Holy Heck! Fiddlesticks! Amid Coronavirus, Potty Talk Torments Sports
This is a column about curse words, and the deployment of curse words in sports. Don’t worry: I’m not going to use a curse word here. At least none of the really good ones. I might use a drat, a rats, a Fudgesicles, or a phooey, or, if I get really agitated—and this is just a warning to the kids at home, curled up reading a print newspaper, as kids do—a gadzooks. But I’m not going to say $*#$@!. Or %&#*!, *#$#@, or #*$!(@%. And definitely not #$*#@*^!.
Malofiej 28 visualization awards
In this edition, 162 media outlets from 34 different countries have sent in their works. Of the 1,000 entries in the competition, 400 correspond to printed graphics categories and 600 to digital infographics categories. The jury gave a total of 170 medals, 17 gold, 65 silver and 87 bronze medals in printed and digital media. From the 170 medals awarded by the jury, 58 went to the printed category (5 gold medals, 18 silver and 35 bronze) and 112 went to the online category (12 gold medals, 47 silver and 52 bronze).
In short, I enjoy and appreciate The Times. And after paying over $300 a year for nearly a decade, and having read the Times on a near-daily basis for my entire adult life, I feel I qualify as a good customer. And they repay me by deliberately annoying me several times a day, every day, when I attempt to read the product I’m paying them for. How could one not find this outrageously annoying?
Slate Star Codex and Silicon Valley’s War Against the Media
How a controversial rationalist blogger became a mascot and martyr in a struggle against the New York Times.
Fairly long, since it recounts all of SSC’s greatest hits.
The New York Times is opting out of Apple News
A San Diego federal judge Friday dismissed a $10 million defamation lawsuit filed by the owners and operators of San Diego-based One America News Network against MSNBC and political commentator Rachel Maddow. Last summer, the liberal host told her viewers that the Trump-friendly conservative network “really literally is paid Russian propaganda.”
WSJ Jigsaw Puzzle
Play our game and also read more about these famous faces, quirky news subjects and other images in the stipple style
I appreciate that it works on phones.
The Atlantic Makes a New Mark
New visual identity and product experience launch today, with redesigned print magazine and reimagined iOS App.
Mostly fluff, but the logo is now just an A because words are hard.
At the Times, a Hesitance to Hyperlink
There’s a joke in the journalism industry: It’s not news until the New York Times says it is. This is because the Times often reports stories that other outlets already have without any acknowledgment that they’re doing so.
All Penn, No Teller
Why Penn Jillette kind of makes sense as a tech magazine’s back-page columnist
But Jillette was something different. He was already famous—certainly more famous than Pournelle, an established science-fiction author, thanks to being a regular fixture on television during much of his career and starring in a legendary Run-DMC music video—and he likely did not need a nationally distributed computer magazine column to make a living. Jillette simply liked computers and knew a lot about them, which meant that he could rant about the details of an Autoexec.bat file just as easily as he can about politics. He gave the tech writing form something of an edge, while maintaining the freewheeling nature established by fellow pre-blogging voices like Pournelle.
Some good quotes and links here.
Tucker Carlson: Washington Post ‘noticed’ the story that it broke on Joe Biden
Fox News host Tucker Carlson finds himself in a pickle: On the one hand, he must do his propagandistic duty of discrediting top-tier Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden; on the other, doing so requires crediting enemy media outlets.
“The worst part is, the story wasn’t even true. It turned out to be a jumbled mashup of a bunch of different stories with all of the facts wrong. Even The Washington Post noticed. And trust me, they’ve got every incentive to lie about it, they often do,” said Carlson, articulating the most churlish, petty and envious story credit ever to air.
How the woman who broke the news about World War II was also first to the ‘Third Man’ spy
Much of the coverage following the death of Clare Hollingworth has focussed upon her reporting on the outbreak of World War II and the fact that she broke the first stories about Germany’s invasion of Poland. But a little more can perhaps be said about her role in another major 20th-century news story. Hollingworth played a significant part in the outing of Kim Philby as the so-called “Third Man” in the Cambridge Spy Ring, following his disappearance from Beirut in January 1963.
New York Times lawyer on Palin editorial: ‘It was an honest mistake’
Sarah Palin has launched countless bogus attacks against what she calls the “lamestream media.” Virtually all of them disintegrate upon articulation, but one of them is lingering: On Aug. 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit restored a 2017 defamation lawsuit Palin filed against the New York Times over an editorial that falsely depicted the impact of her political action committee on the national discourse.
This is a much longer column than I expected, covering a lot of detail about proving defamation against a public figure.
