Posts Tagged ‘news’

Must-see horror video of NBC’s Kardashian coverage skipping 9-11 moment of silence

September 11, 2012

You have heard that NBC opted to skip the 9-11 moment of silence in favor of a Kardashian interview about breast implants. Not being a Today Show enthusiast myself, I actually happened to miss that. Luckily, NY Mag posted all of it, superimposed on the somber coverage that all of the other major stations carried, and the effect is horrifying. You need to see it.


Phone hacking and the HuffPost’s list of journalism scandals.

July 9, 2011

This British phone-hacking business is nothing new. If you didn’t read Vanity Fair’s timely article on the subject just weeks before the latest scandal, you must check it out. It provides context to understand the gravity behind Prime Minister Cameron’s comment that authorities should follow the scandal “wherever it goes.” If the authorities do their job, it appears some in Scotland Yard could be in serious trouble as well.

The fact that James Murdoch shuttered News of the World, a 168-year-old paper, immediately should be even more reason to look into all other media sources. One of the biggest newspapers in the world, and one with such a history, should be worth fighting for. It was just one arm of a media empire that is interconnected and heavily managed from the top down. That arm was amputated quickly in a public display of bravado, and I think it had more to do with getting out of the airy scrutiny of the hospital gown and hiding a terminal illness in the entire industry. We’ll see how well that works out for him.

In the spirit, The Huffington Post lists “10 Jaw-Dropping Journalism Scandals

News and links

September 29, 2010

Iowa State Fair “biggest steer” award went to a clone

August 28, 2010

Welcome to the future, where cloning a past winner beats breeding the old way. I know clones aren’t duplicates, and that the size is affected by environment. And yes, the “old way,” usually involves getting a bull to hump a table then jamming a metal tube in a cow. But doesn’t this defeat the entire reason the contest was set up? The judges are allowing it.

I was at the IA fair this year; I kind of want my money back now.

(The DM Register broke the story this morning)

AP: USA Today “de-emphasizes” print edition, to can 9 percent of staff

August 26, 2010

The second biggest newspaper in the country is realigning to emphasize mobile publishing, and laying off about 130 employees in the process, according to the AP

USA Today shaking up staff in ‘radical’ overhaul

By MICHAEL LIEDTKE (AP) – SAN FRANCISCO — USA Today, the nation’s second largest newspaper, is making the most dramatic overhaul of its staff in its 28-year history as it de-emphasizes its print edition and ramps up its effort to reach more readers and advertisers on mobile devices.

 The makeover outlined Thursday will result in about 130 layoffs this fall, USA Today Publisher Dave Hunke told The Associated Press. That translates into a 9 percent reduction in USA Today’s work force of 1,500 employees. Hunke didn’t specify which departments would be hardest hit.

The layoffs are not a surprise, it is a Gannett paper after all. But these schemes… I see problems. First, the paper might attempt to surmount the small issue of its rather poor quality before thoughts of storming the World Wide Webs take hold. I’ve met a lot of editors, and none nearly so self-righteous as unnamed USA Today editor. The goal, as I understand it, is to plaster articles with “infographics,” and that USA Today does well.  How will they cover their shame with graphics when some mobile devices don’t support them? Second, we demand more stories like this:

(geekologie had the screenshot)

In other news, Conan started a fight…

August 24, 2010

Conan picked a twitter ‘follower’ war with LeVar Burton today. It’s sad to see him start something he has no way of finishing.

Christopher Hitchens announces he has cancer

July 1, 2010


Vanity Fair’s intellectual gadabout Christopher Hitchens announced he has esophageal cancer. Hitchens has written about his heavy smoking, though he is said to have recently quit. Yesterday he wrote:

I have been advised by my physician that I must undergo a course of chemotherapy on my esophagus. This advice seems persuasive to me. I regret having had to cancel so many engagements at such short notice.

That’s it. A quiet statement for a man whose mouth has gotten him into trouble throughout the world. Very sad… don’t smoke, kids.


April 26, 2010

(via eduardos)

Alex Chilton died!

March 18, 2010

He was was only 59 and about to play SXSW with Big Star. His only real pop success came when he was a teenager, but he has had a huge influence on indie music and ’80s alternative music. The tribute and “I met Alex once” articles have just started, and there’s no doubt they will pick up momentum. I’m not going to add to that beyond saying I like his stuff. This is from one on Rolling Stone online:

Nobody bought these albums at the time, and radio wouldn’t touch them, but all three became classics. Big Star invented a vision of bohemian rock & roll cool that had nothing to do with New York, Los Angeles or London, which made them completely out of style in the 1970s, but also made them an inspiration to generations of weird Southern kids. Especially girls — for hipster gals who couldn’t necessarily relate to the abrasive machismo of Lou Reed or Iggy Pop, Alex Chilton was a dude who let female fans hear themselves in his music. Nobody was ever better at making Southern girls feel cool.

photos from

C-SPAN puts archives online

March 16, 2010

That’s 23 years of Congress online. There has to be at least one nugget of wisdom in there. Read the NY Times article here.

