Category Archives: Corporate America

What was Nick Offerman drinking on The Late Show?

According to YouTube, “hilarious couple” Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally appeared on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert December 15 to “battle for the Smooshed title in this Christmas-themed edition of Late Show’s signature cooking competition.” The competition is as follows: each contestant has about a minute to, well, smoosh together available ingredients — Colbert is the judge.

In keeping with his public persona, St. Nick surveyed said available ingredients and decided to “use that bourbon to fuel my creativity” by taking a couple of long swigs before he started any smooshing:

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A simple proposal to normalize fact-checking

Here’s a simple rule reputable media publications should follow, with absolutely no exceptions: If you’re going to reproduce a third party’s factual assertion, you must provide immediate clarification whenever said factual assertion is false.  The alternative – that is, current practice – makes it far too easy for the subject of a news story to hijack the vehicle you provide for his or her own ends.

Because I don’t want to turn the hunt for truth into a partisan issue, I’ll give an innocuous example of how this ought to be done. On Saturday morning, the Seattle Times published an editorial by columnist Larry Stone that touched on what a potential Sounders victory in the MLS Cup could do for the franchise in its home city:

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Making sense of Lewis Black’s pre-election prophecy

One month before the election, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart holdover correspondent Lewis Black turned up on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah to record a fresh segment of Back in Black. He highlighted how few Americans choose to vote and urged eligible voters to overcome personal distaste for both candidates:

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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

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

Who should the GOP draft to take down Trump? This brave five year-old girl

There’s been a lot of finger-pointing about just who is most responsible for the rise of Trump, but there is at least one point of broad consensus: for too long, the GOP was afraid of attacking him, and his adversaries spent far too long tearing down one another instead.

On some level, their strategy was understandable: Trump was a punchline until he wasn’t, and so his rivals devoted most of their energy to jockeying for second place. Moreover, it’s unclear that any of their attacks would even stick. When Marco Rubio tried his hand at insult comedy, the results fell far short of spectacular.

But those considerations did not deter all his adversaries. Back in 2010, one five year-old girl issued a challenge to Donald Trump, nearly six years before any Republican candidate managed to accomplish the same feat:

Continue reading Who should the GOP draft to take down Trump? This brave five year-old girl

Correcting the record: Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is not actually in the middle of nowhere

It appears that the nearly month-long standoff at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge may soon reach its inevitable denouement, which means that if I want to say anything about the situation, I’d better do so quickly. This introductory paragraph obviously isn’t helping.

There’s a common misconception out there that Burns — the town closest to the NWR — is in the middle of nowhere. See, e.g.:

Continue reading Correcting the record: Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is not actually in the middle of nowhere

Why does Russell Wilson no longer shill for American Family Insurance?

Divorces are never easy. And that difficulty can be magnified when the split occurs in the spotlight, as it did for quarterback Russell Wilson and ex-corporate sponsor American Family Insurance.

The couple seemed to be going strong as recently as Superbowl XLVIII. Do you remember the commercial Wilson filmed for American Family Insurance back in early 2014?

Continue reading Why does Russell Wilson no longer shill for American Family Insurance?

Seattle is just so far off the late night map

In August, Jon Stewart inexplicably forgot about Washington (and the legality of its weed). More recently, erstwhile replacement John Oliver committed similar oversight during his segment on the controversial “Race Together” campaign from Starbucks:

Continue reading Seattle is just so far off the late night map