Ann Friedman

Ann Friedman is a columnist for New York magazine's website and for the Columbia Journalism Review. She also makes pie charts for The Hairpin and Los Angeles magazine. Her work has appeared in ELLE, Esquire, Newsweek, The Observer, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and many other outlets. She lives in Los Angeles, but travels so often the best place to find her is online at

Recent Articles


IN THE AIR. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions heard testimony yesterday on the �long-term health impacts from 9/11.� Despite initial reports, including some intentionally false ones by the EPA that the air in lower Manhattan was not hazardous following the attack, the numerous cases of " World Trade Center Cough � and other sometimes serious ailments have proved otherwise.


CITING WIKIPEDIA . Today in TNR Eric Rauchway writes about Wikipedia's place in academia. Which prompted Steven Aftergood to comment in today's FAS Secrecy News email on the growing use of Wikipedia as a reference in U.S. government intelligence products, namely those produced by the Open Source Center . A March 19 profile of Indian Congress Party Leader Rahul Gandhi prepared by the Open Source Center (OSC) of the Office of Director of National Intelligence is explicitly derived from "various internet sources including" A March 21 OSC profile of Rajnath Singh, president of India's Bharatiya Janata Party, is likewise "sourced from" An OSC report last year on the leader of the terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Velupillai Prabhakaran, noted that he and his wife "have two children, a girl and a boy. According to, the boy is named Charles Anthony and the girl, Duwaraha." The OSC was created in November 2005 to aggregate the world'...


DOUBLE WHAMMY . Think Progress reported late yesterday that the Justice Department replaced one of the fired U.S. attorneys, Bud Cummins of Arkansas, with former Rove aide Tim Griffin -- passing over Cummins's deputy, Jane Duke , because Duke was on maternity leave at the time. A typical tale of a qualified woman being passed over for a job so it could be awarded to a member of the boys' club. Add pregnancy discrimination to the list of Bush administration transgressions in Purgegate. -- Ann Friedman


A BITTER PILL . The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a company's failure to offer insurance coverage for contraception doesn't violate its female employees' civil rights. The suit against Union Pacific railroad for failing to cover contraceptives has been going on for years. In 2005, after the district court ruled in favor of UP's female employees who sued for coverage, the company "independently" agreed to cover birth control. (Initially, the UP insurance plan covered drugs like Viagra and Rogaine but not birth control pills or IUDs.) But this ruling means that UP and other companies are still not required to cover contraception. Which is a problem. The female employees and Planned Parenthood (which joined the suit) alleged that failure to cover contraception is discrimination under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The language in the law says it applies to "women affected by pregnancy," not "pregnant women." They argued that every sexually active woman who is capable of...


HEIRESSES AND THE GLASS CEILING . Forbes just released its list of international billionaires , which includes more women than ever before. And the ladies of the anti-feminist Independent Women's Forum are crowing that this proves women don't need anti-discrimination or pay equity laws: This is irrefutable proof that women don�t need government programs to help them make it in the business world�a fact our friends at NOW and similar organizations are unwilling to admit. Except for the fact that every woman in the top 100 has inherited her wealth, not shattered the glass ceiling to earn her millions. The presence of these women on the Forbes list has next to nothing to do with the obstacles faced by average working women. And, in fact, it's still a great idea for government to pay attention to how women are faring in the workplace. Paris Hilton's riches are no excuse to ignore the issue. -- Ann Friedman