Looking for a weekend long read? Here are some recommendations, hand-picked for you from Crikey …
Bernard Keane, politics editor
“Chilcot didn’t mention a single positive outcome. When he finished speaking at the Queen Elizabeth Centre, the audience was stunned. Judging by his appearance when he gave a press conference a few hours later, so too was Blair. Chilcot portrayed the Iraq War as a total failure of government. Two hundred British troops had been killed and many more were injured; 150,000 Iraqis had been killed ‘and probably many more — most of them civilians’; and more than a million people had been displaced. Lives were ruined; Islamic State has emerged in the aftermath, and Britain has been diminished.
“The report spreads the responsibility far and wide, covering politicians, civil servants, the military and lawyers. Yet, devastating as it is, the report does pull some punches. There is no allegation, explicitly at least, of lying, deceit or manipulation, even if the facts as presented make possible the inference.”
Sally Whyte, journalist
“It had been nearly ten years since Allbritton and VandeHei founded the news outlet. They were an improbable match — VandeHei a scrapper from Wisconsin, Allbritton an heir to a multibillion-dollar dynasty. But their alliance transformed Washington’s media landscape, reshaping the way news organizations cover politicians, creating a new cast of local celebrities, and, in the process, becoming a digital bible for political insiders.
“While their start-up turned into a behemoth, the men became friends. As far as most people knew, they still were. But over the previous year, fault lines had emerged. The sources of tension included all the pitfalls that have driven apart other successful collaborations: power, ambition, ego, glory. But they also included money.
“The relationship ultimately deteriorated during a series of events that has not been reported until now.”
Sophie Benjamin, engagement editor
“Math and I have a checkered past. I convinced myself in the sixth grade that I was awful at it because I wasn’t getting easy As anymore, and spent the rest of my school years fearing and failing it. My math phobia kept me out of the sciences and medicine, and pushed me into the humanities. I got through my initial career avoiding it, which was easy: Those in the media are a notoriously math-hating bunch. But seven years ago, I enrolled in a pre-algebra class at a community college, and eventually wound up retaking all of high-school math through calculus.
“By the last class, I had come to not only appreciate math, but to also — maybe — love it. Most importantly, I realized my childhood fear — that I wasn’t capable of understanding abstract math — was unfounded.”
Josh Taylor, journalist
Aaron Lammer, Max Linsky, and Evan Ratliff interview T. Christian Miller of ProPublica, and Ken Armstrong of The Marshall Project, who together co-wrote the Pulitzer-winning story, “An Unbelievable Story of Rape“.
Myriam Robin, media reporter
“Milo Yiannopoulos is a charming devil and one of the worst people I know. I have seen the death of political discourse reflected in his designer sunglasses. It chills me. We met four years ago, before he was the self-styled “most fabulous supervillain on the internet,” when he was just another floppy-haired right-wing pundit and we were guests on opposing sides of a panel show whose topic I don’t remember and can’t be bothered to look up. Afterwards we got hammered in the green room and ran around the BBC talking about boys. It was fun.
“Since that day, there is absolutely nothing I have been able to say to Milo to persuade him that we are not friends. The more famous he gets off the back of extravagantly abusing women and minorities, the more I tell him I hate him and everything he stands for, the more he laughs and asks when we’re drinking. I’m a radical queer feminist leftist writer burdened with actual principles. He thinks that’s funny and invites me to his parties.”
Dan Wood, subeditor
“The tinselbox of Mont Pelerin lies in the Swiss Alps. By the time I muscled my broken-wheeled luggage through its streets on a visit not long ago, I could see only a dull greyness in all directions. It was quiet and cold, but as I turned a corner a couple of minutes away from the funicular that takes you up to the village from the lakeside town of Vevey, an old belle époque hotel finally appeared out of the mist. This was what I had come to see: the site of the inaugural meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society in 1947.
“Here was the place, the Hotel du Parc, where thirty-seven intellectuals, mainly economists, gathered to dream up new ways of fighting what they saw as a dangerous turn toward socialism in the postwar world. The atmosphere on the day I visited was fitting—for all the ways in which the neoliberal revolt went on to conquer our world, the saga of its origins now seems lost in the fog.”
Josh Taylor, journalist
“These last few years, I have been evolving and becoming more real, more intimate, and more human. More like the ‘real me.’ More of the woman that I am.
“I am a growing, changing, shifting, and expanding creature, but much about me is quite normal and boring.
“When I was free, I loved binge watching Seinfeld, Thirty-rock, and Friends, while eating ice cream out of the tub, with a big spoon, and having left over pizza for breakfast. I was an ‘all nighter’ computer programmer. I was a perky and over-caffeinated barista. I was a clothing store associate, but one who wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a customer visit a different store, for cheaper clothes that look similar or better!”