Morning Reading List 07.10.13.

A fun day to be a Capitol Hill intern — As Republican congressmen prepared for a press conference about student loan rates, they knew they needed something to drive home their point and not bore everyone. So, as Politico’s Ginger Gibson reports, GOP staffers decided to make use of the packs of college students in their offices and instructed a mass of interns to stand in the 90-degree heat on the steps behind House Speaker John Boehner and other Republicans as they slammed Democrats over the student loan rate increase. Many speakers make use of backdrops at press conferences and similar events, and they’re not always made up of sweaty interns. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) makes use of backdrops quite frequently. Most recently at a similar event on student loans, Pelosi invited students from various campus leadership organizations and had some of the student leaders speak.

Why you should read it: This is proof that you’re not having the worst day. Sure, you may have sources that don’t understand deadlines and editors that don’t understand sources, but at least you’re not an intern  being used as a prop and stuffed into a suit and tie in 90-degree heat.

Greenwald fires back at Pincus — On Monday night WaPo published a piece by Walter Pincus questioning the role of Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald in the leak of NSA documents by Edward Snowden. In response, Greenwald wrote a column that slammed Pincus and the article, which he wrote “concocted a frenzied and inane conspiracy theory” that the reporter worked secretly with WikiLeaks and Julian Assange to mastermind Snowden’s leak. Greenwald charged that Pincus’ story was built on the fact that Greenwald had written a piece for the WikiLeaks Press’s blog, an assertion the Guardian reporter said is completely false. Greenwald emailed Pincus a lengthy email about the false claims and leading questions in his story. Upon realizing that the claim of Greenwald writing for the blog were false, Pincus vowed to correct the mistake. But 15 hours later, there was still no correction. (As we’re writing this, the story has still not been corrected.) Greenwald said he normally wouldn’t bother writing the column, as “shoddy journalism from the Washington Post is far too common to be worth noting,” but he felt he needed to bring the “wild conspiracy theorizing” to light.

Why you should read it: The story that started with Snowden leaking documents has grown to include a wide cast of characters with more plot twists than M. Night Shyamalan can think up, and it only gets more compelling with each turn.


Ben Crair loves to sit, and so do you — What are you doing right now? Of course you’re reading this, but you’re also probably sitting. Whether it be at a desk, table, bus or train, most Americans spend a majority, or at least a large part of their day, sitting. And TNR’s Ben Crair is just fine with that. If he wrote The Giving Tree, he notes, he “would have chopped the tree down on the first page and had the boy sit on the stump for the rest of the book.” Crair examines the habits of different writers, such as Colum McCann, who writes sitting on the floor of a windowless closet. He also examines the writing style of Phillip Roth, who writes standing at a lectern. There’s also Gary Shteyngart, who stays in bed to write. Different writing habits, Crair writes, show different styles of writing and the distinct style of each writer. Sitting so much, however is not good for one’s health. Instead of trying to sit less, however, Crair suggests that the prescription should be to work less by taking longer lunch breaks, working less hours and taking more vacations. We could get on board with that.

Why you should read it: You probably spend a large part of the day sitting, and this will at least make you think about it. Hell, maybe you can convince your boss that it would be a good idea for everyone to have a longer lunch break and more vacation time.