DailyCandy and Television Without Pity, two high-profile Internet content properties owned by NBCUniversal, are being shuttered, a move that management told staff this morning would be occurring next week.
Local recommendations site DailyCandy had been purchased by the Comcast media unit in 2008 for $125 million from the New York-based Pilot Group. The sassy TWoP TV review and recap site — its motto is “Spare the snark, spoil the networks” — was purchased by NBCU’s Bravo cable unit in 2007. Both were founded in the Web 1.0 era.
Attempts to sell the properties were made, but apparently were unsuccessful.
You all know it because of the Galactica recaps, because while I might try to talk about that show Jacob ripped it open and found God inside it.
Whatever face the messenger wears, and I don't honestly think it matters, the message can't come clear, through all this dirt and fear and pain. Until you burn off what doesn't work, between stars and between your lovers and your lies, until you lay down the burdens of hate that keep you tied to the pain of your childhood, unable to see your way clear, you can't hear the message properly. Until the rain washes you clean again. You'll never hear it right, until you watch it unfolding and realize it couldn't have been any other way. I don't know if the Cylons can see time this way, but I know the Hybrid can, which is why nothing surprises her, or Leoben. But it's also the way Kara can write her own destiny, and have it written for her: this is just a story she's been telling herself, all along. It's the only way we can live. If we knew what was going to happen -- if we knew the pain and fear and ugliness that's part of our fate, if we forgot that it keeps the world turning -- who knows what we'd do differently? That's why the Oracle only has one eye, because this is not part of the physics: God and time work together to tell you this story, as many times as it takes, until you start paying attention. If it doesn't hurt, if it doesn't feel like death, you're just pretending to change. Burn sage and sweetgrass and get a haircut and move to another city, go on a diet and swear off men for six months, a year, the rest of your life: that's cosmetic. Nothing really changes until you close your eyes and jump. That's half the confusion right there. Take a drop of water, or mercury, and divide it: whatever face the messenger wears, the message stays the same. Socrata, the Lords of Kobol, the Oracle, Leoben, the Hybrid. The message stays the same, it's just that we keep hearing it wrong. Over and over again, until we get it right.
I have a little plastic box with file cards in it and I write down things that stick with me, put them on index cards and put them in the box. There's an entire SECTION of things that I re-read when I need to, things like bits of books and quotes from movies, and in there there's a whole handful of Galactica reminders:
"This is how change works, all change: it feels like dying because it is."
"The question is, 'When Will the Work Be Done?' And the only answer is: Never. You don't get to lay down your burdens, the rough spots are all you ever had."
There's a Facebook group for people archiving the recaps Jacob wrote for this and other shows. I'm copying some of them myself; go and help out if you can.
On to Game of Thrones! Has your life been everything you thought it would since the first day you were cast as Hodor?
Kristian: I never dreamed things would have turned out how they have. Things seem to keep happening that I constantly have to check myself and think “Really? Is this real?” I knew Hodor would be a popular character… D&D [David Benioff and Dan Weiss] told me he would, but I didn’t think to the level he has so far! I love the guy, I can see why people like him. It’s a testament to GRRM and the Show that they can make every character so wonderful.
I have some friends in the gay community, “bears” as they’re wont to call themselves, who hold you on a pretty high pedestal. One good friend of mine (I’ve known since we were in the 5th grade together) says your bear following is “extensive.” Is this something you’re aware of?
Kristian: Well, in all honesty, when you talk about “the gay community,” you are talking about MY community, haha. I AM aware of it yeah, and I think it’s really lovely. There’s not a day that I don’t get a few messages, but 99% or more are super sweet and nothing smutty at all! Again, it’s a privilege, and I really mean that. I’ve never hidden my sexuality from anyone, my whole life in fact, and I’ve been waiting for someone to ask about it in an interview, cos it’s not something you just blurt out. I’ve tried to lead the questions a few times, to no avail!
