It can’t be denied that news reporting, in many ways, is stepping further away from hard facts and closer to tabloid gossip. In a day and age where Twitter is the new paperboy, it can’t be denied that the facts are coming faster. And while this could be an opportunity for better news, more quickly, more often than not we’re trading chances for quick links to real stories with 140 character quips on MC-Hammer-like “did you see her butt”s (#chauvanistsforCyrus).
The real disappointment comes, though, when we look to major media outlets (Still trusted by some. Take off the aluminum hat, Johnny.) the next day for hard-hitting news, only to see that they’ve decided to throw their own hats in the ring. With prize-winning headlines such as CNN’s “Miley Cyrus twerks, stuns VMAs crowd,” the morning news was just as obsessed as the evening newsfeed.
As a reporter, a writer, an observer, this obsessive, sprawling focus is what scares me most. It isn’t the performance itself, full of dancers dressed as teddy bears or Cyrus’ gyrating hips on Thicke’s overly hyped crotch (See “Blurred Lines” for more details). It isn’t so much the event that took place, as it was the reactive reports that left an extra, bitter after taste to my morning coffee.
Even arts reporting, perceived to have more lenient, pop-culture laced subject matter, used to hold itself to similar standards of respectful re-tellings of facts rather than fiction. Though there had once been a clear distinction between opinion pieces and news articles, even in the realm of aesthetic focus, the lines are suddenly more blurred than ever. And where does that leave us, the “responsible” voices?
Culture is, in many ways, defined by the voices that carry out its most essential conversations. If we are of the few so lucky as to have a readership, our words carry the weight of decades of said cultural insight and historical backing. What do we have to say for ourselves when these words, our influence, sacrifice authenticity for celebrity? Integrity for popularity? What are we really accomplishing when we re-draw the line between honest reporting and scandalized, gossip mongering, and honest words inch closer to the latter? What would our (fore)mothers say?
This isn’t to say that there aren’t some voices, some news outlets out there, who aren’t doing it right. While most couldn’t look away from Cyrus’ extended tongue (search “Venom” and “Marvel Comics” for more details), The Guardian, for example, wouldn’t look past the more subtly digressive implications of the performance. Did you miss the moment where the young, stage-dominant, Caucasian Miley Cyrus groped her not so white back up dancers? (The Guardian didn’t.)
I ask again: What are we creating when we allow objectivity to bend to the will of popular demand, asking for glitter and jazz and sensationalized headlines? Nothing. We are creating a secular sinkhole of informational access. We lead our readers right back where they started.
And that says to me that there must be a change made. The truth is, we CAN stop. If we want to.
Think “selfies” were limited to teenagers at the mall food court, drunk girls at bars and an alarming amount of people in bathrooms? Broaden your scope to include law enforcement with Cop Selfies, which sadly also include plenty of toilet shots:
And even one with Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger.
Possibly more depressing than the fact that police make duckfaces, too? The Rich Kids of Instagram, what started as a blog highlighting the hashtagged lives of the young and privileged, are reportedly getting their own show.
Start jogging in place to raise those endorphins, because your mood is LIT’RALLY going to plummet when you hear this news: Pawnee’s Chris Traeger and Ann Perkins are leaving our lives as Rob Lowe and Rashida Jones will be exiting Parks and Rec mid-way through the upcoming sixth season. The hot-and-cold couple decided to make a baby in last season’s finale, so hopefully we’ll get to see Chris obsess over Ann and the baby’s health — I shudder to think about the gargantuan prenatal vitamin he’ll force down poor Ann Perkin’s throat — and the subsequent birth of the most attractive baby ever.
What angsty teen didn’t grow up with Daria, worshiping Ms. Morgendorffer’s monotonous snark, too-cool-for-school edge and perfect Doc Martins? Well, 10 years later, Daria’s back (NOT REALLY), in the flesh, for a Lawndale High reunion, in this faux movie trailer:
Ellen DeGeneres is hosting the Oscars! The funnylady, a 100 percent upgrade from last year’s host, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarland, confirmed the news on Twitter:
Everybody is happy about this because everybody obviously loves Ellen, except probably One Million Moms, who can all eat one million dicks for all I care. GO ELLEN.
