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Jill Abramson Talks to Katie Couric About What Went Wrong at The New York Times

In one of her first post-firing video interviews, deposed New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson spoke with Yahoo!’s Global News Anchor Katie Couric about what went wrong with her career at The Grey Lady.

On the “fired for being a woman” narrative:

“I don’t see gender as being…the whole explanation, by any means, of what happened, but it’s somewhat irksome to me to see so much focus on the issue of why was I fired.”

And yet…

“I think that women are scrutinized and criticized in a somewhat different way, and that certain qualities that are seen in men as being the qualities of a leader … are somehow not seen in as attractive a light when a woman is involved.”

Here’s our favorite line:

“How many people in the real world really care why Jill Abramson lost her job?”

We would say quite a few, actually. Couric didn’t ask Abramson how the NYT could have handled the firing better on the PR front, but someone could certainly write a book…

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Thank God Hillary Clinton’s ‘Book Tour’ Is Over

In case you missed it, Hillary Clinton appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Tuesday to “talk about her new book,” Hard Choices.

“No one cares” about the book, Stewart said. “They just want to know if you’re running for president.”

Talk about the elephant in the room—he must be tired after making appearances at every stop on Clinton’s book publicity campaign. Read more

‘Weird Al’ Hits Reddit, Corrects Your ‘Word Crimes’

We’d like to justify this post by reminding everyone that our favorite–hell, the world’s favorite–novelty musician “Weird Al” Yankovic promoted today’s release of his latest album, Mandatory Fun, with the latest promotional necessity: a Reddit AMA.

(Things we learned: he likes Epic Rap Battles of History and wanted to parody “Let It Go” with the Star Trek-themed “Make It So” but had to cancel after learning that some enterprising YouTuber had beaten him to the punch.)

Frankly, though, we just wanted to share his latest video for “Word Crimes”, especially after posting on grammatical rules from the journalists at Poynter, the actor formerly known as Frasier and–most impressively–the CIA.

Not only was Al’s song more entertaining and less creepy than the original, but something tells us that his future Twitter Q&A will be more successful (if not more satisfying in a schadenfreude way) than Robin Thicke’s as well.

Gov. Chris Christie Previews His Summer Plans With Fake Action Movie Clip

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has released a fake movie trailer to highlight the fiscal issues he plans to focus on during a summer tour of the state. “Rated ‘R’ for “Reform,” the “No Pain. No Gain.” clip includes all of the booming sounds and explosions that you would expect from an action movie, but it’s about the state’s budget.

After Beyonce and Jay Z released a movie trailer for their “On the Run” tour, people were so interested that there was a petition to get the movie made. We’re pretty sure the same thing won’t happen here. Moreover, the movie was already made when it was called Pain & Gain, which is where the Christie team got the footage of The Rock. Still, there’s powerful footage of a New Jersey Transit train going by. Not sure whether to laugh or groan at this one, so we’ll do both.

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LEGO Issues Tepid Response to Shell Controversy; Greenpeace Issues Mock PSA

One has to admire Greenpeace’s dedication to solid production values. Check out this mock PSA, which came out today:

The org might not be so great with money, but it certainly jumped on the opportunity to criticize LEGO’s new partnership with big bad Shell a week ago, writing that the decision to include the Shell logo on some products (and reap the retail rewards) meant that the company was putting cold, hard cash “above its commitment to the environment and children’s futures.”

There’s also the expected petition complete with an image of a polar bear balancing on a LEGO ice block in a sea filled with oil and what looks like a pirated rig. All of those things and LEGO’s weak response after the jump.

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Air New Zealand Pulls Safety Video Starring Sports Illustrated Models After Backlash

Air New Zealand partnered with Sports Illustrated in February to celebrate the magazine’s 50th anniversary and make an airline safety video. (???)

But once the video went public, it was met with push back from activists in Australia, namely Natasha Young, who launched an online petition to have the video nixed because it “objectifies” women and “disregards those who are conservative” and have conservative sensibilities. That spawned a hashtag, #AirNZsexism. The petition attracted 11,000 signatures. And now, Air New Zealand has pulled the video.

