Today in Tabs: He is Risen, Indeed

Annotations claims a New Yorker, Risen rises, and the Intern is back.

Today in Tabs: He is Risen, Indeed
[Sasha Frere-Jones: via Wikipedia, James Risen: via YouTube user ucbjschool, Selfie stick phone call: via Twitter, Refrigerator: via NYTFridge]

Having finally succeeded in compelling James Risen to fully and truthfully testify that he will never fully and truthfully testify as to the identity of the sources for his book “State of War,” the Justice Department has proclaimed a great victory for the Obama administration in defending journalistic freedom and dropped its subpoena demanding he testify. NYT editor Dean Baquet took a break from getting trolled on Facebook to state that he is “glad the government realizes that Jim Risen was an aggressive reporter doing his job and… what is this… is this an ice bucket challenge video? Jesus Christ that is so over! Let me get back you, I gotta clue in this asshole…”


Meanwhile, Gawker is launching a literacy program, and fighting with a pseudonymous Twitter account. I’d make a joke about “punching down” but Max would get all mad, and I’m not actually sure it is punching down anymore?

Sasha Frere Jones, who would like to make more money than the New Yorker will pay him, left his job at the New Yorker to go work for Rap Genius, who will pay him more money. What does this mean for The Future Of News!? If you’d like a competent and plausible Take on that theme, Foster Kamer has one for you. It doesn’t really hold up to any scrutiny but does at least reveal the real reason in a brief end note: “N.B.:…he’s probably making a grip of cash on this, plus equity.

And finally, rounding out today’s media news, Choire is now a bot.

“I’m sorry,” said the tree, “I do not have any facts. But maybe you can sell
this garbage to the resentful rubes instead.”

It’s been a surprisingly long time since I Tabbed at you, and I have a lot of random stuff in my junk drawer (that is not a euphemism). A lot of it is stuff I liked, so here: have some stuff I liked!

Kelly Stout’s “Let’s Get Drinks” is the opposite of the Bhopal disaster chewing loudly in a quiet office. Hallie Bateman’s Pen Parade newsletter yesterday was a genuine world-historical high point in pen review based opinion writing. And also Today in Hallie, her interview with Jazmine Hughes is delightful, as is Jeremy Barr’s long interview with Shani Hilton in Capital New York.

John Herrman revealed the Nine Most Shocking Revelations in the Palantir Leak; the unstated number 10 is the underlying revelation that the “leak” is literally just Palantir marketing materials. Scroll down to Disney and make your screen real skinny if you want the D. The latest Reply All podcast features Paul Ford talking about his anxiety email bot, which was also partly the subject of his talk at XOXO last year. Matthew J.X. Malady and Ijeoma Oluo talk about vacuum sales and how to be an adult in an exceptional Tell Us More. DJ Louis XIV has a lot to say about old Madonna vs. new Madonna. It’s early in the year to call this selfie stick phone call image “The Lasting Image of 2015” as Charlie Warzel does, but he might be right.


And now, turn up your rainy cafe sound generator, because here’s Bijan!


If you’re a person who carries a complicated history, traveling can be fraught. I recently learned about “sundown towns”—U.S. towns that were purposefully white, where if you were colored you had to be out by sundown, or else—and a corresponding field manual, The Negro Motorist Green Book, a travel guide that informed black drivers about the places they should avoid and the businesses that wouldn’t embarrass or humiliate them.

I bring this up because the Charlie Hebdo tragedy has me thinking about James Baldwin, the ur-émigré, and his life in Paris. Thomas Chatterton Williams—another black writer and editor who has moved to Paris—has today published an essay in n+1 (cached here) that deals with the massacre in terms of French history.

One of my oldest and kindest friends from Paris, a man with a beautifully aristocratic last name, made a point the other day that seems to have become one of the default rationales: “But Charlie Hebdo offended everyone the same. My grandmother, who is a practicing Catholic, will tell you they are harsher with the Pope than with anyone else.”  While this may even be true, Anatole France had the right of it when he said, “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”

I’ve never bought the bullshit about “offending everyone equally”; it doesn’t exist. Some are always—simply, inevitably—hurt more than others. We cannot ignore history, its omnipresence and inescapability. Laughing in spite of one’s pain isn’t progress. Perhaps I am not Charlie.

Please consider this a belated Tabs Intern Supplement to last Thursday’s Charlie Hebdo edition.

Today’s Toy: Someone made a choose-your-own-adventure game on Twitter.

Today’s Song: John Carpenter, “Night,” from the horror film director’s inexplicable forthcoming synthesizer music album.

~How many more Tabs, treat me the way you wanna do?~


Thanks as always to Alison Headley for Take Tree art. Thanks to Lia Bulaong for what I think we all recognize as exceptionally good Tabs yesterday, and for introducing me to Bonchon Chicken. Read us on Fast Company, or, if for example your friend forwards you this email all the time, you can subscribe yourself right here. Because remember, I don’t just care about you as a reader; I also care about you as a number.