Gawker Dot Bustle Dot Com
Pinchy spider, the French Open is cursed, and jairs.
🤓 Did You Know?
It’s Thursday. Look around you.
Here are some good stories for you to read:
What are the prospects for the new Gawker Dot Bustle Dot Com?
Charlotte Klein talked to a bunch of former-Gawkers who are experts at giving a good quote without committing themselves to anything in particular, and also Foster Kamer, about the upcoming Bryan Goldberg powered Gawker 3.0 re-re-boot and wrote it all down for Vanity Fair.
What role could Gawker still serve in 2021? In an email, Choire Sicha, one of its former editors in chief now spearheading newsletters at The Times, told me he’s still trying to figure that out. “Gawker’s job (that it usually failed at) was to tell the stories that people didn’t want told. But now we have lots of people doing that. Don’t we? Or are we kidding ourselves?”
I can’t believe she got a statement that coherent from a Choire email. Also, did you realize Josh Topolsky was still at Bustle Digital? Yes? Ok, just me then, I guess.
What the hell is up with Glenn Greenwald?
Lloyd Grove and Justin Baragona cover Greenwald’s post-Trump meltdown and hard-right heel turn for The Daily Beast. There isn’t a ton of new info here, but it pulls together a lot of threads in one story, particularly Greenwald’s vicious hostility to Micah Lee, the security engineer who’s almost singlehandedly responsible for delivering both of Greenwald’s big career scoops.
“Glenn and I have always disagreed on some things, but at least he used to have consistent principles and respect for basic facts,” Lee told The Daily Beast. “It’s disappointing and tragic that he’s gone so far off the deep end, from what seemed to be an honest and fearless journalist into a conspiracy-peddling pundit that spends all his time misleading people.”
Greenwald has surrounded himself with sycophants and right-wing grievance hustlers, so it’s unlikely he’ll ever break another worthwhile story, but he can still have a long and lucrative career getting more overtly racist and fascist, like Andrew Sullivan.
Right-wing newspaper publisher and donor Walter Hussman lobbied against tenure for Nikole Hannah-Jones
In NC Policy Watch, Joe Killian relentlessly pins down and exposes Hussman’s dishonest claim to “journalistic ethics” (when they’re convenient for him) while he was privately lobbying against tenure for Hannah-Jones.
“If you think you can say whatever you want to whoever you want as long as people don’t find out about it, you shouldn’t be lecturing people about ethics and integrity,” one trustee told Policy Watch. “I can’t say the things I’d like to publicly about this, because I’m told it would jeopardize a personnel process, maybe even lead to a lawsuit. But a rich donor can find out this information, make arguments to people at the highest level about the fitness of people we employ, call other donors and talk about it…and as long as he doesn’t do it publicly, he thinks that’s okay.”
More fallout from this disaster arrived today, with proteomics researcher Lisa Jones (no relation) withdrawing her candidacy from the UNC chemistry department. Killian previously reported Hannah-Jones’s letter giving UNC until tomorrow, June 4th, to reconsider its tenure decision or be prepared to defend it in court.
A review of “Cruella” that is probably more thoughtful than the movie deserves
Megan Garber’s Atlantic take on “Cruella” captures the contradictions of a film that’s fun to watch but also fundamentally bad.
Cruella adopts The Queen’s Gambit idea of success; its plot assumes that everyone in Cruella’s world will happily drop what they’re doing to help her exact her revenge (or is it justice?). The film insists that her success is success for anyone who has been marginalized. She is an outsider, after all. Her clothes suggest the avant-gardism of Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen. And yet: “I want to be like you,” she tells the Baroness. “You’re a very powerful woman.” So Disney has given us an allegedly punk antihero whose defining goal is to be respected within the establishment.
“I’m not here to talk about the past.”
Sebastian Stockman on Mark McGwire, Brett Kavanaugh, and “The Talented Mr. Ripley.”
Not only do some of us never have to answer for our actions, if we’re well-placed enough to be up for a job at the very top of a merciless justice system, we get to be indignant at the people interviewing us for the job at their failure to offer us mercy.
How racist is “too racist to honor The Troops?”
