Shutout At The TK Corral

A once-proud institution, brought low by "Gen Z sass."

The 2024 National Magazine Award winners were announced last night, and David Remnick solemnly folded up and ate each of his prepared speeches as he watched The Atlantic win every category The New Yorker was nominated for. In fact, Condé Nast took home zero main track awards, triumphantly fulfilling C.E.O. Roger Lynch’s 2022 promise that Condé is “no longer a magazine company.”

In response to the shutout, artistic director Anna Wintour donned an emergency second pair of sunglasses, and a visibly perspiring Lynch rushed the stage to announce that Allure, Bon Appétite, and Condé Nast Traveler will merge into one new title called Allûbon Appétast Convélèr for “alphabetical synergy,” to be led by Will Welch who is “excited about opportunities in the daily, uh, beauty travel… cooking space, I guess?” Neither Lynch nor Wintour could be reached for comment, as they are still struggling to figure out how to close what Dylan Byers reported were “several dozen emails, many tinged with… ‘Gen Z sass’,” that they received two weeks ago after an attempt to negotiate with the Condé Union by firing more staff.

The New Yorker did manage a couple of Design, Photography, and Illustration awards, including one for the digital design of Kyle Chayka’s Wong Kar Wai piece, so that’s nice for them. About the lack of awards elsewhere, sources in the Condé executive suite speaking on condition of anonymity urged Tabs readers to “trust the process,” and claimed that “the draft picks we get next season will turn everything around, you just watch.”

In January Molly White posted “need to start keeping a list of all the times some big supposed display of bleeding edge technology turns out to just be A Guy” above a screenshot of Kyle Orland’s Ars Technica article announcing that “Following lawsuit, rep admits “AI” George Carlin was human-written”

Today in Steve

Cursed by Apollo with the gift of prophecy, Molly White wrote the post above in January and A.I. has not stopped being A Guy ever since. I joked last year about Ethan Mollick’s idea that we should think of A.I. as “infinite copies of some guy named Steve” but it turns out A.I. is a finite number of actual guys being paid much less than a rack of Azure compute instances would cost.

There’s “Dudesy,”1 the creators of the “A.I. George Carlin special,” who already admitted it was written by two guys named Will and Chad and who just settled the lawsuit George Carlin’s daughter Kelly brought against them. Last month The Takeout reported that the new A.I. fast food drive through attendants are just a thin and annoying user interface over regular human drive through attendants who still do all the work. And yesterday Gizmodo reported that The Information reported that Amazon’s always implausible “Just Walk Out” checkout-less grocery store technology was actually “more than 1,000 people in India watching and labeling videos to ensure accurate checkouts. The cashiers were simply moved off-site, and they watched you as you shopped.” Innovation!

It makes me wonder who’s watching the video feeds and pressing the buttons at the sharp end of the allegedly A.I. systems that people like Peter Thiel and Palmer Luckey are selling to the U.S. and Israeli militaries right now, and what they’re being used for.

They’re Right And They Should Say It

The Hate Reads keep coming from Deez Links and weirdly, people seem to be actually getting mad about them? Recent contributors have hated menswear and media parties. They’re right and they should say it. 2023 was an “amazing year for rich people” but sure, let’s be pissy about someone pseudonymously saying media parties are boring. Why not. Andrea Grimes thinks “Substack Is Setting Writers Up For A Twitter-Style Implosion.” She’s not wrong and she shouldn’t keep it to herself, iykwim. And the guy at the Carnegie Endowment that every news organization calls up for a quote about Gaza hopped on the phone with Isaac Chotiner and said:

“Do I think that Joe Biden has the same depth of feeling and empathy for the Palestinians of Gaza as he does for the Israelis? No, he doesn’t, nor does he convey it. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.”

He’s right, it’s about time someone said it, but I still can’t believe he did.

On The Other Hand…

Peter C. Baker thinks we should all just drink instant coffee. Gotta disagree with you there, bud. NYPD leadership is posting like NewsMax anchors on a bad nitrous binge, and they won’t even tell Hell Gate’s Nick Pinto if there are any department social media standards, let alone what they might be. Cops should not be allowed to use social media. Or any media. And “Ye Praised Hitler and Spoke of ‘Going for the Gays,’ Lawsuit Claims.” He’s wrong, and he should not say it.

Casey Newton posted “Ohhhhh my god u caught Elon Musk in an act of hypocrisy? should we tell everyone? Should we throw a party?should we invite bella hadid”

Finally: Great news!2 A new deep sea fiber optic cable project is gearing up to link Europe and Japan… under what used to be the Arctic sea ice. 🫠

Today’s Song: FAITH/VOID, “It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” (Yes the one you think)

Thanks to Music Intern Sam who I forgot to credit yesterday but that pick was his. Also this one, which is Mattie Lubchansky’s band. Leonard Bernstein! I feel fine. I know Choire is intentionally timing Dinner Party to come out half an hour before Tabs every day so take this, pal. I’m just jealous, his Dinner Party is so good every day.

1. This is the worst timeline.

2. It is, in fact, not great news.