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Jan. 27, 2023 12:00 PM PST

“I’m just putting my face on!” yelled the voice around the corner.

Bari Weiss—former New York Times Op-Ed staff editor and writer and current founder of the controversy-courting new media company The Free Press—came streaming into her living room, hair wet, dressed all in black. She greeted me and two of her employees before beelining over to her nearly 5-month-old daughter cooing in the adjacent, glass-doored room. Her wife, former New York Times tech journalist Nellie Bowles, was in another room pumping milk, Weiss noted, and would be out shortly.

One of journalism’s most polarizing couples, Weiss, 38, and Bowles, 34, abandoned the New York media scene they found “suffocating” in 2020 and moved into their light-filled Los Angeles bungalow just over a year ago. Last Monday, their home, with its vibrant green hedges and orange tree in the front yard, looked particularly idyllic. But inside, the Weiss-Bowles machine was running at full tilt.

“When I hear about work-life balance or boundaries, those words are gibberish to me,” Weiss told me, finally sitting down after making us both cold-brew coffees. She and Bowles hadn’t planned to launch a media company headquartered in their kitchen, but it “very much fits who we are. It’s been very natural,” said Weiss.

As we talked at her marble kitchen table, I could hear the washing machine dinging. The couple’s two small and territorial dogs, Dolly and Buzz, yelped on cue. She gestured to the backyard, which is under construction, with a deck halfway built and wrapped in caution tape. “The level of chaos,” she said, “people wouldn’t believe.”

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