A roundup of recommended takes on the media, by the media.
Murdoch’s Audience of Two
Gossip surrounding the reason behind Rupert Murdoch stepping down as Fox and NewsCorp chair included theories about his health, wanting to sidestep testifying in the Smartmatic trial and even moving headquarters back to Australia under Lachlan Murdoch’s leadership. Matthew Belloni, writing in Puck, offers an insider, though admittedly speculative, take hinging on good old-fashion family dysfunction–and how to manipulate it. Those still mourning the end of Succession will take comfort in the piece. And those wary of Fox News will relish behind-the-scenes dirt at the network.
Dividing the World into Heroes and Villains Does Us Little Good
The recent allegations of rape against British comedian Russell Brand provoked a deluge of UK media coverage. Jemima Kelly’s piece in the Financial Times urging nuanced thinking even in regard to those credibly accused of heinous crimes was among the most thought-provoking.
“We are often told that we should never meet our heroes; their messy, imperfect humanness can only ever come as a bitter disappointment,” writes Kelly. “We might have the same problem if we met those we have consigned to villainhood: they too are likely to be vexingly complex,” she writes.
These 183,000 Books Are Fueling the Biggest Fight in Publishing and Tech
Of the many worries generated by lightspeed advances in AI, the ethics behind the sourcing of the technology has generated relatively scant buzz. In the Atlantic, Alex Reisner sheds light on the issue of the vast trove of books used, without permission, to train AI systems, and the lawsuits that training provoked. The Atlantic also provides a tool allowing you to see which of your favorite writers have been sourced. The answer? Probably all of them.
Ed Fancher, a Founder of The Village Voice, Is Dead at 100
Ed Fancher, center, Norman Mailer, left, and Dan Wolf at the offices of The Village Voice
“We were crazy enough to think it would succeed,” said Ed Fancher of founding the Village Voice in 1955 with Norman Mailer and Dan Wolf. Fancher died this week at 100, and Richard Sandomir’s obit of him in the New York Times expertly recounts the history of the Voice and other once-vital alt-weeklies as well as the postwar optimism that led to their founding, with some references to Mailer’s notorious prickliness thrown in for good measure.