Did a Dog Write This

Dr. Pets, that's my name, that name again is Dr. Pets.

Pamela Paul is At It again, with a characteristically dishonest reëvaluation of Jeanine Cummins novel “American Dirt” and what she misleadingly calls “a blistering online campaign against the author and others involved in the book over who gets to write what.” That’s not what the controversy was about, as the primary critique of the book and its publicity campaign made clear from the beginning, but I’m not here to re-litigate any of that. Instead I’d like to thank Pamela Paul for, in her own dimwitted way, giving us a good excuse to remember the three funniest things about the ”American Dirt” book launch:

  1. The 2019 Flatiron Books Book Expo party’s floral barbed-wire table centerpieces:

  2. Jeanine Cummins matching floral barbed-wire manicure:

  3. Salma Hayek promoting the book as “giving a voice to the voiceless” on Instagram and then the next day admitting she hadn’t read it.

First-ballot Tabs Hall of Fame work on everyone’s part here, just top notch stuff.

Known Unknowns: Nobody knows what time it is on the moon. Nobody knows why Amtrak is horny on Twitter. Nobody knows what Katharina Korbjuhn is talking about when she says “We are the machine. The machine is us. The tree is me.” Nobody knows why Moms need pepper spray side mirrors and explosive underbody shielding. Until we find out, please avoid buying any squiggles.

Today in Media: Following a grim wave of media layoffs at Vox, NBC, and more, The Washington Post laid off twenty newsroom employees on Tuesday and then immediately hired seven opinion columnists, raiding The National Review and the American Enterprise Institute for I guess let’s call it “talent.” This would be grim on its own but the added Jeff Bezos / Dan Snyder narrative arc gives it that little extra, as the French say, “putain de merde.” Post publisher Fred Ryan assured Clare Malone that what may look like panicked flailing is actually “all part of a bold strategy:”

[Ryan] pointed to the Post’s new Well+Being section as proof that the paper is trying to give the people what they want. (One recent headline read, “ask a doctor: are my bowel movements normal?”)

Let's see if it pays off for 'em. Meanwhile BuzzFeed, a former news website that now primarily trains influencers how to post on Facebook, got a little boost out of penny-stock territory yesterday by announcing it will start letting ChatGPT write its quizzes. If you thought you hated the word “content,” get ready for the new hotness:

BuzzFeed remains focused on human-generated journalism in its newsroom, a spokeswoman said Thursday.  

FT Alphaville is getting out of the Mastodon server business for all the predictable reasons why it’s not a great idea for a news outlet to also run a public social media network. And Facebook will join Twitter in reinstating Donald Trump, proving that the Oversight Board is exactly as legitimate as an Elon Musk Twitter poll.

Today in Crabs:Crab, Fish and Shark BTC Accumulation Stabilizes – What This Means For the Bitcoin Price.” I tricked you, this is actually about Bitcoin. It’s aggressively committed to its baffling sea-life metaphor, but the gist is that rich people have finished buying up the cheap Bitcoin supply and are ready to start pumping it again to get new suckers to refill liquidity into the bottom of the pyramid, so keep an eye out for an upcoming revival of “great time to buy Bitcoin!” stories.

Today’s Song: Cracker, “Eurotrash Girl”

Oof. 💀 At least it’s Gentleman’s Friday. And it’s January 26th, which is the Gentleman’s Friday of January if you think about it. We can get through this month, my friends, I promise.1 Subscribers: Today in Polly tomorrow! Non-subscribers: have a peaceful weekend! ✌️

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