A summary of journalism news and pop culture brought to you by  SNO

The lede

“During the Trump era, Max said, Enquirer reporters kept their heads down. ‘If you were handed an assignment to write a critical piece about one of the president’s foes, you did it,’ he told me. When I asked why he thought the assignments suddenly began materializing, he replied, ‘I didn’t think that deeply. I just wanted to get in and out.’ … The real mystery about the Enquirer, I came to find, is who actually works there. Virtually none of the articles are bylined, and it appears that Howard stopped publishing mastheads sometime in 2017. (Why? I asked Max. ‘Because it’s junk,’ he replied. ‘Why would you want to be associated with that?’) Technically, as Robertson supervises most of the newsroom, the Enquirer’s editor in chief is a veteran AMI employee named Dan Dolan. He is also editor of the Examiner and the Globe. I didn’t learn much about Dolan, except that he assumed control after Howard moved into podcast-land and, according to a non-Max ex-staffer, that he is known to carry a massive knife around the office, apparently for protection.”  Columbia Journalism Review: What happened to the National Enquirer after it went all in for Trump?

Seconded

“We can really make a difference and not only grow ourselves but help our community grow closer together. I know that after I’m gone and graduated, I want to be able to pick up a copy of The Cougar Claw somewhere that’s not a high school.” The Cougar Claw, Kearns High School’s student-run newspaper, is filling a void in its community. (The Salt Lake Tribune)

TGIF

December is the month of lists: Christmas lists, resolution lists, naughty and nice lists, mailing lists… I rest my case. But one genre of lists has a very special December in store. Year-end lists have turned to steroids, morphing into Decade-enders as we approach the Year of Vision Care, 2020. To get you started, The Hollywood Reporter’s “10 Best TV Shows of the Decade”: “Leslie Knope’s Pawnee was a town awash in impediments and complications and even her co-workers presented speed bumps aplenty. Yet the series carried along with the profound belief that people, working together, can make things better for each other and for the world. The decade surely didn’t lack for dark and tormented shows, so let’s top this list with one that’s full of hope and heart and humor.” (A list after my own heart.)

. . . “A Visit From the Goon Squad” (Yes…) is Entertainment Weekly’s book of the decade (YES!)

. . . Taylor Swift is music’s Artist and Woman of the Decade — or for Gen Z Swifties, that of their lifetime (and of their “Finstagrams”)

. . . Speaking of lists: Does the character get their story? Are they competent? Are they ethical? How believable is the journalist? The Ringer’s “Exhaustive Ranking of Movie Journalists” (24. Jim Carrey as Bruce Nolan in Bruce Almighty)

#MillennialProblems

This 30-second Peloton commercial is driving people crazy. Why? “It’s probably some combination of overacting, cheesy background music and a plot about a husband gifting his gorgeous, in-shape wife a $2,000+ exercise bike to help her get even more in-shape.” (Ad Age)

. . . “Ma’am, are you okay? ARE YOU OKAY, MA’AM?” and 48 other questions about the “disturbing Peloton Christmas commercial” (Uproxx)

Sports!

“There is not much more any of them can do. The phone and the internet were cut off months ago. There is still power, although they try not to use it because they know the bill is overdue. The only heat comes from a portable gas canister a fan brought down a few weeks ago. It has been placed next to Joan. ‘He said to tell him when the gas runs out, and he’ll replace it,’ she said.” Why do five employees keep showing up to work every day without pay for a soccer club that’s dead? The New York Times soccer writer Rory Smith asked.

Thinking ahead

After two years away, Jay-Z has released his entire discography back to Spotify. (As my brother’s Twitter bio says, “Life is for living, not living without your entire music library on Spotify.”) Happy listening…

This also happened last week: Katy Perry and Santa got couples massages from reindeer in a video for her new song, “Cozy Little Christmas,” which will not make the cut for my Christmas party playlist.