At Age 98, Henry Kissinger Still Alive

Does anyone even WANT Ben Smith's BuzzFeed stock?

Colin Powell passed away this morning at the age of 84. Powell, the great-uncle of Pete Wentz, who was married to singer Ashlee Simpson from 2008 to 2011 and who fronted the seminal early-oughts emo band Fall Out Boy, whose second studio album “From Under the Cork Tree” went double platinum in the United States, served in the U.S. government. Wentz has had some trouble with underage fans, and spoken openly about his struggles with mental illness—he even wrote a song about a suicide attempt he made in 2005—but he never lied to the American people and the international community in order to start a war in Iraq under what he knew were false pretenses, like his great-uncle Colin Powell. As Secretary of State under George W. Bush, Powell reached the highest government position of any Black American up to that time, and his success opened doors for the rise of ISIS in the ruins of an incompetently occupied Iraq. He is survived by his great-nephew Pete Wentz, and Henry Kissinger somehow.

The New York Times’s ethically compromised media columnist Ben Smith is finished looking upon the works of Carlos Watson, and this week turns his sneer of cold command on the potentially much more colossal Wreck of Axel Springer, Unternehmensmutter of (as Philip Bump pointed out) BuzzFeed competitor Insider, among other print and digital media properties. In Slate, Justin Peters tried in the gentlest, most circumlocutory possible way to avoid quite saying that after more than a year and a half at the Times, it’s starting to look like Smith’s promise to divest his BuzzFeed options as soon as possible is more of a hope to divest them if it’s ever profitable. If Smith’s work consists of writing stories that media companies would rather not have told, a prohibition on writing about his former employer has to seem more like a nice protection deal to BuzzFeed than just good ethics, per se. This morning Axel Springer announced that it has dismissed BILD editor-in-chief Julian Reichelt, whose history of inappropriate workplace relationships Smith focussed on in his column. If anything similarly untoward is going on at BuzzFeed, you certainly won’t read about it in the Times.


This Friday, Today in Polly returns with advice legend Heather Havrilesky joining me again to contrast her good advice with my (let’s call it) differently good advice. But we need your Qs before we can show our As. Email me with “advice” in the subject line and let’s solve some problems.


Dirt throws NFTs at The Fence to see what sticks. Speaking of which: How British Is Succession? Alex Sujong Laughlin: How to Re-appear Completely. Madeline Leung Coleman perceived Jay Caspian Kang so hard that he may never recover. You knew they would put guns on the robot dogs, but did you know you can probably defeat them with “a water balloon full of pickle juice?” Input found the Spinal Tap Stonehenge of 12 foot skeletons (“Listen pal,” said the bartender, “do you think I wanted a 12-inch pianist?”). Netflix fired a trans employee amid surgically precise leaks to Bloomberg implying that Dave Chapelle’s transphobic “comedy” special lost them a lot of money, especially compared to Squid Game.

Max Read Substack’ed, IATSE has a contract (can’t predict how it might fare), Sinclair TV ransomware. Shrimp guy, Chris Steele: thinks the pee tape’s “probably” real. Pope said Marx was right. Don’t read Karl Ove at night. Stanley Tucci timpano. Gates was always on the go. What is Jon trying to say? That’s all that I’ve got today.

And Today in Sports: Peru’s Francesco de la Cruz triumphed in the first ever Keep the Balloon Up world final, in Tarragona, Spain.

Today’s Song: “Sugar We’re Going Down” by Fall Out Boy

~ cause tabs just who I am this week ~

I’m just the @fka_tabs in your bedpost.