My father recently brought to my attention an article about a "second DNA code" discovered hiding within DNA:
DNA contains about 3 billion bases, more than 99 percent of which are the same in all human beings. “The order, or sequence, of these bases determines the information available for building and maintaining an organism, similar to the way in which letters of the alphabet appear in a certain order to form words and sentences,” according to the National Institutes of Health.
For instance, the genetic code uses a 64-letter alphabet called codons. The team found that some codons, which they refer to as duons, can have two meanings. One of the meanings relates to protein sequence, while the other relates to gene control.
Forbes and Geek.com both have good "easy there big fella" articles if you're interested in why this isn't necessarily news, but this is a great opportunity to talk about what we do know about DNA and what you as a probably-not-genetics-researcher should know. I'm going to assume you've at least heard of DNA, but not much more.
Every cell in your body typically has 23 chromosomes. Each of these chromosomes is made of a lot of DNA (each strand is between 2 and 3 meters long), coiled up in some pretty crazy ways, but at the most basic level, you're looking at that classic "double helix" coil. Each strand of DNA has a bunch of genes on it with a bunch of stuff in between - think of it like a really long book with some chapters in English and some in Finnish. You page through it looking for English words; when you see some, you start reading, and you get some ideas out of it.
The English chapters are the protein-coding genes, which use the 64-codon alphabet the quote above is talking about. Some of the Finnish chapters, on the other hand, are actually functioning to determine how frequently you read a particular English chapter. These are transcription factors.
Here, of course, is where my analogy breaks down; a protein binds to the transcription factor site and says HEY RNA POLYMERASE COME READ THIS ONE, and the RNA polymerase comes over and makes a protein out of the gene the protein was yelling about. If the protein made is another one that can bind to another transcription factor site, you can get positive feedback loops, and you get more and more of a certain kind of protein (until there's "enough", and you start getting other proteins that bind and say NOPE NO GENE HERE I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT, and then that protein's levels go down for a while).
So: chromosomes are made of DNA, DNA has genes and other stuff, that other stuff can be used, among other things, to tell the cell which genes to read and how often. DNA isn't just a recipe book, it's a meal plan and timer.
The research I'm doing, which is related, has to do with the fact that sometimes the same gene can make a bunch of different proteins, because sometimes the cell decides it doesn't really like a particular part of a gene today, so it throws part of it away. That means you're missing some codons (that 64-letter alphabet again), and so the resulting protein is actually measurably different. Which is AWESOME.
I don't know why we bother with this Chuck Norris clown when Christopher Lee exists:
I will never get over how he corrected Peter Jackson on the proper sound a man makes when he’s been stabbed in the back because he actually worked in the British clandestine services.
Or how he volunteered to fight in one of the most brutal fronts of WWII (the Finnish-Russian Winter War).
Basically, Christopher Lee is the real Most Interesting Man in the world and I honestly don’t know why we tell Chuck Norris jokes when this badass is walking around.
And then I see him rambling on about how Saruman and Gandalf are actually Istari, which are one of the Maia in the LotR commentaries and I realize he literally cannot become more awesome.
All right, we're getting hit with a particularly nasty set of spambots, so I've turned on the thing where you enter a verification code and your e-mail to comment. Lots of you already enter your e-mail, so hopefully this won't be too onerous. If things calm down in the Cylon war we've got going on here, I'll turn it back off, but I'm in and out of the Internet the next few days and I don't want you all getting buried beneath Chinese porn or whatever the hell the latest is.
Tommy's taking a well-deserved mental health day. Tommy, you're a treasure, and this thread is for you and all the wonderful horrible Freepi freakjobbery you wade through on our behalf each week:
I just got an email from the AMC movie chain. They're proud that their smart phone/tablet app has added a practical but somewhat gnarly feature:
Plan potty breaks with RunPee. Click the ‘RunPee’ button on any movie page and find the best times to go, so you don’t miss any crucial plot twists or action sequences. We’ll let you know what you missed, and if there’s anything after the credits.