The Akron Beacon-Journal’s Phil Keren chased down the story of a puzzling audio failure in the middle of a Hudson, Ohio American Legion Memorial Day speech which turned out to have been an intentional mic-cut by Legion organizers intent on suppressing the story of newly-freed African Americans gratefully exhuming Union prisoners of war in South Carolina and reburying them with honor.
“I find it interesting that [the American Legion] … would take it upon themselves to censor my speech and deny me my First Amendment right to [freedom of] speech,” Kemter said. “… This is not the same country I fought for.”
Here’s the story that was too dangerous for American Legion Lee-Bishop Post 464 Adjutant Jim Garrison to allow. Fun fact: Hudson, Ohio is named for abolitionist David Hudson, and was one of John Brown’s childhood homes. Seems like the place has changed.
Intern Linda Yu brings us the coffee traditions of Southern India today. If you’re enjoying the intern’s work, please help me pay her! Your donations and subscriptions this month all go toward the Intern’s pay. So far you’ve contributed $220 of her $1500 monthly stipend, which isn’t too bad. Have a cup of coffee and then think about chipping in?
I just realised that it has been over a year since Dalgona coffee trended, and then promptly un-trended when people actually tried it and realised it tastes bad. Now as we emerge “from an opening under the edge of one of the sidewalks” I'd like to offer a different, rule-of-six-friendly coffee practice for your consideration: “One-by-two” (DOI:10.1080/00856401.2017.1295566).
“One-by-Two” or “by-two,” as described in this short sociological essay by Lakshmi Srinivas, is the South Indian practice of ordering a single filter coffee and requesting to split it between two people. The custom is mostly centred around the state of Karnataka—especially its capital Bangalore—since its true cultural borders actually align with those of the old Mysore State.
You can even have your coffee in ever more minute fractions and configurations ”such as 3/8 coffee,” and if you peep the full article Srinivas offers some theories on its origins. Unfortunately, as D.P. Satish wrote with saudade in 2007, the practice is falling out of favour along with the old Bangalore “hotels” due to a rapidly changing city and the popularity of cappuccino. I imagine it's a feeling akin to the decline of bodegas in New York or the tearing down of old Shanghai. When I was last home in San Francisco I had the curious experience of walking through the Mission District and seeing bright coffee shops packed to the gills with tech workers on laptops while the traditional taquerias and bakeries stood silently in-between.
If this has filled you with desire to try the coffee for yourself, here’s a video where a soothing, mustachioed uncle explains the process of making it.
I asked the friend who introduced me to this concept whether sharing a hot take with someone was having it by-two and she just said, “I am blocking you.”
Intern Linda also asked me to add, “P.S.: new Loss just dropped.” Thanks, I hate it!
Cursed 2021 French Open loses its top women’s seed to a hip injury. The New York Times says half your friends don’t like you, but there is significant dispute about that. Personally I suspect it’s much more than half. Alex Marraccini spent the panoramic going completely off the rails as a Sims Hans Ulrich Obrist. Sexy new paid “Twitter Blue” service launches. I hope the invoices are vague! Incredibly, stimulus payments demonstrate that you can help poor people by giving them money. A generation of economists are flabbergasted. Billionaire’s girlfriend has “a proposition for the Communists.” Casey Newton: “Trump deplatforms himself.” Jeffbrain of Clouthub. “Nice” t-shirt costs $68, Imogene and Willie each blame the other for titanic pricing screwup. “There once were two missions to Venus…” Copy-paste programming juggernaut Stack Overflow acquired for $1.8 billion. Reports that “Pinchy Spider” was responsible for hacking the meat pipe have been greatly exaggerated. I think that flagrantly pyschotic sentence is a good place to end it for this week.
Today’s Song: Based on the rest of the Songs of the Day playlist, Spotify says the next song is Neutral Milk Hotel’s “Holland, 1945” which is harsh but fair.
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Today in Tabs is brought to you by the implausibility of Bustle being the thing that survived the 2013 era of media. The intern is Linda Yu. The open thread is tomorrow. The future is now. The door is open. All you have to is: walk through it.