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What I’m Reading Today

Mic’s drop | The Outline

Mic started riding the Facebook wave early in 2012. Individual stories kept going viral, pulling in 2 million, 3 million, 5 million unique visitors per piece. Former staffers described the viral power of Mic’s stories as a fluke, something they’d never witnessed before and have never seen again. Every month brought a new record, former staffers told me. It felt like Mic was unstoppable — but it was not to last. In August 2015, Mic’s Facebook traffic dropped dramatically, former staffers said. This happened every so often; traffic would dip, the audience and editorial teams would adjust a bunch of levers, and the crisis would blow over. This time was different, possibly due to changes made by Facebook that included a penalty for clickbait, as indicated by readers clicking on a story but not spending much time with it.


Detention of famous director upsets Russia’s artistic world | McClatchy Washington Bureau

MOSCOW
In a move that sent a shockwave through Russia’s art community, investigators on Tuesday detained a prominent theater director famous for his biting satire of Russian officialdom on charges of embezzling $1.1 million.


The story behind a great Jerry Lewis obit in The New York Times – Poynter

To whom might one compare their fame today? It’s hard to come up with any apples-to-apples comparisons. Beyonce and Jay-Z? Nope. Not really close (and they’re not a combo act, anyway). The now-split Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt? Same deal. Penn and Teller? Closer but, still, the magicians are not even in the same universe of national renown as Martin and Lewis were. They truly were household names in a smaller country without such media fragmentation.


Palestinians have spent decades battling Israel. Now they’re battling each other. – Vox

The harsh rhetoric means that Abbas is taking a risky gamble, hoping these punitive measures would bring Hamas to its knees and force it to join a national unity government with the Palestinian Authority. But the plan backfired quickly and spectacularly. Hamas refused to give in, and let the coastal enclave sink into darkness. Gaza’s 2 million residents were forced to get used to 20-hour blackouts and scorching summer days without air conditioning. Its already decrepit infrastructure deteriorated so severely that sewage overflowed into the sea.