Saving Local Newspapers: “Can drinks, community events, and the occasional wedding subsidize small-town journalism?”

From a New York Times story headlined “Marfa’s Answer to the Collapse of Local News: Coffee and Cocktails,” by

MARFA, Texas — When Landrie Moore was looking for a venue for her destination wedding, she knew she wanted a space that really reflected life in this small, remote desert town.

Her guests would be coming from as far as Ecuador and England, and Ms. Moore, 35, who works for a boutique hotel firm, hoped to provide a memorable and authentic experience for those travelers. When you visit a new place, she said in a phone interview, “you want to feel like a local.”

“How did he get these former Klansmen to open up to him? Invite him out to a catfish dinner.”

From a review by Joseph Crespino in the Wall Street Journal of the book, Race Against Time: A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era, by Jerry Mitchell:

In 1994, Byron De La Beckwith was convicted of the 1963 murder of Mississippi civil-rights leader Medgar Evers. Beckwith had already been to trial twice for the crime, in 1964, both times ending in hung juries. In the earlier trials, officials from the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission—a state agency established to police the color line—provided Beckwith’s defense with background research on potential jurors. This fact remained hidden until 1989, when it was exposed by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, leading to a series of further revelations that resulted in Beckwith’s 1994 retrial. As the former Klansman was led out of the courtroom after his conviction, he repeatedly muttered one man’s name: Jerry Mitchell.

Bloomberg Adds Some Drama to Newspaper Front Pages

From today’s front pages:

New York Times

DEMOCRAT DEBATE TURNS NASTY: BLACK AND BLOOM—Warren leads brutal Mike beatdown
—New York Post

Bloomberg slammed as ‘arrogant,’ sexist, clueless in contentious Democratic debate debut
New York Daily News

Free-for-all targets rising rivals: Bloomberg, Sanders assailed in fierce debate
Washington Post

New Face Joins Democratic Debate Fray and Draws Fire From Rivals
Wall Street Journal

The Democrats came out swinging in Vegas. For TV viewers, it was a knockout.
Los Angeles Times

Las Vegas Democratic debate turns into all-out brawl
—Boston Globe

“Do you want to draw attention to yourself and your own writing or let the story take over?”

Either you want to tell a story or you don’t. Do you want to draw attention to yourself and your own writing and your beautiful style or do you want to be invisible and let the story and the characters take over for the reader. That’s what it comes down to for me.

What comes into it with crime is just conflicts. I like conflict in any kind of popular art. There is no greater conflict than life versus death, so there it is. I’m not that interested in the crime aspect of my books. I am interested in the characters.

Elizabeth Cullinan: “She trained her exacting eye on the details of the human condition.”

From a New York Times obit, by Katharine Q. Seelye, of “Elizabeth Cullinan, Writer With an Eye For Detail”:

At 22, Elizabeth Cullinan began her working life with an entry-level job at The New Yorker. Her task was to type manuscripts submitted by literary lions like John Updike, James Thurber and E.B. White.

Perhaps it was muscle memory from all that typing, but soon enough she was writing stories herself—of New Yorker quality—and being compared to Chekhov and Joyce. The magazine began publishing her in 1960.

Annals of the Magazine Sub Game: “The New Yorker Sullies Its Reputation and Integrity.”

1-yr $58/2-yrs $116
1-yr $65/2-yrs $126/3-yrs $182

The offer at listed above,, of 50 issues for $45, purportedly is valid only if the subscriber hasn’t subscribed in the last 6 months.

Agree with the expressed sentiments posted at this site. Echoing what John Broughton said, I’m willing to pay a fair price for an annual subscription—but the subscription & pricing policy of the “The New Yorker” sullies the magazine’s reputation and editorial integrity as the premier magazine of American culture and thought. A reasonable approach would enable them to automate easily their renewals, save money, and avoid alienating their subscribers. Otherwise, subscribership will continue to dwindle as angered customers vote with their feet.
—Posted by Red Valsen

Charles Portis: “His humor relied on deadpan humor, oddball characters and occasional bursts of melodrama.”

From a New York Times obit, by the late Roy Reed, of author Charles Portis:

Charles Portis, the publicity-shy author of “True Grit” and a short list of other novels that drew a cult following and accolades as the work of possibly the nation’s best unknown writer, died on Monday at a Little Rock, Ark., hospice. He was 86. . . .

Mr. Portis was in his early 30s and well established as a reporter at The New York Herald Tribune in 1964, when he decided to turn to fiction full time. The decision astonished his friends and colleagues at the paper, among them Jimmy Breslin, Tom Wolfe and Nora Ephron.

Why Ezra Klein Went Into Journalism: “In politics nobody gave a s— what I thought.”

KK Ottesen interviews Vox co-founder Ezra Klein in the Washington Post Magazine:

Ezra Klein, 35, is a political journalist, blogger, commentator, and co-founder of and editor-at-large at Vox. He has also been a columnist for The Washington Post. His book “Why We’re Polarized” was published in January. He lives in Oakland, Calif.

You were an early political blogger back when that was just starting out. What led to your interest in politics and to political journalism in the first place?

A Woman Editor at a Men’s Magazine: “That’s the best set of tits I’ve seen all year.”

From a review, by Lucinda Rosenfeld, of the book “In the Land of Men,” by Adrienne Miller, in the New York Times Book Review:

Reading Adrienne Miller’s account of her decade-plus working at men’s magazines during the glory days of print journalism, I was reminded of how, in the 1990s, it was seen as daring and even outré for educated liberal men, reacting to the perceived scourge of political correctness, to say demeaning things to women. Hence, staffers at GQ, where Miller is hired as an editorial assistant, announce, “That’s the best set of tits I’ve seen all year.” When she wears a skirt to the office, a colleague asks her to twirl for him. And when, at 25, Miller becomes the improbably young fiction editor of Esquire, another tells her that “everyone wondered” whom she slept with to get the job.

The Style Invitational Asks for Losing Pickup Lines From Particular People or Professions

In this week’s Washington Post Style Invitational, the Empress Pat Myers asked:

In Week 1357 we asked for pickup lines to be said by particular people, or people in various professions. At least a dozen of you had a dentist offering to fill the person’s cavity, and a librarian “checking out” the desired one. More creative but also submitted by too many people: Houston Astro: Hey, baby, I already know your sign.

The winner:

Orthopedic surgeon: “What’s a joint like that doing in a nice girl like you?” (Alan Duxbury, Carlisle, Pa.)

Other good entries: