An excerpt from today’s Columbia Journalism Review’s “The Media Today” newsletter:
Up first is a profile by Matthew Shaer for The New York Times Magazine that will run in print next Sunday. Shaer spent a week in New York with Manning as she adjusted to her new-found, unexpected freedom, writing that it felt like “a moment of suspended animation: the days between all the chaos of her life before and whatever was going to come next.” He traces Manning’s childhood struggles with gender identity, her growing disillusionment with US military actions in Iraq, and her time in prison.
Manning also sat down with ABC’s Juju Chang for an upcoming special edition of Nightline, where she accepted responsibility for her actions, telling Chang, “No one told me to do this. Nobody directed me to do this. This is me. It’s on me.” ABC has posted clips from the interview online, including one in which Manning tearfully expresses her gratitude to President Obama for giving her “a chance.”
Manning, who was known as Bradley when she leaked the classified information, has been variously cast as hero and villain, trailblazer and traitor. In defending the decision to commute Manning’s sentence, Obama said, “I feel very comfortable that justice has been served.” But during his first week in office, President Trump called Manning an “Ungrateful TRAITOR.” As the current administration deals with a deluge of leaks, Manning’s story, and its aftermath, feels more relevant than ever.