What We Covered This Week

A new and evolving weekly feature reviewing our coverage across all six sections of The Atlantic. (Composed by Caroline and reader comments added by Chris.)


The world reeled from the deaths of two legendary British performers—David Bowie and Alan Rickman. (The above video shows an accidental tribute from The Simpsons two years ago, featuring both Rickman’s Severus Snape and Bowie’s “All the Young Dudes.”) In case you missed:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—award season, that is:

I really don’t think “people” are peeved at Ricky; I think “cultural thinkpiece writers” are peeved at Ricky. I also suspect he knows exactly why they are mad at him, and indeed he is using their anger as a mode of self-branding.

  • Christopher on the Oscar nomination breakdown, in which he offers a “heretical thought: Why not have nominated Daisy Ridley, who just anchored the top-grossing movie of all time, and did so with remarkable grace and assurance for a performer so unknown?”

  • James Bennet on the two ASME nominations garnered by The Atlantic.

As the industry celebrates last year’s creations, new movies and TV shows continue down the distribution pipeline:

I don’t understand the strategy behind these decisions. To modern audiences, what value is there to the name “Nancy Drew”? Why not create a brand-new character who is “diverse” and leave old characters and stories alone?

Politics & Policy

Yoni’s team had a very busy week. On Tuesday, President Obama offered his final State of the Union:

70 consecutive months of positive job growth. That alone is worth enough to ignore the haranguing ideologues. And I thought a reader in Notes actually put it really well: Don’t vote for a candidate’s promises; vote for your measure of their intelligence and tenor.

On Thursday, the GOP contenders debated in South Carolina, but it was New York that stole the night:

Rubio is the quintessential politician’s politician. He graduated from law school and immediately started running for office. He’s never made a dime that wasn’t from taxpayer money [CB note: He was an adjunct professor]. Hard to understand how conservatives could somehow criticize Obama’s pre-politics experience but then go all warm for Rubio.

More highlights from the campaign trail:

“Trump is a bully. How many of his supporters still haven’t realized that?” His supporters realize that—they just don’t care.

Meanwhile, back in the Beltway:

I’m weary of Ryan because I’m familiar with his past record and rhetoric, which exhibit a very, very conservative individual. (I’m looking partially at you, Ayn). But he deserves props, IMO, for how he’s approached the speakership. Even if I disagree with some of his proposals, it’s nice to see a seemingly conscious effort to retreat from the rhetorical precipice that the GOP has been teetering on since we elected an African-Indonesian-communist-fascist-Muslim-radical-Christian president.

The debate over police brutality continued:

Elsewhere in politics, in case you missed:


Unless you were living under a very large, sound-proof rock, you heard there was a Powerball drawing this week. But in case you missed:

Becca’s team also covered new business ideas, good and bad:


Speaking as a relatively recent graduate myself, I think the reason fewer people are enrolling is a cost-benefit analysis. They see so many people who completed university, who are deeply indebted with huge interest payments. Meanwhile, they are often working in the same jobs as their peers without a postsecondary degree.


  • Joe on Canadian millennials, who are “wealthier, more likely to be employed, and more likely to own a home than their American counterparts.”

  • Gianni Riotta on European fascism on how Trump falls short by comparison. The most up-voted comment from a reader:

I’ll concede that labeling Trump a fascist is hyperbolic and ripe for rebuttal. Nevertheless, by shifting much of the general debate into territory that is dangerously contrary to the fundamental philosophy of the United States, Trump’s candidacy—coming from the far right, aggressively nationalistic, predicated upon the notion of returning to the glories of a mythical past—hints of the excesses of these brutal regimes. Should we not confront it before it is permitted to manifest, mutate, be manipulated, and grow more malignant?

Over in the photo section this week, Alan offered looks at the 25th anniversary of the beginning of Operation Desert Storm, the 2016 Dakar rally, and “tattooing the name of God on your body as an act of faith and defiance.” He also picked the best photos of the week.

Science, Tech, Health

Ross’s team had several dispatches from the animal kingdom:

Elsewhere, in case you missed:

  • Julie on a new study “challenging a theory that reproduction leads to accelerated aging.”