While you're planning your outfits for this weekend, let's check in with what's going on at Guantanamo! There'll be a live-chat at 2 p.m. today, but, spoiler! "The current hunger strike at Guantanamo has entered its fourth month, with resistance growing to involve 100 detainees. More medics have been flown in to assist with force-feeding 29 inmates, and five are currently hospitalized."
In our attention-addicted world, the notion of bad PR has become a quaint anachronism, like watching a TV show when it’s broadcast or publishing Katie Roiphe. But while you’d be forgiven for assuming that any appallingly newsworthy transgression is ultimately a positive career move (let’s face it, Tan Mom probably has an agent by now), that’s not always the case. There is such a thing as bad publicity—however, it’s tricky to predict whether a horrid scandal will render you irredeemably persona non grata, or set you up for life. Since it would behoove us all to grasp the whys and wherefores of this complex terrain, here’s a handy [...]
Anyone who has eaten at M. Wells, the infamous diner in Queens, knows that it is both an extremely special and troubled place. (The food is magical, I have agreed; and also, on my most recent visit, there were literally pregnant women and their extremely grumpy hipster spouses on the verge of crying and screaming while they waited endlessly for food. Obviously the solution to eating at M Wells is to bring some carrot sticks in your purse and sit back and take what comes. They are not so much in the food "service" industry as they are in the food magicking industry, and sometimes everything goes kablooey.) And [...]
There's several proven tactics to conducting a press conference with humiliating personal admissions and one of them is exhausting everyone, which was pretty successful with Anthony Weiner's confession of sharing "personal photos" with women he did not know (six in three years, most before his marriage) online. Everyone was exhausted, except maybe the New York Post's Andrea Peyser, who really, really wanted to know where his wife Huma was. (At least that's what she kept screaming.)
But the press conference also ran counter to many of the prevailing ideas about crisis PR: one is to keep it short; another is have your wife with you. (The Spitzer event did [...]
Mister Cee, a Hot 97 DJ and semi-old-school hip-hop guy, was arrested last week and charged with public lewdness and exposure, according to the NYPD. The rumor mill has been great on the blogs! A sample: "Rumors of Mr. Cee engaging in homosexual activity have run rampant for years"! And there's some great hedging: "allegedly arrested after he was caught receiving oral sex from a male prostitute dressed as a woman, according to several news reports." What could it all mean? Perhaps… an "April Fool's Day prank or possibly someone that is not too fond of Calvin Lebrun aka DJ Mister Cee set him up [...]
Really, you might want to tear yourself away from whatever you're reading about and read this essay on sexuality, privacy, IM relationships, "emotional affairs," the state of cheating and everything else. It asks the question: what is so "primally reassuring in these stories of male infidelity and wronged female virtue"? You know: "These tales of hookers and half-hookers and gold diggers and fame diggers and 'soul mates'-it all presents itself as censure, but the sheer volume of media, the obsessive attention to it, represents a kind of cheering on. 'We really want to believe that powerful men have harems or the equivalent,' as a prominent female West Village [...]
Tom Scocca: I go away for a weekend and Maureen Dowd gets caught plagiarizing? Choire Sicha: You went away for a weekend? That's so unlike you! Tom Scocca: We can't all have a house on Fire Island. Choire Sicha: That island is only so wide, after all. But yes! You turned your back and suddenly Maureen Dowd is in the Scandal Of The Century Of The Moment. Tom Scocca: Albeit sort of a listless scandal, it seems, thanks to the we're-all-dead-who-cares cloud hanging over Romenesko these past many months.
Congratulations to former Goldman Sachs sorta-honcho Jon Corzine, who's going to skate off somewhere (somewhere pretty far away from his former clients) after he beats the rap on his latest car wreck, accidentally evaporating A BILLION-PLUS DOLLARS of his customers' money at MF Global. Now everybody there is suing everybody there, and Corzine is thinking about starting a hedge fund, but only after he "accepts the invitation" to testify with federal prosecutors. This is the pig who came on board at MF and fired 1400 people right off the bat, replacing them with some obvious incompetents, after a long career of skating by on risky trades and [...]
