The Royal Tabs

HRH Queen Elizabeth II and Burger King Rex request the honor of your presence at today's meltdown.

Last night Oprah Winfrey (the only queen having a good day) interviewed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle who revealed that the British royal family, the institution that invented colonialism, is pretty racist. In response the House of Windsor is pretending everything is normal. But while Americans were horrified at the abuse Markle suffered from her new family, Ayesha Siddiqi collected a thread of Brits who were equally horrified at their glimpse of American medical advertising.

[Camera turn] We all need help sometimes, but you can’t cast the mote out of your brother’s eye until you remove the beam from your own. BEAMPREXIA™ can help. Side effects are rare and include blindness, uncontrollable weeping, flatulence, seizure and death. Ask your doctor about BEAMPREXIA™, and get ye back to judging again.

Perhaps in a misguided effort to take the heat off his royal cousins, Burger King kicked off International Women's Day by tweeting this:

It was followed by a thread about increasing representation of women in the restaurant industry but, weirdly, fascists aren’t retweeting those at nearly the same rate. It’s just a misguided social media campaign though, right? They can just dele—

Oh. Oh no. The company also took out a full page ad in the New York Times. I’m sorry Tabs is late today, I had to spend 90 minutes screaming “no.” The responses to this abominably ill-advised campaign so far cover a wide spectrum from negative to very negative. At press time, sources inside Burger Palace report that the Burger King is furiously typing something into his Notes app.

David Brooks went on “PBS Newshour” Friday and attempted to dismiss his Aspen Institute second-job scandal by saying all the donors paying his second salary were disclosed (they weren’t, until after he claimed this), that his editors at the Times knew all about it (they didn’t, nor did PBS), and that no disclosures were necessary on his columns (the Times has since added disclosures to his columns). In Axios, Sara Fischer ties the Brooks situation to the Times’s other recent high profile personnel problems under the general heading of “culture clash,” but listing them all together mostly serves to highlight how truly egregious Brooks’s ethical failure is. Brooks got 50% of the way through his “to-resign” list by quitting the Aspen Institute job, leaving him in the objectively hilarious role of unpaid volunteer for one of the world’s best-funded think tanks. Rumor from inside the Times is that they think this will blow over, and who knows, for someone who survived making up all the evidence for at least one of his most famous stories, perhaps it will.1 

Ben Smith’s Lower East Side COVID party column finally arrived last night, but it turned out to be more about Dimes Square scene zine Drunken Canal2, a new media project by a pair of 23 year olds that is staking out exciting new ground by remaining stubbornly print-based and offline, except for its website, and its Instagram, and its Twitter, and its Patreon. Emma Baker provided an authentic take on all this in Soft Punk last month, which will really resonate if you were ever a 21 year old obsessed with media. Content is not just a job for some of us, but more like a waste product our bodies expel, so a cratering media industry tends to spawn “why the hell not” projects like this because all that content has to go somewhere. Good luck to Drunken Canal creators Claire Banse and Gutes Guterman, who will both be working for Condé any minute.

Aaron Timms explains “the Peter Principles” for becoming a respected Silicon Valley intellectual, in The Baffler. The Globe and Mail is not, in fact, channeling Anne Frank’s spirit. Artificial intelligence becomes ever more human, which in this case means both racist and very easy to trick. Cosmetics by Elf Beauty x Chipotle. Wu-Tang returns to the 36 chambers. Caroline Giuliani (yes, Rudy’s daughter) wrote about her new hobby for Vanity Fair. Quinn Norton, who lost a Times editorial job because she “can’t reject a friendship,” even if the friend is a Nazi, clarifies that if you broke quarantine, your ass is dead to her now. The moon is a salty bitch. Yet another heartbreaking personal essay about the horrific company culture at Gimlet, from former Uncivil producer CC Paschal.

And finally, the Evening Standard’s Henry Saker-Clark gets a once in a lifetime story:


Today’s Song: Sleeper, “Hunch.” (A song about the male gaze, imo)

~ He's all bald / Crusty and oozing / Got six tabs, lips like a frog ~

What a weekend. The Friday Open Thread went nearly 350 comments deep, and we learned that Tabs subscribers have a wide range of unusual jobs and talents. Welcome, Sam Sifton readers, I promise this makes more sense as you go, like a Pynchon novel. Follow me @fka_tabs if you like, or stay off Twitter and let me be your platform sin eater. Tomorrow: Tuesday Animal News!

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