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Tabs Classic™: Quis Explicatiet Ipsos Explicatores, Redux

4-7-2014 / Vox dot com launch day! Remember explainers?

Don’t skip this intro or you’ll be confused! I promise I’m not asking you for money here. I’m telling you that I’m still sick, though a rapid test assures me it’s not Covid (sorry Nancy). So instead of watching me struggle, let’s revisit this day in Tabs eight years ago, April 7th 2014, when it just so happened that…

Ezra Klein's new baby, Vox, launched last night, just one day after Vox Media designer and Today in Tabs's official beard consultant Warren Schultheis's new baby also launched. Congratulations to both of them! Vox's launch was a master class in under-promising after they finally stopped letting Klein talk to the media, sometime in February. Mat Honan covered the launch party... hold up, I think that might be the wrong Vox? NYMag posted an explainer of the explainer-based site, and no, I am not unaware the irony of Tabs today being essentially an explainer of the explainer explainers. The New York Times produced something that reads like a parody of a fawning Vox profile written by a twitter bot: "In this high-tech universe, Vox Media’s content management system — which even has its own name, Chorus, and is used to publish all the company’s websites — has earned recognition... Vox’s formats attract attention directly, so the site does not have to turn to gimmicky features like quizzes, teasing headlines or lists to generate traffic through Facebook or Twitter." ¯\_(ツ)_/¯??

Launch day featured a pitch-perfect "aw shucks" welcome post, a decent #longread by Klein questioning the political effectiveness of facts (and kind of questioning the whole premise of the site?), and an excellent investigative piece about Border Patrol violence by Dara Lind. Predictably, Vox's Head Clownshoes Correspondent Matt Yglesias provided the only sour note, with his Andy Rooney-esque whinesplainer of big-city Amtrak boarding procedures. Despite the ill-advised inclusion of Yglesias, I like Vox and wish them well, but Laurie Penny has some home truths for you if you think Klein is in any way a media "outsider".

Brendan Eich, ex-Mozilla CEO and strong proponent of homosexual freedom from marriage, was not forced out by Mozilla employees or board members, the organization took pains to make clear. Who was responsible for what some have elevated to a literal Greek tragedy (but not Greek in that way, right Brendan)? The media, of course! What media specifically, you ask? Which actual news report was it that literally pushed Eich out of his office and onto the street? How about shut up, that's which one.

It was probably Sam Biddle, the Americano-sipping, stairwell-lounging, attention-seeking scourge of Silicon Valley. "'I want to keep doing this forever,' he declares." And somewhere, in a very dark place, a bell rings...1

Also In Tech: The Reclamation of Pax. I'm surprised it's been four days and no one has written about this crazy Secret post.2 Amazon and Google are at war in the cloud. This kid who lives with his Mum in Ol' Knifey is definitely a hoax. Shocking study reveals that those who use Twitter are far more likely to suffer Twitter-related relationship problems than those who don't use Twitter. Charles Arthur has an unusually blunt gadget review in the Guardian. New York's best feature for tech companies is that the city isn't tech-dominated, so I don't know why it keeps doing stuff like this. And finally, Veronica De Souza reviews Mike Judge's new tech-satire Silicon Valley.

The current issue of NY Mag has a long Jonathan Chait feature about race in Obama's America, in which Chait comes extremely close to admitting that the Republican party of 2014 is entirely a racist enterprise but backs away apparently in horror before he quite gets there. Also, WARNING: A COLUMN on BUTT PLAY. So I guess they have all the bases covered. So to speak.

Music critics like pop, and the Times is on it. Pareene made just about the only sane proposal to end the increasing wealth gap in the US which will be completely ignored of course. James Fallows explored the awful cynicism of John Roberts. Old Man Unhappy About Change. I will never stop being interested in pubic hairstyle trends for some reason. Oh don't look at me like that, you're just as bad!

Today's Song: I just can't get over this Future Islands performance on Letterman. [Via]

~Tab, or tab not. There is no try.~

Today in Tabs is liked, but not — well-liked. We are were on Newsweek and email, and I tweet @fka_tabs and @TodayinTabs. We finally made it to 3,000 subscribers, or TAB3K as I call it.3 Wooo! Almost time to launch our sinister Phase Two!

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