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4:40 PM ET, December 21, 2020

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 Top News: 
Dominick Mastranglo / The Hill:
Newsmax claims it “has not reported as true certain claims” made by “various guests, attorneys and elected officials” on air about Smartmatic and Dominion  —  Conservative media outlet Newsmax issued a clarification on Monday about recent claims made by guests …
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Ben Smith / New York Times:
Voting machine companies including Smartmatic have hired high-powered libel lawyers and, legal experts say, have strong cases if they sue Fox, Newsmax, and OAN  —  Voting machine companies threaten “highly dangerous” cases against Fox, Newsmax and OAN, says Floyd Abrams.
Stephanie Clifford / Elle:
Profile of ex-Bloomberg reporter Christie Smythe, who quit her job and divorced her husband after she fell in love with the man she was covering, Martin Shkreli  —  Why did Christie Smythe upend her life and stability for Martin Shkreli, one of the least-liked men in the world?
Discussion: New York Times, @ellemagazine, CNBC, @nytimes, VICE, New York Magazine, @katie_robertson, @manymanywords, @stephcliff, @mattzeitlin, @thedailybeast, @skenigsberg, @migold, New York Post, @benyt, Fox News, @ohheyjenna, @rmac18, Rolling Stone, The Daily Dot, Business Insider, The A.V. Club, The US Sun, @liamstack, @christiesmythe, @moorehn, @jillfilipovic, @katierosman, @roywoodjr, @carigervin, @elaheizadi, @zeddary, @soledadobrien, @jourdynberry, @meandmydogtoo, Mediaite, @ec_schneider, @sawyerhackett, @kellykeegs, @moorehn, @zeitchikwapo, @alishagrauso, @angryblacklady, @jenashleywright, @offbeatorbit, @drea_carmen, @beijingpalmer, @otraletra, @amber_athey, @notcapnamerica, @christiesmythe, @ashleyfeinberg, @taylorlorenz, @maxwelltani, @oneunderscore__, @phil_lewis_, @tomgara, @alexheard, @annamerlan, @robbiese7en, @bgrueskin, @asteadwesley, @galaxiecarol, @socialistdogmom, UPROXX, @hels, @taylorlorenz, @mrsfridaynext, @nolamama69, @elaheizadi, @christiesmythe, @jordanuhl, @christiesmythe, @majorphilebrity, @dierobinsondie, @bgrueskin, The Wrap, Where's Your Ed At, @hummusandpizza, @austen, The Guardian, @carigervin, @karnythia, @jerrydunleavy, @maxwelltani, @shwinyo, @kira_lerner, @ashleyrparker, @alexrkonrad, @mathewi, @arreglalo, @ftrain, @felixsalmon, @mattikovler, @rebeccadobrien, @christiesmythe, @kaylawebley, @christiesmythe, @modernistwitch, @theferocity, @jillfilipovic, @jessicakroy, @fuggirls, @zunguzungu, @annamerlan, @eekshecried, @dansolomon, @harrysiegel, @bendreyfuss, @bendreyfuss, @bendreyfuss, @tylerdinucci, @jbillinson, @dlippman, @dave_schilling, @caseyjohnston, @jasonpinter, @bykatesmith, @chrissyfarr, @sgurman, @drrramina, @lalasoo, @walterolson, @megan, @benyt, @asteadwesley, @lindseyadler, @bigmeaninternet, @daisandconfused, @joeperticone, @asteadwesley, @brianstelter, @liamstack, @jessicahuseman, @bendreyfuss, @taylorlorenz, @taylorlorenz, Jezebel, Law & Crime and Talking Biz News
Mike Fannin / The Kansas City Star:
Kansas City Star publishes a review of its 140-year history, finding coverage “disenfranchised, ignored, and scorned generations of Black Kansas Citians”  —  Today we are telling the story of a powerful local business that has done wrong.  For 140 years, it has been one of the …
Cecilia D'Anastasio / Wired:
Cyberpunk 2077's developer hamstrung reviewers by forcing NDAs and sending copies just days before launch to prevent players from seeing the buggy mess  —  Video game companies are increasingly putting restrictions on what reviewers can show, widening the gap between expectations and reality.
Washington Post:
The Washington Post announces expansion plans for 2021: new foreign bureaus in Sydney and Bogotá, breaking news hubs in London and Seoul, and more  —  The Washington Post will take new steps in 2021 to become a more global newsroom by creating breaking-news hubs in Europe and Asia.
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
Despite a few bright spots in local journalism like Charlotte Agenda, bought by Axios, and Daily Memphian, 55 news outlets have closed amid the pandemic  —  You would think that Adam Ganucheau would be feeling upbeat about the state of local journalism.  —  After all, Mississippi Today …
Jem Aswad / Variety:
Congress' COVID-19 relief deal includes the Save Our Stages Act to give ~$15B in relief to independent music venues and movie theaters shut due to the pandemic  —  “We can finally report what our nation has needed to hear for a very long time,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell …
The Guardian:
Citizen Lab: iPhones of dozens of Al Jazeera journalists were hacked using software from NSO Group in an attack likely ordered by Saudi Arabia and UAE  —  Citizen Lab researchers say cyber-attack using NSO Group software likely ordered by Saudia Arabia and UAE
Erik Wemple / Washington Post:
Sources: NYT reporters criticized editors over handling of Callimachi's “Caliphate” in a meeting, arguing warning signs had been clear for years with no action  —  In December 2014, renowned terrorism reporter Rukmini Callimachi unearthed what appeared to be a striking scoop.
 
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 More News: 
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:
The omnibus funding bill Congress is set to vote on contains the controversial CASE Act, which may ratchet up copyright trolling, and the Felony Streaming Bill
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
TikTok launches its first personalized annual recap feature, “Year on TikTok”, which highlights what sort of videos were watched the most, favorite tracks, more
Eriq Gardner / Hollywood Reporter:
Netflix and Legendary Pictures settle Enola Holmes lawsuit with Conan Doyle Estate, which alleged that the movie infringed upon Sherlock Holmes
Discussion: The Verge
Kristen Chick / Columbia Journalism Review:
Eleven women describe inappropriate behavior from photographer David Alan Harvey over 13 years and say Magnum Photos knew as early as 2009
 Earlier Picks: 
Charles Kaiser / The Guardian:
Interview with Arthur Sulzberger Jr, who retires as NYT chairman this month, and AG Sulzberger about turning around the paper, keeping it in the family, more