Cass Knowlton, editor

“Gawker’s demise and the Trump-era threat to the First Amendment” by Jeffrey Toobin in The New Yorker

“In retrospect, Hogan v. Gawker in the courtroom looks in some ways like a dress rehearsal for Trump v. Clinton at the polls. In both contests, a star of reality television who initially became famous in another field portrayed himself as an embattled outsider confronting an unaccountable elite. In both, a wealthy and successful man played the victim. And on both occasions that man won a convincing and consequential victory.”

Myriam Robin, media reporter

“There is more than one truth to tell in the terrible story of Aleppo” by Robert Fisk in The Independent

“It’s time to tell the other truth: that many of the ‘rebels’ whom we in the West have been supporting – and which our preposterous Prime Minister Theresa May indirectly blessed when she grovelled to the Gulf head-choppers last week – are among the cruellest and most ruthless of fighters in the Middle East. And while we have been tut-tutting at the frightfulness of Isis during the siege of Mosul (an event all too similar to Aleppo, although you wouldn’t think so from reading our narrative of the story), we have been willfully ignoring the behaviour of the rebels of Aleppo.”

John Addis, director of Private Media 

“Management theory is becoming a compendium of dead ideas” in The Economist

“Business schools are the cathedrals of capitalism. Consultants are its travelling friars. Just as the clergy in the Middle Ages spoke in Latin to give their words an air of authority, management theorists speak in mumbo-jumbo. The medieval clergy’s sale of indulgences, by which believers could effectively buy forgiveness of their sins, is echoed by management theorists selling fads that will solve all your business problems.”

Josh Taylor, journalist 

“The reality of Safe Schools” by Gay Alcorn in The Guardian

“Ward is synonymous with Safe Schools. The British-born academic heads the Safe Schools Coalition Victoria, which broke away from the national group in March after the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, rejected substantial federal changes to the program, saying he would accept advice from experts, ‘not bigots’.

“She understands that some of the ideas presented in Safe Schools push the boundaries for some, particularly older people, although she is sceptical that young people find concepts like gender fluidity controversial at all. She argues that a lot of the moral panic coming from very conservative groups is a front for lingering homophobia and transphobia, a resistance to accepting that anything but heterosexuality as fully ‘normal’.”

Sally Whyte, journalist

“Pillow talk” by Robby Berman in Slate

“For years, filmmaker and editor Adam Rosenberg has been told that he talks in his sleep. This video reveals the bizarre stuff he learned about his subconscious when he mounted a handheld Zoom H4n audio recorder over his bed.”

Helen Razer, contributor

“Donald Trump is moving to the White House, and liberals put him there” by Thomas Frank in The Guardian

“What we need to focus on now is the obvious question: what the hell went wrong? What species of cluelessness guided our Democratic leaders as they went about losing what they told us was the most important election of our lifetimes?

“Start at the top. Why, oh why, did it have to be Hillary Clinton? Yes, she has an impressive resume; yes, she worked hard on the campaign trail. But she was exactly the wrong candidate for this angry, populist moment. An insider when the country was screaming for an outsider. A technocrat who offered fine-tuning when the country wanted to take a sledgehammer to the machine.”

Dan Wood, subeditor

“‘I just wanted to die’: man responsible for Scotsburn fire speaks out” by Brendan Wrigley in The Courier

“‘I never slept for weeks afterwards, but that night I was putting little spot fires out next door, in the backyard,’ Mr Skimming said.  ‘(I was) just completely physically and mentally wrecked.’

“In the days that followed, police would call regularly to ensure none of the numerous death threats directed at Mr Skimming had been carried out.”

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey