The Week Magazine

The Week Magazine

May 21, 2021

The Week makes sense of the news by curating the best of the U.S. and international media into a succinct, lively digest.

United States
The Week Publications, Inc.
48 期号


editor’s letter

Nearly a century ago, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote that the best remedy for “falsehood and fallacies” was not the “enforced silence” of censorship, but “more speech.” That foundational defense of free speech was based on an optimistic assumption that has served us well: In the marketplace of ideas, good thinking and truth will eventually triumph over bad thinking and lies. Can we be so confident of that today? Social media has deeply disrupted public discourse, eroding and bypassing filters and turning every crank into a publisher with the potential for vast reach. On Facebook and Twitter, every day brings a new tsunami of hyperpartisan argument, tribal resentment, propaganda of all flavors, death threats, conspiracy theories, and some charming baby pictures and wonderful writing and thinking. The wonderful stuff—Brandeis’…

jobs report sparks debate over biden’s policies

What happened Republicans and Democrats sparred over how to spark hiring and boost the economy this week, in the wake of a jobs report that fell drastically short of expectations. Federal data showed the U.S. added 266,000 jobs in April, a steep drop from recent gains and a fraction of the 1 million jobs economists had anticipated. Republicans said the report showed the failure of President Biden’s policies, in particular the $300 weekly unemployment supplements included in the last Covid stimulus bill. Critics said the payments were deterring Americans from returning to work, leaving businesses desperate to fill vacancies. Labor Department figures showed a record 8.1 million job openings in March, despite a 6.1 percent unemployment rate, and a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business showed 44 percent of…

it wasn’t all bad

One afternoon, 4-year-old Noah Ruiz really wanted a SpongeBob SquarePants popsicle. His mother, Jennifer Bryant, saw they only seemed to be available by the case and decided not to order. The next day she got a call from her sister notifying her of three 70-pound boxes. Turns out, Noah had ordered nearly 1,000 popsicles on Amazon, worth $2,618.85, that could not be returned. Fortunately, others pitched in to cover the costs—plus thousands more for Noah’s education—through a GoFundMe account set up by Bryant’s former classmate. “You have new friends now,” Bryant told her son. Fashion designer Linda Rowe Thomas is inspiring many through her life story and her perseverance. When she was 2, Thomas suffered third-degree burns when a kerosene heater exploded in her Texas home. She had to get all…

house republicans oust cheney

What happened House Republicans voted to purge Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming from their leadership ranks this week, ousting their No. 3 leader in retaliation for Cheney’s ongoing criticism of former President Trump and his claim that last year’s election was stolen. “If you want leaders who will enable and spread his destructive lies, I’m not your person,” she said before the vote, drawing boos from GOP colleagues. Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, had survived an earlier challenge after voting to impeach Trump following the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. But she continued to feud with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who says he doesn’t want to “relitigate the past” and has courted Trump’s support. “If no one is following you, you are only taking a walk,” Rep. Virginia…

vaccines authorized for younger teens as covid cases fall

What happened The FDA authorized the use of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in children ages 12 to 15 this week, a decision that health experts hope will bring the U.S. closer to herd immunity. Vaccinating younger teens “could be a big game changer,” said Dr. Sean O’Leary of the American Academy of Pediatrics, because “adolescents tend to be both more likely to get infected and to spread the infection, relative to the younger kids.” Clinical trials found that Pfizer’s two-dose vaccine—already available to anyone over 16—is safe and 100 percent effective in 12- to 15-year-olds. Pfizer and other vaccine manufacturers are currently trialing their Covid shots on children younger than 12, and it’s hoped that a vaccine might be authorized for that age group as early as fall. Nearly 60 percent of American…

social media: facebook’s trump problem

“Over to you, Mark Zuckerberg,” said Eugene Robinson in The Washington Post. In a much-anticipated ruling, Facebook’s independent Oversight Board last week upheld the social media giant’s indefinite suspension of former President Donald Trump for incendiary posts about the “stolen” election and the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, but set a six-month deadline for Facebook either to reinstate Trump or make his ban permanent. Even more irksome for Zuckerberg—who set up the 20-member Oversight Board to relieve himself of these thorny questions—the decision on Trump must be articulated in a clear standard that applies equally to all of Facebook’s 2.8 billion users. Zuckerberg has said he doesn’t want to be “an arbiter of truth,” said Jon Healey in the Los Angeles Times, claiming Facebook is a neutral platform that merely hosts…