Darts & Laurels

Twitter hysteria and a healthcare horror story

A DART to The Daily Mail for accusing former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown of claiming more than ¬£316,000 in salary and “personal expenses”—which, whoops, never happened—then burying its correction at the bottom of a page. The false claims mysteriously disappeared, without correction, from a second column, by The Mail’s Andrew Pierce. Another milestone in The Mail’s quest to uphold the Fourth Estate.

A LAUREL to Funny or Die for poking fun at Time’s childish Chris Christie cover—“The Elephant in the Room,” get it?—by revealing the nine other versions we’re lucky Time didn’t publish. Top of the list: “Going Whole Hog: Is Chris Christie hungry enough to devour the competition?”

A DART to Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen for his latest bout of insensitivity: implying that it is not racist, merely “conventional,” to mask a gag reflex at the thought of an interracial family like the de Blasios. Brought to you by the same man who claimed Trayvon Martin was wearing “a uniform we all recognized” as criminal—i.e. a hoodie.

A LAUREL to The Guardian’s Bronwen Clune for deflating a pompous editorial from The Australian that decried Twitter as a “path to ruin.” Yes folks, The Australian believes Twitter is “an alternative media universe, one inhabited by activist reporters, gung-ho controversialists and narcissistic tweeters,” and it’s destroying journalism. (Makes one wonder why the editorial page has a Twitter share button.)

A LAUREL to Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times for debunking an oft-repeated Obamacare horror story. California resident Deborah Cavallaro told reporters she would be paying far more under Obamacare than she had paid before, and that she might have to do without health insurance. But after a little digging, Hiltzik discovered that better plans than the one Cavallaro has are available right now, some of them for less money.

French daily Lib√©ration also deserves a LAUREL for removing all images from its November 14 issue. Timed to coincide with the opening day of Paris Photo, the paper’s bare pages were a reminder, in a market of depleted photojournalism jobs, of the importance of good photography.

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Edirin Oputu is a former assistant editor at CJR. Follow her on Twitter @EdirinOputu