What we read while moving to Ecuador for the weather…
- Two sad deaths last week: First, Michael Hastings, the notably adversarial reporter who helped bring down General Stanley McChrystal, died in a car crash at the age of 33. He had been working on another national security story, and was apparently worried about an FBI probe. As one of the few journalists who didn’t kowtow to power, he was known for making enemies and for that he will be missed.
- James Gandolfini also passed away last week. He was 51. Gandolfini was of course most known for his role as Tony Soprano, one of the most memorable characters in television history, but he was also generous and sincere, as many remembrances have pointed out. David Chase remembers him as a genius.
- Mitch Hurwitz did a Reddit AMA.
- Edward Snowden answered reader questions about his leaks and motivations on the Guardian website. Then he got charged with espionage (you can read the actual complain here) and fled Hong Kong for Ecuador before the HKSAR could track him down. Though charging him with espionage may seem extreme, it’s part of the Obama Administration’s ongoing war on leaks and attacks on journalists.
- But don’t let the drama surrounding Snowden distract from the real scandal: the growing NSA surveillance state. Even noted police statist Ray Kelly is troubled by it. Here are some ways to defend yourself. Also, Paul Shirley on why you shouldn’t trust the government.
- Why can’t American DVRs be more like Eurpoe’s?
- This week in oral histories: Brian Windhorst on the 2003 NBA Draft, 10 years later.
- Brian Raftery on his new book about the Upright Citizens Brigade.