☕️ #Banned

Jeopardy! goes searching for a new host...
August 21, 2021 View Online | Sign Up

Daily Brew


Good morning. To all our readers in the Northeast, prepare for a nice soaking this weekend. Tropical Storm Henri is expected to develop into a hurricane, and become the first hurricane to make direct landfall in New England in 30 years.

  • The more you know: If your name is Ida, Julian, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, or Wanda, you might soon be getting some unwanted attention. Those are the monikers selected by the World Meteorological Organization for the next Atlantic storms this season.

— Neal Freyman, Jamie Wilde, Sherry Qin














*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 6:00pm ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: Stocks posted an L for the week despite rising yesterday. We mentioned Amazon's stock has been slumping this summer—not so with Microsoft, which is up nearly 40% year to date.
  • World: After a week of chaos near the Kabul airport, President Biden pledged to evacuate all Americans who want to leave Afghanistan, and said he was committed to helping Afghans who assisted the US with its mission there. Countries have airlifted more than 18,000 people since the Taliban toppled the government on Sunday.


Should the Taliban Be #Banned?

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN -- AUGUST 17, 2021: Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban s...

The Taliban holds a press conference. Marcus Yam/Getty Images

If you thought social media platforms deciding whether to ban former President Trump was ethically thorny...that was a single briar compared to the Maleficent's thicket that is the Taliban's web presence.

The last time the Taliban was in power in Afghanistan (1996–2001), just one-tenth of 1% of the country was on the internet, according to the World Bank. So, this is the first time social media platforms have had to take a stance on whether to allow the Taliban in its resumed role as effective leader of Afghanistan to post content.

How it stands

  • Facebook and YouTube have banned the Taliban under the premise that it's a terrorist organization, and Facebook additionally prohibits any "praise, support, and representation" of the group, even from non-Taliban accounts.
  • Twitter is more hands-off, only banning posts that exhibit "glorification of violence, platform manipulation, and spam."

They'll need to decide whether to update these policies or double down on enforcing them soon, because the Taliban has been more active than a LinkedIn thought leader lately: 100+ new accounts and Facebook pages claiming ties to or supporting the Taliban have cropped up since August 9 across Twitter and Facebook, according to a report by the NYT.

These accounts work together to amplify each other, so when one posts, they all engage with it and post on similar topics.

But cracking down may be a question of "can," not "should"

Taliban posters evade current content policies by, for instance, slightly changing the spelling of hashtags or keywords that moderators search for, posing as grocery stores, or simply by using a new account when one is shut down.

So even with a purge, Taliban-sponsored content is likely to slip through the cracks. To that end, Facebook said it's brought on a dedicated team of Afghanistan experts to help sift through posts.

Looking ahead...this issue will be exacerbated should the Taliban take over Afghanistan's official government social media accounts. — JW



Here We Go Again

Groundhog day gif


Remember that website isitcancelledyet.com from last spring that documented all of the events that were postponed due to Covid? It might have to make a comeback. A growing number of performers, conferences, and companies are switching up their plans on account of the recent Delta-fueled wave.


  • Bad news for the 40.8 million-strong BTS ARMY: Their beloved K-pop supergroup officially canceled its upcoming world tour.
  • Country star Garth Brooks also canceled the next five cities on his tour. 


  • The Fed's annual Jackson Hole symposium, set to begin next week in Wyoming, will take place virtually.
  • VidCon, the convention that brings together online creators and their fans in Anaheim, CA, was canceled for the second year in a row.
  • The New York International Auto Show, which was supposed to start yesterday, didn't.


  • Apple delayed its plans to bring employees back to the office until January 2022. 
  • IBM temporarily closed its NYC offices amid rising cases. 

Zoom out: Try as it might, Delta can't stop everything. NYC's big homecoming concert, featuring Bruce Springsteen, Jennifer Hudson, The Killers, and more A-listers, is going ahead tonight as planned in Central Park. – SQ



I'll Take "Decisions that Backfired" for $200

Mike Richards is stepping down as host of Jeopardy! just over a week after he was chosen to succeed the late Alex Trebek. 

The announcement wasn't totally a surprise. Throughout the week, backlash had been mounting over the decision to choose Richards, who is the executive producer of the show. Why? 

  • He's the executive producer, which raised questions over the integrity of the selection process.
  • Criticism grew after The Ringer reported that Richards made offensive and sexist comments on a podcast he hosted from 2013–2014. 

"Over the last several days it has become clear that moving forward as host would be too much of a distraction for our fans and not the right move for the show," Richards said.

