Why Trump really went after that crying baby

On August 1, just after Donald Trump spent his post-DNC weekend waging an unusually-misguided jihad against Khizr and Ghazala Khan, Stephen Colbert opened his Late Show by exploring one simple question: “Is there anyone Donald Trump won’t attack if they say something bad about him?” A series of brief experiments revealed that Trump would not attack “a kindly old lady” or “a kindergartner with an adorable speech impediment”, but was more than happy to take on a kitten who equated him with Hitler:

Continue reading Why Trump really went after that crying baby

Tim Egan has a funny definition of “winning”

I like Tim Egan a lot. So much so that when I had to write an essay about my favorite journalist (in order to enroll in a law school writing class), I chose him like some kind of pikachu. But something in his latest column for the New York Times left me scratching my head.

The central conceit of his column — titled “We’re winning!” — is that, well, we’re winning. “We”, in this instance, being America. “Winning,” in this instance . . . well, that’s what I wanted to talk about.

Continue reading Tim Egan has a funny definition of “winning”

The subtle sexism of closed captioning

After Hillary Clinton became the first woman nominated for President by a major political party in the United States (one helluva baseball stat), a lot of ink was spilled in the matter of her outfit. To many, the fixation on the female nominee’s sartorial decision-making was clear evidence of sexism. For the media to give the same sort of attention to what a man chose to wear, they pointed out, would come off as absurd.

Continue reading The subtle sexism of closed captioning

Stephen Colbert’s Cartoon Hillary Clinton did not disappoint

The moment I heard Bill Clinton tell the DNC that the Republican response to his wife has been “to create a cartoon alternative, and run against the cartoon,” I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt what Stephen Colbert was going to do with it. And indeed, when he went live that evening, Colbert immediately introduced his audience to Cartoon Donald Trump‘s Democratic opponent, Cartoon Hillary:

Continue reading Stephen Colbert’s Cartoon Hillary Clinton did not disappoint

Stephen Colbert is not some sort of pronunciation savant

About a year ago, back before even one episode of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert ever aired on CBS, the network wanted to introduce its shiny new host to a broader audience. And so journalists like Dave Itzkoff found themselves with behind-the-scenes access as Colbert & friends frantically readied for their big launch. What they produced, generally speaking, was not journalism. Here’s a sample I found particularly objectionable:

Continue reading Stephen Colbert is not some sort of pronunciation savant

Why isn’t this Olympic gold-worthy tweet going viral?

This morning, Olympic spectators were treated to the sort of heart-warming interaction that encapsulates why so many people enjoy watching sports, and especially international competitions. As the New York headline described it, “Tripped-Up Olympic Runners Finish Race Together in Apparent Attempt to Make Me Weep Uncontrollably at My Desk“. In case that doesn’t paint you enough of a picture, here’s what that looked like in the form of a moving one:

Continue reading Why isn’t this Olympic gold-worthy tweet going viral?

Cory Booker was so conveniently nonspecific about the children he imagined

Here’s how Cory Booker tried to put Hillary’s nomination last night into perspective this morning on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert (taping of which began at five minutes to midnight) :

Continue reading Cory Booker was so conveniently nonspecific about the children he imagined

The Big Short taught me one thing: Michael Scott pushed the wrong kind of paper

I found The Big Short difficult to watch, not because it does a poor job both man- and womansplaining complicated financial instruments, but because whenever Steve Carell is on screen I can’t help seeing Michael Scott.

And the confusion, in this case, was not purely a figment of my imagination. Indeed, my main takeaway from the Big Short is that the big banks that caused the financial collapse were more oblivious than the World’s Best Boss himself. Don’t believe me?

Compare, The Big Short, around the one hour, nine minute mark:

Continue reading The Big Short taught me one thing: Michael Scott pushed the wrong kind of paper

What did the Forward mean when it crowned Tim Kaine the “Jewiest” Vice President Pick?

On Friday, after Hillary announced via txt that Tim Kaine would join her on the Democratic ticket, the Forward published an article boldly titled “5 Reasons Tim Kaine Will Be the Jewiest Vice President Pick for Hillary Clinton“. Those five reasons (spoiler alert): He supports the two-state solution “even when others don’t”, is a religious Catholic, helped Sabra attract a factory to Virginia, has hosted several Passover seders, and once set up a Rabbi’s daughter.

Without getting into whether even one of these five things suffices to make someone — politician or otherwise — “Jewy” to any degree (or, as in the case of #2, seemingly rules that possibility out entirely), let’s consider something the article sorely lacks: context. After all, the ‘iest’ in “Jewiest” implies Kaine is “Jewy” compared to at least one someone else. So we shall proceed by process of elimination.

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Third Eye Blind really was just trying to help

Third Eye Blind made headlines last week after it refused to play the hit song “Semi-Charmed Life” at its RNC charity concert. The omission was widely interpreted as trollsome. But I firmly believe the members of Third Eye Blind did not design their set purely to antagonize the audience.* They came to help.

As Exhibit A, I present the band’s decision to play as an encore another (better) hit song — Jumper — which as you probably know leads off like so:

I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend

The selection was undoubtedly inspired by Stephen Colbert, who promised last Monday night (a day before the Tuesday concert):

Continue reading Third Eye Blind really was just trying to help

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