Out of Scope

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Written by

Hirsch Leatherwood

Out of Scope

America's 248th

Plus: Netflix's culture deck and Brat summer

Banner Image: Inc. / Getty Images

Happy Tuesday! For this Fourth of July week edition of Out of Scope, we reflect on the confusing, complicated week America is weathering ahead of its birthday. But first, here are other stories from last week with some staying power...


  • Netflix’s new internal culture memo highlights the streaming giant’s “People Over Process” ethos with new principles, including their “keeper test” and “not all opinions are created equal” philosophy, which come as a stark evolution from their original, famous culture manifesto.

  • While creatives like Sheryl Crow continue to ward off AI, sports announcer Al Michaels is breaking from the pack by allowing NBC to use his AI voice for Olympics coverage. Savvy viewers tracking the rise of AI might want to pay closer attention to the commentary this summer than the actual podium standings, it seems. 

  • Last month’s dissolution of MTV News resulted in the erasure of nearly two decades of content hosted on the outlet’s site — something of a burning of the Library of Alexandria for the digital age. With the Internet Archive under fire by copyright holders, the permanence of the online historical record is very much in flux. 

💡ON OUR MINDS: America’s 248th

  • Ahead of the country’s 248th birthday this week, the mood nationwide is uncharacteristically dour following an unsettling presidential debate and several high-profile SCOTUS decisions.

  • The aging President Biden’s debate performance last week against former President Trump stirred doubts about his capacity to carry the torch forward this election. It kicked off discussion about whether he just had a cold, whether he could still win, or whether he should withdraw and hand someone like Big Gretch the reins. 

  • Although it’s a well-accepted fact between politicos and pundits alike that debates don’t matter, this one has put more of a spotlight on President Biden in the days since and has proven to mean a whole lot to concerned voters.

  • With all eyes on Biden, every move he’s made since has been picked apart—and as the Supreme Court shares landmark opinions on agency and presidential scopes of powers, many find his lack of visibility and vigor on such prominent issues even more troubling. 

  • What should have been a celebratory week for the country has instead raised existential questions about the condition of American leadership. It reminds us all that with great power comes great responsibility, and for the President, that responsibility includes forceful, visible, and thoughtful communication.


In case you missed these reads:

  • The Associated Press launched "The AP Fund for Journalism," a nonprofit with a fundraising goal of $100 million to bolster its local news efforts. 

  • Shoe shiners are updating their offerings to cater to the rise of office athleisure.

  • It’s Brat summer, and we’re all just living in it: Boy Smells and Interview threw a pride party that reeked of the cultural zeitgeist – and, yes, poppers. 

Thanks for reading,


This week’s newsletter is brought to you by the coronavirus entering a new era as Swifties rebrand basic symptoms as “The Eras Tour hangover.”