Given the size of the big ass uber diuretic sodas they sell this is practical, but calling it RunPee? Sheesh. It should, however, make New Orleanians feel like it's Mardi Gras. Having a place to pee on the pee-rade route is a high priority in these parts...
"Never gonna happen in the US. Proper gun safety is a necessity though. RT @FulsomPrison: @kateesackhoff @CNN @cnni Here's a radical idea folks. How about NO gun?"
That was pretty much the closest the actress, known for her role on "Battlestar Galactica" as well as for playing Vic Moretti on the A&E Western/cop series, "Longmire," came to a specific stance on the matter. Despite this, a whole bunch of Twitter users didn't seem to want to hear it.
"On a lighter note since I've lost half my followers due to talking about gun safety...the sun is shining & Happy Monday! Love your neighbor today!"
Sackhoff signed out of the debate altogether with a final push for safety, no matter what your viewpoint.
"Well I guess I just learned talking about #GunSafety inspires a massive debate. Pro-Gun or Anti-Gun SAFETY should be unanimous! #OneLove"
What I love about celebrities on Twitter is mostly the reaction of people for whom the old model of celebrity, ie I project all my assumptions and personality traits onto a mysterious person I never have to know, utterly breaks down. For all the occasional stupidity that arises, it's FASCINATING watching people resist the "shut up and sing" pressure and participate in the conversation that they do indeed have access to as members of society. If Julia Roberts pays her taxes, she's just as entitled to share her views on anything going on.
I'll always be in favor of greater and greater connection, exchange of more and more information between everybody, even if it does lead to the occsional crushing disappointment (damn it, Jeremy Irons) or moment of dismay. The more we allow others to be complex and real to us, the more we get comfortable with the idea of being so ourselves.
No matter what the Rat Cook does, he's always hungry.
Spoilers within. And let's keep book spoilers out of the comments as much as possible, so that those who don't know what's going to happen beyond tonight can have the experience I did, of yelling "WHAT THE SHIT GEORGE RR MARTIN WHAT THE GAH HELP NO GAH NO SERIOUSLY GOD" and chucking the book across the room.
No new ep this week, as it's a holiday, but have some of Ser Barristan the Hot:
The best part of that whole scene? Joffrey's afraid. Protected by five kingsguard and his dog, not to mention the entire small council, Joffrey's still smart enough to realize that the biggest badass in the Seven Kingdoms is the man he just stripped of his cloak.
Once, long ago, a prince had named him Barristan the Bold. A part of that boy was in him still.
- A Dance with Dragons
These two. It's like somebody sat down and said let's invent something that will make your heart explode. If the actors sucked maybe my chest wouldn't ache.
So you're Sansa Stark, and you've just been promised to marry a lion.
A reminder that if you want to get your authentic Irish on, you can always purchase this book. Since you know the authors and all.
Mike will be signing up at the Village Vintner in Algonquin from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. I'll be there too, mostly to just drink. Come say hi if you're in the neighborhood!
It's institutional malakatude week here at First Draft. This has nothing to do with Google's desire to conquer the cyber world, that's what big ass tech corporations do. I have a more specific lament: they're 86-ing Google Reader effective July 1. I've used it for years and really like it so I'm pissed.
Do any of you lot have any suggestions as to what a poor boy can do to replace this service?
I'll let Split Enz have the finally word. Why? Why the hell not?
In person, Fairley speaks with the same deep, smoky tones with which Catelyn so often counsels war-leading son Robb, but she’s a lot more fun: wide-eyed and enthused, at one point she apologises for slapping our leg in a fit of laughter – “Oops, I shouldn’t have done that, you might charge me with sexual harassment!” It’s only when we cheekily ask her about details of season three that we get a flash of that trademark Winterfell sternness. “Life wouldn’t be worth living [if I told],” she says, eyeing the publicists in the room. “And I like living.”
What's coming this year is just so ... I mean, yikes. I am MADLY in love with Ciaran Hinds, so there's that, and Riverrun, and Stannis and Davos, and Beric Dondarrion, and I forgot how fast the Jon & Ygritte storyline develops, and just how much is packed into this installment. We're going to be scrambling to keep up.
