Forget hacking voting machines; our media brethren are, at this moment, most concerned with gaming Digg to get out the vote for their stories about Barack Obama's apparent victory in the electoral college. (Our sister site Gawker was late to the game; its headline submission for "Obama Wins!" was seventh in line, judging by the URL.) Taking the lead: "Digg This If You Voted for Obama!" with more than 20,000 votes. It points to a CNN.com story. New media serves merely to confirm the victory of old media.
So much for being the first to know, as Barack Obama's campaign promised Internet users who handed over their email addresses and cell-phone numbers in exchange for early notice of Obama's VP pick. "Multiple Democratic sources confirm to CNN that Sen. Barack Obama has selected Sen. Joseph Biden as his vice presidential nominee," CNN.com reports. A text message with the announcement will be sent to Obama's supporters sometime Saturday morning." BarackObama.com is still soliciting users' emails and phone numbers. Oh, and Twitter?Earlier today, users of the microblogging service were convinced Obama had picked Bloomberg. The Twitter users who got word of the real pick heard it through, yes, a Twitter account reposting CNN's story. Why didn't the campaign just direct people to sign up for CNN's breaking-news alerts? Those seem faster.
CNN.com introduced a new feature today that allows you to buy t-shirts featuring some of their more outrageous headlines. Of course, even their most outrageous headlines are no match for the ones various bloggers and commenters are creating using their easily-hacked t-shirt store URLs. So let's have a contest! Knock up one that's funny—not purely offensive, please—and whichever one tickles our fancy the most wins a prize. If we're able too! Examples to get you started here and in the comments here. Enter in the comments below with a link and, if you can manage, an image of the shirt. Quick, before they fix it! The prize? We'll buy you the t-shirt you created! (If we can.) Standard contest rules apply.
Oh god we've been playing into their hands all this time. We rib CNN for their terrible tabloid-style headlines, but we had no idea how profoundly unembarrassed they are about their naked attempts at cheap traffic grabbing. Now, you see, you can click on a little icon next to selected CNN.com headlines and buy those headlines on a t-shirt. Seriously. The internet has caved in on itself! Only certain headlines merit the shirt treatment—so, like, the "weird fish" one, but not the "20 bodies found floating near Bahamas" one. It's still in Beta though! So you can quite easily mock up CNN headline t-shirts that say anything you like. Like the ones we've attached after the jump. Make your own!
Slate's Jack Shafer notices a disturbing trend that has more or less saved the ass of every single Gawker editor ever on slow news days: wacky headlines at CNN.com. The tabloidization of CNN.com has Shafer, well, mildly concerned. All the stories are about babies being mauled by tigers and sex offenders setting kindergarteners on fire! "Nuns-and-nude ad upsets Catholics!" Ladies in peril! "CNN.com's, MSNBC.com's, and Foxnews.com's celebration of and reliance on stories like today's "Human Tongue Accidentally Served Up in Hospital," which are explicitly designed to momentarily rouse and titillate the Web audience, says worlds about how the site thinks of us. Life is a freak show, the Web sites instruct, and we viewers just another bunch of freaks." So true, Jack. Life is a freakshow, and CNN just wants to hand you a free ticket. To illustrate: after the jump, Gawker's vast and rich archive of embarrassing CNN.com screengrabs, available in one place for the very first time. Watch it now!Click to view