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


GIANT SQUID! Ok, so not really "giant," so much as "colossal." Some long-line fishermen hooked the hefty cephalopod in the Ross Sea near Antarctica. Just how big is this thing? Dr. Steve O'Shea , the squid-hunter made famous by this awesome New Yorker profile from 2004, said if calamari were made from the squid, the rings would be the size of tractor tires. So cool. Pharyngula's got more photos . -- Ann Friedman


A 'LARRY SUMMERS MOMENT' . Amy Hoffman , editor-in-chief of the Women's Review of Books , recently reported that she attended a lecture at the Radcliffe Institute by Barry Gewen , an editor at the New York Times Book Review . In what even he described as a "Larry Summers moment" he explained that the reason so few women reviewers appear in the NYTBR is that they just can't write for a general audience about such topics as military history. He explained that NYTBR editors find reviewers by talking to colleagues and reading publications such as The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books , and The New Republic , insisting that he and his colleagues are not overtly prejudiced people but admitted they might have subconscious prejudices. In the Harvard Crimson 's account , Gewen acknowledged his staff wasn't �doing the outreach they should� in order to recruit more women and minorities. �Looking for reviewers of a certain ethnicity simply because of an ethnicity makes me a little...


WHO NEEDS THE HPV VACCINE? Merrill Goozner opposes mandatory HPV vaccination for sixth-grade girls in the U.S. He writes: By insisting that all young women get this vaccine, public health officials (the Centers for Disease Control last June endorsed universal vaccination, although its recommendations are not binding on the states, which carry out public health policy in the U.S.) are in essence saying it is impossible for the health care system to identify and treat older women who have already become infected and are at risk of getting cervical cancer. Attempting universal vaccination is NOT the same thing as saying it's impossible to treat those at risk. Sure, HPV is not likely to be deadly for upper-class women who are well insured and getting regular reproductive health care. But women who find out they have one of the strains of HPV that is likely to cause cervical cancer must return to the gynecologist multiple times a year for pap smears. Because we're talking about upper-class...


ALL BY OURSELVES . It's been said that British foreign policy since WWII is animated by the principle of "figuring out what the United States wants, and doing it before asked." No longer: Tony Blair has announced that the Brits will eventually be pulling out of Iraq. President Bush has now exhausted the patience of our last (or, rather, first) global ally. And that means it is time to cue the Eric Carmen 's appearance on Dick Clark 's American Bandstand . (Worth watching just to see Carmen's collar-up jeans outfit and horrible lip-syncing.) -- Tom Schaller

Setting a Low Bar

Every year, Working Mother magazine announces its much-anticipated "100 Best Companies." Employers leap to publicize their inclusion on the list, and it's routinely a best-selling issue. But is the "100 Best" -- and similar lists published by other magazines and organizations -- much more than public relations? Large companies are already required by the Family and Medical Leave Act to provide 12 weeks of unpaid leave. In addition to meeting federal requirements, most businesses make the list with low- or no-cost policies and perks such as flex time, child-care resource directories, lactation rooms, and additional unpaid leave. Benefits such as paid family leave or free or reduced-cost child care are much rarer. Most such "best employers" lists are compiled using self-reported data. While Working Mother says the information is fact checked, most companies do not make public the information the magazine says it examines, so there is no way to independently verify it. The magazine...