And finally, it is a different sort of “scary America” that has WebSlog issuing an “Alarming Meme Watch” this morning (prompted by a story in the Detroit Free Press on the “boom in overweight U.S. babies.”) Writes WebSlog: “I’m sad for babies being born overweight. But I’m already waaaay sad about how we as a nation will handle this emerging story,” before going on to map out “how the story will play out.” On August 10: “Fat Babies story first runs in national media. Pop-culture pundit wannabes and bloggers rejoice as the story gives them something else to write about other than the coming Apocalypse.” Five days from now: “The national media juggernaut awakens, shakes off the dust and slouches off toward the nation’s parks and day-care centers. Fat babies are filmed playing from the neck down (to protect their anonymity) and reaching for zwieback as concerned voice-overs nationwide drone on about baby obesity … the coming storm.” Also in our future, according to WebSlog? The “mandatory ‘Fattest Towns in America for Babies’ fauxsearch study. … supported by a media tour featuring noted Baby Obesity Expert,” “Fox News reporting that American babies have never been healthier,” “a photo opp of Pres. Bush running with a group of babies” and, eventually, a “No Babies’ Fat Behinds Act of 2006.”
02:37 PM - August 10, 2006
Code Red, Fear-Mongering and Fat Babies
It’s business as usual in the blogosphere, where the punching bags du jour include the media, politicians and fellow bloggers.
Fox News not outraged by retailers’ War on Thanksgiving - As giant stores commercialize the last holdout, Bill O’Reilly & Co. shrug
BuzzFeed’s all-positive books section - It doesn’t make sense to pledge positivity if your aim is to provide readers with critics’ takes on new books. It makes more sense if your aim is to cultivate a thriving community.
Disappointing Deadspin - It broke the Manti Te’o story, but then stopped reporting and resumed trashing
Healthcare in Great Britain vs. healthcare in the USA: part one - A conversation with Chris Smyth, health reporter for The Times of London
Asperger’s, pedophiles, and questionable motivations - A dart to the Daily Beast, for its ill-informed speculation on Adam Lanza’s psyche
Email blasts from CJR writers and editors
‘Too good to check’ used to be a warning to newspaper editors not to jump on bullshit stories. Now it’s a business model
The two civil rights leaders were radicals—and they were right
Political lessons from a lifelong political activist
The problem with viral videos
Timelapse of a photo-realistic painting of the actor being done on an iPad
Who Owns What
A report from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
Questions and exercises for journalism students.