Entertainment Weekly, Martha Stewart Living, and Other Meredith Publications Form Editorial Union

Cindy Ord

Several well-known publications at one of the largest publishers in the country are forming an editorial union.

Nearly 100 employees of Iowa-based publisher Meredith, including staff at magazines Entertainment Weekly, Martha Stewart Living, and Shape, along with streaming network PeopleTV, have announced their intention to form a joint editorial union, partially as a bulwark against cuts the company implemented during the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is the time, now more than ever we need to speak up, have a seat at the table, and be a part of decision making,” Maureen Lenker, a writer at Entertainment Weekly, said in a brief telephone call with The Daily Beast.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Trumpworld Declares War on ‘Fool’ Trumpist Lawyer Lin Wood

Elijah Nouelage/Reuters

On Wednesday evening, what was left of Donald Trump’s reelection campaign began insinuating that an attorney striving to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 win in Georgia could, in fact, be a Democratic plant working against the Republican Party and the president.

Lin Wood, the charismatic though increasingly off-the-wall celebrity lawyer, has spent the past few weeks making wild accusations that the election in his state was corrupted and should be rewarded to Trump. On Wednesday, he took it a step further, encouraging Republicans to boycott the upcoming Senate runoff elections unless the governor—Republican Brian Kemp—called a special legislative session to investigate the supposed conspiracies of wrongdoing.

That seemed to be a bridge too far for members of the president’s team, which quickly came to realize that the genie they let out the bottle was angling to poison their party.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Take the Stress Out of Holiday Light Decorating with This Brilliant Little Tool

Photo Illustration: Scouted/The Daily Beast/Amazon

I have no idea what goes on in my attic between early January and mid-November, but whatever is happening up there, it’s not friendly to the Christmas lights. We use seven or eight strands of colored lights on the living (zombie?) tree we put up in the den each year and I tend to add two or three additional strands of white lights to the pre-lit artificial tree that goes up in the living room, so that’s at least ten strands I need each year.

Yet without fail, despite all the lights working fine at the end of the season, there’s an attrition rate of about 25% at the start of the next season. One strand will be totally dead. Another is half-illuminated. A third flickers. Yet another may seem fine during initial testing, only to go dead when jostled ever so slightly. (We still use incandescent lights for our indoor holiday décor, for the record. Outside it’s all about LEDs because once those things are up, no way I’d ever climb around fixing strands if one went out.)

So each year, I’m presented with one of three options: buy more strands of lights, check each and every bulb on the faulty strands by hand, or sell the house and move into a camper van endlessly rambling down forgotten blue highways out in the western states.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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British Court Ruling on Puberty Blockers Stinks of Anti-Trans Cruelty

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Getty/AP

If you are a trans child or if you’re the parent or carer of a trans kid, the last 24 hours have been traumatic. England’s High Court has ruled that children seeking puberty-blocking drugs will have to demonstrate a higher level of “Gillick competence”—maturity of thinking and understanding of consequences—than in any other comparable, non-trans circumstance.

A court order will now be required before clinicians will be able to prescribe the life-saving drugs. The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, against whom the case was brought, told the BBC it was “disappointed,” but immediately suspended such referrals for under-16s.

Trans children who have waited years for relief from the fear and pain of going through an unwanted puberty have a new and intimidatingly high hurdle to jump. If this smacks to you of discrimination, then that’s because it is. Worse still, it is a decision that stems from the judges swallowing one of the cruellest misinformation campaigns of modern British times.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The NFL Punted on COVID—Just Like Trump

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The National Football League premiered Wednesday Afternoon Football on NBC at 3:40 p.m. yesterday when the Baltimore Ravens faced the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game that been postponed three times. The early kickoff was unfortunate but necessary to avoid a conflict with NBC’s broadcast of the annual lighting of the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center.

It’s come to this: the mightiest of all leagues in the most lucrative of all sports upstaged by a Norway Spruce. The NFL has itself to blame. It tried to play away the virus, wishing it off the field like player’s kneeling during the National Anthem or an epidemic of concussions. But no back-office PR team is a match for COVID.

