I Can’t Stand Here Feeling Bad That I Don’t Feel Worse

The headline to this piece was originally intended to be used on a piece about The New Republic last year. After Franklin Foer resigned (was forced out) and a number of senior editors also resigned in protest there were a number of sites which ran posts about the end of The New Republic. Of course it wasn’t the end. The New Republic is still going and the people there are churning out great stuff (as are the writers who left).

I thought of the headline (which comes from Broadcast News) because there seemed to be too much premature eulogizing. Publications and websites come and go, was what I thought, and the most talented people end up finding new places to work. It was easy for me to feel that way because I never worked at TNR, didn’t know anyone who worked at TNR, and rarely read TNR. I wasn’t losing anything.

Today ESPN announced that they are shutting down Grantland. Today I am losing something.

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The New FiveThirtyEight

FiveThirtyEight
Credit: FiveThirtyEight

If you read my pre-launch post about the new FiveThirtyEight then you know that I was interested in seeing what Nate Silver and his team came up with. I can’t say that I was a regular visitor to the old site other than in the run-up to the 2012 presidential election but I did check in periodically to see what was going on. (The New York Times paywall may have had something to do with this.) Silver launched his new site a week ago, which means it’s time to assess how it’s doing.

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It Never Occurred To Me

 

As many of you probably know by now, Grantland published a piece last Wednesday called “Dr. V’s Magical Putter” that started out about a golf putter and then turned into something very different. By Friday there was a lot of negative feedback on the piece, especially with regard to the way it dealt with a transgendered person. On Monday, Grantland editor-in-chief Bill Simmons posted a response and so did ESPN reporter Christina Kahrl, who is transgender. As you would expect, Alyssa Rosenberg had some interesting thoughts on the matter, as did others. The thing that stands out for me is Simmons’ repeated assertions that the problems with the process in deciding to publish the piece never occurred to him or his editors. To be clear, I believe Simmons. I believe Simmons because one of the by-products of being a heterosexual white male in this country (which also describes me) is the inability to know what you don’t know with regard other races or genders or sexual preferences or other characteristics that are not well-represented and discussed in popular culture.

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Alan Sepinwall and Ezra Klein and Too Much Information

no denial Don via Compfight

Yesterday Alan Sepinwall had a great post that posed an interesting question: How much good TV is too much good TV? Sepinwall’s point is that there is so much good TV now and he laments “about all that I’m missing because there’s realistically only so much I can do in any given day, week, month or TV season.”

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The Community for Grantland Quarterly 5

NYC - Brooklyn -  Downtown: Columbus Park and Borough Hall Wally Gobetz via Compfight

I attended the event at Book Court in Brooklyn today for the release of the Grantland Quarterly 5. Present at the event were Grantland contributors (in alphabetical order) Jonathan Abrams, Rafe Bartholomew, Rembert Browne, Andy Greenwald, Chuck Klosterman and Louisa Thomas. I’m still not sure why I would buy a Grantland Quarterly when all of the content has previously been available for free but the event did demonstrate that the talented Grantland writers are also very nice people. (Here is a pic of the crowd from Andy’s Instagram account.)

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Where to go to Read About TV

Early 1950s Television SetCreative Commons License John Atherton via Compfight

Complex came out with a list today of The 25 Best TV Bloggers. Every TV critic that I read is on that list, which proves to me that it’s worthy. I may have issues with individual rankings but that is not important. (And no argument from me about Mo Ryan at the top.) What is important is for these bloggers to get the attention they deserve and I hope that the list drives traffic their way.

A few thoughts:

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