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Media

Colbert Baiting

TV persona Stephen Colbert famously urges his viewers to vote for him in polls of influential people, or in Hungarian bridge-naming contests. We're not sure, though, if anybody has ever urged him to urge his viewers to vote for him—until now. In an open letter to Colbert, Foreign Policy web editor Blake Hounshell essentially attempts to bait the satirical talk show host into mentioning his magazine's poll on the world's top public intellectual. In inviting Colbert to "make his case" for inclusion on the list, it's pretty clear that the letter's main purpose is to garner some publicity for the poll, the blog, and the magazine.

Media

Topless? Bottomless? Or Just Revealing?

The New York Times this week joined the ranks of porn sites throughout the world in running a headline about a topless photo that, as Gawker pointed out, was, in fact, topped. This led to what has to be one of the more interesting Times' corrections around, in which the paper of record admitted that the piece "left the incorrect impression that she was bare breasted." [In case you haven't figured it out, 'she' is Miley 'Hannah Montana' Cyrus.] The article's current, corrected, version uses the word "revealing."

Media

The Times Gets Jiggy With It

Some—the old, white and privileged, mostly—would take umbrage at the suggestion that the mainstream media is still the firm province of the old, white and privileged. But consider the way the New York Times chronicles terms both pop cultural and rap-related. Channeling everyone's hopelessly-out-of-touch grandparent, the Times sees fit to highlight each modern vernacular curiosity it comes across, typically years late to the game, in a manner equal parts patronizing and amusing. Our current favorite comes in the Times' exclusive piece on Ashley Alexandra Dupré, one of ex-Governor Spitzer's partners in (state-funded?) bliss.

Arts

Why 'Be Kind, Rewind' Sucks

Before I begin my tirade, I feel compelled to offer the caveat that I fell asleep for a solid 25 minutes between the first and second acts of Michel Gondry's new flick Be Kind, Rewind. That said…fuck that piece of shit movie, and all of its childish optimism about the ability of people to band together to do what's right.

Media

Lindsay Monroe

If you want some cheap amusement, check out the comments section of any site that's talking about how New York Magazine got Lindsay Lohan to strip down and pretend to be Marilyn Monroe. There, amongst the vitriol about how this decade's mildly talented sex symbol is way lamer than that decade's mildly talented sex symbol, you'll find lots of snarky comments about Lohan's surprisingly un-bodacious body:

Arts

Plagiarism at The New Yorker?

In one Seinfeld episode, Elaine becomes frustrated with the arcane humor behind many New Yorker cartoons, so she decides to draw her own. The cartoon—which involves a pig at a complaint department declaring "I wish I was taller"—is accepted, but Elaine is later outed as an inadvertent Ziggy plagiarizer. It appears a similar cribbing has appeared in the most recent Cartoon Issue of the magazine.

Arts

When Greatest Hits Aren't

The Greatest Hits album has long been a cash cow for the record industry. With the holiday season fast approaching, every band seems to be repackaging their singles and chart-not-quite-toppers into a once-in-a-lifetime chance to have them all on one CD! With decreasing profits from lackluster artists and—as they never cease to remind us—internet piracy, the labels are getting pretty desperate. Here are some recent examples of attempts to cash in with very little effort.

Arts

Word to Ya Mama

Donda West has died. Or, translated to current press parlance, Kanye's lost his mama. Of course, the media's obsession with adopting cutesy or crass language is nothing new, but it can be exasperating. In memory of Kanye's late mama—whom he so extolled on Late Registration's, uh, "Hey Mama"—we've compiled a brief catalog of songs inspired by or created uniquely for the hip-hop mother.

Arts

The Day the Music Industry Died

As by now even your mother knows, Radiohead just offered their latest album In Rainbows to download on their website for whatever price feels right. Last week Gelf traced the news of the release from a short message on the band's website to global awareness. Even before Nine Inch Nails, Oasis, Jamiroquai and Madonna announced that they would follow suit and go label-free, the British news media were tripping over themselves to overstate the significance of this event.

Arts

Radiohead Spreads the Word

The music industry may have just changed forever, triggered by a friendly message delivered on a band website. Radiohead announced the imminent release of their 7th studio album on October 7. In a message on the band's website, guitarist/organist/laptopist Jonny Greenwood writes, "Hello everyone. Well, the new album is finished, and it's coming out in 10 days; We've called it 'In Rainbows.' Love from us all. Jonny." The most shocking thing isn't the short run-up to one of the year's most anticipated albums, nor is it the band's decision to release it themselves. Instead, it's that the band is asking listeners to pay whatever price they want to download the album.

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