The Doctor is in — Peter Capaldi will replace Matt Smith in Doctor Who, making him the 12th actor to portray The Doctor on the show, the longest-running sci-fi series. Capaldi is best known for his role on the British political satire The Thick of It (which inspired HBO’s Veep), which is available on Hulu. He steps in front of the camera as Doctor No. 12 this fall.
Time Warner Cable users have even more to complain about than usual as the provider has dropped CBS and Showtime “due to outrageous demands for programming.” This blackout does not result in a price cutback for customers and it especially sucks for people who just recently got into Ray Donovan.
Hey, Mumford & Sons have a new music video. Something look a little off to you?
Comedy Central Roasts are generally reserved for washed up celebs and veteran comics, but the network is gonna try something new with the Roast of James Franco. Hosted by BFF Seth Rogen, the roast is sure to draw in an even bigger, younger audience. Yes, we all love it when Seth and James get together (see: the last decade), but the real laughs will come when the seasoned roasters sink their teeth in ole Franco.
There are two types of people who spend too much time on the Internet. People who troll comments, who need to have their toenails removed one by one, and people who do this, who should be showered in champagne.
You know, some celebrities have experienced especially tough scrutiny in the press while pregnant -- Kim K's fashion choices, Jessica Simpson's apparent marathon gestation period. And while, obviously Kate Middleton, royalty, is held to another standard, can we please talk about how she's been pregnant forever? This kid should come out with a couple giant British teefs and, with his/her prenatal care, at least the slightest understanding of the English language. Kate is approximately 13 months pregnant and 97 pounds, so I’m guessing the kid’s first words will be, “GIMMIE A BISCUIT!”
So here’s hoping Kate releases a dainty hiccup (the only way I imagine her "giving birth") and lets that kid out fast! Because there's no amount of riches that can possibly make being nine+ months pregnant in the middle of a July heatwave even menially comfortable. We're pullin' for ya, gurl.
Geraldo Rivera says "70 is the new 50," burns all our eyes (NSFLife, but no actual privates at Large), then removes the nekkid photo from Twitter.
San Diego Comic Con was this weekend, which means every movie, TV show, comic and any other piece of media that exists served up something exciting for fans to enjoy. One of which is the trailer for the Veronica Mars movie, which was totally funded by fans via Kickstarter.
The Walking Dead Season Four trailer also premiered:
Exciting news: Derek Wallace from The Water Boy plays a new character! Confusing news: Not even a glimpse of The Governor at the end? Wha?
Everyone and their
estranged Facebook friend has an opinion on the latest Rolling Stone cover, which features Boston Marathon bombing
Tsarnaev with the headline, “The Bomber.”
The debate is more than just over whether the Rock mag should handle news fare or tragic subject matter, though — Rolling Stone has long covered current events. The image of Tsarnaev, a photo he had posted online himself, depicts him as a cool young man. Without any context, one might assume he was a musician, a rising star — definitely not a terrorist. Is it OK to depict terrorists as cool or sexy? Did Rolling Stone simply use this tactic to create buzz for the magazine? Is this what Tsarnaev wants — Rock star status? With all the controversy about the cover and the subject, are people even reading the actual story? These are probably just a few of the questions currently cluttering your newsfeed.
Local chain Tom + Chee was featured on Shark Tank back in May and, although owners Trew Quackenbush and Corey Ward ended up turning down the deal they accepted on TV, business has been booming ever since. The guys have received more than 7,000 franchise requests since their episode of Shark Tank aired two months ago, and grilled cheese-n-tomato soup fans across the country (and world?) will be able to get their hands on Tom + Chee yums with the 60 new locations expected to open in 2014.
