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Feuds

Matt Dean Apologizes to Neil Gaiman

Minnesota House majority leader Matt Dean has issued a halfhearted apology to fantasy author Neil Gaiman for calling him a “pencil-necked little weasel who stole $45,000 from the state of Minnesota.”

Earlier this week, Dean criticized Minnesota’s House Legacy Funding Division for paying Gaiman to appear at a speaking engagement.

Dean told Minnesota Public Radio: “[My mom] was very angry this morning and always taught me to not be a name caller. And I shouldn’t have done it, and I apologize.”  Dean still insisted that the author should have “donated his time” to the patrons of the Stillwater Library.

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Minnesota Representative Bashes Neil Gaiman

Republican House majority leader Matt Dean publicly criticized Minnesota’s House Legacy Funding Division for paying Neil Gaiman (pictured, via) for a speaking engagement.  The legislator called the author  “pencil-necked little weasel who stole $45,000 from the state of Minnesota.”

According to the StarTribune, Republican representative Dean Urdahl proposed a new amendment that would make Minnesota-based cultural groups compete for funding.

Gaiman responded with this tweet: “Sad & funny. Minnesota Republicans have a ‘hate’ list. Like Nixon did. I’m on it. They also don’t like capitalism.” He also pointed to a blog entry about “political football” over the speaking engagement in question.

Malcolm X Biography Review Generates Controversy

After TheRoot.com rejected Karl Evanzz review of the late Manning Marable‘s Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, Evanzz posted a shortened version of the negative review on his blog–causing a stir among academics.

The Washington Post explained: “The flap is gaining attention in the intense world of Malcolm X studies, where theories about the civil rights leader’s life can be as polarizing as the man himself. The controversy was reported Wednesday on Richard Prince’s Journal-isms media criticism blog.”

The review, entitled “Paper Tiger: Manning Marable’s Poison Pen,” strongly criticized the biography. According to the Post, managing editor Joel Dreyfuss informed Evanzz that the piece would not be published and Evanzz received a $100 kill fee. (via Ron Charles)

Jonathan Tasini: ‘People Fear Being Blacklisted’

Today paidContent published a long interview with blogger Jonathan Tasini about the class action lawsuit he filed against The Huffington Post on behalf of unpaid bloggers.

Here’s an excerpt: “I think there’s a lot of support out there. I keep getting emails from a whole variety of writers who want to join on as plaintiffs, who are giving us all sorts of inside information. There still is a lot of fear out there. Some of the people expressing opposition to what we’re doing are just bootlickers. I think people fear being blacklisted.”

At the same time, Gawker investigated the author in a long post entitled “Guy Suing HuffPo for Not Paying Bloggers Doesn’t Pay Bloggers.” Yesterday Arianna Huffington criticized the suit and Tasini’s “pile of bile.”

Arianna Huffington Bashes Blogger’s $105 Million Lawsuit

Today Arianna Huffington responded to a $105 million class action lawsuit filed against The Huffington Post and AOL.  Her post attacked “the pile of bile” blogger and author Jonathan Tasini leveled alongside his filing.

Here’s more from Huffington: “The key point that the lawsuit completely ignores (or perhaps fails to understand) is how new media, new technologies, and the linked economy have changed the game, enabling millions of people to shift their focus from passive observation to active participation … The same people who never question why someone would sit on a couch and watch TV for eight hours straight can’t understand why someone would find it rewarding to weigh in on the issues — great and small — that interest them. For free. They don’t understand the people who contribute to Wikipedia for free, who maintain their own blogs for free, who tweet for free, who constantly refresh and update their Facebook pages for free, and who want to help tell the stories of what is happening in their lives and in their communities… for free.”

Follow this link to read more about the suit that includes an estimated 9,000 bloggers and seeks damages of “an amount to be determined at trial but not less than $105 million.”

Huffington Post Sued for $105 Million By Bloggers

Blogger, author and former political candidate Jonathan Tasini filed a class action lawsuit (PDF link) against Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post and AOL. The suit includes an estimated 9,000 bloggers and seeks damages of “an amount to be determined at trial but not less than $105 million.”

He explained on his blog: “We live in a time of unrelenting class warfare. We are the richest nation on earth—yet that wealth is flowing into the hands of the few … The Huffington Post was, is and will never be, anything without the thousands of people who create the content. Ms. Huffington is acting like every Robber Baron CEO—from Lloyd Blankfein to the Waltons—who believes that they, and only they, should pocket huge riches, while the rest of the peons struggle to survive. ”

Tasini (pictured, via) had blogged for the network since 2005, but his unpaid work ended on February 10th with this post. Earlier in his career, Tasini sued the New York Times over freelance pay. Most recently, he published the book, The Audacity of Greed: Free Markets, Corporate Thieves, and the Looting of America.

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Books About What Happens If the Government Shuts Down

Congress and the Barack Obama administration failed to reach a compromise during an important meeting last night, and the possibility of government shutdown looms. Don’t rely on the #ifgovernmentshutsdown hashtag for information–we’ve assembled a small library of books about federal government shutdown.

The best free resource is Effects of Potential Government Shutdown, a report from a 1995 Congressional hearing about shutdowns now stored at the Internet Archive.

If you are looking for a narrative account of the 1995 and 1996 federal government shutdown, check out The Pact: Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and the Rivalry That Defined a Generation by Steven M. Gillon. You can sample the shutdown passages at Google Books.

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Ayelet Waldman Attacks Katie Roiphe on Twitter

In a series of recent tweets, novelist Ayelet Waldman bashed author Katie Roiphe–defending her husband, Michael Chabon, in the Twittersphere.

Here is the complete set of tweets: “I am so BORED with Katie Roiphe’s ‘I like the sexist drunk writers’ bull****. She happily trashes my husband, but guess what b****? … He not only writes rings and rings and rings around you, but the same rings around your drunken literary love objects … Really Roiphe? You seek ‘slightly greater obsession w/ the sublime sentence.’ My husband’s sentences are INFINITELY more sublime than yours.”

She ended the Twitter tirade with this note: “I do not like it when people insult those I love.”

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J.D. Salinger Estate Settles Suit with Fredrik Colting

salingerbook.jpgThe J.D. Salinger estate has settled the lawsuit against Swedish publisher and author Fredrik Colting. The estate had sued the author over his Catcher in the Rye sequel60 Years Later–Coming Through the Rye.

Publisher’s Weekly has more details: “Colting has agreed not to publish or otherwise distribute the book, e-book, or any other editions of 60 Years Later in the U.S. or Canada until The Catcher in the Rye enters the public domain. Notably, however, Colting is free  to sell the book in other international territories without fear of interference.”

The article reports that Colting cannot include “Coming Through the Rye” as part of the book title. In addition, the author cannot refer to Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, or his legal battles in the book.

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Slate Publishes Fictional Response from Mick Jagger

A Slate article created a fictional voice for Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger to respond to Keith Richards‘ memoir, Life.

Jagger’s imaginary manuscript includes the following observations: “Why did he write it? Or, rather, having decided to write it all down, why did he devote so much of it to carping about me? Well, he’s not talking about me, really. He’s just trying to get my attention, I think, in the end. The remaining part of the rancor comes from the fact that he knows he lost me, many years ago.”

The Jagger highlights Richards’ unprofessional behavior throughout the years and talk about the band’s long history.  Would you read Jagger’s real memoir? Leave your response in the comments section.

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