Not a blog to be tossed aside lightly — it should be thrown with great force
Why Is CNN Covering Klan Rallies Anyway?
CNN's Jim Acosta greeted in Tampa by local members of the Charles Darwin Hall of Fame
Yep, it's depressing people. Especially if you do journalism for a living. And while I agree wholeheartedly with Jim Acosta's assessment of the cretins who heckled and threatened him in Tampa and warnings about how dangerous they probably are, I think the best way to handle them (if you insist on continuing to cover them, though at this point the benefit of that escapes me) is the same way you deal with any screaming maniac: turn up the lights and mic, point the camera directly at them and let them show themselves for the nutty, potbellied circus freaks they are. Hire more bodyguards (I will happily be your wingman, Jim—just let me check with my minister and grab my Kevlar vest first) and give 'em the platform they so crave. You wouldn't try to compete for attention with a dumpster fire or plane crash, would you? Just take a picture while it goes up in flames. I don't think most Americans watching this lunatic fringe think like them, show their asses like them, or want anything to do with people like them. These are the same fine citizens who burn down the city after their team wins the Super Bowl. The rest of us just stare in disbelief and scratch our heads. You're never going to be able to talk rationally or deal rationally with those whose singular motivation and contribution to the public discourse is violent, unhinged rage. In case you hadn't noticed, this country has no shortage of woefully undereducated and uninformed (and raging) people. Go ahead, let their fires light up the sky. They always end up burning themselves out.
It's official: that gleaming monument to hubris known as Hudson Yards—the mega-development on the West Side that made Tenth Avenue unnavigable for years and ruined the Manhattan skyline with a bunch of ugly, dystopian towers, not to mention that rusting atrocity The Vessel—is a big fat $25 billion flop, as the Times reports. I'm sure similar, schadenfreude-stoked stories were written in the 1930s when the Empire State Building opened just in time for the Great Depression and sat half empty for years, but Hudson Yards is uniquely ill-timed, maybe even irredeemably cursed, as the pandemic has shuttered its marquee tenants (most notably Dallas import Neiman Marcus—as if the city didn't already have a surplus of homegrown retailers selling a bunch of overpriced stuff nobody can afford), while even that suicide-inviting, stairway-to-nowhere monstrosity that is its centerpiece has been mothballed. And the residents of the city are stuck with a hideous heap of hulking, deserted
If you are a working journalist, as I am, you could be forgiven for wanting to off yourself daily for being reminded by other reporters of what a complete failure you are. Let me say upfront that I have enjoyed the spoils of my career, of which there have been many. I've been honored to rub elbows with famous journalists and other bold-faced names. I've attended the Oscars, talked at the Cannes ad festival, and partied at the Tribeca Film Festival. I've gone on TV to talk about this or that on occasion. I've had celebrity writers pick fights with me, some of them public — among them Salman Rushdie and the late Jimmy Breslin. Those were a lot of fun. But I never saw myself as the story. How naive of me. Professors, albeit brilliant ones, who like to write about current events are now being classified not just as journalists but as superstar journalists. Consider Ben Smith's puff piece on Heather Cox Richardson in the Times this week. Richardson teaches American hi
Some of the world's most loved brands — Adidas, IKEA, PEZ, Arby's — happen to be abbreviations. And certain companies are so iconic that they've embraced going by their initials — KFC being a famous example. It's when people unnecessarily complicate things with "abreeves" (only you fans of the dearly departed TV series "Happy Endings" will get that reference) that it gets ridiculous. I recently tuned into a webinar put together by a well-known ad agency in which the host repeatedly referred to the place by its initials. Not only had I never, in all my years covering this stuff, heard the agency referred to that way before, but as one of the letters was a "W," it actually took the presenter longer to say the abbreviation than it would have to say the actual name of the company. Generally, having "W" in a brand's identity is a horrible idea (unless you happen to be George W. Bush, aka "Dubya," which, love him or hate h