Emmy nominations were
announced last week. Check them out here. For
the first time ever, digital-only Netflix original series were included in the awards (House of Cards, Arrested Development and
And speaking of, I finally started watching the latest Netflix series, Orange Is the New Black, and it is awesome. Early Weeds vibe, funny, dark, great characters. It's always nice to see Donna from That '70s Show continue to be super hot. And I don't know why I'm rooting for Jason Biggs, but I like that he's in something successful. Also, Laverne Cox. Watch it.
By now you’ve heard about the Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 that crash landed at San Francisco International Airport the weekend before last. Three people have died as a result of the crash and more than 180 others were hospitalized for injuries. Unfortunately, when it comes to sharing the news of such catastrophes, many television networks are primarily concerned with breaking the story first. More than, say, getting the facts straight. Take it away, KTVU!
The San Fransisco Fox affiliate has retracted the information and apologized for the error, but Asiana confirms it will sue the station. It was recently revealed that a summer intern at the National Transportation Safety Board was the culprit who wrongfully confirmed the incorrect, racist — and, OK, some may say comical — names to KTVU. In other news, apparently the National Transportation Safety Board hires 10-year-old boys into its summer internship program!
So, to all our summer interns who get tired of fact-checking and entering calendar listings all day — sorry, guys. This is why you can’t have nice things.
Taking this whole mess a step further, comedian Patton Oswalt tweeted in response to the KTVU debacle:
Salon saw the tweet, gasped, clutched its pearls and unleashed an ever-updated story proverbially wagging its finger at Oswalt for being racist, even though his joke Tweet was completely within the context of the KTVU blunder. Check it out here.
Brooklyn-based writer Joe Veix submitted a hilarious post on BuzzFeed last week, only to have it deleted and then become banned from the site within minutes. What heinous article could he have possibly tried to publish? This awesome BuzzFeed parody. According to Bullett, Veiz said the community editor banned him for being “mean spirited,” but this shit is just plain funny to me.
Beyoncé performed a sold-out concert in Nashville this Saturday. In attendance were Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kandi Burruss (who actually wrote Destiny’s Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills” and “Bug-a-Boo”),“Kid President” Robby Novack and yours truly! A Beyoncé fan since I first put The Writing’s on the Wall in my Walkman, the show was a true spectacle and — I’m not a bit ashamed to admit — a dream come true. Mrs. Carter served up around 30 songs that spanned from her Destiny’s Child days (“Survivor”) to her early solo stuff (“Crazy in Love,” “Baby Boy”) to her most recent album (“Run the World,” “Love on Top”) and her newly leaked jams. One of my favorite performances of the night was her new leaked-but-not-officially-released song that’s featured on a Pepsi commercial, “Grown Woman.” Queen Bey, her pop-and-lockin’ duo, “Les Twins,” (new dream: to have my own ambiguously named sidekicks!) and backup dancers got down and played around onstage to an Afro-beat in more fun, casual attire than the dramatic garb of the rest of the show. I love my Divayoncé, but it was a refreshing departure and a great song.
At one point, Bey hopped on a harness and flew over the crowd to a smaller stage in the back of the arena...
My very high quality, professional photo of this epic moment
...where she performed “Irreplaceable” — allowing a few lucky fans, including Kid Prez and one hoarse, hyperventilating mega-fan, to sing “To the left, to the left” — and “Survivor.” You best believe I did the choreography. Between acts, while Bey changed up her freakum dresses/weaves, they played these awesome short films — everything from Beyoncé as a broke-down princess to personal videos (everyone freaked when we saw her kiss Blue Ivy, and a shot of her with President Obama got massive cheers) to a remix of “Love on Top.” Her backup singers — "The Mamas" — and her entire band — which included drums, brass, guitar and bass — were all incredibly talented black women. They got plenty of bi screen shots and Bey shout outs throughout the show, which I thought was really cool.
In short, it was amazing — Mike, I hope you approve of my usage in
this instance! At the end of the night, Beyoncé asked for "A moment of silence, for Trayvon.” The George Zimmerman trial verdict had been reached at 10 p.m.
Saturday — it was likely most concert goers were unaware of what had happened (I had no phone service throughout the whole show, 8-11:30 p.m., which includes her opener, Luke James).
