The New Yorker vs. Its Union: “More than 100 staff members—including fact checkers and copy editors, but not the writers—formed a union.”

From a New York Times story by Katie Robertson headlined “Ocasio-Cortez and Warren Pull Out of New Yorker Festival”:

Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have pulled out of next week’s New Yorker Festival, the star-studded annual event held by The New Yorker magazine, in solidarity with unionized editorial staff members, who are planning a digital picket line.

Ms. Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who made an unsuccessful bid to be her party’s presidential nominee, and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, were scheduled to appear as keynote speakers on Monday night, the first night of the annual event. The New Yorker Union had planned a one-night picket then, starting at 8.

Digital News Site Axios Is Growing With Newsletter Sponsorships More Than Half Its Revenue

From a Wall Street Journal story by Lukas I. Alpert headlined “Axios Is Growing and Profitable Despite Bleak News Landscape”:

“Smart brevity” has been good for business at Axios.

The digital news startup, which uses the term as its motto and registered trademark, is on target to make a profit this year despite the economic turmoil stemming from the coronavirus that led to broad layoffs and pay cuts at many media outlets, people familiar with the site’s finances said.

Mac Davis RIP: He crafted the Elvis hits “A Little Less Conversation” and “In the Ghetto.” His own hits include “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me.”

From an AP story by Kristin M. Hall  headlined “Country star and hit Elvis songwriter dies at 78”:

Country star Mac Davis, who launched his career crafting the Elvis hits “A Little Less Conversation” and “In the Ghetto,” and whose own hits include “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me,” has died. . . .

Davis had a long and varied career in music for decades as a writer, singer, actor and TV host and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006. He was named 1974’s entertainer of the year by the Academy of Country Music and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. . . .

TV Pundits React to the Trump-Biden Debate: “I’m just going to say it like it is. That was a s— show.”

From a Washington Post story by Elahe Izadi headlined “‘Dumpster fire.’ Train wreck.’ ‘A disgrace.’ Horrified pundits react to the presidential debate”:

Perhaps the most chaotic presidential debate in modern American history inspired unprecedented reactions on cable and broadcast news by pundits who, in other circumstances, would have been combing over minor moments to gauge who won and lost.

The consensus among many commentators: The losers of the night were the American public.

“That was a hot mess, inside a dumpster fire, inside a train wreck,” said CNN host Jake Tapper. “That was the worst debate I have ever seen. It wasn’t even a debate. It was a disgrace.”

Elie Wiesel: “For God’s sake, where is God?”

From The Writer’s Almanac:

It’s the birthday of writer and concentration camp survivor Elie Wiesel, born in a small village in Transylvania in 1928. He grew up in a Hasidic community and learned to love reading by studying the Pentateuch and other sacred texts. When he was 15, he and his family were taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp. His mother, sister, and father were all killed before World War II was over.

Page One Headlines on Last Night’s Debate

TRUMP’S HECKLES  SEND FIRST DEBATE INTO UTTER CHAOS
—New York Times

Debate plunges into fiery squabbling
—Washington Post

Trump, Biden  Trade Insults In Contentious First Debate
—Wall Street Journal

Invective and interruptions mark debate
—Los Angeles Times

First debate devolves into debacle
—San Francisco Chronicle

Yelling, name-calling mark first debate
—Denver Post

Face-to-face anger as Trump, Biden lash each other
—Miami Herald

WAR OF WORDS AT FIRST DEBATE
—Atlanta Journal-Constitution

TRUMP, BIDEN SPAR IN FIRST FACE-OFF
—Chicago Tribune

Attacks, interruptions mark chaotic debate
—Baltimore Sun

CHAOS ON THE DEBATE STAGE
—Boston Globe

Before Coming to America: “I wore a tiny skirt and had bleached hair. I looked like a Bond villain.”

From a Washingtonian First Person feature by Svetlana Legetic headlined “I Never Worked in an Ice Cream Shop—I Went Straight for the Russian Mafia”:

“I was an overnight card dealer in a casino in Novi Sad, Serbia, where I grew up. I never worked in an ice cream shop—I went straight for the Russian mafia. This was 1999. I was 18 and in architecture school. Former Yugoslavia was not doing great, so having any job was pointless because the inflation was destroying things. You had to transfer your money to foreign currency the second you got it so it wasn’t devalued. My mother was a doctor, and my father was an engineer. They received their salaries and by the end of the week couldn’t go grocery shopping.

UPI Memories: “Relying on the kindness of strangers.”

From posts on United  Press International Friends:

Frank T. Csongas—Working on UPI’s National Desk in Washington during the late 1980s, especially at weekends, we often had to report on breaking stories from far away places that had no staffers or stringers on deck. Dan Chiszar and I usually would call up the local sheriff to get the necessary information — a train accident, flooding, or a multiple murder case — then write up the story. Dan and I would joke, “UPI always relied on the kindness of strangers” — paraphrasing a line from the classic Tennessee Williams play, “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

Inside the Times: “How I Cover a Debate From My Couch.”

From an Inside the Times column by Jonathan Martin headlined “How I Cover a Debate From My Couch”:

No hangar-size media center, no spin room and no Budweiser-sponsored hospitality tent.

Yes, as with seemingly everything else under the sun, the coronavirus pandemic has upended some of the norms of the presidential debates.

First, though, I suppose I should answer the question that may be on your mind: No, the print news media does not have access to the debate hall itself, virus or no virus. We watch these debates via screens just like you, our valued readers.

The LA Times Looks at Itself: “We apologize for The Times’ history of racism. We owe it to our readers to do better.”

From an editorial in the Los Angeles Times titled “An examination of The Times’ failure on race, our apology and a path forward”:

For at least its first 80 years, the Los Angeles Times was an institution deeply rooted in white supremacy and committed to promoting the interests of the city’s industrialists and landowners. No one embodied this aggressive, conservative ideology more than Harrison Gray Otis, the walrus-mustachioed Civil War veteran who controlled The Times from 1882 until his death in 1917.