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Posts Tagged ‘Bennie Johnson’

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS: “Rush Limbaugh with a porn-stache will save your Tuesday afternoon.” — BuzzFeed’s Bennie Johnson

Weinermania

This morning at 5 a.m. the NYT Magazine’s big blockbuster story on ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner and wife Huma Abedin broke. Read it here.

“Just spitballing here but why not Weiner v McConnell? Don’t let this opp pass you by DSCC.” — Executive Director of America Rising PAC Tim Miller, former aide to presidential hopeful Jon Huntsman and GOP flak.

“Weiner Wants Back In The Game- why can’t disgraced politicians find a different job?” — tennis star Martina Navratilova.

“Long read, but Weiner’s diagnosis of himself regarding his behavior could apply to many elected officials.” — NBC’s Chuck Todd.

“Will Weiner Rise Again?” — Drudge.

“Why is Weiner not wearing shoes and socks in NYT picture? Cmon man!” — Politico‘s Ben White.

Autocorrect War Stories

“Autocorrect: When ‘free cone day’ turned into ‘free clone day.’ Where do I sign??” — National Journal‘s Brian Fung.

“My spell-checker just suggested I replace ‘Coburn’ with ‘corncob.’ Not doing it, but you have to wonder.” — Daily Mail U.S. Political Editor David Martosko in regard to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).

WTF Central

“It’s weird how by typing these few words I can ruin your whole day: La la la la la, la la, these little lies. La la la la la, la la, these.” — Slate and NYT‘s Farhad Manjoo.

Bald dudes: Don’t let this happen to you

“Fuck I really should have put some suntan lotion in my bald spot #soooooburned.” — Mike Elk.

ABC’s Stephanopoulos plugs wife’s TV appearance

“Proud hubby time: Check out Ali on The View today.” — ABC GMA and “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos.

Something to look forward to?

“@KevinWGlass Remind me to schedule a beatdown for your ass when I’m in DC in May” — Jazz Shaw, weekend editor at Hot Air in reference to Townhall Managing Editor Kevin Glass.

Important question to consider and an interesting open invitation… Read more

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On BuzzFeed, Boogers and Ethics

Writing a story about someone else’s booger feature is no easy task. On some email requests I put a simple, bland, “request for comment.” On others, I went for shock value: “BuzzFeed’s booger post.” It wasn’t plotted. I imagined some might find it funnier than others.

On Tuesday night, BuzzFeed‘s Benny Johnson took Washington’s political and media worlds by surprise by creating a GIF feature about House Speaker John Boehner allegedly checking out his boogers. BuzzFeed Political Editor McKay Coppins promoted the story, even guided readers to it on Twitter.

The headline reads: “John Boehner Looks at His Boogers During the State of the Union.”

Who among us would have the mental fortitude to look away from a Boehner booger post? “It looks like a first-step by BuzzFeed into honest coverage,” said former TWT Editor and Public Affairs exec Sam Dealey. “After all, everyone — the Speaker, the public and evidently BuzzFeed’s reporter too, was bored by the speech and looking for anything even remotely more interesting.”

Boogers are interesting. But by and large, the editors and journalists around town that we interviewed opposed the booger post. “Dumb and dumber; political coverage as booger op? What next: beaver shot?” asked Washingtonian‘s media writer Harry Jaffe. WTOP’s Jim Farley also expressed journalistic outrage. “I believe it is over the top,” he said. “It would have been like showing video of George H.W. Bush throwing up on the Japanese Prime Minister at a State Dinner. A private moment.  Would we show video of Michelle Obama’s skirt blowing up on a windy day?”

Um, there’s actual video showing Bush throwing up? As it turns out, there is.

And by the way, there’s no judgment here. We’ve written about everything from Larry King passing gas on air and a journo popping a zit at a party to females showing ample amounts of cleavage and breasts on TV. Suffice it say, BuzzFeed can write about the Speaker’s alleged boogers if they want to and there won’t be any ethical bitching from us.

And yet we couldn’t help but wonder, is this, in part, the psychological result of our miniscule attention spans and around-the-clock reporting? That we now require boogers to grab our collective attention?

“Poking fun at people in power has always been been part of political journalism,” Coppins told FishbowlDC when asked to comment on the matter. “Dead-tree newspapers used to do it with political cartoons; now the internet does it with GIFs and memes. What actually struck me most about this State of the Union was how many other news sites were competing with us on that front. A year ago, we would have been the only ones GIFing Marco Rubio’s reach for the water bottle; this year we were racing with The Atlantic‘s Twitter feed.”

But some journalists thought BuzzFeed had slipped beneath themselves. “That’s certainly a headline you don’t see every day,” said a longtime Washington editor who preferred to remain anonymous. “But regardless, this is over the line. A classic example of something that gets hits, but is in poor taste. The post appeals to the 10-year-old in all of us, and that’s not a good thing. BuzzFeed is better than this.”

A cable news insider agreed, saying, Read more