Angry Birds is a new feature in which ChartGirl's Hilary Sargent takes a look at the ruffled feathers in the latest Twitter flaps. Today's: labor journalist Mike Elk vs. Buzzfeed political reporter Rosie Gray, engaged in a feud over Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal, his son Max, and Max's new book about Israel.
Poynter's Andrew Beaujon reports that BuzzFeed has hired a books editor, Isaac Fitzgerald. The BuzzFeed books section is a project of real cultural importance. What Fitzgerald does will help establish and define the relationship between the thriving and successful BuzzFeed, with its mastery of distributing brisk and engaging viral content, and the more stolid traditions of literary publishing.
It's been a rough few days for Kentucky senator and newly revealed plagiarist Rand Paul: Last week, MSNBC and Politico reported that some of Paul's speeches lifted lines and paragraphs verbatim from Associated Press reports and the Wikipedia pages for Gattaca and Stand and Deliver. And on Saturday, BuzzFeed's Andrew Kaczynski reported that Paul plagiarized significant sections of his book, Government Bullies, directly from a 2003 study by conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation.
When Beltway bright-boy David Petraeus left public service in disgrace last year, Buzzfeed reporter Michael Hastings threw down a gauntlet, detailing how his industry had gone soft on the ex-general for too long. This morning, Hastings' boss at Buzzfeed picked up that gauntlet and took a long, sugary piss in it.
BuzzFeed, your go-to source for lists of animals, snuff videos, and racial superiority propaganda, has posted a fascinating new political story about the persistent personal rumors dogging Sen. Marco Rubio. Well, "about" might not be the right word. The story, by McKay Coppins, is premised on the existence of the rumors, and clearly relies on reporting and interviews during which the rumors were discussed. The only thing missing is the rumors themselves, because, Hey, BuzzFeed doesn't traffic in rumors!
"Piggy poop balls," the internet's most famous and moving photograph of a pig whose own poop is sitting on its shelf-like balls, has appeared in such storied publications as Gawker, Deadspin, and Gawker since it first appeared online in 2011. And now, it finally has a backstory, thanks to Buzzfeed's Katie Notopoulos, who tracked down Jeff Reardon, the man who photographed the pig with poop on its balls:
The "rule number one of the web," according to Mashable, is "don't mess with the Oatmeal." Last week, Buzzfeed messed with the Oatmeal. Jack Stuef wrote a long post about the webcomic site, its creator Matt Inman, his background in shady SEO marketing, and his use of those same tactics in his comic business. In response, Inman posted an long, mostly handwritten response to his website, identifying one serious factual error and disputing several other contentions in the Buzzfeed piece. The internet was thrilled.
What were the most powerful images of the year? Which images inspired you, which images moved you to tears, and which images broke your heart? Sure, you could look at Buzzfeed's list of 45 "incredibly inspiring pictures" ("warning: Some of these may break your heart") — but who has time to scroll through 45 pictures? We've got our own list of the 19 Most Powerful Images of 2012 here. Warning: some of these may break your heart.