"Mark Halperin, editor-at-large for Time, called President Obama 'a dick' on Thursday on a popular MSNBC morning show and then quickly apologized." —This sentence is so objectionable! I mean, "Morning Joe" gets about 450,000 total viewers, so I'm not sure you can really call it "popular." Anyway, so then host Joe Scarborough apologized to the children watching. What horrible monster parents are letting their kids watch this garbage? I know school ended this week but Jesus H, people, get it together.
"It is obviously impracticable to imprison them all." —Darn. All you thousands of people who named alleged football romancer R___ G___ (Ryan Giggs!) aren't going to be prosecuted. Also he has been named in Parliament. Also, this is being referred to as "one of the biggest acts of civil disobedience in modern times" and that just doesn't feel very good, in the long view of history.
This weekend's rollicking TSA scandal—stemming from this video—has come to a speedy resolution. Why, the TSA has blogged about it, so everything must be fine now! They write: "Their son alarmed the walk through metal detector and needed to undergo secondary screening. The boy's father removed his son's shirt in an effort to expedite the screening. After our TSO completed the screening, he helped the boy put his shirt back on. That's it. No complaints were filed and the father was standing by his son for the entire procedure." So shut up, everyone, and get back in line. Don't make us get the truncheons.
Over the weekend a bunch of people hopped on to publicizing Oregon-based science writer (apparently not the proprietor of Very Media of the same name) David Appell's claim that "True/Slant abuses writers." (True/Slant is a centralized web-based writer-place, that engages writers for fairly low fees and sells advertising.) Appell signed up in November, for a fee of $200 a month-but was accidentally only paid $150 for December. He wrote the CEO-who did not respond to him! When other people in the company were alerted, they cut him a check for the remaining $50. But! AND THEN! They terminated their contract with him! "They're a pretty slimy [...]
Here's a lot more on the strange case of Jonah Lehrer, the new New Yorker writer and "idea man" who borrows early and often from his own work. We've been staying out of this one—for one thing, it just doesn't need a mass outrage pile-on (it's not like he was writing things in the public interest; if he was doing this with subjects that were like, somehow important, maybe I'd be upset), and for another, it's all just incomprehensibly weird—but wow, that sure is a lot of recycled text. Oh but wait: there's more.
The latest non-scandal that will not be catching on is "NYPD CAUGHT BOOTY-DANCING"—at the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn, over Labor Day Weekend. (Or as World Star Hip Hop put it, "Daggering on the Parkway," LOL.) The best is the Post describing the videos: "The women then back up into the officers’ crotches and rub their buttocks up against them as the cops grind in return, gleefully waving their arms in the air." (The Post confirms "an investigation," which, again, I say LOL.) I'm sorry, white people, have you ever been outside? I personally performed this move as recently as Saturday. Have you ever been to a [...]
Last summer's "Ground Zero Mosque" brouhaha was the most annoying summer controversy of all time. With any luck, New Yorkers won't have to deal with another nation-wide xenophobic freakout again this summer, but anything is possible! We spoke to a bunch of New Yorkers—both well-known and known to only a few—to try to predict what this summer's big baloney story would be. Aliens! Scrotums! And more aliens!
Balk: So, and this will never happen but I want someone to match all the silhouettes in the Mail and Sun to the actual photos they are based on.
Choire: Whoa. "ONE of Britain's top bloggers caused chaos on Twitter yesterday after appearing to link more than a dozen celebrities to gagging orders."
Balk: But I wouldn't even know who to start with on that.
Choire: I don't even know how to find what blogger they're talking about!
Balk: It's Guido Fawkes.
Choire: Huh. Okay, but I'm confused….
Last week, the New York Observer published a revelatory article about Gerry Marzorati's departure from the Times magazine. Staffers at the magazine indicated that Marzorati's recurrent promotions of an editor named Megan Liberman might have precipitated both their and his ultimate leave-taking. Described as Marzorati's "extremely close confidante" and "very close ally," Liberman's privileged position was viewed with suspicion or antipathy by the magazine's staff.