Media theater

Worth Reading: The bad media, phone culture, and childhood memories

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Media theater

Say anything

Media theater

Worth Reading: The bad media, phone culture, and childhood memories

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

The New York Times seems to be scrambling to flatter Trump lately. Amid its dozens of articles on the Syrian airstrike is this bullshit and this bullshit. And remember the other day when reporters there let the president accuse a private citizen of a crime with no evidence, and didn’t even think to caveat the claim in the headline (oh they changed it later, cool)? Here's a great tweet to match the new NYT feel.

Meanwhile, CNN’s Chris Cillizza can be counted amongst the media’s population of dramatists who are thirsty for Trump to be seen as a Great American President. Margaret Sullivan points out that there’s plenty more adulation where this came from. Why is the industry’s short-term memory so fucking awful?

On the related topic of how bad Trump is, here’s a wonderful Twitter thread about just how much voter racism factored into his ascent to the highest office in the land. Hint, a shitload.


Casey Neistat is very talented, but this “review” seems a little off to me. Is this just an ad for the Galaxy S8? (He’s doing actual TV ads for Samsung and helped launch the phone.) 3m views and rising. How does that square with his deal with CNN since he’s part of the team?

Phone related, but trend-wise, I liked this essay (and mostly agree) on how we might apply Marshall McLuhan’s new-medium tetrad to our current obsessions. Are we now looking around to figure out what will make the smartphone obsolete? Have we passed peak phone?

Speaking of crass consumerism, I truly enjoyed this story Alex Nichols wrote for us on unboxing culture. Having actually unboxed gadgets professionally, this touched me on a deep, deep level.

If you’re into cosmic horror (and I think you are), Chris Morgan’s thoughtful essay on the flawed ideology of H. P. Lovecraft is worth a moment or two. It doesn’t completely dismiss the writer’s work based on his faulty ways of seeing the world (particularly the fact that he was an awful racist), but it puts perspective on how that view affected the work itself. As Morgan says:

“Lovecraft at every level is an author more confronted than read.”

We wrote this week that the web looks like shit. It's also built like shit atop a mountain of lies. But don't take my word for it, take Chase’s word, which saw the same results from ads on 5,000 sites as it did from placing ads on 400,000. This wheel has to be broken.


As a father of a three-year-old, this piece at Aeon on children’s capacity to remember was particularly affecting to me. Memories come and go much faster than I would have expected with Zelda, but watching that rapid replacement form the foundations of her personality is both endlessly fascinating and deeply perplexing.

Okay, that's my Sunday. How about yours?

Amnesia sets in

The relentless consumerism of “unboxing videos”

The web looks like shit