Some better questions for Goop’s Gwyneth Paltrow

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The New York Times interviewed Gwyneth Paltrow, CEO of the $250 million wellness site Goop. She’s a charlatan selling snake oil, but the Times can’t decide whether to call her on it or be nice. I can. So I wrote my own interview questions. David Gelles’s interview for the “Corner Office” column highlights CEOs. Because … Continued

How not to plagiarize like Jill Abramson in “Merchants of Truth”

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Jill Abramson, former executive editor of the New York Times, published a book on media called Merchants of Truth. Many passages appear to be plagiarized. I’ll explain why authors do this and how you can make sure you never do. I can already feel your outrage. Plagiarize? I would never do that! No respectable author … Continued

Are transgender people people?

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Someone you know is transgender. They deserve to be treated like a human. Look. My job here is normally to pick apart public statements by people, to show you how things can be written better. I try not to get into taking political positions. But I am making an exception today. If this bothers you, … Continued

The mystery of The New York Times’ anonymous op-ed: a ROAM analysis

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The New York Times posted an op-ed from an unnamed “senior official” who is managing the chaos in the Trump Administration. To truly understand what’s going on here, you need to look at the writer’s motivation. ROAM is the perfect way to do that — but in this case, it only deepens the mystery. The … Continued

The frou-frou cuteness of the New York Times style section

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The New York Times traffics in clear, straightforward text. Except, that is, in the Sunday Style section. Having no style myself, I’d typically skip the Style section, but an article by Penelope Green on birds sucked me in yesterday. I like birds. I read it. I’m still dizzy. If you like metaphors, you’ll love the … Continued

Nazis in the New York Times: too normal, or scary as hell?

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This weekend the New York Times published an article about a foot solider in the white nationalist movement. Critics say the article normalizes Nazis. My reaction was the opposite: I found the descriptions of a “normal” midwesterner with these beliefs terrifying. “A Voice of Hate in America’s Heartland,” by Richard Fausset, is a profile of Tony … Continued

Does it matter that Trump can’t spell?

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President Trump tweets lots of spelling errors. In the New York Times, Farhad Manjoo says this is just a sign of the times. It’s fine to spell things however you want on social media your friends, but when you’re communicating with people who matter — like, say, the entire citizenry of the United States — … Continued