If you live in Los Angeles and work in a news outlet, chances are you’ve moseyed on down to Shia LaBeouf’s art exhibit, #IAMSORRY, where the Transformers star and toothless plagiarist sits alone in a room, with a bag over his head, constantly crying. You can give him tweets or shower him with Hershey’s kisses, you can get him to take off the bag and take a picture…that’s about it.
Mr. LaBeouf has installed himself directly outside of Buzzfeed’s LA offices for this “performance,” in conjunction with Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner, so there is no lack of articles online about what it’s like to be trapped in a room with him. But as I am currently on the East Coast, and I imagine that there’s not much of a difference, I just sat alone in a room this morning with a screengrab of Shia’s face. Here is what happened.
off the record
Somewhere in between publishing all those crazily addictive and horribly inaccurate quizzes (we are SO not the cheers beers emoji), BuzzFeed published a style guide. They’re hoping to standardize the way we write stuff on the Internet.
The style guide clarifies important spelling-related quandaries, like “baby daddy, baby mama (two words),” and “chocolaty (not ‘chocolatey’)” (we’re not sure if we agree with that one). It also outlines the acceptable terminology for covering various specific, relevant topics, like LGBT issues, music and recipes. Finally, it outlines an extensive corrections policy.
You don’t want to make Jerry Seinfeld angry, as Peter Lauria, business editor at Buzzfeed, found out during a snowy Monday night conversation with the comedy guru. Held in conjunction with CBS’s This Morning, BuzzFeed Brews, a live-streamed event, revealed what some of us Jerry-heads have known for awhile: We won’t like him when he’s angry.
“This really pisses me off,” Mr. Seinfeld said, after snarling at Mr. Lauria for questioning his use of mainly “white males” in his web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. “Take a look over here, Peter,” he bristled. “What do you see? A lot of whiteys.”
We all spend way too much time thinking about Girls, and this is going to be a problem for us. You know that dark feeling in the pit of your stomach every January contemplating how many more Girls-based articles you are going to have to read/write before Hannah Horvath sees her shadow in March? That’s Groundhog Girls Syndrome, and it’s a real thing that a lot of us suffer from, and as of yet there is no medication for it.
However, we can get help, incrementally: Every couple hours, we try to assuage our crushing Girls-themed ennui by checking out some light-hearted fan fiction or art dedicated to our “voice of the generation” programming. Here are our five current favorites.
Listicles count as news, don’t they?
We know that it’s slushy and snowy and rainy and holiday-y and we’re all hung over even though it’s only Tuesday. But I stayed up all night trying to see if I could draw a picture of a dog if I looked at enough photos of them on the Internet, and I still managed to get into the office today. So come on, people! Pick up the slack. Don’t make me regret buying all those additional illustrator tools on Paper at 4 a.m.!*
The Daily Show
When DuJour magazine launched last summer, founder and CEO Jason Binn made the glossy’s missive clear: It was a luxury publication, in every sense of the word. The print edition would only be sent to the nation’s top-earners, the 1% demo who fit one of the five criteria, which included filters like “a home valued at a million and a half, or a quarter of a million dollar income, or a $5,000,000 net worth, or a charitable donation of $10,000,” according to Mr. Binn.
The online DuJour.com was partly its own creature, with original content and a larger readership base–accesible to any commoner with a modem–but it was still under the same brand which cultivated an air of exclusivity and wealth. So color us shocked to read today about DuJour Media’s partnership with Buzzfeed, of all places, for a project called “Tell Us About Your Selfie.”
Around the town
Last night, The Daily Show criticized news outlets for failing to cover a credit default swap scheme by Blackstone Group that was first reported by Bloomberg News back in October.
Newsweek will print once again. (New York Times)
David Weigel calls out BuzzFeed’s “no haters” policy after the website wrote about what turned out to be a hoax. (DavidWeigel.com)
Around the town
BuzzFeed had a good November–more than 133 million unique visitors good. But although that traffic surpassed Gawker’s, Nick Denton sent a calming email to his employees to remind them that it’s not all doom and gloom.
British Prime Minister David Cameron might “act” against newspapers that publish “damaging” information leaked by Edward Snowden. ”…if [the papers] don’t demonstrate some social responsibility it would be very difficult for government to stand back and not to act,” Mr. Cameron said in the House of Commons. Watch out, Guardian. (BBC)