Sometimes life imitates art. Other times art intimidates life. That seemed to be the case with the HBO documentary series The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, which, over the course of a decade, tracked the shady past of the New York City real estate scion, in particular the trail of deaths that seemed to follow him. The final episode of The Jinx contained a shocking revelation: Durst, after an on-camera interview with filmmaker Andrew Jarecki, wandered into a hotel bathroom still wearing his microphone and made what sounded like a full confession. The shock was compounded by real-life events. The day before the finale was set to air, the FBI arrested Durst in New Orleans for the murder of Susan Berman, a friend of his who was killed in Los Angeles in 2000.
Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office
In a media landscape transfixed by artfully told true-crime stories (The Jinx comes on the heels of NPR's wildly popular Serial podcast), the show's presentation of its case against Durst — not to mention the timing of Durst's arrest — raised a host of questions regarding the lines between entertainment and jurisprudence, chain of custody, and the legal responsibilities of documentary journalists. The Jinx navigated this thicket with the help of Victor A. Kovner, a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine with a long history of providing pre-print or pre-broadcast review to media outlets (including, from the mid-1960s until the mid-2000s, the Village Voice).More »
The lead story on the New York Post's website a little before 9 a.m. on Tuesday was headlined "Osama bin Laden 'died like a pussy.' " After 9 a.m., the headline became "Osama bin Laden 'died like a wimp.' "
With more than 35 million views, the video of Shoshana Roberts walking through Manhattan and being subjected to dozens and dozens of catcalls from men about her appearance and figure pulled back the curtain on an uglier part of our culture. It also spawned several cringe-inducing parodies by enterprising dudes (mostly dudes, anyway) who wanna hop on the pageview train by offering comparisons between getting catcalled as as a woman alone in New York to, oh, trash-talk you might hear as an unshaven Jets bro walking through Union Square on a Sunday. Here are the worst, from worst to least-worst.
On Sunday, the New York Post published an anonymously sourced piece detailing first lady Chirlane McCray's fury after hearing that Chief of Department Philip Banks (her pick, the paper says, for commissioner) was leaving the force after a disagreement with Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
nycmayorsoffice via Flickr Chirlane McCray
"I told you we can't trust him!" the paper says she "railed" at her husband, Mayor Bill de Blasio. After that, the report goes on, the mayor "summoned Bratton to City Hall, blasting him face to face for not catering to Banks."More »
In 1980, a Washington Post writer named Janet Cooke wrote a heart-wrenching story about an eight-year-old heroin addict in Washington, D.C. "Jimmy's World" was a heroic piece of journalism, shedding light on an often unseen world of addiction and poverty and misery.
The Post's 1981 Pulitzer, lost to fraud, ultimately went to the Voice.
Texas Monthly editor Jake Silverstein had several reasons to celebrate on March 28. The last installment of an exhaustive five-part, 25,000-word series on a botched triple homicide investigation was live online; the day before, a big Texas Monthly-branded barbecue event had gone off without a hitch in Brooklyn... and, after an extensive search, the New York Times was finally ready to announce it would be naming Silverstein the new editor of its Sunday magazine.
The news, announced on the Times' website that Friday came as a surprise -- Silverstein's name had not been mentioned in speculative articles leading up to the announcement -- and a nasty one for Ian Arnold, vice president of Emmis Publishing, the owner of Texas Monthly.More »
On Wednesday the New York Observer published a profile of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The piece is long, and utterly embarrassing in its exasperated defense of Donald Trump, Observer publisher Jared Kushner's father-in-law and the target of an ongoing lawsuit by the Attorney General's office. Worse, it's an insult to the Observer's readers, who are way too media savvy for the shenanigans.
Alec Baldwin is done with all you tiny, pathetic ingrates. New York has just gotten too mean. A man can't live peacefully in this town anymore. The days when you were free to call people "queens" and "faggots" and "cocksucking fags" as you saw fit are over. Alec Baldwin bids you to say goodbye to these.
Also cancelled: Baldwin's popular cooking tips show.
That was the news last night from New York magazine, whose cover story this week features a first-person from Baldwin, declaring, "I Give Up." (On Vulture, New York's culture blog, the piece is billed as ""Goodbye, Public Life.")
It's Baldwin's passionate denunciation of the media, as well as New York City and pretty much everybody in it (Shia LeBeouf, Rachel Maddow, Joe Scarborough, er, Bill de Blasio). He declares that he's done trying "to communicate with an audience playfully like we're friends, beyond the work you are actually paid for." His withdrawal, he adds, is because he's been labeled "a homophobic bigot by Andrew Sullivan, Anderson Cooper, and others in the Gay Department of Justice." And barely 100 words into the piece, he uses an anti-transgender slur. Good God, Lemon.More »