The Outline

Leah Finnegan

Leah Finnegan
Culture Mar 20

The Saddening

I recently discovered two things: a term from fabric dyeing about how to drain things of their vibrancy, and an old family letter. They are somewhat related.

Culture Feb 13

We should all read more Jenny Diski

The late British writer was a master of precision and not overthinking things.

Culture Jan 15

There are too many Joan Didions

Goodbye to all that (needless comparing to other, vaguely similar writers).

Culture Jul 18

Emotionally stunted stunting

There’s a very simple reason why millennials are so lonely: Social media mimics community even though it pushes us further away from each other.

Culture Jun 18

I’m Upset: I hate when New York Magazine’s Grub Street Diet talks about L.A.

Do not say to me the word Sqirl.

Power May 29

Being normal

A theory that helps my depression isn’t from psychiatry — it’s from crisis management.

Power May 17

Will our next president be Bill de Blasioon?

Remembering a special moment in history.

Culture Apr 30

I’m Upset: “Garlicky” is a terrible word

Welcome to a new column about being upset about things.

Culture Apr 04

A letter from the editor

The Outline has been sold to Bustle Digital Group. What does this mean?

The Future Mar 12

What is up with A-Rod’s weird face in his engagement pics

When Facetune goes too far...

Power Mar 06

“Be yourself” is terrible advice

Take a better lesson from philosophy and me, a reformed loudmouth

Culture Dec 31

How to kill your envy

Some insights that may or may not be helpful.

Culture Dec 27

Our most-read stories of 2018

From searing Apple criticism to a controversial take on skincare.

Power Oct 25

Can you be a good person if you don’t read the news?

Ethics in news consumption.

Culture Oct 09

It’s time to talk about “It’s”

It’s overused. It’s lazy. It’s something that should be stopped.

Power Sep 24

Look who’s still talking, too

An ongoing series encouraging a select few to practice silence.

Culture Sep 21

Dean Winters is the only celebrity for me

Many famous people insist on being bad or conspicuously visible. Winters, thankfully, is just there.

Power Jul 25

Bring back irony

It’s the only antidote to our all-too-earnest age.

Culture May 08

I would follow Martha Stewart to hell

Her Instagram is the only good thing on a horrible internet

Power Feb 14

The Bari Weiss problem

When are free-speech crusaders simply being crybabies?

Power Jan 11

Honestly, fuck Harper’s

Hiring Katie Roiphe to write about modern-day sexual harassment was a bad idea to begin with.

Power Dec 01

If women are not safe, a nation is not safe

How a country treats its women foretells its future.

Power Nov 20

You don’t have to talk

Try saying nothing, for a change.

Power Oct 24

When men fear women

It’s good to make men feel fear, and this is something women absolutely have the power to do.

Power Oct 09

No justice for bad men

Why the Harvey Weinstein story took so long to come out.

Power Aug 30

Opinion: Trolling is not opinion

Controversial pieces run under the auspices of fomenting ‘conversation’ are done so disingenuously.

Culture Aug 22

The fake trauma of being online

Retweeting someone else’s pain doesn’t make it your own.

Culture Aug 16

The internet is making me sick

The web has turned into a clusterfuck of moral performativity.

Culture Aug 01

The ‘Spotlight’ problem

Things about journalists are mainly for journalists.

Culture Jul 24

Who are your problematic faves?

We all have one.

Power Jul 19

Just say no to media coverage of drugs

Journalists pick and choose who gets to be portrayed as human.

Power Jul 11

Living with ennui in Trump’s America

What to do when everything is annoying and nothing is interesting.

Power Jun 13

Alex Jones is a piece of shit, and interviewing him is idiotic

There’s no need to ‘interrogate’ a willful liar.

Power Jun 10

Leaked: James Comey’s high school yearbook photo

The former F.B.I. director said he wanted to be a rutabaga farmer.

Power May 30

Access journalism is not for you or me

It too often reports bullshit without identifying the source of the bullshit. And that's bullshit.

Power May 23

Mark Zuckerberg will be our downfall

Also his product sucks

Culture May 16

‘New Yorker’ covers? Watercolor me unimpressed

They’re not good.

Power May 09

The insidious rise of the microcelebrity

The quest for fame will destroy us

Power May 02

Who goes Nazi? Media edition

It’s a great game to play with people

Power Apr 18

Political diversity is a cop-out for overpaid media men

Can the New York Times hire a black woman opinion columnist already?