WITH ALL THE AWESOME.
*pokes head in door*
Tommy called me on the super-seekrit First Draft sat-phone and told me somebody tried to smuggle a komodo dragon into the crack van "to feng shui it," and last he checked on Claire she was drinking Jude's bong water while Doc fed Riot all the Doritos and peanut butter I was saving for my lunch. He also said Adrastos let some hippie camp in the yard. I assume that's where the goat came from.
I HOPE THAT'S WHERE THE GOAT CAME FROM.
In all sincerity, thanks for your patience while I made a valiant but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to drink South Florida dry. I could pack all my shit and move to Key West tomorrow. It was like Madison with a beach. I saw a half-naked dude riding a rickshaw around and the back of it said, "where the weird go pro." You are my kind of place, KW.
I see that while I was gone BOTH SIDES DID IT, and John Kerry continued to be awesome, and the president said something dorky, and we'll have lots of words on the first thing because JESUS TITS AND GOD AMERICA, I was listening to MSNBC on the radio and the coverage made me want to get on a raft and paddle to Cuba. I made a list on the plane home, of things to write about, and things I am not allowed to throw to feel better about writing about them.
This vacation in no small part was to celebrate being done with the second job that took me away from you all, as well, so hopefully when I am around here from now on I will be less likely to snap at you when you ask me reasonable questions like, "Is there a way to get Nutella off the ceiling and if not, can you pretend I never said anything?"
"Even though most people agree that I'm being reasonable; that most people agree I'm presenting a fair deal; the fact they don't take it means I should somehow do a Jedi mind meld with these folks and convince them to do what's right."
Uh, Mr. President there's a Vulcan mind meld and there are Jedi mind tricks. One is Star Trek, the other is Star Wars but the trekkies got there first. The Tweeter Tube is, quite predictably, going bonkers right now since they've finally gotten over Seth MacFarlane, and have moved on to the latest hive mind snark fest like rabid Borg bjorn again...
The Prez needs to call JJ Abrams immediately to serve as his bridge between these diverse nerdly kingdoms. I'm more of a Trekker myself but I can imagine all the mixed sci-fi imagery we'll be subjected to when the BSG, Babylon 5 and even Lost In Space fans start chiming in.
Make it so, Dr. Smith, and so say we all that resistance is futile.
I could go on all day like this but y'all have done nothing to deserve that. Plus, I don't want to end up in Deep Shit 9 since our editrix is on her way home to Ferret central...
Bill sits alone, in a Raptor, in the black. He reads Searider Falcon; his fingers on its pages, its scent in his nose. It keeps her close. On the wall behind his head there's the flash of a jump, and the proximity alarms go off. Louder than they've ever gone before.
Bill heads to the cockpit, refusing to blink, younger than ever -- is it the flightsuit? -- and scans the sky for more. It's just that one. Just her. He refuses to take his eyes off her, as he straps in for the approach.
The hatch opens, on a Baseship deck as alien as anything, and as close as home. He makes his way toward her without pomp, with a fair amount of grace, like a boy. She tries to speak, twice. This is his show.
"Missed you." He is the bravest boy in the universe.
He was so terribly young then. He's older than that now.
The Galactica: Blood & Chrome thread will go up sometime tonight, after I actually have a chance to watch it.
And there will be a crack van for the State of the Union tomorrow night, so be here or miss out on the kitten noises.
It's one of my favorite books, but I decided I was over musicals a while back, and then the previews came out, and then Anne Hathaway who is my motherfucking homegirl, and I haven't seen it on stage since high school, so hey, why not?
So at some point between unloading our last, shitty domain company and taking on the new, hopefully less shitty domain company, the chinchillas who run our servers saw a sliver of daylight under the door and made a run for Tijuana. When Jude caught up to them they were blind on the cheap shit and one of them was nuzzling Karl Rove's leather slave.
