Best Longform Journalism from Around the Web: Ryan Lizza to Gabriel Sherman
From Ryan Lizza's profile of Darrell Issa's checkered past to a New Jersey lawyer redefining the pro-life movement, The Daily Beast selects the best longform journalism this week.
This weekly column is The Daily Beast's contribution to the growing longreads community on Twitter, where fans of longform journalism collect and share their favorite stories. Follow along through the hashtag #longreads, and visit Longreads.com or Longform.org for suggestions throughout the week. To take these stories on the go, we recommend using smartphone applications such as Instapaper or Read It Later. You can download either at your mobile phone's application store. To send us suggestions, tweet the story to @ thedailybeast on Twitter with the hasthag #longreads.
Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker
Ryan Lizza's profile of Rep. Darrell Issa, the new Republican head of the House's top investigative committee, reveals he has a past full of arrests and charges that all ended mysteriously and inconclusively: stealing cars; reporting a sold car as stolen to claim insurance money; a hit and run; an arson at his company's factory that happened right after he quadrupled the building's insurance and cleaned out all the company's files. Issa gives his side of the story, and members of his staff talk about how they transformed him into a top Washington brand.
Hanna Rosin, The Atlantic
The Republican Party has long been seen as the party of manliness and a refuge for disaffected working-class white men. But the Tea Party's victories in the November elections, in which bomb-throwing female candidates played a starring role, were the culmination the GOP's gradual realization that appealing to women pays off at the ballot box. Profiling new South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Rosin exposes the tension between the party's new conservative feminists and the good-ol'-boy establishment they're challenging.
Joseph Goldstein, Slate/ProPublica
Alexander Hamilton dismissed the drawbacks to giving judges life tenure as "imaginary." But hindsight is showing us otherwise, Joseph Goldstein reports, as "aging and dementia are the flip side of life tenure, with more and more judges staying on the bench into extreme old age." Longer life spans and attachment to their jobs motivates an increasing number of judges to stay on past their prime; 12 percent of federal judges are over the age of 80. And judges with cognitive deterioration make basic mistakes that compromise the rights of those before them.
Gabriel Sherman, GQ
A profile of Deadspin editor AJ Daulerio tells the retro-sounding, envelopes-of-cash-in-seedy-hotel-rooms story of how the popular sports blog got its hand on cellphone photos of Brett Favre's penis that he allegedly sent to a Jets sideline reporter. Daulerio has a natural talent for cultivating sources, and the big stories he's broken—Favre's recent sexual harrassment, Major League Baseball's sketchy accounting, sexcapades between ESPN employees—have redefined sports journalism and brought his site to the mainstream.
Sarah Blustain, Mother Jones
Harold Cassidy is a media-shy New Jersey lawyer who, converted from his '60s-era liberalism, is quietly giving legal shape to stories of women who come to experience deep regret over having abortions. Cassidy has sued abortion clinics for not warning women about what they'd feel, and these stories are becoming part of a new branding of the antiabortion movement that claims restricting access to abortion is really the way to look out for women. Cassidy distances himself from the major pro-life groups, and his activism is motivated by a deep personal transformation on the issue.