Today in Tabs: A Corrupt and Empty Exercise in Horse Trading

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld speaks during the 38th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington February 10, 2010. Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Twitter activists finally got ColbertReport cancelled. Not the show of course, but the Twitter account @ColbertReport that tweeted the tweet that launched a billion page views. Deadspin turned the comedic misfire into an intentional effort at outrage / page views while Salon turned the comedic misfire into a wishy-washy effort at depth / page views. Time provided activists Suey Park and Eunsong Kim a platform to speak for themselves / gather page views for Time, and Park also spoke to The New Yorker's Jay Caspian Kang for a blog post that comes so close to drawing an explicit parallel between Colbert's satirical character on television and Park's satirical character on Twitter, but doesn't quite do it. On Medium, Andrew Peng uses a great number of words to thoroughly explore and provide context for the controversy / page view opp, also without explicitly recognizing that a lack of context was a necessary condition for the whole thing. Jezebel couldn't just watch all those page views fly by unmonetized, so we got this effort which I give a C+ in content but an A- in avoiding taking a stand of any sort. And on Monday, Colbert responded on his show which I'm sure has satisfied everyone, right?

Today in Editorial Asides: Turns to CAM 2 None of us remember if there was ever an actual terrible person involved here, or if anyone was papering over their total contempt for anyone else with half-assed faux-philanthropy, but all weekend I couldn't help recalling a Jay Smooth video from way back in 2008 about how to hold people accountable for doing racist things. We seem to have forgotten the distinction he drew between "you did a racist thing," and "you are a racist," and the way the latter accusation makes it so easy for anyone to weasel out of accountability for what they did. And thank goodness for that, am I right, content industry!? Bless the #HashtagActivists, and remember them in your prayers tonight; them and the sweet, sweet page views they bring.

Long Tabs: Errol Morris's four-part series about Donald Rumsfeld and the Iraq War in the New York Times is one of the extremely rare tabs that is long because it has a lot to say, not just long for prestige. Also long but worth it is Sarah Kessler's experiment in living the so-called "gig economy" from Fast Company, which came out on March 18th but I missed. Don't you miss it. updated for the first time in four years today. Most of you are too young to know what that is, or get the WebVan joke that it opens with. Well, I'm not going to explain either thing to you. Tough luck.

Gawker-aspirant and temporary weekend poster Grendan did some linkblogging about Ta-Nehisi Coates and Jonathan Chait on Saturday, and got called out by Freddie DeBoer for bad counting. DeBoer also blogged about it at length, accusing Brendan of being part of a "connected, insidery jet-set," and going on a hilarious rant against my Twitter friends that, for the record, I wholeheartedly agree with and endorse. "[A] corrupt and empty exercise in horse trading that has no connection to reality" is 100% accurate, and if anything, DeBoer was being too kind by not also pointing out that Brendan is a total virg.

Is Wal*Mart really more selective than Harvard? The Post's now-Kleinless Wonkblog investigated and decided: YUP. Yes, it is. No further conclusions could or should be drawn. Just that the math says Wal*Mart is more exclusive. Period. End of blog post. Data journalism, folks. Future of news.

Clinkle lost more execs. Hard to imagine where they're still finding them, at this point. The Maid Wrote my Keynote Presentation, and You'll Never Believe Who Had to Clean Up My Garbage is just one of the many, many tales of precious self-absorption you can find on hi, which appears to be Thought Catalog for the 1%. Ronan Farrow was beaten in the ratings by a Golden Girls rerun. Lol. The Matrix is fifteen years old. This is basically me every day. A homeopathic product was recalled because it accidentally contained real medicine. Here's a pretty compelling argument that sleep deprivation is responsible for our stupid tech startup industry. Gross company posts really gross job ad, will certainly attract many gross candidates and continue being gross and gathering VC money.

Today's Radio Show: The BBC's Recordings Recovered from the House of Leaves.

Today's Song: Lady Lykez, "Psycho"

~There's a tab born every minute~

I appreciate all of the concern about yesterday's missing tabs, but I was just traveling after a weekend's work in New York, and was neither energetic nor informed enough to attempt them. I would also like to reiterate that I am a white man and employed by a company partially owned by Stephen Colbert, so any opinion I offer on #CancelColbert is completely self-interested and disingenuous. Coincidentally, Today in Tabs is represented by the law firm of "Self, Interested & Disingenuous Esq." and may be found on or subscribed to by email.

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