Jude sobered them up, I posted their bail, and the best road trip ever would have ensued but for the border patrol, who objected to what they deemed "a mobile petting zoo that smells like four days of tequila-piss and ball sweat" rolling into the great US of A. We agreed we should go on ahead and we'll send for the chinches later, assuming they haven't been rolled into the Minutemen by now.
All of which is to say for now, we have a bunny running the server wheels and he seems to be doing just fine. Apologies for the inconvenience, and if anybody sees a chinchilla by the side of the road with his thumb out, bring him straight to my place.
Supporting your favorite blogs is so mainstream nowadays.
(Yes, those are actually glasses on her, though we 'shopped out the weird-ass decor going on at Casa Athenae these days in favor of this fine photo studio background. People make little glasses for dolls. I am glad we live in a world where this is the case.)
WE DID IT! Doc will be posting a picture of his lizard shortly since you maniacs can't be stopped!
Thanks to everybody who contributed to First Draft, who hit up the tip jar, posted about the drive, retweeted and commented in support! I've tried to get everybody a personal thank you e-mail and I apologize to anybody I missed sending one to. It means a lot to know you care about what happens here and want to keep it going. Our 10th year is going to be a great one.
All right, we're nearing the midway point of the drive, which is usually when I have to remind everybody of what you can get when you generously donate to First Draft:
That's right. You get a ferret in an outfit. If we reach our goal by Friday, we'll give you a Claire, or a Bucky, or maybe even a Chicken-Riot, in a hat. Or a hoodie. Or a fetching pair of earmuffs. Because that's how we roll around here. Other websites may give you more trenchant observations on the human condition, or funnier cock jokes, but we pimp our pets for your enjoyment. My mother is incredibly proud.
(Adrastos has not volunteered to have Della or Oscar dress up in anything. Yet. The day is young.)
In all seriousness, thank you to everyone who's contributed so far. And if you haven't hit up the tip jar, please do so today!
No, I'm not going to shut the site down and send the whole Internet home without its supper if we don't get our way. That isn't how this works. I can't scare you with tales of server expenses and, I dunno, a new gas grill because mine got knocked over in the rain or something.
What I can tell you is that your contributions are a vote of confidence in what we're building here. An independent place for commentary, discussion, fun, and good. A place for people who don't just want to bitch about stuff. A place for people who want to make things better. A place to tell each other to get back up, and to figure out how.
Your contributions tell me that that's something you think is worth doing every day, worth getting up and writing for, worth maintaining right down to the Freeper sewers and the filters full of Chinese porno spam. Your tips mean we can do what we want to do here, but they also mean you want us to keep doing it.
Hit the tip jar. We're about a third of the way to our fundraising goal. I'd like to see us get there. I'd like to hear you think it's worth it.
If you haven't hit the tip jar, please consider doing so. In an election year, I know there are lots of other places asking for your donations and attention, and it means a great deal to know that you value the commentary and the coverage we provide here. Your contributions make this place what it is, and I'm immensely proud of what it's become over the years.
Keep the crack van running!
Hey all, it's that time again. Once a year, we ask that if you value what you get from the site, to please hit up the tip jar for us. Your contributions keep the site running, support the coverage we provide and the commentary you take part in, and we value your investment here. Next year's our 10th anniversary, and we've got some big things planned. Be a part of it. Contribute to First Draft today.
10. Someone doesn’t want you around? Go away. Here are some subtle hints: When you come by they don’t make eye contact with you. When they are in a group the group contracts or turns away from you. If you interject in the conversation people avoid following up on what you’ve said. One of the friends of the person you are interested in interposes themselves between you and that person. And so on. When stuff like that happens, guess what? You’re not wanted. When that happens, here’s what you do: Go away. Grumble to yourself (and only to yourself) all you like about their discourteousness or whatever. Do it away from them. Remember that you don’t get to define other people’s comfort level with you. Remember that they’re not obliged to inform you about why they don’t want you around. Although, for God’s sake, if they do tell you they don’t want you around, listen to them.