The airline says the video — which stars Sports Illustrated swimsuit models, including Chrissy Teigen and Christie Brinkley – has been pulled as a matter of course; it regularly rotates the clips the airline says.

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YouTube Is Rethinking Its Tough Stance Against Indie Labels

youtube logoFor the longest time, YouTube was known as the place to go for grainy home videos of the funny, the incredible and the mundane. Now the site is an Internet staple. Big brands rely on it for their marketing efforts. Entertainment companies use it to introduce upcoming projects. Everyday people have stepped up their game, making it the place for not just low-budget clips but higher-production videos that have the capacity to go viral in a major way.

And now that MTV doesn’t really show videos anymore and fans haven’t made the shift to networks like Revolt and Fuse at a tremendous volume (that, of course, could change), YouTube has become a key online place for music videos. So it was a big blow to indie labels when they were faced what’s being called an “ultimatum” from YouTube.

“Indies were rankled most by what appeared to be an ultimatum by YouTube, with the company telling labels that they would remove advertisements on their music videos, the service’s principal revenue generator, if they refused the contract’s terms, cutting them off from a stream that generates hundreds of millions of dollars for labels each year,” reports The Hollywood Reporter.

When did YouTube turn into a grumpy old man?

The video site now seems to be changing its tune (according to Financial Timessub req’d), which is a good thing for its street cred.

Read more

GM Recalls 8.2 Million More Cars for Potential Safety Issues

GM Ignition Recall Safety InformationAnother day, another recall of dangerously flawed GM vehicles.

The latest recall, which affects 8.2 million more cars, brings the total number of recalls this year to over 28 million. That means the company has actually recalled more cars this year than it has sold in the past seven.

Seriously.

This most recent batch, involving “unintended ignition key rotation,” includes seven different vehicle types, including the Chevrolet Malibu from 1997 to 2005, the Pontiac Grand Prix from 2004 to 2008, and the 2003-2014 Cadillac CTS. The company also announced four other recalls that cover over 200,000 additional vehicles, most of which are due to an electrical short in the driver’s door that could potentially disable the power locks and windows and might even cause overheating.

A company statement regarding the ignition key issue features comforting sentiments like the fact that GM is aware of three deaths, eight injuries and seven crashes involving the vehicles recalled on Monday, but that it has no conclusive evidence that the faulty switches actually caused the crashes. Of course. Read more

This PSA Featuring Dildo Humor May Actually Make You a More Responsible Gun Owner


Watch the video first (we don’t want to spoil this one for you!)

Well, we admit it: we couldn’t imagine where this PSA was headed (but were giggling with sympathetic mortification on behalf of the mothers featured in the video). It opens with two mothers chatting on a front porch after their sons’ play date, when the boys suddenly tumble into the front yard while having an epic sword fight. Their weapons of choice?

Dildos.

We watch as the mothers’ faces drop into mortified masks of horror and speechless embarrassment, and then the PSA gets to its actually-vital point with the clever tagline: “If they find it, they’ll play with it. Always lock up your guns.”

We can’t help but feel this is pure PSA brilliance; in America, we tend to be shocked by (and want to shield our kids from) sex more than violence — a movie with tons of gun violence? Rated PG13. A movie with tons of sex? Rated R. So what better way to grab the viewers’ attention? What begins as a humorously shocking spot takes a serious turn thanks to the tagline, when the double meaning of a child playing with something they do not understand and should not be able to get ahold of, truly hits home. Often, our sex toys are probably better hidden from our children than our weapons. Now that is mortifying.

Mary Barra Tells Matt Lauer: No Cover-Up at GM

Mary Barra sat down with Matt Lauer this morning on TODAY, and we think you’ll agree that the questions he lobbed her way were a bit softer than those she received from Congress earlier this month.

At the very least, she’s consistent with the message. That’s a good thing, because she’ll have to repeat it many more times before GM can move beyond this story.

What do we think of her appearance?

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