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If the (little) reporting and (excessive) analysis surrounding Lara Logan’s assault in Egypt have taught us anything, it’s that most people are somewhat insensitive or otherwise unprepared and unable to talk about rape without offending, and the Internet can be an awful place. Also, exploitation runs rampant, whether it’s a radical right-winger taking the opportunity to attack Islam or the New York Post trading on the combination of Logan’s horrific ordeal and reputation as something of a sex symbol for a second consecutive newspaper cover. We wonder “Why?” — plus, a correction on Justin Bieber’s abortion views, trouble at Forbes and the return of Spy magazine, inside Press Clips, our daily media round-up.
Lara Logan, All Over Again: Yesterday’s New York Post cover story headline read “ANIMALS” in all capital letters; today, the theme continues with “FIND THE BEASTS,” and the same photo of Logan in Egypt. (The Daily News went with “EGYPT SEX HORROR.”) The second day’s story in the Post is, predictably, inessential. Let this echo far and wide: “Seriously, just can it.”
Spy, 2011: A quick segment on NPR, clocking in at barely over a minute (including 35 seconds of guitar solo outro music), celebrates the return of Spy magazine, founded in 1986 by Kurt Andersen and Graydon Carter, and widely credited as the breeding ground for proto-“Blog Snark,” which was later perfected (driven into the ground?) online and then sold back to mega-corporations or otherwise monetized. Interestingly enough, the satirical and detached coverage of celebrities, New York and otherwise, in publishing, business and Hollywood, could once fill an entire actual paper book, with pages and advertisements and all that. NPR says they took on the “biggest egos of the 20th century,” leading Donald Trump to call the rag “a piece of garbage.” To think!
Spy, though, shuttered for good in 1998. Now, its back issues are available for free from Google Books, with a searchable archive and everything. Maybe start with Winona Ryder in 1989, preparing to burn an American flag while wearing a Santa costume.
New Times: Andy Goldman, previously a Q&A man at Elle, will replace the salty Deborah Solomon as the Questions For columnist at Hugo Lindgren’s revamped New York Times Magazine, while one-time Metro reporter and Washington correspondent Sewell Chan has been named deputy editor of the Op-Ed page.
Bieber in 2012: “I really don’t believe in abortion,” teen pop sensation Justin Bieber was quoted as saying in an excerpt from the latest Rolling Stone cover story. The snippet goes on:
“It’s like killing a baby?” How about in cases of rape? “Um. Well, I think that’s really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I guess I haven’t been in that position, so I wouldn’t be able to judge that.”
But, oops! In selling the story, and pissing off droves, Rolling Stone left out a sentence in the middle of Bieber’s quote, which helps to demonstrate that he is caught off guard and unsure and has no idea what he’s talking about. It should have read:
“Um. Well, I think that’s really sad, but everything happens for a reason. I don’t know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven’t been in that position, so I wouldn’t be able to judge that.”
For their mistake, Rolling Stone got extra outrage yesterday and another round of attention today. (And Justin Bieber remains 16 years old.)
Link Fraud at Forbes: To game Search Engine Optimization, and thus appear higher in Google searches (a/k/a Page Rank), Forbes.com has been selling links. It may seem wonky, but if you fancy yourself a content producer (or consumer) it affects the value of information in a real way. And so today, February 17, 2011, the Internet stays an ugly place.