Will Leitch
Writer, New York, NYT, MLB, WaPo, others. Founder, Deadspin. Author of four books, with fifth, “How Lucky,” coming May 2021. https://williamfleitch.substack.com

Remember when Internet comedy was the future?

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In part three of our new series on the internet’s olden times, we look at the world of online “comedy.” This is the next installment of our weekly Internet Nostalgia series, which looks back at stories that captured the imagination and attention of the internet for a fleeting moment and then vanished as everyone moved on to something else. The world of the internet moves so quickly that things that happened five years ago might as well be black-and-white newsreel footage at this point. This series looks back at those phenomena and what they told us about the internet, and…


Reading the emails I sent one year ago today is sad, but also strangely comforting

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Credit: martin-dm/Getty Images

There is considerable debate as to the exact date of the one-year anniversary of the pandemic in the United States. Is it January 21, when the first case of Covid-19 was discovered in the United States? Or is it February 6, when we had our first death? March 6, when 21 passengers on the Grand Princess cruise ship tested positive? I personally think the anniversary is March 11, when then-President Trump gave his wobbly, error-riddled Oval Office speech, Tom Hanks tested positive, and the NBA shut down.

Your date may be different. But no matter what, we’re all in that…


We can all do it together

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This Sunday, the pleasant if occasionally unnerving quiet that has returned to American life over the last month will be broken: Donald Trump is speaking again. The former President will return to the Conservative Political Action Conference, the place where he hugged a flag two years ago and where a disturbingly large percentage of the people in attendance were first exposed to Covid-19 last year. It’s going to be quite the party.

It will be the first public appearance for the former President since he gave his awkward, rambling, “Skyrocket Downward” speech on the tarmac shortly before President Biden’s inauguration…


In the wake of “Allen vs. Farrow,” an essay from April 2019

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I’ve been writing all day, every day, for about 25 years now, so it turns out that a lot of topics that come up in the news, I’ve written about before. So we commence an occasional series — to be prescribed solely as directed — called From the Archives, which republishes old Will Leitch columns when they are relevant to the news of the day. In the wake of the HBO series “Allen vs. Farrow,” we republish this April 2019 column, from my free weekly newsletter, about growing up a Woody Allen devotee, and reckoning with that today.

The summer…


Internet Nostalgia

Burger King’s surreal ad campaign circa 2004 transformed how we thought about viral online marketing

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Photo: Diane Bondareff/Burger King/Getty Images

In part two of our new series on the internet’s olden times, we return to the dawn of viral online marketing. This is the next installment of our weekly Internet Nostalgia series, which looks back at stories that captured the imagination and attention of the internet for a fleeting moment and then vanished as everyone moved on to something else. The world of the internet moves so quickly that things that happened five years ago might as well be black-and-white newsreel footage at this point. This series looks back at those phenomena and what they told us about the internet…


Is it time to peek our heads back out?

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Have you started making plans yet?

This, I’d argue, is the fundamental question of this particular stage of the pandemic. Cases are down, dramatically, all across the country: We are seeing the lowest number of daily cases in the United States since before Halloween. Vaccine rollouts are stalled, but they’ve still improved dramatically, and there’s every reason to think the bottleneck is about to be cleared. Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Biden administration estimate “that most Americans will have access to a Covid-19 vaccine by mid- to late May or early June.” …


I’ve received a few myself—and it’s time to let Trump-loyalist relatives go

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Rep. Adam Kinzinger during a House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Pool/Getty Images

Adam Kinzinger is a Republican congressman from Illinois representing roughly the Rockford area, an area that voted for Joe Biden over Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Kinzinger didn’t grow up in Rockford, though; he grew up in Normal, Illinois, home of Illinois State University, where he went to college before joining the Air Force and flying missions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

I know Normal. It’s about an hour and a half from my hometown of Mattoon, and when I was in high school, Normal played baseball in our conference. We swept a doubleheader from them my senior year. Kinzinger…


Internet Nostalgia

Bringing back the stories you’d forgotten to forget about

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Today I am delighted to introduce a new series I’m planning to run on Fridays until…well, until it seems like it’s time to stop, I guess. It is called Internet Nostalgia, and it looks back at stories that captured the imagination and attention of the Internet for a fleeting moment and then vanished as everyone moved on to something else. The world of the Internet moves so quickly that things that happened five years ago might as well be black-and-white newsreel footage at this point. This series looks back at those phenomena and what they told us about the Internet…


It’s still a stressful time. But here’s one less stress

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Back in March, here at Medium, I lamented the uniquely exhausting generational plight of the Gen-Xer. (Or, if you’d rather not play the generational game, “someone in their mid-40s.”) …


I’m not forgetting. You shouldn’t either

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I spent the morning of January 6 nervous, and it had nothing to do with politics. The night before, I’d watched the results of the Georgia Senate runoff races and celebrated with my fellow Georgians as the races turned in the direction of Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, but I couldn’t stay up too late. My father, who is 71 and lives in nearby Winterville, was having sinus surgery at 10 a.m. It was sinus surgery, it wasn’t a triple bypass, but still: It’s a 71-year-old having a three-hour surgery that required him to be put under. Four years ago…

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