Culture Apr 11

The New York Times’ public editor is bad at her job

Liz Spayd’s advice for the paper is uneven and absurd.

Power Apr 04

Eat, pray, hate

Touring a divisive land.

Culture Mar 14

Music criticism, take a look at yourself

You’re a lot like you always have been: bad.

Power Mar 07

With a soul this ugly, who cares about her looks?

Feminist defenses of Kellyanne Conway's appearance are beside the point.

Power Mar 03

Former Intercept reporter arrested for making bomb threats

Calls to Jewish Community Centers and the ADL were driven by a desire to harass an ex-girlfriend, says the DOJ.

Power Feb 28

Silicon Valley’s future looks exactly like the past

Given a chance to do better, a young industry has failed miserably.

Power Feb 21

Nevertheless, she bought a shirt

The future of feminism is futile.

Power Feb 14

Live, from New York, it’s futile satire!

TV is made in vain.

Culture Feb 07

Lady Gaga’s political message: drink Pepsi Zero Sugar

Celebrities are tools of capitalism.

Power Jan 31

What is going on?

Abandon your cynicism.

Power Jan 24

The fake threat of “upside-down” media

Fake news is not ruining America.

Power Jan 23

Let’s shame the president

More powerful than punching nazis: making them look like the idiots they are

Culture Jan 18

Please do not make women into statues

Ugly statues disrespect women.

Power Jan 17

Everything old is new again

Politicians just want to be loved.

Power Jan 11

Everyone is mad over BuzzFeed’s Trump docu-drop

The media may never recover.

Power Jan 10

Is Meryl Streep good? Is Donald Trump bad?

What do good and bad even mean anymore?

Power Jan 03

The hawks of war have come out to play

They’re so excited about the prospect of a war.

Power Dec 30

How Dallas birthed leading racist Richard Spencer

The city excels in producing "quiet racists."

Culture Dec 29

The professor who wouldn’t leave

A Sarah Lawrence professor rented a house from a Berkeley professor. But then he refused to move out.

Power Dec 29

Donald Trump is scrambling to find a Hispanic ally

He needs one for his cabinet.

Power Dec 27

19 states passed abortion restrictions this year

For a total of 60 new anti-abortion measures.

The Future Dec 27

The New York Times followed 2 patients who had bariatric surgery for one year

Both lost a great deal of weight but found change in their lives to be gradual.

Culture Dec 26

Our wars are fueled by drugs

Stimulants have a rich and sordid history of use by troops.

Culture Dec 26

When shooting survivors met with gun-rights advocates

Could they find empathy for each other?

Power Dec 20

The worst things that happened in the media this year

Very bad things

Power Dec 16

The White House will adjust to the Trumps

Their plans for the residence are not that unusual

Culture Dec 16

How widespread drug addiction may have led to Trump

He played on the desperation of the depressed.

Power Dec 13

Ethics in stunt journalism

The truth cannot be created.

Power Dec 07

Michelle Obama reveals what she did on election night

"I went to bed."

Power Dec 06

Trevor Noah isn’t the real news either

Fake news isn't just for the alt-right.

Culture Dec 01

Mariah Carey's wacky diet

The singer only eats two foods, one of which is not really a food.

Power Nov 29

Leah Letter® oppressive regime reading list

Disclosure: None of these things are affiliate links.

Power Nov 28

Everyone is talking about fascism

We can’t stop!

Power Nov 22

The men are at it again

They're mad about stuff online, but the problem is them, not the stuff.

Power Nov 16

Facebook is killing the media

And it also can't do math.

Power Nov 15


It's still the end of the world.

Power Nov 11

Are we fucked?

Donald Trump is president. We might be fucked.

Power Nov 08

Vote or die

You can vote for anyone. You don't have to talk about it.

Power Oct 31

Too many dicks

We are a nation owned by wangs.

Power Oct 24

Power: not cool

People who want it and like it are not to be trusted.

Power Oct 18

Men are bad at talking about women

It's funny to watch them try, though.

Culture Oct 14

Don't follow Lo Bosworth's vagina-cleansing advice

Her new line of products might scortch you... down there.

Power Oct 11

My neck, my back, my news balance

Objectivity does not exist.

Power Oct 02

The bizarro world of double standards

How the media portrays women differently than men.

Power Sep 27

Welcome to Leah Letter

The media is bad. Read all about it here.