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The 20 most-read Supercreator News stories in 2021
Let’s look back before we turn the page on this wild year. Plus: A kitchen accessory that reminds me of my sophisticated older sister.
We’re at that point in the year where I take a break from the daily sprint of reporting and writing this newsletter to reflect, rest and catch up with all the people who uplift me so I can do what I hope is meaningful work.
I’ll be back in January. And I’m sure there will be lots to unpack, explore and investigate. After all, we’re still in a pandemic that could be extended by a new Omicron variant that’s accelerating the harmful effects of Delta. High costs have many of us wondering how to make our dollars stretch in an economy with so much uncertainty. The campaign season will rev into high gear ahead of next fall’s climacteric midterm elections as Democrats attempt to hang onto their narrow minorities. Not to mention, the White House will attempt to reset after many of its legislative priorities were derailed — from President Joe Biden’s stalled Build Back Better Act, voting rights and police reform to immigration, gun control and climate change. And I’m sure tech executives will find new ways to make us question the role of their social apps in our work and lives.
But I promise there will be plenty of time to get into all of that in 2022. For now, let’s look back at the 20 stories that you all loved the most in 2021. I’m pleased that this small sample of the hundreds of posts Supercreator News published represents the breadth and depth of our interests.
1. “Clubhouse is the latest example of how capitalism screws Black creators”: The audio app is among many with a track record of monetizing Black influence without sharing the economic value this historically marginalized community generates. (Published 1/25/21)
2. “Mark Zuckerberg isn’t the victim here”: A few thoughts on the embattled Facebook CEO’s recent memo to his employees. (Published 10/6/21)
3. “This new study on student loan debt is kinda depressing”: One in 10 people surveyed said they still owe money 20 years after graduating college and many who left school without a degree are in the same boat. (Published 8/11/21)
4. “A vision for less policing in public safety”: Congresswoman Cori Bush introduced a new bill that would redesign how America responds to crises. (Published 6/28/21)
5. “Meghan McCain and the politics of personal experience”: The conservative host's recent endorsement of paid family leave demonstrates the Republican Party's view that issues aren't valid until they've felt them first-hand. (Published 1/6/21)
6. “We gotta start holding white women accountable for their violence towards Black women”: Megyn Kelly’s latest commentary on Oprah and Meghan Markle ignores the racism and sexism Black women have faced since this country’s inception. It’s time to root it from our public discourse. (Published 3/9/21)
7. “The workers aren’t the problem”: Federal unemployment benefits expired yesterday, giving privileged politicians a fresh opportunity to fall back on tired stereotypes instead of stepping up for the people who need them the most. (Published 9/7/21)
8. “I hope Defector Media’s new media harassment protection policy is the first of many”: Reporters should be able to do their jobs without anxiety over which story will trigger a pile-on from people who think a dissenting opinion is grounds for digital (or physical) destruction. (Published 4/8/21)
9. “I’m OK with Biden staying out of the spotlight”: The president has the White House Press Corps in a tizzy because he hasn’t given a formal press conference yet. Is this much ado about nothing? (Published 3/11/21)
10. “It still hurts like it did before I knew why it does”: 9/11, two decades later. (Published 9/10/21)
11. “How the government plans to prevent another record year of overdose deaths”: A new $30-million grant program focuses on reducing the harms of drug use and stigma of addiction. (Published 12/8/21)
12. “Basic banking is an example of why the prosperity gap keeps widening”: Good news: A House committee on economic growth discussed meaningful ways to better support unbanked people and families. (Published 12/9/21)
13. “I wish we stopped asking unqualified talking heads to answer questions about racism”: Of course a white man living in a country founded by white men, built on the backs of enslaved Africans and sustained by cheap labor would dispute my lived experience. (Published 4/26/21)
14. “This one’s for the girls”: Facebook stands with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. (Published 3/18/21)
15. “Keep your eyes on Georgia”: Recent developments in the Peach State could have huge implications on next year’s midterms and beyond. (Published 11/30/21)
16. “We’ll know if voting rights still have a chance by the end of the week”: Sen. Joe Manchin is scheduled to meet with his Democratic colleagues tomorrow to chat about the path forward on a critical issue. (Published 12/13/21)
17. “These aren’t really ‘creator funds’”: Campaigns like YouTube’s new Shorts Fund signal an encouraging shift in how tech companies do business. But it’s an incomplete solution for an inequitable creator economy. (Published 5/13/21)
18. “Who’s to blame for the Build Back Better knowledge gap?”: It’s a failure of four key stakeholders, two of whom could suffer consequences in the upcoming 2022 and 2024 elections. (Published 10/12/21)
19. “Amateur creators need more than just creative tools and money to make it”: Addison Rae is what happens when we encourage Black creativity but fail to support it with sustainable business models. (Published 4/1/21)
20. “OnlyFans’s SFW pivot is the latest example of the limitations of the ‘creator economy’”: The platform is banning explicit content, leaving the sex workers that popularized it in a scramble. (Published 8/19/21)
That’s all for now. Happy holidays and see you in 2022!