In working events for a number of years now, both as an author and a volunteer at various conferences, I've come to know this kind of guy much better than I want to know him. At a recent event, there was a dude who kept hanging around the entrance where I was working check-in and talking to me about things unrelated to work. Standing too close. Leaning over. Staring expectantly at me like a cat at a mouse hole.
This was problematic for a couple of reasons. One, I wasn't there to have chitter-chat. Two, his standing around was causing a backup and a crowd at the door, and if there's one thing that drives me bananas at events, it's badly-designed ingress and egress routes that cause crowds, because right from the get-go people are inconvenienced and pissed. The point of event check-in is to get people inside as fast as possible so they can enjoy themselves.
I asked the fellow to please move off to the side, and told him I was sorry but I didn't really have time to talk. He wandered off for a while. Later, when the crowd had thinned out a bit, he came back, again standing just a little too close, staring just a little too intently, and I had no built-in excuse to make him leave. I was stuck at the entrance, and he was taking advantage of that. Once again, I smiled and mentioned that I had work to do. "Oh, don't mind me," he replied, smirking. "I'm just here to bother you."
I'm claustrophobic. Not in elevators or cars, but in crowds. If you trap me, I get the overwhelming urge to make like a badger and claw and chew my way out of whatever enclosure I'm in. If that enclosure happens to be your ass or face, best MOVE.
Now, I don't for a second believe this guy was hitting on me and being sweetly clumsy about it. First, he was the steady boyfriend of someone else at the event. Second, the whole time this was going on Mr. A was sitting right beside me (also working, and we're not that couple that gets each other into fights), so if he was trying to ask me out it would have been spectacularly inept, even by the standards of Weirdos I Have Known. Third, I don't assume everybody who's an asshole is that way because they secretly want me, because please.
This guy wanted to bully. He wanted the petty power that comes from making somebody else twitchy and he wanted to be the good guy who was just trying to be nice when the bitch told him to go away. He wanted that BAD.
That's the thing about this. People who accuse women (especially women at cons, because geekdom does have its own boundaries and issues therewith) of taking this all too seriously ignore the fact that you always KNOW. I mean, unless you have some kind of condition that causes you to miss social cues and you haven't dealt with that, generally, though, people know when someone is approaching them trying to be charming.
There's a warmth there. A genuine interest. A willingness to give space, to have some kind of open response and approach. Most of all, a lack of presumption: I want to be near you, but I don't think for a second I have the RIGHT to be near you contrary to your wishes. I've had many, many, many friendly encounters with strangers, even flirty ones, and rarely felt threatened, but the couple of times I have, it's been night and day. And in those cases, I was incidental. They would have been creeping at anybody who was behind the table, because bullying is never about its object.
What eventually happened at my event was I was rude enough to this dude to get him to think I was just one of those bitches who don't appreciate Nice Guys, and off he went, hopefully to his actual girlfriend. I felt bad, momentarily, and wondered if he'd cause some kind of trouble about it. Because I'd be the one to get into trouble, you see, for not being nice enough.
That's the point of bullying someone like this. It's not because you just LOVE THEM SO MUCH. It's that you want to be able to make them uncomfortable with no repercussions for yourself, by putting them in a position where objecting to your behavior makes them the bad guy.
TWO PHONES, ONE HEAD, MOTHERFUCKER.
Things I especially liked (and know to be true based on my own experience): How a newsroom springs to life when a big breaking story hits. (The example they used is the Giffords shooting in Arizona.) How it's nearly always true that some good reporter gets fixated on some "way out" story (The example for this is the "Big Foot" story that won't die.) The sleepless nights of anchormen (and women), who, if they are any good, have more of them than most people—sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for trivial ones.
Because that's it, you know? The passion's right. The rest of it, forgivable, fixable, whatever. But this gets the dynamic right.
Fast-forward to 4:30 to see what people look like when they're doing what they were made to do.
