Here's Your Piece of the Pie

Salon Reaches Out to Freelancers

A few years ago, Gessen found it exciting to write for the Russian press. But now, she writes via e-mail, "As the Russian public cheers a genocidal war and crackdowns on civil liberties and the media, this being-inside business has become very depressing." It didn't help when Vladimir Putin began harassing Vladimir Gusinsky, who owns Itogi through a company called Media Most.

Last May, unidentified armed men raided the offices of Media Most. Gessen was warned not to write about it, but did anyway. "The repercussions so far have been petty, though vintage KGB: an additional tap on the phone, a broken mailbox. But for a little while this summer I was very, very scared, and I would be lying if I said this didn't contribute to my decision." She says U.S. News has a "genuine investment in covering Russia" and "editors who understand the story."

Capitol Gains

U.S. News has hired another new writer: former Washington City Paper senior editor Michael Schaffer. . . . • Next month, Regardie's Power will publish Eddie Dean's "Virginia Moon," a revision of the moonshiners story that Talk killed last spring. Editor Bill Hogan calls it "manna from heaven. . . . " • Vanity Fair's Hollywood, a mammoth new photo album, boasts captions by D.C.'s Christopher Hitchens. According to the foreword, Hitchens spent much of last winter holed up in the Mayflower Hotel with a laptop, 251 research files, and a "supply of Johnnie Walker Black."

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