Engagement Is the Enemy of Serendipity
Whenever I’m grumpy about an update to a technology I use, I try to perform a self-audit examining why I’m unhappy about this change. It’s a helpful exercise since we are all by nature resistant to even minor alterations to the technologies we use every day (which is why website redesign is now a synonym for bare-knuckle boxing), and this feeling only increases with age. Sometimes the grumpiness is justified, since one of your tools has become duller or less useful in a way you can clearly articulate; other times, well, welcome to middle age.
The New York Times recently changed their iPad app to emphasize three main tabs, Top Stories, For You, and Sections.
Trump Consultant Is Trolling Democrats With Biden Site That Isn’t Biden’s
For much of the last three months, the most popular Joseph R. Biden Jr. website has been a slick little piece of disinformation that is designed to look like the former vice president’s official campaign page, yet is most definitely not pro-Biden.
The website’s success was not accidental. Mr. Mauldin put it up well before Mr. Biden’s official website and aggressively pushed it out on Reddit, getting clicks and links and exposure. It had a big boost in May when a handful of media outlets — The Daily Caller and CNET, among others — wrote stories about the fake page beating Mr. Biden’s and linked to it. Links from established media websites are weighted heavily by search engines.
Hey everybody, look at this thing we don’t want people to see!
The case of the Photoshopped female CEOs
This week, I dedicated approximately three hours to an investigation that seemed, at varying times, important, obscure, symbolic and deeply, deeply petty. The task at hand: determining whether two women who were photographed at a tech summit in Italy were, in fact, at this tech summit in Italy.
[Statute of] Queen Anne’s Revenge? Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Allen v. Cooper
Most media reports concerning the case, however, were less concerned with the legal principle involved, and more interested in the factual situation out of which the dispute arose: the discovery, in 1996, of the 300-year-old wreck of the Queen Anne’s Revenge, the flagship of Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard the pirate. Coincidentally, Blackbeard named his ship for the same Queen Anne who gave royal consent to the first British copyright act, the Statute of Anne, in 1710. In the same year, Bristol merchants completed a ship named Concord, which was later sold to French merchants who called it La Concorde. Blackbeard captured the ship in 1717, outfitted it with additional cannon, and renamed it Queen Anne’s Revenge, because he had served as a British privateer during the war against France and Spain that lasted for almost the whole of Queen Anne’s reign.
Allen v. Cooper raises a host of interesting issues regarding the relationship between the states and the federal government vis-à-vis copyright infringement and the ability of a state to declare a copyrighted work to be a “public record.” The U.S. Supreme Court granted certoriari only on a single threshold issue: whether the states have sovereign immunity from suits for copyright infringement under the Eleventh Amendment. Even if the Supreme Court rules in favor of sovereign immunity, as expected, the possibility of a state lawsuit for inverse condemnation remains. Thus, more than 300 years after the Queen Anne’s Revenge ran aground, her voyage through the American judicial system is far from over.
The end of political cartoons at The New York Times
In April 2019, a Netanyahu caricature from syndication reprinted in the international editions triggered widespread outrage, a Times apology and the termination of syndicated cartoons. Weeks later, my employers tell me they’re ending political cartoons altogether by July. I’m putting down my pen, with a sigh: that’s a lot of years of work undone by a single cartoon - not even mine - that should never have run in the best newspaper of the world.
I’m afraid this is not just about cartoons, but about journalism and opinion in general. We are in a world where moralistic mobs gather on social media and rise like a storm, falling upon newsrooms in an overwhelming blow. This requires immediate counter-measures by publishers, leaving no room for ponderation or meaningful discussions. Twitter is a place for furor, not debate. The most outraged voices tend to define the conversation, and the angry crowd follows in.
The Urgent Quest for Slower, Better News
Media outlets have been reduced to fighting over a shrinking share of our attention online; as Facebook, Google, and other tech platforms have come to monopolize our digital lives, news organizations have had to assume a subsidiary role, relying on those sites for traffic. That dependence exerts a powerful influence on which stories are pursued, how they’re presented, and the speed and volume at which they’re turned out.
Lately, I have begun to wonder, like Newport, whether the sheer volume of online news actually runs counter to the goal of keeping people informed.
Mistakes, we’ve drawn a few
At The Economist, we take data visualisation seriously. Every week we publish around 40 charts across print, the website and our apps. With every single one, we try our best to visualise the numbers accurately and in a way that best supports the story. But sometimes we get it wrong. We can do better in future if we learn from our mistakes — and other people may be able to learn from them, too.
A great gallery of good and bad graphs.