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Someone's Shouting, My Lord

You know what’s not gonna fix America? Hanging around and singing kumbaya. For God’s sake, just look at us: indebted; overextended; weary. All of this because our elected “leaders,” for the incompetent life of them, can’t stop hymning a centuries-old African-American spiritual.

Media

To Report or Not to Report?

Doyle Reports, a blog by Michael Doyle, a DC-based newspaperman, last week floated the possibility of some juicy gossip regarding John McCain's twentysomething daughter, Meghan McCain. Doyle wrote that one of his students attended high school with McCain and had some unflattering information regarding "uniforms, Starbucks, attendance, reputation and that time…" But Doyle didn't say more about this info. Instead, he hinted at it and asked whether or not he should go any further.

Media

Playing With Whose Money?

When the Broncos decided to go for two when trailing by one at the end of their game with the Chargers this past Sunday—an unusual decision, that—it left some commentators scratching their heads. A favored explanation was that after a blown call favored the Broncos, Coach Mike Shanahan figured he might as well go for two, seeing as he really wasn't supposed to win the game, anyway. In other words, Shanahan was "playing with house money."

Media

Stat-heads and Scouts of the World, Unite!

The way baseball writers like to tell it, they are the brave mediators of an ongoing war for the soul of the sport between the old-school scouts and the new-school sabermetricians. According to the scribes, their skills are necessary to parse out the nuggets of truth among the spin emanating from these two diametrically opposed interest groups. In reality, though, writers fervently fan the flames of this supposed feud simply to give themselves something to write about. Nowhere is this more apparent than when they're discussing the career of Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Adam Dunn.

Media

Taking SpinSpotter for a Spin

The SpinSpotter, a new toolbar currently available in beta for Firefox, claims to be able to detect bias and bullshit in the media by highlighting phrases indicative of spin and explaining them. A worthy concept, sure, but can it be done? Gelf put on the spinoculars and took a look around.

Media

WSJ: The Magazine's Inaugural Issue

The Wall Street Journal debuted its magazine section this weekend (or, here in Chicago, a bit earlier than that). Gelf took a gander at a copy of the glossy insert—our verdict? It's Parade for superrich investment bankers, rife with coverage of the rich and stylish and consumer goods you can't afford. If you were expecting, say, a rightward-leaning New York Times Magazine, look elsewhere.

Media

Lean Times at The New York Sun

They've always done things differently at the New York Sun. The very act of opening a print-centric newspaper in the new millennium is anachronistic, not unlike designing a new horse carriage at the dawn of the automotive age—albeit one that has a tendency to veer to the right. Now, in its most desperate hour, the paper may have to consider its non-traditional roots and try something drastic to help keep it afloat.

Media

McCain's Hail Mary Pass to the Media

We were just as surprised as everyone else when we heard that Sarah Palin—governor of Alaska, recent small-town mayor, and avid moose hunter—was chosen to be John McCain's running mate. We also happen to agree with the many commentators who have noted that the pick was, at best, a big gamble, and, at worst, highly questionable. We just kind of wish said commentators would stop using the phrase "Hail Mary" (as in the last-resort football pass).

Media

Forget That, Here's This

It has become cliché to note that in the Internet age, our collective attention span has declined to roughly 30 seconds per whatever it is that grabs our attention (what did we just say? We forget). As such, to ensure that your brain is not overloaded with conflicting and confusing messages, journalists have taken it upon themselves to let you know that it is not only OK, but recommended, to forget stuff. So long as you remember the subject of their articles.

Media

All the World's a Stage

Few newspaper headline writers are confused with Shakespeare. However, some do agree with the Bard's famous proclamation that real life mirrors high drama. Based on recent headlines, you could be forgiven for assuming that modern civilization exists primarily for your entertainment, like a good (well, sometimes bad) tragicomedy.

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