The worst tab of the weekend is media-establishment spokesturtle Michael Wolff’s USA Today column, “A casualty in the race for digital traffic,” a column so incoherently written that it is at first difficult to discern how stupid the underlying ideas it struggles to express are. Here:
Gawker, with its digital-generation rancor, superseded, much to many people’s horror, Slate, Harvard on the Internet, as the state of the digital media art (i.e., digital media has about a five-year life expectancy, give or take).
This is not one cherry-picked bad sentence. This is representative of the entire thing. Here’s the kicker:
But today’s “vertically integrated digital media company,” in Vidra’s self-hoisting words, is another duck all together.
That is the first time a duck of any kind was mentioned in the column. Also: “Self-hoisting?” To the extent that it can be discerned, Wolff’s thesis seems to be that digital media is… not good? Please do read this, it actually gives Thomas Friedman some solid competition in this year’s Golden Globe award for bad ideas expressed ineptly.
Wolff was attempting, in his adorably hapless way, to write about Nick Denton’s memo last week firing Joel Johnson and making some other minor leadership changes. Denton talked to Lloyd Grove at the Daily Beast about whatever was on his mind, which is what every Denton interview is about. Meanwhile John McDuling at Quartz noticed that all the media angst recently is being driven by how great Buzzfeed is doing.
Speaking of Gawker, founding blogger Elizabeth Spiers is pregnant, adding her good news to that of impending NY media moms Emily Gould and Rachel Sklar. Tabs was unable to determine if Julia Allison is pregnant because she is still, somehow, at Burning Man? The Take Tree suggested that Nick Denton should open a day care for the babies of former employees, who are likely to be born both less expensive and more talented than the current Gawker staff.1
some ppl play classical music to their fetuses but i am more focused on teaching mine not to read the comments
— Emily Gould (@EmilyGould) December 14, 2014
Some day the sun will expire and the universe will reach a state of heat-equilibrium and all life, all organized energy, will cease. But until that far-off time we will never run out of New Republic Takes! Today we have Wonkette going Inside The Collapse of The New Yorker’s Inside the Collapse of The New Republic.
Sony is trying to shame news orgs into not reporting on the data released by hackers in the last week, and Aaron Sorkin is right there with them. “As a screenwriter in Hollywood who’s only two generations removed from probably being blacklisted, I’m not crazy about Americans calling other Americans un-American, so let’s just say that every news outlet that did the bidding of the Guardians of Peace is morally treasonous and spectacularly dishonorable.” The preceding is best read in the pompous voice of Sam the Eagle. Meanwhile the Verge’s new entertainment editor Emily Yoshida made a cogent case for the ethics of reporting from the leak. Buried in the (admittedly delightful) celebrity gossip has been some real news, such as the MPAA’s war on Google, and Maureen Dowd showing Sony exec Amy Pascal a column about her before publication, for what Mediaite claims is not the first time.
Mat Honane on how The Racket was going to be the most amazing thing ever until Pierre Omidyar strangled it like a helpless kitten: “We also [had] an idea we’re calling Apartment 538, a Facebook community of people who look like Nate Silver, and we’re just going to poll them on things,” They also bought Frank Foer 100,000 Twitter followers. Does Amanda Palmer make it about.me? What do you think. Ken Silverstein: How to set up a shell company & Ken Silverstein: The charmed life of a CIA torturer. Elon Green on the still-unsolved Doodler murders. Store queueing, overthought. “An oral history of the first cyberfeminists,” by Claire L. Evans.
Great news everyone! Bijan quit his job, so now he’s the full-time Tabs intern! Also he has moved into a spacious cardboard pied-à-terre in the Port Authority bus terminal!
Today’s Song: Mail Kimp Remix
~This is what I really call a party now~