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Today in Politics
President Joe Biden received his daily intelligence briefing this morning. Then he awarded the Medal of Honor to three service members for their valor in a ceremony in the East Room. Finally, the president met with his COVID-19 Response Team on the latest developments on the Omicron variant.
Vice President Kamala Harris spoke this morning at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, DC on the bipartisan infrastructure law. (The AFL-CIO is the largest federation of unions in the country, FYI.) Environmental Protection Agency Administration Michael Regan also delivered remarks. The VP then joined the president for the Medal of Honor ceremony and his COVID-19 briefing. After, she swore in Brian Nelson as Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Crimes at the Treasury Department in her ceremonial office.
First Lady Jill Biden and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff attended the Medal of Honor ceremony too.
The House is in recess. The Administration Committee held a hearing to look into the effects of climate change on the Smithsonian Institute’s facilities and collections.
The Senate is in session and is expected to consider several of President Biden’s executive and judicial nominees. The Commerce Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for three Transportation Department nominees.
In The Know
The White House encouraged corporate executives and business leaders to be on high alert for and protect against cyberattacks before the holidays. “Historically we have seen breaches around national holidays because criminals know that security operations centers are often short-staffed, delaying the discovery of intrusions,” Anne Neuberger, one of President Biden’s cyber experts, wrote in the memo. (The White House)
The Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $13.2 million to state and local governments in California, Ohio and Tennessee to identify and clean up dangerous lead, and health and safety hazards in low-income families’ homes. “These grants will enable families to live in homes that are healthier as a result of our, and their city governments’ efforts, HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge said in a statement.”
Related: Vice President Harris announced a White House action plan to accelerate investments to replace all lead pipes in the next decade. “All families, children, and Americans should be able to turn on the faucet at home or school and drink clean water — including in low-income communities and communities of color that have been disproportionally affected by dangerous lead pipes – while we also create good-paying jobs remediating lead paint in homes.” (The White House)
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis introduced the W.O.K.E. Act, a so-called legislative proposal that “would give businesses, employees, children and families tools to fight back against woke indoctrination.” Ask a conservative to explain what woke indoctrination and watch them trip over their words like a toddler learning how to walk. (The Office of Ron DeSantis)
Americans relocated less in 2020 during the coronavirus outbreak, moving at the lowest rate since the government began reporting data more than 70 years ago. Fewer people moved out of cities last year than in the Before Times despite a declining share of Americans who say they want to live in them. (Richard Fry AND D’vera Cohn / Pew Research Center)
Air pollution may cancel out the benefits of exercise on brain health. “This new analysis underscores the importance of re-evaluating emissions standards, since even low levels of air pollution can affect the brain,” Melissa Furlong, an assistant professor at the University of Arizona and co-author of the study, said. (University of Arizona Health Sciences)
TikTok is testing a Windows desktop streaming product called Live Studio. Within the program, you can communicate with viewers through the chat feature, and you can stream content from your computer, your phone or a gaming console. (Amanda Silberling / TechCrunch)
Related: TikTok will adjust its algorithm to avoid negative reinforcement. The app said it’s working to diversify the media people consume to protect their mental well-being. (Liza Lin / WSJ)
Read All About It
Sean Bock and Landon Schnabel on why more Americans than usual have been changing parties. Jean Jacques-Taylor on how Deion Sanders is impacting the HBCU landscape. Lauren McGaughy and Ari Sen on how Texas Republicans are exploiting prison inmates to inflate the political power of GOP districts and drain population from Democratic strongholds. Hope Reese in conversation with Ursula Burns on being the first Black woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Eric Levitz on why Democratic leadership is responsible for President Biden’s stalled agenda. Ed Yong on why America isn’t ready for Omicron. David Freedlander on Bill de Blasio, New York City’s outgoing mayor who remains deeply unpopular despite doing what New Yorkers wanted. Abdul El-Sayed on why tornadoes should change how liberals talk about climate with middle America. Matt Ford on how Republicans get Revenge on Democrats for the January 6 Committee.
H&M Home Marble Serving Board ($30): I’ve been obsessed with all things marble since I visited my sister’s elegant new kitchen earlier this year and saw how the stone countertop elevated the space.
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And shoutout to you for making it through today. Whether it was full of wins, misses, breakthroughs, breakdowns — or a mix of all of the above — I hope you take a moment to honor wherever you’re at. 🤗
Be kind to yourself and I’ll see you in the next post!