A sexist article in The New York Times tries to make it sound like male aides carrying female politicians’ handbags is wrong and, perhaps worse, newsworthy; members of the LGBT community are being treated like second-class citizens in America; meanwhile, a company relied on the First Amendment to justify its immoral use of private information found on pharmaceutical prescriptions.These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

Male Aides Carry Female Politicians’ Purses. What Is Happening to This Country? Writing about women’s fashion in politics is a tricky proposition, as the Washington Post learned last week. But Ashley Parker almost pulls it off in her piece for the New York Times fashion pages on the complicated relationship between female politicians and their purses.

A Broken Bargain A landmark new report examines how lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers might have the same job as a coworker, yet be legally fired, denied equal benefits and be required to pay thousands of dollars more in taxes simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Spring Comes To Turkey After a day filled with police violence against unarmed, peaceful occupiers and protesters, one of Tom Gagné’s old friends from high school, living near Taksim Square in Istanbul reported: “It’s midnight, and my street is alive. All the neighbors are leaning out their windows, stepping out on their balconies, whistling, banging pots and pans, shouting, ‘Tayyip istifa! Tayyip istifa!” (Resign Tayyip, resign!)

Elite Italian University Struggles With Shift to English In a small classroom at the Polytechnic University of Milan, six students sit around a table and, in slow, hesitant English, discuss the answers to a true-or-false test on various customs around the world.

How Corporations Hijacked the First Amendment Every time you fill a prescription at a drug store like Walgreens, the pharmacy keeps a record of the transaction, noting information such as your name, the drug, the dosage, and the issuing doctor.

The Myth of the ‘Twitter Police’ In a sprawling essay in Saturday’s Washington Post, the enterprise reporter frets that Twitter is making it faster and easier for the righteous mob to pulverize people who say stupid things.

CWA To Senate Dems: ‘We’re Done.’ On a call to discuss the continuing obstruction of … everything … by Senate Republicans, Communications Workers of America (CWA) President Larry Cohen asked Senate Democrats to change the rules to at least get nominees to the floor for a vote.

Newsweek By the Numbers On Tuesday, May 28, Variety reported that IAC, Barry Diller’s media and internet company, is considering selling Newsweek.

Could Bookless Libraries Revolutionize Access for the Poor? For a long time, you could divide the library patrons of San Antonio, Texas, into two categories — the haves and the have nots.

Heterotopia in Istanbul The protests and occupations in Istanbul and other cities in Turkey began with but have now expanded far beyond Taksim Gezi Park.

Blockupy Paralyzes Frankfurt For Second Year In A Row Saturday, June 1, was not just the day of the breakthrough of protest in Turkey, with the police withdrawing from Taksim Square and thousands of protesters occupying it.

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