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This Week: Welcome Lee Fang. PLUS: WikiLeaks in Latin America | The Nation

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Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

This Week: Welcome Lee Fang. PLUS: WikiLeaks in Latin America

WELCOME: LEE FANG. The Nation announced this week that Lee Fang, formerly an investigative blogger at ThinkProgress.org, will join The Nation as a contributing writer, where he’ll focus on major investigations at the intersection of politics, lobbying and public policy. Fang will be blogging at TheNation.com and contribute long-form investigative features for the magazine. Fang has covered money in politics, conservative movements and lobbying for over four years. He has broken stories that include the US Chamber of Commerce’s foreign funding, the Koch brothers’ covert funding of the Tea Party, and insider trading by Congressman Darrell Issa. Fang’s arrival to The Nation comes on the heels of his appearance on HBO’s The Newsroom last Sunday, which featured a 2011 ThinkProgress.org interview Fang conducted with David Koch on the his involvement with Citizens United. You can watch the clip here.

WIKILEAKS: THE LATIN AMERICA FILES. The Nation’s new issue this week shines a light on the impact of Wikileaks in Latin America, featuring a special package of articles by investigative reporters who covered WikiLeaks in their respective countries. In the introductory piece, issue guest-editor Peter Kornbluh—a senior analyst on Latin America at the National Security Archive—examines what a decade of WikiLeaks cables (2000-2010) reveals about the major changes in the region and in US-Latin American relations, including the rise of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Brazil’s emergence as a world power; the disputed 2006 election in Mexico and much more. Also in the issue, Natalia Viana, a member of the team carefully assembled by WikiLeaks in the weeks before initial publication of the cables, reflects on how Wikileaks led to a new culture of investigative journalism in Brazil. Kornbluh also moderates a special forum with veteran WikiLeaks reporters from Peru, Argentina and Chile, discussing their experiences covering Cablegate. The entire package is available here.

IN TRIBUTE TO ALEX COCKBURN. The outpouring of remembrances for Nation columnist Alexander Cockburn—who passed away last week at the age of 71 after a two-year battle with cancer—is testament to his enduring impact as an elegant, polemical and tough-minded journalist who inspired as much as he provoked. In this week’s issue, publisher emeritus Victory Navasky, who brought Cockburn on as a columnist in 1984, reflects on the writer’s voracious, if not occasionally obstreperous writing style. “Alex served,” writes Navasky, “among other things, as a corrective to the magazine’s liberal pieties.” In another profound and moving tribute, Nation columnist JoAnn Wypijewski reflects on “Alex,” as she called him, his life and work, and “how much more he was the sum of all he loved.” “There is an ocean of grief to swim,” she writes, “before the memory can even try to match the man.”

Here at TheNation.com, other friends, colleagues and former interns share their memories, including his niece Laura Flanders, Robert Pollin, John Nichols, Peter Rothberg, as well as Corey Robin and Michael Tomasky. Read those here.

WELCOME: CORD JEFFERSON. We’re also delighted to welcome to Cord Jefferson, whose work has appeared in The American Prospect, National Geographic, the Daily Beast, The Root, among others. Jefferson will be blogging at TheNation.com on the intersection of race, politics and culture. His recent posts include a look at the politicization of the Aurora, Colorado, shootings by the media, and the juxtaposition of sophomoric humor in graffiti found in Pompeii with the assertions of moral decline in America today. His blog is available here.

NATION IN THE NEWS. Over at Talking Points Memo, Nation editor-at-large Chris Hayes reflects on the success of his weekend MSNBC show, Up with Chris Hayes; his experience writing Twilight of the Elites; and how he views the current cable news landscape. Asked about whether MSNBC is moving closer to mirroring Fox News on the opposite side of the ideological scale, Hayes tells TPM’s David Taintor that “[what] we have to realize is that there is an impossibility of any symmetry between Fox and MSNBC.” For more on that, read the entire interview here. And another Nation-turned-MSNBC talent, Melissa Harris-Perry, talks to NPR’s All Thing’s Considered about being both an academic and a cable news talk show host. That interview is available here.

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