The Morning Banter: Tina Brown Bitch Slap, WaPo Sold, Lab Grown Burger Tasted, and Chris Christie the Fake Liberal

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Ben Cohen
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It's Tuesday morning folks, only four days to go till the weekend arrives and you can forget about work. In the mean time, why not forget about work now? Here are some happenings far more interesting than sorting through emails from your boss:

1. Washington Post sold

As you've probably, heard, the Washington Post was sold to Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, for a not so large $250 million. Is this a good thing? Hard to say until Bezos starts making changes. We know for sure that the old newspaper model is for lack of a better term, fucked, so if Bezos can start making money and pay for the Post to become a major force in news again, then great. If not, he'll join the annals of rich assholes who bled publications dry to turn a quick profit. James Fallows has a great piece in the Atlantic on why it's such a significant move, and why it might be a good thing. Money quote:

On the brighter side: For years anyone thinking about the future of news has realized that, completely on its own, what we consider "serious" journalism has never been a viable business. Foreign reportage, serious investigative or government-accountability coverage -- functions like these have always been, in economic terms, parasites that need to ride along on some profitable host body. In the old days, that was the fat, bundled newspaper, which provided a range of information to an audience with no technological alternative. We're in the un-bundled era now, and serious journalism has been looking for new host bodies -- much as higher education, museums, the fine arts, etc have also needed support beyond what the flat-out market would provide. The money required to run a news organization is, for this era's new wealthy, relatively modest. I haven't stopped to do the comparisons, but I bet that the investment Jeff Bezos is making (and will need to increase, if he wants to revive the paper) is modest compared with what a previous era's Rockefellers, Carnegies, and Fords decided to put into their universities and foundations.

2. Tina Brown Bitchslaps Howard Kurtz

Here's a quick lesson for anyone in the journalism industry: Do not mess with Tina Brown. Former Daily Beast Washington bureau chief Howard Kurtz was fired from the publication by Tina Brown for basically being a crap journalist. It looks like Kurtz has had time to lick his wounds, and tweeted out a New York Times piece on how badly Brown has supposedly managed the publication and it's partner, Newsweek. Brown was not amused. Here's the exchange from Brown's twitter feed:

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Ouch.

On another note, the Times piece is worth a read as well. I don't know enough about how the Beast has been run to weigh in with an opinion one way or the other, but I sympathize deeply with Brown as she has been one of the pioneers in the online media world. It is clear that she has made some mistakes, but as someone who is trying to build a serious online media company myself, there isn't exactly a well trodden pathway to success to emulate. It's the Wild West out there, and at least Brown is trying to do something.

3. Chris Christie is no Centrist

While the New Jersey Governor may have broed it out with Obama after Hurricane Sandy, publicly denounced the crazies in his party, and appointed a Muslim lawyer to a judgeship, it should be remembered that Christie is no liberal. The Guardian's Matt Katz has a run down of Christie's incredibly conservative record in office that should make even centrists worried.

4. Lab grown Hamburgers: The real deal

Welcome to the future, and possibly the beginning of the end for factory farming. Lab grown meat might sound weird and disgusting, but if we can get good tasting meat without ruining the environment and causing untold amounts of misery for animals, then why not? Apparently, it tastes pretty good:

5. Don't F**k with Obama

This is apparently an old video, but it's doing the internet rounds again. Still bloody hilarious: