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January 10, 2014

schooled by a russian fishing official

I didn't see this shared anywhere else yesterday, but there was a really noteworthy moment in an otherwise forgettable story about the chippiness between Russia and Greenpeace.  So Greenpeace, whose ship the Arctic Sunrise was seized last year by Russia, is accused of nudging Senegal to seize a Russian fishing trawler in Senegal's waters.  Wake up we're almost there!

They go to Russian fishing official Aleksandr A. Savelyev for comment:

"I am far from the thought that this is some kind of crude revenge for the Arctic Sunrise's actions that led to the arrest of the activists for their protest" in the Arctic, Mr. Savelyev said in a telephone interview. "But I will say that Greenpeace's actions are reminiscent of a woman of little social responsibility who can be used by any person of means."

Jesus Christ that's some good shit right there.  Of course, the Russians are wrong and Greenpeace is right, but someone give Mr. Savelyev a book deal already.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:51 AM

January 9, 2014

thank you ted mann for chris christie

God, yesterday at the very time I was writing about mean old Roger Ailes, the Chris Christie imbroglio (I refuse to call it Bridgegate) was blowing up all over the Internet.  And while I haven't seen a definitive finding on whose scoop the emails were, but Ted Mann is a pal working the transportation beat for the WSJ, and he's the person whose shoe leather made this a story — i.e., he broke the story, but when it was just whispers.  So whatever happens to Chris Christie: congratulations, Ted Mann.

Here's a link to his work for his employer, which sadly is paywalled to hell and back, so unless you subscribe you can only imagine how swiftly and deftly this young man from Connecticut immersed himself in NYC transportation issues and then promptly owned the beat by no other.

Oh jeez, I forgot to sum up what the Chris Christie story was about, didn't I?  Two versions: the one you'll hear about today is that Christie punished the city of Fort Lee by backing up traffic to the George Washington Bridge as retaliation for the refusal of their mayor, a Democrat, to endorse Christie, causing delays which may have affected a couple of EMT runs.

The other version is that Chris Christie is even more of a craven bully behind closed doors than he is at public meetings of school teachers.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:08 AM

January 8, 2014

happy roger ailes day

As usual, the NYT got their hands on a copy of a talked-about book before its official release date, this time the new Gabriel Sherman bio of Roger Ailes titled "The Loudest Voice In The Room."

Of course we love these tell-alls, especially concerning someone as powerful and untouchable as Roger Ailes, and even more so considering how nervous Fox News has been about this book.  But as thin-skinned as Ailes seems to be, I doubt that the revelations contained in his book are gonna hurt him that bad.

His sock puppets are a different case entirely, however.

At Fox News, the book says, Mr. Ailes was disdainful of even his most bankable on-air talent, privately calling Bill O'Reilly "a book salesman with a TV show" and Brian Kilmeade, a peppy Fox host, "a soccer coach from Long Island."

That's gonna be some hurt feelings right there.

It's a bad day for bullies, this one.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:58 AM

January 7, 2014

the history lost

Ugh what a slow start to the New Year.  I'm as big a fan of interesting weather as anyone, but it's not as much fun when it's actually happening to you.  You get a couple consecutive climate change events and all of a sudden everyone is Midwestern, incapable of talking about anything but the weather.  (And to you actually in the Midwest: I know, I should shut up.)

But here is a thing relevant to my interests: Jeremiah Moss of Vanishing New York has conceived a useful metric to measure the slow degradation of all things.  No catchy bit of newspeak, sadly, but it is the aggregate number of years of history lost in a calendar year w/r/t the closing of NYC institutions.

Last year was pretty bad, with 836 years gone (goodbye, Bleecker Bob's, Max Fish and D'Auito's Bakery), but it doesn't hold a candle to 2012, with 1,302 years of history lost (Movie Star News, Partners In Crime, University Diner, et al.).

Go have yourself a nice little wallow in Gotham's terrific history as it is slowly devoured by luxury condos.  Also, wear a sweater.  It's cold out.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:28 AM