Friday morning. America’s online content manufacturers woke up, sucked down some iced coffee, trudged into our Manhattan offices, and sat down at our laptops. Not much going on, not much to write about. A long day ahead. Then, like the sun or a septuagenarian Vermonter breaking through the clouds, there appeared a wonderful story: Bernie Sanders might be parachuting into his rally in Cloverdale, California tonight.
Andrew Sullivan, the political blogger who quit blogging over a year ago, has finally reappeared: According to this press release, he’ll be joining New York magazine as a “contributing editor covering politics and the larger culture.” Die-hard Sullivan fans may remember his epic relocation to, serial complaints about, and eventual departure from New York City—the glittering metropolis whose various industries and cultures serve as New York’s main editorial focus. We’re assuming the trauma of having the wrong couch delivered to his Chelsea apartment has subsided at least a little if Sullivan is knowingly associating with the city again.
Here is a story that is perfectly calibrated to rile up the staffers of right-leaning publications. It has federal overspending to the tune of six figures on seemingly trivial causes. It has concern for the environment and climate change. Most importantly, it’s got a big ol’ dollop of campus feminism, holding it all together. It’s too bad it isn’t really true.
It’s nice to have a job in an economy where not everyone does, and in a field—journalism—where the economic prospects are uncertain. Many publishers are looking with concern at a world where Facebook and Apple are using their power to steer readers to proprietary platforms, as innovations in ad blocking threaten the whole existing business model, which was already sort of provisional. Then again, Re/Code reported this morning that Axel Springer, the publisher of Bild and Die Welt, is going to buy the website Business Insider in a deal that “values Business Insider at $442 million.”
So then, it's a new academic program straight outta Duke University: "Write(H)ers," which will, according to the Duke Chronicle, "create a community of feminist-oriented writers," by, you know, teaching women how to blog. Specifically—direct quote—"The 23 members of the program will participate in personal blogging." This new program is officially sponsored by the Women's Center at Duke University, a school with a tuition of $43,623 per year.
Let's come together and welcome the legendary Beyoncé Knowles to Tumblr, where she joins her sister Solange in the land of 500 Days of Summer GIFs soft-focus black-and-white porn with a series of what look like vacation shots. Watch Beyoncé play Connect 4! See her boring home videos with Jay-Z! Marvel at Jigga's terrible fashion choices! [I AM]
David Carr's column today is partly about a plan masterminded by Ad Age columnist Simon Dumenco to create, quote, a "Council on Ethical Blogging and Aggregation," which will ostensibly serve as a sort of trade group or (nonbinding) credentialing organization for best practices in the blogosphere. Well-intended, and a bad idea.
Say what you will about Tom MacMaster, the married American grad student who pretended to be a kidnapped Syrian lesbian on the internet—at least he started his horrible fake blog to create (as he put it) "an important voice for issues that I feel strongly about." Well, that, and to cash in on a memoir written from the point of view of his alter ego, which he was shopping around in May.