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Snowden Hits Back Against Critics of NSA Leaks (Reuters)
The former National Security Agency contractor who revealed the U.S. government’s top-secret monitoring of Americans’ phone and Internet data fought back against his critics on Monday, saying the government’s “litany of lies” about the programs compelled him to act. Edward Snowden told an online forum run by Britain’s Guardian newspaper that he considered it an honor to be called a traitor by people like former Vice President Dick Cheney, and he urged President Barack Obama to “return to sanity” and roll back the surveillance effort. HuffPost A reader asked Snowden for his thoughts on the media debate around him. “Initially I was very encouraged,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, the mainstream media now seems far more interested in what I said when I was 17 or what my girlfriend looks like rather than, say, the largest program of suspicionless surveillance in human history.” Medium / Joshua Foust The reporting on Snowden has been dreadful. Is there a way to make it better? Two weeks ago, when The Guardian first leaked a Verizon court order to hand over its call metadata, a national debate began about privacy and security. THR Director Oliver Stone brought thunderous applause to a crowd of more than 500 festivalgoers at the 16th Shanghai International Film Festival in China on Monday when he praised Snowden as a “hero.” The Guardian Defense officials issued a confidential D notice to the BBC and other media groups in an attempt to censor coverage of surveillance tactics employed by intelligence agencies in the UK and US. Editors were asked not to publish information that may “jeopardize both national security and possibly UK personnel” in the warning issued on June 7. Read more
Posts Tagged ‘Irin Carmon’
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Monday morning Nick Denton announced that for the first time ever, Gawker Media writers would have the opportunity to become full-time employees instead of freelancers. Ostensibly good news in this wintery publishing climate, where benefits like health insurance (and even unemployment) are a thing of the past. Sheila McClear, a former Gawker editor who successfully went to court to get unemployment from Gawker told Fishbowl “I congratulate them for going legit.” Sheila is speaking of course, about the common practice for blogs (and most other media these days) to use use freelancers and permalancers in editorial roles so as not to have to dole out benefits or pay the 15% tax for full-time employees.
Many are speculating why Denton finally made the switch: certainly it doesn’t help him financially to pay writers as full-time employees, but it does make an appealing draw to Gawker for heavy-hitting journalists who may not have been willing to work under the previous conditions. Also speculated is that having full-time employees filed under 1099 status is technically illegal, and Denton may have finally gotten in some hot water with the IRS over unpaid taxes. We reached out to Gawker Media and asked them exactly what the terms and conditions of for the new W2 employees are.
Today, WWD takes a look at author, Vanity Fair columnist, media critic and all around character Michael Wolff, his Newser.com aggregator that houses his blog and his recent affair that was splashed all over Page Six.
Journalists typically don’t like to talk about themselves, so when a good profile of a media celebrity comes around, they’re always a fun and interesting read. Our favorite quote comes near the end, and surprisingly it’s not from Wolff himself but from profiler Irin Carmon. As the writer explains that Wolff’s blog post about rival media critic David Carr has only racked up 1,000 pageviews while a post about President Barack Obama has racked up more than 80,000, the following observation is made:
“That few care as much about the media as it cares about itself is now measurable.”
Read more: Michael Wolff, One His (But Not Really) via WWD
Have you read the bible? This was perhaps the most frequent question bandied about at last night’s book party for David Plotz‘s Good Book held at the Tribeca home of Jacob Weisberg and Deborah Needleman.
Plotz, you may recall, blogged his way through the Old Testament of the bible for Slate, and subsequently turned the series into a book. We caught up with Plotz and asked him what book of the bible was most suited to blogging. Plotz says that while the Book of Ruth was his favorite to read, Judges was by far the best to blog…something to do with all that violence.
The party pulled a good crowd despite the terrible weather. We managed to spot A.J. Jacobs, Double X’s Jess Grose (who just saw her own book hit shelves), Big Money’s Elinor Shields, Portfolio’s Jeff Bercovici, WWD’s Irin Carmon, Michael Crowley, and Rachel Sklar (who provide the pics for this post). Rumor has it Victoria Floethe was also present. Rumor also has is that on top of the Slate napkins there were also umbrellas, though we didn’t spot any ourselves and(!) that Eliot Spitzer had made an appearance earlier in the night. More pics after the jump (though sadly none of Spitzer).
King and his wife flank the Trumps
The short hallway between the “Pool Room” and bar acted as a sort of cosmic, generational media portal last night at the Four Seasons, where a pair of cocktail parties — one celebrating Larry King‘s 50 years in broadcasting (a.k.a the “old people room”), the other celebrating the New York Observer‘s redesigned paper and Web site (a.k.a the “kids room”) — were in full, boozy, media-centric swing.
In the “Old People Room”: King and his television and famous New York pals, like Joan Rivers, Donald and Melania Trump, the View‘s Barbara Walters (at one point Trump and Walters were just feet from each other, but didn’t appear to acknowledge each other) and Joy Behar, Campbell Brown, Mario Cuomo, Lou Dobbs, Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas, Tina Brown, Jeff Greenfield, Ron Howard, Time Inc. managing editor Jim Kelly, Keith Kelly, Ray Kelly, Oprah B.F.F. Gayle King, Calvin Klein, Time Warner chief Dick Parsons, Sandra Bernhard, Jerry Stiller, Arliss actor Robert Wuhl, Mort Zuckerman, American Morning‘s newly-installed Kiran Chetry, Glenn Beck, Montel Williams, James Carville, Tom Wolfe, Andy Rooney and artist Peter Max, whose colorful rendering of King served as the room’s centerpiece.
In the “Kids Room”: 23-year-old Observer owner Jared Kushner held court with twentysomething bloggers and their youthful bosses, like Gawker’s Choire Sicha, Radar‘s Jeff Bercovici and Maer Roshan, Page Six‘s Corynne Steindler, Slate‘s Jacob Weisberg, Domino‘s Deborah Needleman, WWD‘s Irin Carmon, and HuffPo’s Julia Allison, Katharine Thomson and Rachel Sklar. Fittingly, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, chose the Observer party over King’s.