Today in Tabs: Monkey Business

Tabs sees bad journalists.

Today in Tabs: Monkey Business
[Photo: Flickr user miss_millions]

Good afternoon! Let’s take a look at some bad journalism, shall we? On Friday, NY Times TV columnist Alessandra Stanley called Shonda Rhimes an Angry Black Woman. I’m not sure what else that column says because I’m just scanning it like “angry black woman… angry black woman… not classically beautiful… ok lol.” The internet was not keen, nor was Rhimes herself. But great news! Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan says that we are “correct to protest this story“! I don’t know about you, but I was certainly concerned that everyone protesting the story may not, in actual fact, have been correct to do so. But no! Sullivan can confirm that the story “delivered [its] message in a condescending way that was – at best – astonishingly tone-deaf and out of touch,” which is clearly a rarity for the paper of record. Sullivan gets to the bottom of things though, and finds that, according to Stanley, the fault lies withthe Twitter culture… with a reference to 140 characters.” Good 2 know thx.


Weekend Twitter somehow got a hold of this old book review by Jonathan Franzen and mauled it like a starving sled dog that just found an ancient crate of pemmican beneath the receding snowpack. The Times also ran this editorial about VIP party culture which concludes that it’s viciously exploitative but also ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Meanwhile an increasingly desperate Maureen Dowd (for what) lies on the floor keening “please love me pleeeeease I’m so cool this is all so cool…” Erstwhile Al Jazeera English columnist Sarah Kendzior quit on Saturday alleging that she was discouraged from doing research and told that all her editors want is “hot takes.” Al Jazeera released a statement addressing some alternate-universe version of her complaints. Meanwhile left-wing media Twitter got real mad, as they always do when Kendzior appears.

When you follow the tabs, you can’t help but become something of an Elizabeth Wurtzel connoisseur. At her worst, she can crank out the very best of tabs. So it’s hard not to be disappointed by her Sunday Times tab this weekend about her upcoming marriage, which was clearly edited by someone with a functional grasp of the English language. Yes, it is still self-absorbed and tedious, but it lacks that layer of genuinely insane disregard for basic communication that characterizes Wurtzel’s finest tabbing. I give it a C-.

But this is all just prelude to today’s worst journalist, Charlo Greene, former reporter for KTVA News in Anchorage Alaska. Greene quit on-air, after revealing that she secretly owned the Alaska Cannabis Club, an organization that she reportedly used as a source in some of her on-air reports about marijuana legalization. So a terrible journalist commits numerous ethical breaches and then very publicly screws over all of her co-workers, walking out on them in the middle of a live broadcast. What’s next? An Indiegogo fundraiser, of course! This tab has been brought to you by Indiegogo: When you absolutely, positively must give money to someone terrible.

But Good Journalism Too Tho: Sorry this is all just “Rusty reads the Sunday Times with you” today, I don’t know how that happened, but the best weekend tab by far is Kevin Spacey‘s House of Cards co-star Matt Bai on what happened to Gary Hart in 1987. Turns out that for an actor, this Bai fellow can really write! Caity Weaver goes deep on #buttghazi. The Home Depot data breach makes the Target hack look like… well, a smaller but still really bad hack. Leah Reich on how to detoxify the web is good, and part of a great (and now blissfully Milo-free!) issue of Kernel about building a better internet. Also don’t miss the Mallory Ortberg interview because she’s amazing.

Eater relaunched and, let’s see, how about I just show you this one random story from it for no special reason at all. Netflix‘s spoilers site is good but I won’t tell you how it ends. And Mitch McConnell is an Otherkin turtle.


I’m clearly scraping the bottom of my barrel here, fortunately we have the three-breasted Florida woman of interns here at Tabs. Bijan what do you have for us?


My favorite thing about Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias” is its origin: The poem’s 111 words—quoted everywhere, by everyone—were initially composed in a sonnet-writing competition with Shelley’s friend, Horace Smith. Apparently sonnet-writing competitions weren’t rare in those days; and now, all that’s left of Smith’s poetic reputation are his two losing stanzas, which now go by “On A Stupendous Leg of Granite, Discovered Standing by Itself in the Deserts of Egypt, with the Inscription Inserted Below”.

All of this is to say: Nothing lasts. Your reputation could rest on a meaningless pissing contest you once had with a talented friend. Or worse.

And so here’s today’s tab, courtesy of Etsy: Black Chocolate Co. will make you a life-sized, 1.5kg, anatomically correct chocolate skull for a cool £68.00. Apparently they stay edible for up to 6 months (!) when kept in a cool, dry area—longer, probably, than it took Horace Smith to establish his lasting legacy.

nom skulls

Memento mori, ubi sunt qui ante nos fuerunt?, tantus labor non sit cassus. Tabs will live forever, though. And we will too. Right, Rusty?

Sure kid, sure. Look upon my tabs ye mighty, and despair.

Late Breaking: The Wire is being spun back in to the Atlantic. More on this tomorrow, probably.

Today’s Song: Trent Reznor released a preview of the “Gone Girl Soundtrack” and I want to listen to a lot more of it. [via Lindsey Weber]

~Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the tab will be closed for you.~

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