February 16, 2024 - 5:51pm

→ Poll: For a majority of Americans, Israel-Palestine is personal

For a conflict that’s nearly 7,000 miles away and involves no US troops, Israel-Palestine looms large in the American psyche. A new poll by Pew has found that an astonishing 65% of Americans believe that the conflict matters to them personally (with 75% saying that it is a matter of national interest).

Credit: Pew

That’s more than tensions in Taiwan (57%) and war in Ukraine (59%). Israel’s special history with the US plays an important role, but for all the talk about America’s isolationist tendencies, voters appear to be a lot more engaged with the world than some think.

→ Elon Musk to Matt Taibbi: ‘you’re dead to me’

What began as one of the most fruitful online partnerships did not take long before it started to sour. When Elon Musk took over Twitter, he recruited several independent journalists to publish the ‘Twitter Files’, which detailed an array of censorship methods used by the company against various political figures and accounts.

One of the journalists who teamed up with Musk was Matt Taibbi, but after he started publishing his findings on Substack (as well as Twitter), he asked the new CEO is he was being “shadow-banned”. Now both men are airing their dirty laundry in public, with Taibbi posting an exchange in which the billionaire told him last year that “you’re dead to me”. One day you’re cock of the walk, the next a feather duster.

→ Financial advice columnist falls for $50,000 scam

New York magazine’s The Cut has provided us with an early contender for the most embarrassing story of 2024. In a (far too) honest piece, columnist Charlotte Cowles explains how she was scammed out of $50,000 by handing over the money in a shoebox to a criminal masquerading as a government employee through a car window. The best (or worst) part? Cowles is the magazine’s financial advice columnist. Snippet below:

He told me that 22 bank accounts, nine vehicles, and four properties were registered to my name. The bank accounts had wired more than $3 million overseas, mostly to Jamaica and Iraq. Did I know anything about this? “No,” I said…My head swam. I Googled my name along with “warrant” and “money laundering,” but nothing came up. Were arrest warrants public? I wasn’t sure. Google led me to truthfinder.com, which asked for my credit-card information — nope. “I’m in deep shit,” I texted my husband. “My identity was stolen and it seems really bad.” — Charlotte Cowles

“Everyone who thinks they’re too smart, too financially aware, too tech-savvy to have this happen to them is wrong,” she tweeted. Maybe Michael Gove was right when he said we’d had enough of the experts.

is UnHerd’s Newsroom editor.