According to Dr. Vivian Diller, most people The Observer knows are seriously ill. The psychologist and author believes that anyone who pursues activities that lead to pleasure — like manis, pedis, facials or or massages — could easily become an addict.
So don’t give money to panhandlers — they’re just going to blow Read More
The morning that Aol CEO Tim Armstrong announced the $315 million acquisition of the Huffington Post, he stood beside a beaming Arianna Huffington in the company’s Broadway headquarters.
Watching from the back of the room, I remember Huffington proudly declaring that her sister, Agapi Stassinopoulos, whom she had brought with her, still used an Aol e-mail address.
The couple hundred assembled Aol workers, already disoriented by the surprise merger, greeted this with a tentative cheer that seemed to trail off into a question mark. Even employees found it hard to reconcile the company’s ambitions as a world-beating tech giant with the unfashionable reality of having Aol e-mail.
As a lifelong Hotmail user, smirking at the hipster apocalypse that was yesterday’s Gmail outage, I beg to differ.
If you work at the Huffington Post, you may want to avoid the bananas.
Earlier this afternoon, Arianna Huffington’s chief of staff, Daniel Koh, sent out an all-staff email with the subject line: “We are aware of problems with banana quality in the 5th floor kitchen. We are addressing.”
Soon, Huffington Post reporters and editors began replying to the email, sharing their own banana experiences.
THE NEW MEDIA ECONOMY
Everyone knows that media is not the most stable industry and that it’s hard to find an affordable apartment in New York. But surely somebody who is gainfully employed at a media organization with a recognizable name would not be denied an apartment just because the whole industry is shaky, right?
“Last week, I was denied an apartment because I have a full-time job in the media industry,” AOL.com frontpage editor Allie Compton wrote on HuffPost earlier this week.
Writing Gibberish with James Franco
Because he’s too busy doing all the other things to line edit, actor James Franco posted a very confusing 1,000-word book report on the Huffington Post yesterday. This article plays with form and function, taking the form of a letter that Mr. Franco is writing to a friend, “D_____,” (who, we learned in the first edition of this series, is a teacher, but also taking classes–much like Mr. Franco himself!) and functioning as evidence that Mr. Franco read all the way through Ham on Rye.
And it must be a good friend indeed to read all the way through Mr. Franco’s musings on the new UCLA class he is teaching (he took them on a press tour for Oz: Th Great and Powerful, which makes sense for a creative writing class), how he is kind of like John Gregory Dunne, how Dunne and the Maysles–which he spells Maysels–didn’t have to do any pre-research on their subjects so neither should he, the low-budget Charles Bukowski movie he’s making and the one Larry Brown story he’s actually read in Big Bad Love. (The fact that this whole paragraph was one long sentence gives you a sense of how Mr. Franco actually writes.)
While we won’t subject you to any snippets of the actual essays–go look for yourself if you want to fall down that particular rabbit hole–Jeva Lange at The New York Daily News brought up the commenting threads inspired by this particular series. Now that’s a much more interesting rabbit hole, not to mention one with a better grasp of the English language. We’re currently taking over/unders on how long it will be before Franco starts putting up sockpuppets complimenting his own writing and fighting with detractors … if he hasn’t already! Let’s make the walls shadow-colored, you guys!
Celebrities are really at their best when they get a forum on Huffington Post, don’t you think? Whether it’s the award-winning James Franco, a huffy Alec Baldwin or a proselytizing Jenny McCarthy.
But usually these stars stay on topic: either promoting a personal cause or giving you their armchair analysis from an “expert’s” perspective. (Or just talking about whatever is going on in their lives right now.)
That’s why it was so exciting to see NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar weigh in recently on his feelings about Lena Dunham’s HBO show, in an article called Girls Just Wants to Have (White) Fun.
Big Apple Idolatry
– Ha, James Franco’s insane ramblings on HuffPost are now showing strong signs of histrionics:
Oh yeah, I got nominated for a National Entertainment Journalism award for these HuffPost blogs, but no other outlet is going to run that story, right? Hahaha–why would Gawker or The New York Post want to publicize that an actor/Yale doctoral candidate is nominated for an award for something that they are doing themselves? I’m pretty proud of it, but I can see why they must hate me.
Last night, as the internet started to flicker in and out and Manhattan went dark, so too did some websites and news outlets. All Gawker Media sites and the Huffington Post website are still down for the count as of this morning. BuzzFeed was down last night, but is back today.
“In a nutshell, it appears the emergency backup power did not kick in when Con Ed shut off power,” Thomas Plunkett, Gawker’s chief technology officer, emailed us last night. Gawker servers are at Datagram on Whitehall Street, which also hosts BuzzFeed and some Huffington Post servers, explained Mr. Plunkett.
Red Carpet Real Estate
We’ve heard that media doyenne Arianna Huffington has been looking for a good perch in the city ever since HuffPo got snapped up by AOL, and now the New York Daily News is claiming that Ms. Huffington is headed to the Upper East Side, where she is may or may not have bought a townhouse on East 80th Street.
The media has picked up the torch of New York comedian Matt Fisher, whose family has been battling Progressive Insurance since his sister was killed in a car crash in 2010. According to Mr. Fisher’s Tumblr posting, his sister’s insurance company actually got its lawyer to defend the driver at fault for the accident, just so it wouldn’t have to pay out her policy to the grieving family.
Yesterday, Progressive responded by auto-tweeting this statement to people who wrote about Progressive on Twitter: