Josh Taylor, journalist
“It was 2012, two years before he officially signed off from the Comedy Central series in 2014, and contract negotiations were going south. For an entire weekend, there was no longer a Daily Show hosted by Jon Stewart, and, not only that, Stephen Colbert had quit The Colbert Report, too.”
Sally Whyte, journalist
“Early on in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, Rory gets some bad news: The Atlantic, she learns, has spiked one of her stories.
“Rory explains this turn of events to Lorelai as just one of those things: a story bumped for space—a common, if frustrating, occurrence. After watching the Gilmore Girls revival, though, I have come to a different, if totally self-serving, conclusion: Maybe The Atlantic has simply realized what Rory herself has not. Maybe our fictional editors simply discovered that Rory Gilmore, her gleaming résumé notwithstanding … is not a very good journalist. That she might even be, actually, an actively bad journalist.”
Myriam Robin, journalist
“The painter Donald Friend was lauded by his admirers as a ‘legendary figure’. But he could just as easily be described as Australia’s most celebrated paedophile.
“Friend not only liked to paint and draw naked boys, he also liked to have them crawl between his legs.
“But here, in this small regional gallery, and elsewhere across the country, Friend is celebrated, his artistic reputation unsullied by the serial sex crimes he committed.”
Sophie Benjamin, engagement editor
“Dew is not a troll, but his comments can be pointed. On a story of mine about hormones and athletic performance, he commented, ‘Sounds like Christie is just looking for an excuse about how she never could have gotten to the top, to justify her not trying.’ On the phone, though, he was very pleasant and measured, and I asked if he spoke differently online than in person. ‘I can have a conversation and argument with people I disagree with on FiveThirtyEight and be totally blunt because I don’t know these people in real life,’ he said. ‘In a social or work situation, I have to be more careful.’ Online, he’s ‘brutally honest.’
“Comments often serve as identity badges, said Joseph Reagle, the author of ‘Reading the Comments: Likers, Haters, and Manipulators at the Bottom of the Web‘ and a professor of communication studies at Northeastern University. ‘You see this particularly on social media,’ he told me. The comment is meant to tell the world, ‘This is who I am.’ People may also comment to gain approval and solidarity with their social group, he said. “It’s a way of saying, ‘I am like you.’” Of course, offering a correction can also be a means of propping up one’s own ego.”
Cass Knowlton, editor
“A few weeks after she realized her husband was finally leaving her, Sarah Pursglove flew down to the Bahamas to figure out how much money he really had. Like many women married to very wealthy men, she didn’t know much about the family accounts. Her husband, a Finnish entrepreneur named Robert Oesterlund, had sworn to a Canadian court that his immediately calculable “net family property” totaled just a few million dollars. Pursglove was skeptical. She could come up with several family purchases worth more than that off the top of her head. There was the 165-foot yacht, Deja Vu — that cost a few million dollars a year just to keep on the water. There was the $30 million penthouse at the Toronto Four Seasons, which was still being renovated. It wasn’t their only home. The Déjà Vu wasn’t even their only yacht.
“Pursglove grew up in a working-class family. She did not consider herself to be a complicated person, or a greedy one. Recent events in her life had, however, inculcated a newfound habit of suspicion. Her husband’s tirades, his frequent absences and threats to leave, had led inexorably to the day when she tailed him through the streets of Toronto and caught him picking up an interior designer for what appeared to be a romantic ski getaway. She had been with Oesterlund since she was 25 and scraping by as a cruise ship’s photographer. Now, as she assessed her crumbling marriage and girded for divorce, she wondered what else she didn’t know.”
Dan Wood, subeditor
“From June, 1962 through January, 1964, women in the city of Boston lived in fear of the infamous Strangler. Over those 19 months, he committed 13 known murders-crimes that included vicious sexual assaults and bizarre stagings of the victims’ bodies. After the largest police investigation in Massachusetts history, handyman Albert DeSalvo confessed and went to prison. Despite DeSalvo’s full confession and imprisonment, authorities would never put him on trial for the actual murders. And more than 50 years later, significant doubts continue to surround the case. Was DeSalvo really the killer? Was there more than one Strangler? And did the Boston PD and the FBI do everything necessary to find and stop the murderer?”