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6:55 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.
RELATED:
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 …
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  —  from the but-why?  dept  —  As we warned about earlier this month, it appears that Congress has in fact put …
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 …
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: @ellemagazine, New York Magazine, @nytimes, CNBC, New York Times, VICE, The Wrap, @megancgraham, @manymanywords, @katie_robertson, @stephcliff, @skenigsberg, @mattzeitlin, @thedailybeast, New York Post, Law & Crime, @penenberg, @penenberg, @katie_robertson, @jillfilipovic, @migold, @benyt, The Daily Dot, @liamstack, Fox News, @katierosman, Mediaite, Business Insider, @beijingpalmer, The US Sun, @ohheyjenna, @tomgara, @asteadwesley, The A.V. Club, UPROXX, @hels, Rolling Stone, Where's Your Ed At, @hummusandpizza, The Guardian, @shwinyo, @kira_lerner, @alexrkonrad, @mathewi, @rmac18, @alexheard, @carigervin, @carigervin, @zeitchikwapo, @maxwelltani, @jordanuhl, @socialistdogmom, @elaheizadi, @maxwelltani, @elaheizadi, @ashleyfeinberg, @drea_carmen, @oneunderscore__, @taylorlorenz, @angryblacklady, @annamerlan, @galaxiecarol, @nolamama69, @ec_schneider, @ashleyrparker, @bgrueskin, @bgrueskin, @christiesmythe, @soledadobrien, @christiesmythe, @alishagrauso, @jenashleywright, @notcapnamerica, @roywoodjr, @offbeatorbit, @christiesmythe, @moorehn, @moorehn, @jillfilipovic, @meandmydogtoo, @christiesmythe, @otraletra, @robbiese7en, @taylorlorenz, @kellykeegs, @zeddary, @karnythia, @phil_lewis_, @mrsfridaynext, @jerrydunleavy, @jourdynberry, @sawyerhackett, @amber_athey, @majorphilebrity, @dierobinsondie, @austen, @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 and Jezebel
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.
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: MGM Holdings has begun a formal sale process, looking for a price double its $5.5B valuation  —  Movie studio has tapped bankers to find a buyer, as media companies look to stock up on content  —  MGM Holdings Inc., the movie studio behind the “James Bond” franchise, is exploring a sale …
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 …
 
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 More News: 
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
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
 Earlier Picks: 
Linda Solomon Wood / Nieman Lab:
National Observer EIC predicts Canada's philanthropic sector will lean in further to fund journalism in 2021, and new companies will continue to launch and grow
BRANDED:
Adalytics: brand safety technology from companies like Grapeshot and Moat marked 30.3% of NYT, 21.4% of The Economist, and 51.7% of Vice articles as “unsafe”
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