How the watermelon cartoon appeared

Remember the mini-controversy over the watermelon toothpaste editorial page cartoon that appeared in the Boston Herald? Observers, including me, wondered how no one along the editorial chain flagged the problem before the paper went to print. The paper’s editorial page editor Rachelle Cohen explains how the editorial oversight process works and why it failed in this case.
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Gamergate

As one who is not a fan of video games (but have played a few, badly, with my daughters) I initially avoided stories about the so-called ‘Gamergate’, partly because I thought it dealt with some inside-baseball stuff about video games and the community of players that I was not particularly interested in and partly because I have grown weary of issues that have the suffix ‘gate’ added to them, which nowadays almost always signifies some trivial issue that is being artificially inflated in importance.
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Trying not to get hoaxed

It used to be that when it came to stories that may or may not be hoaxes, one would look to see if it had been published by a real news operation, under the assumption that they would check it out for accuracy of at least the basic facts before running with it. That is no longer a guarantee. With the proliferation of fake news sites that seek to fool mainstream news sources into passing on hoaxes as the real thing, it is becoming harder to make out what news stories are real and what are fake.
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How The Daily Show did the Washington shoot

When watching The Daily Show, one often wonders why some people allow themselves to be made to look silly on the show. Sometimes they end up looking like such fools that one wonders whether they are actually actors following a script. Recently, they did a show about the fans of the Washington football team and their ridiculous devotion to the racist team name.
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Apple mania

You have to hand it to Apple. When it comes to marketing their products, they are the masters. Even when they produce something that is just marginally better than their previous products and may even be copying what others have already done, they manage to create a media buzz that results in people waiting in line for days to get the new product or paying others to do so, as if there is some special cachet to owning something just a few days before others do.
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A puzzling bit of human psychology

Actress Emma Watson gave a speech on being a feminist and appealed to men to join the HeForShe movement that seeks to create a broad coalition in support of gender equality. It was a good speech, not at all incendiary or even controversial, but as is so often the case these days, all it takes is for a prominent woman to speak out publicly on an issue that advances social justice to result in all kinds of weird people to come out of the woodwork with angry responses and threatening revenge. And the latest vehicle for revenge is to threaten to release nude photographs and they promised to do so with Watson too.
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Woman has plastic surgery to add a third breast?

There are some news items that I read and think, “This has to be a hoax”. To check, I look to see if the source is an established news outlet and that it is original reporting by their reporters and not something they have taken off some other source because these days there are many websites that pretend to be news sources but whose purpose seems to be to fool regular news operations by writing stories that on the surface look genuine.
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Taking down mainstream media hypocrisy

Howard Kurtz of Fox News tried to act superior with Harvey Levin, the founder of TMZ, the popular media outlet that obtains and releases videos such as the one of footballer Ray Rice punching a woman in an elevator. Kurtz tried to imply that TMZ was practicing a low form of journalism by paying money for videos. Levin was having none of it and put Kurtz in his place and stopped him from trying to weasel out of his statements. It was fun to watch.
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Chuck Todd off to a great start

David Letterman poked fun at the new host of Meet the Press, one of the wasteland of Sunday morning talk shows where many words are spoken and few are worth listening to. The reason may be that, as demonstrated by Todd, there is very little listening that takes place on these programs and that people come with an agenda that they are determined to push through.
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