Tag Archives: Washington Post

Dave Chapelle is more worried about being mistaken for gay than for ISIS

Just days before his just-post-election monologue on SNL, Dave Chapelle made a few small headlines when he downplayed the seriousness of both sexism and homophobia. And when it came time for him to actually deliver that big monologue, Chapelle put his money where his mouth was, making jokes that could be construed as mild examples of both. The astounding part: It only took him three words, one of which was “a”, and you probably missed it.

The sentence clause in question came during Chapelle’s discussion of whether the Pulse shooter could rightly be considered a soldier of ISIS. See if you can spot the three-word sequence in this excerpt taken from the Washington Post’s transcript of his routine:

Continue reading Dave Chapelle is more worried about being mistaken for gay than for ISIS

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Sorry, Cass Sunstein, it’s already been done

Early last year, renowned legal scholar Cass Sunstein published an essay titled How Star Wars Explains Constitutional Law. I came across it through The Washington Post, but the piece was originally posted to a website called The New Rambler, which seems more appropriate — given that Cass managed to hold forth on the topic for over 4,500 words. This post will not carry on for nearly as long.

Continue reading Sorry, Cass Sunstein, it’s already been done

Methinks the Cruz campaign doth protest Palin’s Trump endorsement too much

Sarah Palin endorsed Donald Trump for the Republican nomination today, but before that cataclysm came to pass, Jezebel managed to work in this doozy of a headline: Ted Cruz Is Deeply Afraid That Trump Might Land Coveted Sarah Palin Endorsement. As are we all, because we live in a world where said headline exists.

The article quoted the Cruz campaign’s communications director Rick Tyler, who told CNN: “I think it would be a blow to Sarah Palin, because Sarah Palin has been a champion of the conservative cause and if she was going to endorse Donald Trump, sadly she would be endorsing someone who’s held progressive views all their life on the sanctity of life, on marriage, on partial-birth abortion, he supported [the] TARP bailout — it goes on and on and on.”

Continue reading Methinks the Cruz campaign doth protest Palin’s Trump endorsement too much

Hard to blame the latest incident on Johnny Football

Via Washington Post:

Johnny Manziel’s season was ended prematurely last week when the Cleveland Browns placed him on the injured reserve list with a hamstring injury. But that doesn’t mean that his responsibilities to the team were over and, when Manziel was late to get treatment on his leg Saturday morning, he was fined by the Browns . . .

[T]he Browns had to send security staff to Manziel’s house to try to locate him. While it’s true that Manziel’s season is over, it’s a terrible misstep for a player whose partying ways were famous in college and during his first season in the NFL.

Continue reading Hard to blame the latest incident on Johnny Football

How freaking stupid do headline writers think we are?

Check out these headlines about the $349 million wasted building a 300-foot-high, steel-frame tower that would have been used to test rockets had it not been shut down immediately upon completion:

Continue reading How freaking stupid do headline writers think we are?

One thing to remember about the back and forth over “Genie, You’re free!”

One of — if not the most — iconic reaction to Robin Williams’ tragic passing was the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Aladdin-inspired tribute to the comic legend. Surely, you’ve seen it:

Like any major news story, Williams’ death has spawned a veritable ecosystem of sideshows and distractions (an ecosystem to which I admittedly love to add).

One such offshoot revolves around the Academy’s tweet, which has come under some criticism for allegedly aggrandizing Williams’ decision to take his own life. According to one widely-shared piece in The Washington Post:

More than 270,000 people have shared the tweet, which means that, per the analytics site Topsy, as many as 69 million people have seen it.

The problem? It violates well-established public health standards for how we talk about suicide.

“If it doesn’t cross the line, it comes very, very close to it,” said Christine Moutier, chief medical officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “Suicide should never be presented as an option. That’s a formula for potential contagion.”

I’ll readily admit Moutier might have a point. Suicide is not something that should be encouraged.

But here’s the thing: a lot of people might have shared the same tribute before the cause of Williams’ death became clear, of simply without knowing the circumstances surrounding his passing. Take, for instance, the very first time* “Genie, You’re free” appeared on Twitter Tuesday:

Continue reading One thing to remember about the back and forth over “Genie, You’re free!”

What really happened to flight MH17? A deep dive into the pool of idle speculation

The first time a Malaysian Airlines flight disappeared under mysterious circumstances, news media had themselves a field day: at least a month of wall-to-wall MH370 coverage, much of it idle speculation — or worse — due to the near-complete lack of hard information about the missing plane.

A second plane was tragically shot down today over Eastern Ukraine, but unlike the original missing flight, the circumstances under which it disappeared are far less mysterious. We have the body, we have the bodies, and now, we have the black boxes. I imagine that, pretty soon, we’ll have the full story.

Which means that if there are going to be batshit crazy theories about what happened and why, we’d better get moving in a hurry. What follows is my contribution to the concoction of crackpot. You’ve been warned.

Continue reading What really happened to flight MH17? A deep dive into the pool of idle speculation

How to improve the CIA’s Osama bin Laden action figure

Via The Washington Post:

Beginning in about 2005, the CIA began secretly developing a ­custom-made Osama bin Laden ­action figure, according to people familiar with the project. The face of the figure was painted with a heat-dissolving material, designed to peel off and reveal a red-faced bin Laden who looked like a demon, with piercing green eyes and black facial markings.

The goal of the short-lived project was simple: spook children and their parents, causing them to turn away from the actual bin Laden.

The code-name for the bin Laden figures was “Devil Eyes,” and to create them the CIA turned to one of the best minds in the toy business, said those familiar with the project.

Unsurprisingly, the operation seems to have fallen somewhat short of success:

Continue reading How to improve the CIA’s Osama bin Laden action figure

Standing up for my major: Why we need Biology in schools

Anyone who went to college in the United States — or just knows how to read — is probably familiar with the debate over whether a liberal arts education serves any sort of practical purpose.

On one side, you have English professor Verlyn Klinkenborg’s passionate defense of the English major in the pages of the New York Times. On the other, you’ve got Avenue Q:

Continue reading Standing up for my major: Why we need Biology in schools