MAGGIE. And other women I love:
Alison Pill’s meek Maggie, who is pushed around by her newsbeau on the show, and once hid under a dorm-room bed while the guy who stashed her there had sex with an old girlfriend — is a more annoying version of Donna from Sorkin’s West Wing, someone we’ll get to watch grow, and who will probably grow on us.
Or must all the women on the show be strong as well as brave? To those who complain about how often the male characters tell their female counterparts what to think and do, I’d just say that’s been known to happen in real newsrooms, too.
Not every female character must carry the banner of the sisterhood in just the same way, be a heroine or a villainness, but always strong. I remember the same complaints about Donna and CJ (who is my motherfucking homegirl) and especially Dana Whittaker because of what a train wreck her personal life was, but they were all exponentially more interesting than anybody on the Walking Dead.
First of all, I have to talk about this, because I spent the first part of last week being actually really upset and ill about it:
“Listen here, Internet girl,” he says, getting up. “It wouldn’t kill you to watch a film or pick up a newspaper once in a while.” I’m not sure how he’s forgotten that I am writing for a newspaper; looking over the publicist’s shoulder, I see that every reporter is from a print publication (do not see: Drew Magary). I remind him. I say also, factually, “I have a New York Timessubscription and an HBO subscription. Any other advice?”
He looks surprised, then high-fives me. Being not a person who high-fives or generally makes physical contact with interview subjects, I look more surprised.
“I’m sick of girls who don’t know how to high-five,” he says. He makes me try to do it “properly,” six times. He also makes me laugh; I’m nervous, and it’s so absurd. He loves it. He says, “Let me manhandle you.” Then he ambles off, hoping I’ll write something nice, as though he has never known how the news works, how many stories can be true.
I mean it, it's different this time. It's really special. You wouldn't understand.
I'm going to take a page from Aaron Sorkin's book and tell you why smarter people than I am are absolutely wrong. Pierce:
Cronkite did his famous "We are mired in a stalemate" in 1968, which was about six years at least after said stalemate was obvious to people like Neil Sheehan. A year after Cronkite's broadcast, a solid plurality of Americans polled were still in favor of "total military victory," whatever the hell that meant, and the war groaned on for four more years, more than 20,000 more dead Americans, and god alone knows how many more dead Asian peasants. Murrow certainly contributed to Joseph McCarthy's downfall, but not as much as Joseph Welch did, and Murrow did it while still hosting a show where he had to ask Liberace when he was planning to get married. Sorkin is so attached to his own personal Great Man theory that he applies it retroactively to events most of his audience is old enough to have lived through, and, at those moments, he seems to be relying on the general American historical amnesia so many of his characters spend so much time decrying.
There’s been a lot of talk in the navel-gazing media about the fact that the New York Times is partnering with Buzzfeed to cover the conventions later this summer. Here’s what I don’t get with all the condescension towards Buzzfeed and Gawker: in what world is having your work featured beside Honey Badger mash-ups and side-boob shots more damaging to your journalistic reputation than kissing up to Joe Scarborough and Hugh Hewitt and Laura Ingraham? All these serious journalist motherfuckers (Tapper, Fineman, Halperin, Allen, etc.) are chuckling along with all manner of radio and morning tv scumbags in order to promote their “work”. A little LOL cat page-view whoring between stories seems pretty harmless in comparison, no?
For the unfamiliar, BuzzFeed is the brain child of technology and marketing whiz Jonah Peretti, who delights in churning out stories with pretty pictures for the “bored at work” crowd. The site’s bread and butter is stuff like “37 Items the Kardashians have slapped their name on” and “Flock of Angry Kittens gets a Bath” that are intended to generate a maximum amount of Twitter and Facebook hoopla. BuzzFeed recently launched a politics vertical that offers items like “Eight Images from Mitt Romney’s business career” and “A Very Sad Picture of Newt Gingrich.”
No seriously, it's a whole movie about a typeface, and it is AWESOME:
First of all, take a look at this. The first is a young Michelle Fairley, our Catelyn, found here. The second is Maisie Williams as Arya.
Second, there be spoilers inside for the finale.