Looking ahead...Jeopardy! made no mention of Mayim Bialik, the actress who had been tapped to host specials. But now, after an embarrassing episode for a show that could seemingly do no wrong, it's back to the drawing board for a full-time host. — NF



Everyone Who's Anyone and Possibly You?


Models in NYC. Movie stars at Cannes. Medal-winning skateboarders. Besides being cooler than the peeps writing this ad, they've all got one thing in common: They rock CARIUMA sneakers. And so do we.

While it may be in vogue to sport spiffy CARIUMAs on your toes, don't judge 'em by their fine-lookin' covers.

In addition to looking sweet, CARIUMA sneaks make you feel good too. Literally and emotionally. These kicks are sustainably made with low environmental impact—and they're super comfy to boot.

CARIUMA's silhouettes create waitlists in the tens of thousands, and for good reason. Their canvas kicks are go-to classics, wearable year-round with fancy or casual fits. Meanwhile, their IBI and IBI slip-ons are crafted from sustainably harvested bamboo and are as good for hitting the town as they are for walking to the bodega.

Slide your feet into the comfiest fashion icon around. And lucky you: Brew readers have access to a special offer from CARIUMA here.


Key Performance Indicators

Evacuation of Afghan citizens in a C-17 cargo plane

US Air Force

Stat: The viral picture showing Afghan citizens being evacuated out of Kabul Sunday night is also one for the history books. 823 people were on that C-17 cargo plane, nearly 200 more than was first reported, making it the largest number of passengers ever transported by the C-17 in its history.

Quote: "Happy Friday, y'all!"

What actor LeVar Burton, a guest host of Jeopardy! and someone who has very publicly lobbied for the permanent role, tweeted yesterday morning.

Read: An oral history of Adam Sandler, pickup basketball legend. (Mel Magazine)



The Bottom Falls Out on Topps

A burnt Topps baseball card

Topps is sending its plans to go public back to a box in the basement.

The iconic baseball card maker scrapped its public listing via SPAC after getting cut out of a deal to, well, make baseball cards. 

  • Earlier this week, MLB and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) reached an exclusive licensing deal with the sports merchandise company Fanatics come 2026. 
  • That will end the partnership Topps has had with MLB since 1952.

Big picture: Sports memorabilia, or to put it in terms our readers would better understand, physical NFTs, has soared in popularity during the pandemic. A card of Honus Wagner, a baseball player who started his career in 1897, sold on Monday for $6.6 million—easily becoming the most expensive trading card ever. 

Looking ahead...in the world of sports merch, there's a new king in town. Fanatics, which already counts SoftBank and private equity giant Silver Lake as investors, raised funding earlier this month at a valuation of $18 billion. Its baseball card deal will be 10x larger than any the MLB players union has struck previously, ESPN reports. — NF



  • Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine could be fully approved by the FDA on Monday, per the NYT.
  • Nvidia's proposed $40 billion takeover of chip designer ARM raises serious concerns, the UK's competition watchdog said. 
  • Chinese tech stocks, such as Alibaba and Tencent, got walloped this week due to an intensifying crackdown on the sector by China's government.
  • Rain fell on the highest point of Greenland's ice sheet for the first time in recorded history.



Let's talk Active Fixed Income. There's a lot to learn about active funds. Once you hear about the advantages, you'll see why you should consider putting one in your portfolio. Lucky you, we have all the info you need in our guide to active fixed income. All you have to do is actively hit this link here.


Top Sidekick picks: Our Sidekick newsletter delivers tips and tricks to help you live smarter. The most popular links this week? A simple to-do app, these transparent Post-it Notes, and a template for tracking the books you've read.

Weekend conversation starters:


Crypto Investing Doesn't Have to Be Complicated

Illustration for Crypto Crash Course

Investing in crypto is a lot like a trip to Ikea—extremely disorienting and most of the time you end up knee-deep in a pile of meatballs. 

To help, we've launched a Crash Course on Crypto to give you the context, tools, and resources to help you figure out where crypto fits in your investment portfolio. You'll find...

  • Ways to expose your portfolio to bitcoin without actually buying bitcoin
  • Everything you need to know about crypto wallets
  • How to choose the right crypto platform for you 

Check out the Crash Course on Crypto here.


Brew Crossword: Sundae

Brew Crossword

This morning's crossword will stimulate your brain and make you hungry at the same time. Try it here.


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Written by Jamie Wilde, Neal Freyman, and Sherry Qin

Illustrations & graphics by Francis Scialabba

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