Random news

March 9, 2010

Note the argument she will have to make about her ‘character.’ She’ll have to make that argument in a courtroom. Wow. The question will probably be: Is ‘Lindsay’ a name like J-Lo, instantly recognizable as meaning Lindsay Lohan? The answer should deflate her ego a tad.

I became a vegetarian while researching salmon populations (hint: outlook not good), so I should be happy to see people killing seals, right? they being fish preditors and all? No? I’m kidding but it does remind me of the shortest joke I know… “So a baby seal walks into a club…”

Hilarious NYT error, as pointed out by WaPo

March 4, 2010

See if you can find it:

Complete explanation of the Iraq war in 7 seconds

February 26, 2010

Saw it on Cynical-C

Book/lit news

February 23, 2010
  • Only as good as your sources: Recently published Hiroshima bombing book marred by imposter who claimed to have been on a plane, was source on at least 30 pages (Washington Post)
  • If you follow these simple but completely contradictory rules, I guarantee you will have a best-selling novels within two weeks. Just kidding, you still can’t write. The Guardian gets some big names to offer rules for writing, in two articles. One, Two. (saw it on Monkey See blog).
  • Two books on changing times in China, China 2.0 (equals good) and China’s Megatrends (equals “feeble attempt,” “creepy reading”) (Bloomberg News). I’m much more interested in Iran’s youth/technology situation right now, but the best place to find info on that is not a book
  • Neil Gaiman learns he loves Alabama and can’t understand why publishers have kept him away for 20 years (Neil’s Blog)
  • This is from last week, so won’t even bother finding a link to it, but did you see Cameron’s talking about writing an Avatar prequel book. Would go much more in-depth, and sounds like it sets the scene for a three-movie arc.
  • An interview with Margaret Atwood (Buffalo News)

Puppy haters

February 23, 2010

9 Iowa state senators and 22 state house reprezentors hate fluffy puppies. Just FYI regarding one of the biggest puppy mill states in the country.

Guy tried to kill pope, wants book deal

January 12, 2010

Attention publishers: Do NOT be the last to know this classy character. About to get out of jail after a 10-year sentence for a different murder in 1979, Mehmet Ali Agca is apparently ready to collaborate with you on books, films, and interviews  about his 1981 assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II. All he’s asking for is millions of dollars. And he’d like to meet Pope Benedict. Not joking, and I hope he doesn’t make a penny off what he did.

NYT on the news/politics industry’s paranoid leader

January 10, 2010

“I built this business to throw off a billion dollars in profit,” Mr. Ailes said. “That was the goal from Day 1. In my own mind.”

Greedy, partisan, brutal, afraid. Roger Ailes is a summation of the news media’s current sad state. He lays claim to the territory of journalism outsider while pulling the strings of news control. David Carr and Tim Arrango of the New York Times do a pretty good job with this subject.

110 authors write book for University Book Store’s 110th B’day

January 10, 2010

The University Book Store at UW opened 110 years ago, on 1/10. I hear they’re having sheet cake and sparking cider this afternoon… charming but I think I’ll pass. The more interesting part is the limited edition short story volume they published: 110 authors, poets and graphic novelists, the likes of Tom Robbins, Greg Bear, Rebecca Brown, Dan Savage and Stephanie Kallos, write 110-word shorts. Buy one of the artists’ books and you get 110/110 free!

Publisher and Lowes recalling home repair books

January 10, 2010

You can’t even do it yourself without fear of recall. Apparently, the six books, at least one of which has been in publication since 1975, give unsafe wiring instructions. No actual injuries reported, so I think this is pretty funny.

Book news

January 7, 2010

Good morning. But I digress.

LA Time’s book blog reports on a popular online book club’s plans for a reading of the ~900-page 2666 by Roberto Bolaño, to begin Jan. 25. I still haven’t read that one, and at 50 pages a week the pace should be easy for anyone to keep up with. Could be a good time. The site is

Yoko Ono has started rumors that she will write a book laying out (her version of) why the Beatles broke up.

George Klein has started rumors that he has  written a book laying out (his version of) why Elvis broke up. Klein was Elvis’ friend, and the book is actually about Elvis ‘the person’, as opposed to Elvis ‘the singer.’ More importantly, Klein resolved for me an important issue. Perhaps the greatest thing Elvis did was inspire this homage:

This head-sized object is called a Memphis Mafia, and is a banana-chocolate-peanut butter-chocolate chip-peanut fritter the size of your head. I ate one last week at Voodoo Doughnut Shop (though the photo’s from Yelp). At the time, I didn’t get the name, beyond the Memphis part, but turns out Elvis’ posse was called the Memphis Mafia.

The NYTimes reviews  John Lanchester’s I.O.U., a non-finance novelist’s point of view on the financial crisis.