Today in Tabs: The Monster is Blue, and Full of Errors

A note to our readers: Yesterday’s Tabs represented a complete & utter failure at every level of our organization. For that, we are sorry and hope it will never happen again.

Today in Tabs: The Monster is Blue, and Full of Errors
[Photos: Flickr user Jason Eppink, Wikimedia Commons, Screenshot: via Sesame Street]

So, how does it feel, Rolling Stone? Once upon a time you reported so fine, you could throw Hootie a dime in your prime, couldn’t you? Jia Tolentino discovered that the true depth of journalistic treachery required to get canned from Rolling Stone is a bad review of Hootie & the Blowfish. Apparently the dolphins make Jann Wenner cry too. Slate’s Daniel Politi started with Hootie and rounded up a range of other responses, while Jack Shafer gleefully pointed to the beam in everyone else’s eye and George Packer New Yorkerized it, concluding (eventually) that the lure of dramatic nonfiction is to blame.


Clay Shirky had the sharpest and most concise take I saw, in The New Republic:

Trying to get to the bottom of the failure of “A Rape on Campus” is like trying to get to the bottom of a yogurt cup. Neither sharp tools nor much digging are required.

Looks like someone knows how to read! Shirky calls it a straightforward case of “The Story That’s Too Good To Check,” and includes the Columbia Journalism School report in a list of similar efforts at “after-the-fact checking.”

To after-the-fact-check myself: Beejoli Shah wrote to me yesterday to make the point that my observation that “[Jackie] did lie to them repeatedly and at great length” was just blaming the source and would contribute to making it harder for victims to tell their stories, regardless of whether Jackie’s story was true or not. I think she’s right, and I would like to withdraw that line from yesterday’s Tabs. What we had here was a failure of the process at every level of the Tabs organization, so every individual involved (me) will be given a raise to encourage them (me) to try harder next time. Also, I blame the metabolism of the Internet age.

Anyway: here come the lawsuits!

Today in Nature: A “massive swam of sharkswas spotted near Vero Beach, FL, heading north. So after a long winter, it looks like Sharknado season is finally almost here! The brontosaurus is back! Bronto bb, you never went extinct in my heart. Should we not be eating almonds or what? I don’t know, but there’s no sign we’re ever going to stop talking about them. Alexis Coe is living in the woods and tweeting on the wood-fired internet for two months. The SHRIMP CLOUD is real.


CelebriTabs: Vanity Fair dishes all the gossip that an unknowable number of anonymous sources could give them about that whole Brian Williams thing. Did Stephen King kill John Lennon? Filed to: MAYBE. Don McLean auctioned off the original manuscript for “American Pie” for $1.2 million. Rumor has it that McLean has suffered financially since the failure of his signature McDonalds hamburger, the McLean Deluxe in the early 1990s. Frank Ocean has a new album coming out in July! And if you, like most of us, frequently need to know the total elapsed time before Jason Statham throws a punch in anger in any of his films, is finally here for you.

Intern Avery promised a clip of her standup comedy today, so get ready to wave goodbye to your cares and troubles and enjoy a happy laugh or two!


In one of my early stand-up sets, I told a lie. I said that my brother died of chicken pox, because then I could contrast that with my own experience of the same illness.

He actually died of (a complicated form of) measles. My aunt was there to deal with the aftermath.

Her brother had died early, too, back in the fifties. Pneumonia got him, after a childhood made difficult by his autism.

My aunt has a rare perspective, then. She saw autism in a time before the measles vaccine; and she saw measles in a time when it was nearly eradicated.

And yet, my aunt is an anti-vaxxer. A virulent one. She came to this thinking after a life of gradual exposure to the magical thinking that rules the irrationally anti-science. I remember, as a child, suffering through her lectures about “Frankenstein foods”, “heavy metals”, and “toxins”, not knowing where those ideas would lead.

These beliefs make fools out of people we love. So I take no small joy in this merciless Gawker takedown of Vani Hari, the “Food Babe”.

I’ll relish these sour grapes, organic or no.

Oh. Well. That was… funny? I mean I did laugh, but. I don’t know. Gonna have to just go sit with that for a while. Thanks I guess?

Today in Sesame Street: Jesteros needs a new ruler. It’s time for a GAME OF CHAIRS

Today’s Song: Tom DeLonge, “Circle-Jerk-Pit


~As you stare into the vacuum of his tabs, and ask him do you want to make a deal?~

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