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5:55 AM ET, July 8, 2020


 Top News: 
New York Times:
How the Harper's letter grew from a core of about 20 people, led by Thomas Chatterton Williams, and how blowback built especially to J.K. Rowling's inclusion  —  An open letter published by Harper's, signed by luminaries including Margaret Atwood and Wynton Marsalis, argued for openness to “opposing views.”
Over 150 journalists, academics, and writers sign a letter criticizing what they see as narrowing boundaries of debate and increasing self-censorship  —  We welcome responses at  —  Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial.
Discussion: @harpers, @jennyboylan, @mattwelch, @lindaholmes, The Guardian, Variety, @jordanfreiman, @emilyvdw, @jessesingal, Deadline, @jonathanchait, @parkermolloy, @ositanwanevu, @juddlegum, @popehat, @sapinker, @yascha_mounk, @jk_rowling, @erinbiba, @erinbiba, @benyt, @darrengrimes_, @mountain_goats, @ericrweinstein, @lindaholmes, @sharonwaxman, @lostblackboy, @rottenindenmark, @paulconstant, Fox News, @ritapanahi, @popehat, The Ludic Log, @dianelyssa, @neontaster, @mccormick_ted, @greenidgekerri, @tage_rai, @llw902, @nilegardiner, @sarahjamielewis, @davereaboi, @kerrymflynn, @courtneyscoffs, @nberlat, @lindaholmes, @thomaschattwill, @thomaschattwill, @sineadactually, @sharonwaxman, Jill Filipovic, @anitathetweeter, @tage_rai, @megbasham, @scottmgreer, @gothamgirlblue, @velocciraptor, @labuzamovies, @rafiletzter, @ctuckerprof, @tage_rai, @kyebarker, @brinyfeminist, @sharonwaxman, @sbarolo, @owillis, @wwwritingclub, @prettycritical, @asteadwesley, @juliacarriew, @bethlynch2020, @lindaholmes, @coriewhalen, @bealelab, @lostblackboy, @inezfeltscher, @mattbc, @mathewi, @nototally, @kerrymflynn, @aidanctweets, @blueboxdave, @popehat, @mathewi, @shane_burley1, @popehat, @paulbloomatyale, @maxwellstrachan, @monachareneppc, @dennismhogan, @mazmhussain, @erinbiba, @benyt, @mizzousundevil, @jmrivera02, @internethippo, @elivalley, @musiccitymark, @sanasaeed, @tomcoates, Conquest of the Useless, @originalspin, @catespice, @nberlat, @jbenton, @paulcrider, @mathewi, @talkingbiznews, @nicolacoughlan, @dancow, @revrrlewis, @jonhaidt, @samthielman, @jackshafer, @edmerea, @aetherlev, @horowitz39, @boringstein, @juliacarriew, @umm_catie, @thomaschattwill, @bariweiss, @mobute, @rrrrnessa, @nishachittal, @emilyvdw, @paulbloomatyale, @thomaschattwill, Breitbart, @parkermolloy, @mathewi, @parkermolloy, TheBlaze, @jackposobiec, The Daily Beast, @jbenton, @paulg, @rubinreport, @nototally, @ggreenwald, @tressiemcphd, @elijahdelmedigo, @samsacks, @ggreenwald, Hiding in Plain Sight, Business Insider and The Wrap
Free Press:
After meeting between leaders of Facebook, ADL, Free Press, NAACP, and Color Of Change, boycott organizers are unconvinced meaningful change will occur at FB  —  Contact: Timothy Karr, 201-533-8838  —  WASHINGTON — On Tuesday afternoon, leaders of four of the organizations coordinating …
Amazon's Twitch, Facebook, Nvidia, and others contend with allegations of sexual misconduct in the game streaming world, as dozens of women accuse 150+ people  —  - About 150 online players are accused of a range of misconduct  — Corporate sponsors rethink vetting of streamers they work with
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Comcast plans to invest $2B in Peacock by 2021, expects it to generate $2.5B in revenue by 2024 with 30M-35M users, says users gravitate to its curated channels  —  In September 2019, Steve Burke, then NBCUniversal chief executive, called Matt Strauss, with a question: Would he take the wheel of the Peacock project?
Taylor Soper / GeekWire:
Some best-selling authors team up with Amazon and Penguin Random House in a suit against Kiss Library, which they say sold unauthorized ebooks of their work  —  A group of best-selling authors is teaming up with Amazon in a lawsuit that aims to bring down an alleged counterfeit e-book …
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Prime Video launches user profiles globally, allowing six per account, giving access to a Watchlist, personalized recommendations, and viewing progress  —  Amazon's Prime Video is finally adding a feature that's long since become a standard for streaming video services: user profiles.
Discussion: /Film, more at Techmeme »
Brian Welk / The Wrap:
AMC, Regal, Cinemark BJK Entertainment, and Bow Tie Cinemas sue the state of New Jersey for keeping theaters closed amid the pandemic as other venues reopen  —  Major theater chains including AMC, Regal, Cinemark BJK Entertainment and Bow Tie Cinemas have sued the state of New Jersey …
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 More News: 
Sara Fischer / Axios:
The Information is launching a free weekly Chinese-language newsletter covering Silicon Valley and China's tech sector
Discussion: @jessicalessin
Josef Adalian / Vulture:
Under Chris McCarthy, Comedy Central is pushing animation, planning to make 10-20 films a year, rethinking its identity: “We're not channels. We're content.”
Phil Shiver / TheBlaze:
Ben Shapiro is stepping down as EIC of The Daily Wire, replaced by John Bickley; Shapiro will now be editor emeritus at the outlet
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the US is “looking at” banning TikTok and other Chinese social media apps amid rising tensions between US and China
 Earlier Picks: 
Joanna Partridge / The Guardian:
Reach, owner of the Daily Mirror and hundreds of UK regional papers, to cut 550 jobs, 12% of its workforce, and centralize editorial as revenue fell 27.5% in Q2
Adam Rawnsley / The Daily Beast:
Conservative news sites like Newsmax have published opinion pieces from a network of at least 19 fake personas pushing Middle East propaganda over the past year
[Thread] Media companies that received PPP loans after US disclosed recipients: $5M-$10M for Wikimedia, $2M-$5M for Fortune, $1M-$2M for Digiday, and more