"Things get sillier when the network brass begins getting upset: Apparently humiliating Tea Party freaks in live debate is … horrible for ratings, for some reason? And this makes network owner Jane Fonda threaten to fire McAvoy. 'He humiliated congressional candidates on my network,' she says at Sam Waterston, as if that were a thing someone who owned a cable news network would be mad about. Oh no, people might turn off this news channel that has politicians being humiliated, routinely, by the world’s smartest asshole!" —Awl pal Alex Pareene considers Aaron Sorkin's "The Newsroom."
While Mike Wallace’s legacy will be of a tough, hard-hitting newsman, one brief incident in my life will always make me think of him as a mensch.
In 1968, I was a college junior spending a year studying at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. I’d begun intensive language classes in August and communicated with my Brooklyn family via mail (snail) and biweekly phone calls, whose quality, at best, could be described as an underwater-echo chamber.
One December afternoon, after leaving class, I heard the wail of sirens. As I turned a corner towards the campus square, I saw clusters of agitated students, faculty and staff congregating, most of whom appeared [...]
Sorry, what's that? Unfortunately, our friend on the air was taken to the hospital for tests after this incident. The news is muddled on this—if it's simply misspeaking, it's very funny. If it's actually a medical incident? That's horrible.
Things you don't like to see on a Twitter from a "World Wide Security Company contractual work, Weapons Expert." Similarly: stuff like "15 DEVICES WERE PLANNED TO BE SHIPPED TO THE US THRU COMMERCIAL AIR." Also: "CNN's original tweet said bomb found in London. Turns out it's not explosives & not London." Who knows? UPS says: "UPS is [...]
Some of us turn to nola.com each day, the online presence of the New Orleans Times Picayune, to stay up to date on, like, New Orleans, and news of the Gulf. Apparently they have a football team-information regarding which blankets their front page. If you dig inside, you can find a news section though! There you can learn that the six-month federal deepwater oil drilling moratorium-the one that affected just 33 of the new Gulf oil drilling locations-is destroying America's small, family-owned businesses. In other news, the Deepwater Horizon well was, after five months, finally permanently sealed over the weekend.
This is pretty great: Above the Law pegs yesterday's "John Roberts is Retiring" rumor to a Georgetown Law class about… rumors and trusted sources. Unfortunately, most of the professor's students were too busy sexting about the news to reflect upon the actual topic of the lecture: "on the credibility and reliability of informants," and when the professor, Peter Tague, revealed he was just teaching them a lesson, they had to re-sext all their friends that, no, John Roberts was not indeed going to retire yesterday. Love it.
And how to deal with the workplace fiasco that is having the 4th of July on a Wednesday. (iTunes)
Oh, just announced: there is going to be a book stemming from our longest-running feature, Dave Bry's Public Apology! Grand Central, the fun group at Hachette, will be publishing. Soon you can feel all the shame, awkwardness and hilarity in one convenient place.
• Over the course of the demonstrations, the Egyptian military detained "hundreds and possibly thousands" of "government opponents": some of them were tortured, receiving "extensive beatings and other abuses."
• Rich people: they're all alike, all around the world! "Well-heeled Egyptians, who drive the country's economy, are concerned about ongoing unrest."
• Best Facebook update ever? We are all Khaled Said: "Thousands of lawyers have taken their protest to Abdeen Presidential Palace. Thousands more have joined them and the palace is now surrounded. The army has now withdrew from in front of the palace. The president is NOT in this palace unfortunately. He is in another [...]
"A federal judge has issued a nationwide injunction stopping enforcement of the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy, ending the military's 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops."
Cuba has 11.2 million people, half of them are workers and 85% of those are state-employed in some way. Now 500,000 people will be forced/allowed over the next year to enter one of the authorized 124 private occupations.
According to De Tijd, which is the ultimate authority on volcano and Twitter news to us, the "Twitter-hysterie over Hekla blijkt ongegrond." That's right. ONGEGROND, people! As in, the flurry of reports that indicate that Angela Lansbury is dead that major Icelandic volcano Hekla is erupting are totally false. Which is why reports of said eruption aren't in any major newspapers, you see.
"The number of discrimination complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission related to anxiety, depression and other psychiatric disorders nearly doubled between 2005 and 2009." -Crazy people: they are coming to work, and if you try to stop them, they will sue you.
While everyone is "upset" about Christopher Nolan not being nominated for best director for Inception, there's way more fascinating news in today's Oscars nominations announcement.
The good news:
• Waiting for Superman? Straight-up SNUBBED in the best documentary race. Hooray! The propaganda vehicle for the privatization of education can now slink off to die.
• Exit Through the Gift Shop, which is in some ways at least a documentary, though who knows which ways, nominated for best documentary, which, yay.
• Jacki Weaver, who is maybe possibly the last remaining delightfully aging camp diva of our time, nominated for best supporting actress to duke it [...]
This is way harsh back-cover treatment in light of, you know, his alleged naked pics. (via)
Six months later, what's going on in Haiti? • "With an estimated 1.5 million Haitians still homeless, presidential and legislative elections are set to be held on 28 November. " • "Jean Renald Clerisme, the presidential adviser, says that in any case the Haitian government hasn't received the money it was promised by the donors, which it would need to buy land and reconstruct. 'At a big donors' meeting in New York, we were promised $10bn (£6.64bn),' he says. 'But we haven't received even 2% of this money – how do you explain that?'" • "International donors who promised earthquake relief money to Haiti will be getting [...]
The West Virginia mine that blew up and killed 25 people racked up some impressive safety violations but escaped better oversight because of a year's worth of improvement… followed by another year's worth of disimprovement. When you read the letter (provided by the Times) that was sent by the Mine Health and Safety Administration-well, I guess "try" to read is more apt? Because it's completely unreadable to anyone not versed in the industry. It reads as the worst sort of legalese, piling up language from regulation after regulation. I mean, it has footnotes? And also, not to be a weird Libertarian, but any highly-regulated industry (such as aviation) or [...]