Other leagues have managed better. Baseball shrunk its roster and schedule, banned high-fives, hugs, arguing, and spitting. Mid-season it tightened enforcement after the Miami Marlins suffered a serious outbreak and had a successful World Series. Golf postponed its iconic Masters Tournament until the fall, foregoing blooming magnolias and late sunsets that allowed more hours on the course but bestowing a green jacket on a winner. The National Basketball Association went all out, moving into a bubble in Orlando, isolated players and tested them constantly before crowning Lebron James’ Los Angeles Lakers champions to the roar of a virtual crowd.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Trump Exits Like He Entered—Throwing Mud and Dragging Us Down

Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast/Photo via Getty

So Donald Trump is intent on leaving Washington the way he arrived, slithering, blithering, blathering, blundering, a big frumious Bandersnatch snapping at everything in his path, taking his last few because-I-can bites out of the Constitution, and by the way not letting 1,500 American deaths every day deter him in the slightest from obsessively ironing out the kinks in that backswing.

It’s a sickening sight, and it’s worse than that—for all the damage Trump has done to democracy and polity in the last 1,400-odd days, he threatens to do even more in his remaining 50-odd days, in at least four ways. Let us examine them.

One with a bullet is his continued carrying on about “election fraud.” It’s impossible for us to gauge right now how much damage this is going to do to our democracy, because these things happen year by year, drip by drip. But he and the right-wing media have got something like seven in 10 Republicans to believe that this election wasn’t fair. It won’t take long for them to generalize that to every election—or at least every one that doesn’t turn out the way they want.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Montana Pro-Maskers Worried New GOP Guv Will Undo Restrictions

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Montana’s Democratic governor had a plan to fight the pandemic, starting with mask mandates. Now he’s on his way out, replaced by a Republican with an uneven track record on the virus and no clear plan yet for how to proceed.

That’s left some in this state nervous, especially because COVID-19 is already on a tear in Montana.

That uncertainty has left Scott Wetzel, an associate professor of immunobiology at the University of Montana, scared about what potentially lies ahead for the state.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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This Couple Went on a Mexico Vacation—and Wound Up in ICU

Courtesy of Jocelyn Arellano

What was supposed to be a relaxing beach vacation to southern Mexico turned into a nightmare when an older couple came down with COVID-19 last month. Now, their daughter is begging other travelers to stay put.

“Even if you’re taking precautions… you don’t know what’s going to happen,” the daughter, Jocelyn Arellano, said. “And if you’re far from your family, from people you know, it’s a horrible experience.”

Jose and Gloria Arellano purchased their tickets to Oaxaca in the beginning of the pandemic. By November, they had yet to use them—and they lost money every time they pushed off their travel. So on Nov. 11, just as Mexico’s cases spiked to their highest levels yet, they headed south from their home in Tijuana for what they hoped would be a relaxing two-week respite.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Biden’s Plan to Reunite Immigrant Families Is a Mystery for Now

PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty

In the closing days of the presidential campaign, Joe Biden pledged to make reuniting the hundreds of migrant children forcibly separated from their families under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy a top priority of his new administration.

But those who have dedicated much of the past two years to reuniting those children with their loved ones say that the continued challenges posed by President Donald Trump’s family separation policy are far more complicated than merely matching parents and children—and can only be truly addressed by the president-elect backing reforms that would allow parents who were deported without their kids to reunite on American soil.

But since Biden’s pledge in the final days of the campaign to form a federal task force to reunite those children with their parents, the makeup of that task force, the resources allotted to it, and its specific plan of action has remained a relative mystery. The Biden transition has kept the planning for the task force, the members of which have not yet been announced, under wraps, and allies in the nonprofit sphere say they’re not sure that the scope of the task force will be enough to fix the damage of one of Trump’s most despised immigration policies.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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GA Election Officials Wanted ‘Boring and Simple’ Instead They Get Death Threats

Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast/Photo via Getty

ATLANTA—On a busy Wednesday morning, Gabriel Sterling—the de facto face of Georgia’s election system—was catching up on his emails when one message caught his eye. He did not recognize the sender, but their message was clear: his home address, followed by a winking face.

For weeks, Sterling, the voting systems implementation manager for Georgia’s government, has come before the cameras daily to affirm the integrity of the state’s election in the face of attacks from President Trump and his supporters, who are outraged that President-elect Joe Biden won the state.

That public service has earned him protection from local police outside his home in a quiet suburb of Atlanta. When a mysterious FedEx package recently showed up at his door, he turned it over to them; his next-door neighbor has angled his numerous security cameras toward Sterling’s home, just in case. On his neighborhood’s Facebook page, Sterling posted an apologetic note for the increased police presence and general air of tension.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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