AAN members are once again well-represented in the list of finalists for this year's James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards. Robb Walsh of the Houston Press and SF Weekly's Eliza Strickland are both nominated in the Newspaper Feature Writing About Restaurants and/or Chefs category, while Westword's Jason Sheehan is nominated in the Restaurant Reviews category. Winners will be announced June 8 at a reception in New York. The awards recognize and honor excellence and achievement in the culinary arts.
Jason Sheehan's Whiskey Down: A Story of Love, Sex, Death and Kitchens will chronicle his days in kitchens across the country before he started writing about food rather than making it six years ago, the Rocky Mountain News reports. The manuscript was sold at auction to Farrar, Straus and Giroux for an undisclosed amount. "I did really OK; I was very pleased," he says. "I'm one of those writers that hates all of my own stuff, but I really sort of like this book. I liked the chance of hanging out with the younger me again. Also, it's a fantastic book, and everybody should buy 10 or 12 copies."
Jason Walsh will take the helm from Linda Xiques this Friday, the Marin County weekly announced in its current issue. Xiques began working at the Sun as an intern before becoming a reporter and then serving as an editor of the paper for 23 years. Walsh "has a broad newspaper background in areas of news and features as well as experience in radio and television," according to the Sun. Most recently, he was news editor at the Sonoma Index-Tribune.
In the July 2 edition of the Boston Phoenix, reporter Jason Vest revealed the identity of Anonymous -- author of "Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terrorism" -- as CIA analyst Michael Scheuer. Other print and online media outlets have since published his name. Writing for Slate, Jack Shafer then wonders why the Washington Post and the New York Times continue their attempts to perpetuate Scheuer's deflated anonymity. Writes Shafer, "James Risen reports in the Aug. 5 New York Times that Anonymous is 'known publicly only as Mike,' which is true if the definition of the public doesn't include the readership of the Phoenix."
The unidentified author of "Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror" is Michael Scheuer, a CIA analyst based in Langley, Va., according to Jason Vest. The freelance writer reports in the Phoenix that Scheuer doesn't want to be anonymous at all but is compelled to keep his identity secret because of arcane classified regulations. Vest earlier wrote an article about a secret memo on Iraq that appeared in dozens of AAN papers.
Writing in "The Reliable Source," Richard Leiby (pictured) presents evidence to support the theory that Michael Rubin wrote the memo that was the subject of Jason Vest's story for the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies last week. Leiby describes Rubin as "a thirty-something neocon intellectual" who served as a Coalition Provisional Authority political officer in Iraq for nine months. He is now a scholar at the "hawkish American Enterprise Institute." Rubin wouldn't confirm or deny that he wrote the memo.