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1:05 PM ET, July 8, 2020

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 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.”
RELATED:
Harper's:
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 letters@harpers.org  —  Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial.
Discussion: @harpers, @jennyboylan, American Press Institute, New Republic, @lindaholmes, @mattwelch, The Guardian, New Republic, @emilyvdw, @jessesingal, @jordanfreiman, @jonathanchait, @parkermolloy, NME, @ositanwanevu, @juddlegum, Tangle, @yascha_mounk, Reason, @popehat, @sapinker, bookforum.com, @greenidgekerri, @jk_rowling, Fox News, @benyt, @darrengrimes_, The World Is Yours*, @ritapanahi, @popehat, @neontaster, @mccormick_ted, @llw902, @nberlat, @baddiel, @divinadecampo, @bethlynch2020, @popehat, Bookninja, @benyt, @mizzousundevil, @jmrivera02, SPLICETODAY.com, @elivalley, @nberlat, @jbenton, @nicolacoughlan, @dancow, @jk_rowling, @revrrlewis, @samthielman, @nishachittal, @emilyvdw, The Week, @bealelab, @tomcoates, @dennismhogan, @sarahjamielewis, Conquest of the Useless, @lostblackboy, @lostblackboy, @talkingbiznews, @sanasaeed, @ericrweinstein, @labuzamovies, @nilegardiner, @wwwritingclub, @aidanctweets, @catespice, @originalspin, Variety, @davereaboi, @asteadwesley, @tage_rai, @tage_rai, @jonhaidt, @tage_rai, @paulbloomatyale, @paulbloomatyale, @erinbiba, @kyebarker, @mathewi, @internethippo, @sharonwaxman, @sharonwaxman, @sharonwaxman, @mathewi, @musiccitymark, @mathewi, @gothamgirlblue, @scottmgreer, @sbarolo, @mazmhussain, @horowitz39, @owillis, @megbasham, @brinyfeminist, @blueboxdave, @aetherlev, @mountain_goats, @maxwellstrachan, @juliacarriew, @juliacarriew, @lindaholmes, @lindaholmes, @lindaholmes, Deadline, @erinbiba, @popehat, @erinbiba, @jackshafer, @nototally, @mathewi, @rafiletzter, @dianelyssa, @anitathetweeter, @velocciraptor, @coriewhalen, @inezfeltscher, @monachareneppc, @edmerea, @boringstein, @umm_catie, @mobute, @rottenindenmark, @paulconstant, @shane_burley1, @thomaschattwill, @parkermolloy, @thomaschattwill, @thomaschattwill, @thomaschattwill, @mattbc, @parkermolloy, @paulcrider, The Ludic Log, @kerrymflynn, @kerrymflynn, Breitbart and @courtneyscoffs
Mike Isaac / New York Times:
An independent audit commissioned by Facebook harshly criticizes the company, arguing that some of its decisions were “significant setbacks for civil rights”  —  An independent audit faulted the social network for “vexing and heartbreaking decisions” that affect its users — and potentially the November elections.
RELATED:
Free Press:
After meeting between leaders of Facebook, ADL, Free Press, NAACP, and Color Of Change, boycott organizers are unconvinced meaningful change will occur  —  Contact: Timothy Karr, 201-533-8838  —  WASHINGTON — On Tuesday afternoon, leaders of four of the organizations coordinating …
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Amazon Fire TV adds live content from Sling TV, YouTube TV, and Hulu + Live TV  —  Amazon is upgrading its Fire TV's live TV experience through new integrations with several live TV streaming services, including Sling TV, YouTube TV, and Hulu + Live TV.  Live content from these services …
RELATED:
Torrey Hart / The Streamable:
Comcast launches an app for Dish's Sling TV on its Xfinity Flex boxes, making it the first live TV streaming service available for its broadband customers  —  Comcast Xfinity Flex users now have access to the Sling TV app as a way to stream live television without a cable deal.
Discussion: Variety
Sheila Dang / Reuters:
TikTok launches a self-service ad platform globally, with a music library and video editing tools to help brands make ads that match the style of TikTok videos  —  (Reuters) - TikTok's launch on Wednesday of a new platform to court small business advertisers is fraught with challenges …
RELATED:
CNN:
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
Anthony Ha / TechCrunch:
London-based Permutive raises $18.5M Series B to help publishers target audiences more effectively using their own first-party data  —  Permutive is announcing that it has raised $18.5 million in Series B funding, as the London-based startup works to help online publishers make money in a changing privacy landscape.
Discussion: Tech.eu
Tonja Renée Stidhum / The Root:
NYT will adapt The 1619 Project into a portfolio of films, TV, and other content, in partnership with Lionsgate and with Oprah Winfrey as a producer  —  On August 14, 2019, on the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved Africans' arrival into the English colonies that would become the United States …
Discussion: Variety and The Wrap
Nat Ives / Wall Street Journal:
Omnicom announces a deal to spend $20M on ads in podcasts distributed by Spotify in the second half of this year  —  Podcasters try to lure more marketers with high-profile talent and better ad technology  —  Omnicom Media Group plans to spend $20 million on advertising in podcasts distributed …
Discussion: Axios and @sarafischer
Jake Kanter / Deadline:
WarnerMedia hires Johannes Larcher, a former Hulu exec and current boss of Arabic language streamer Shahid, to lead the global rollout of HBO Max  —  EXCLUSIVE: WarnerMedia has hired Johannes Larcher, the former Hulu executive and current boss of Shahid, the word's largest Arabic language streamer …
Latino USA:
Brazilian Press Association to sue Jair Bolsonaro for putting journalists at risk by taking off his mask while announcing that he tested positive for COVID-19  —  BRAZIL: After months of downplaying the effects of the pandemic, President Jair Bolsonaro has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Discussion: @hadas_gold
 
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 More News: 
Andrew Webster / The Verge:
Tyler “Ninja” Blevins starts streaming on YouTube, following the surprise closure of Microsoft's Mixer
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
 Earlier Picks: 
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
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