After the somber moment, Beyoncé sang “I
Will Always Love You” which led into “Halo.”
People are loving Weeds creator Jenji Kohan’s Orange is the New Black, the latest Netflix series now available in its entirety. Orange is based on the memoir of Piper Kerman, who spent 15 months in a minimum security women’s prison for money laundering and drug trafficking. Check it out!
In especially sad news, actor and singer Cory Monteith, best known as Finn from Glee, was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room Saturday. The coroner reports a mix of alcohol and heroin was the cause of death. The 31-year-old was open about his past struggles with addiction and sought treatment at a rehab facility in April. His girlfriend, 26-year-old Lea Michele, also stars in the hit show.
Why don’t you go to www.vogue.co.uk. With your arrow keys, hit up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A. Keep clicking A. Now feel less sad!
Syfy’s Sharknado touched down Thursday, proving the only thing more terrifying than a shark tornado is the revival of Tara Reid’s acting career.
The original 90210’s (I can’t believe I have to say
that) Ian Ziering also starred. The movie got such a response, particularly on
social media, SyFy is already planning a sequel for 2014, set in New York.
Anyone else notice Otis from The Walking Dead is now a vampire therapist on True Blood?
Cincinnati may be 20 years behind the times (according to that old adage), but no more than two months after New York's Dominique Ansel Bakery birthed the cronut — a magical, croissant-donut hybrid — the Queen City’s already got local bakeries with our own varieties. Holtman’s Donut Shop is serving up the pastry at its Loveland location and Savor Catering sells them at Roebling Point Books, Bow Tie Café and Left Bank Coffee (they even offer “croughnut holes!”). Better yet, the cronut is actually still trendy in its homeland, drawing long, early-morning lines and even high price scalping on Craigslist, so we’re really not that passé after all!
This happened. Via AV Club:
When Big Brother first made its U.S. debut in 2000, I recall being excited to witness some actual uncensored drama go down with an online companion to the television show (Oh innocent, early Internet era me). What would producers actually show? People peeing? Nipples? Sexy time? F-bombs? Now, of course, that’s practically standard fare for a boring Housewives hour. More than a decade later, we still have Big Brother and it’s still uncensored online, it’s just a little surprising what’s getting caught on camera. Basically, this bunch — Season 15 — is a group of bona fide racists, a bunch of regular Paula Deens. But we’re not talking about backwoods idiots who don’t know any better or politically incorrect Daniel Tosh wannabes. These are people who can’t refer to their Asian roommate without listing off the Panda Express menu while making squinty eyes.
Fans have been upset that producers weren’t showing any of this behavior on the actual telecast (these shining moments were only seen online), but some real gems were exposed on Sunday night’s episode. Watch a roundup of This Week in Big Brother Racism, ya know, if you want to just hate humanity some more. With a title so innocent, who would have thought the show could expose so much evil?!
Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer finished its first season with a bang last week. The comedian’s series, which has been picked up for a second season, was stellar — the perfect mix of stand-up, on-the-street interviews and sketches and, while it was clearly targeted to women, it was funny across the board. The episode closed with Amy’s stand-up, where she brought out her opening act, Bridget Everett (the martini-guzzler seen in the finale's “Crazy Sex Tips” sketch). While the clip isn’t available online now, Bridget performed a similar bit on an HBO special:
Skip to 3:30 for the song I’ve been shouting out the car at strangers for the past week. And yes, that’s Ad-Rock in the back. Bridget Everett, marry me!
Breaking Bad’s final episodes air starting Aug. 11, but will that be the end to all the Bad characters we’ve come to love? The rumors of a Saul Goodman spinoff are getting more and more credible as BB creator Vince Gilligan says he and producer Peter Could have a concept in development that they plant to seriously pitch once Breaking Bad comes to a close
Artist-type Steve Lovelace got a lot of attention last year for his
Corporate States of America map in which Lovelace selected a brand that best represented each of the 50 states.
(Ohio got Wendy’s. JBCs for all!) Now, he’s done it with booze.