Welcome to Semafor Media, where we break the news behind the news.
This week’s newsletter sent me back to what feels like a vanishing age: The years 2016-2020, when Donald Trump was the sun in the media sky, and his gravitational pull could be felt everywhere.
That included the rising field of misinformation studies, at its best a forensic look at the strange forces and people at work on social media, at its worst a partisan pseudo-science. My story, with Louise Matsakis, has new details on how one of that field’s central figures proved too hot for Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Also this week, some thoughts on the new conventional wisdom on Trump and Russia, conveyed in a long investigation by a former Timesman with his own complex history. Gawker is dead again, and its former editor talks about this version’s strange legacy. And I get to break the news of a huge Semafor hire on the global security beat.
Semafor Technology is still just all over the AI story, and still written by humans, though Louise Matsakis did bot-like work with me on the media beat, below. (I mean this as a compliment.) Sign up for Reed and Louise’s newsletter here.