Posts Tagged: The Media

A Miracle Fruit Party and Its Attendant Trend Story

"Nothing is certain but death and taxes" and, since 2007, "trend pieces about miracle fruit parties." Oh yes: "The miracle fruit party" is the trend piece that just won't die, despite that there have likely been more feature stories about miracle fruit parties than there have been actual miracle fruit parties.

The Wall Street Journal went big in 2007 with an A1 story that explained that the berries are "a slightly tart West African berry with a strange property: For about an hour after you eat it, everything sour tastes sweet." Then NPR couldn't wait to tell all of their listeners about it. The New York [...]


Ryan Reynolds Is Sick Of Talking About His Abs

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Ryan Reynolds is ready to trade one six pack for another. The actor admitted he was sick of talking about his well-defined abs, which are on display so prominently in the new, big-screen adaptation of "The Green Lantern" comic-book series that they practically deserve their own billing. "God, on a scale of one to 10 — one being, 'This is delightful' to 10 being, 'I can't stop vomiting' — probably somewhere around a nine; just dry-heaving at this point," the actor noted, with a smile. —Physiques ab-solutely key to 'Lantern' (AP)

He jabs a finger into his open mouth a couple of times [...]


Understanding England's "Gag Order" Scandal

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….


The Rally and the Velvet Rope: Is Jon Stewart Still Our Fellow Citizen?

At least half the mysterious but immense number of people who attended Saturday’s Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear didn’t see or hear one iota of the stage show, because there were way too many people crowding round a woefully insufficient number of speakers and Jumbotrons. But nobody seemed to mind too much about missing the show, because they were having so much fun comparing costumes and signs, and giggling together over how weird “this whole thing” was. The atmosphere as I roamed about the massive crowd was uniformly giddy all day long.


Alleged DSK Rape Victim Knows Bad People and Also Drinks!

The rumors have it that Dominique Strauss-Kahn is getting released on his own recognizance today, from his current state of house arrest. I read last night's Times story three times ("Strauss-Kahn Case Seen as Near Collapse"), and it's one of those cases where the reporters are conveying more than they can say; it's good reporting and also a really poorly edited piece of garbage? Because it doesn't actually explain the situation that would result in Strauss-Kahn's change in bail status. Let us sort the anonymous "law enforcement" claims about the accuser from most to least serious!

• "the woman had a phone conversation with an incarcerated man within [...]


Enormous Schmuck Quits Job

Anthony Weiner gave a press conference in which he quit his job in Congress: "and most importantly I can continue to heal from the damage I have caused" is something that he said, and well, okay? Wait, what? So long and good luck. See you in your new job on MSNBC soon most likely. Blech.


Local Arkansas Man's Ice Cream Truck Sells Pickle Snow Cones

Today's small-town newspaper of the day is the Washington County Observer, hailing from two hours east of Tulsa, serving the greater Greenland, Arkansas area. Spring has arrived, and so has the West Fork ice cream truck man, who hopes that "this is the year his small business will turn a profit." This is a terrific story about a guy who had a crappy job who found a busted old truck, fixed it up and starting making his own snow cones and lemonade. And pickle snow cones! Which apparently kids love! American hero! Also, in the (very funny) weekly video from the publisher above, he discusses web metrics, [...]


The 2009 GDP? It's the Worst Since 1946–And 7.6 Million Jobs Disappeared in Two Years

We're going to talk about math and finance here, so take a deep breath. I'll go slow for you! The big headline today is that, from 2009's third quarter to the fourth quarter, the gross domestic product increased at an annualized rate of 5.7%. This sounds really big! So many big headlines about it. But may we put it in perspective? One of the short versions is that people had more cash, and spent more, in the final three months of the year, that they did in the previous three months. So when the Times trumpets that the "U.S. Economy Grew at Fastest Pace in 6 Years Last Quarter," [...]


James O'Keefe: "I'm Just Getting Started, OK?"

When Andrew Breitbart commandeered Anthony Weiner’s admission-of-digital-lecherousness press conference earlier this month, just seven minutes elapsed before he began to recount the tale of how America was first introduced to his strange media empire. In 2009, James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles approached Breitbart with footage of low-level ACORN employees apparently offering to abet the proprietors of an illegal immigrant child prostitution ring. “To those who say your journalism here is suspect,” a reporter asked, “what do you tell those folks?” Breitbart snickered.

“'You're going to be held to a different standard,'" Breitbart said he told O’Keefe and Giles at the time. “But I said, what we're going [...]


Sad Man Likes To Flirt on Computer

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 [...]


Enjoy Our Safe Space Today: We Remain a Sheen-Free Zone

Just a little programming note: a certain very ill and somewhat frightening monster has captivated the television stations and radios and many of the papers. If you're feeling a bit too heartily pursued by this particular monster, feeling a bit too caught in the crossfires of the media streams, we have a solution for you! Join us in turning your very important gaze elsewhere. It's your mind, after all—literally your only resource. Free it and your ass will follow, and there'll be no monsters on your tail.


America's Next Top Pundit Is Ready for One-Way Car Service to Scarborough Country!

The Washington Post announced today the winner of its America's Next Top Pundit reality blog contest thing. (Yes, that really happened.) Here's a spoiler: the people of color lost. (Again.) RIG. (Or maybe they won by losing?) Further spoiling: the winner is a Teach for America (ACORN?) executive named Kevin Huffman. We look forward to his appearances on all those chat shows that we don't watch because we treasure our sanity.