Tammy Haddad would not comment for the story.

Jay Carney doesn’t answer questions — After their 16-year-old intern got scolded by press secretary Jay Carney yesterday after asking a question at a White House press briefing, The Daily Caller decided to publish an article by Ariel Cohen outlining the many ways Carney brushes off questions. The most popular phrases include “I don’t have the answer,” “I would refer you to someone else” and “ you already know the answer.” This doesn’t come any kind of surprise to anyone who has seen a White House press briefing before. The article cites a widely-circulated Yahoo News analysis of Carney’s responses published last month, and is basically a regurgitation of much of the data. The responses are all plotted out in a pie chart, and with all of the interns in the office, it’s surprising that the Daily Caller can’t find one person who knows how to make a chart that looks like it was made in this century.

Why you should read it: If you’ve never heard of Carney, you might learn something. If not, you probably shouldn’t read it. So you can stop wasting time and get back to work.

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