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September 18, 2012

“To live is to war against the trolls.”
Posted by Patrick at 03:48 PM * 23 comments

Gawker on Newsweek’s ridiculous “Muslim Rage” cover.

As James Fallows remarked, “In the ‘evolution of journalism’ chronicles, it must signify something that the proudly tabloidish and amoral Gawker is positioning itself as conscience-of-the-industry in this case.”

Indeed, Newsweek’s whole survival strategy these days seems to be to position itself as a paper-and-ink version of the classic Internet troll. As Paul Waldman highlights here.

Comments on "To live is to war against the trolls.":
#1 ::: elise ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2012, 04:00 PM:

What a world, what a world.

And The Daily Show and the Colbert Report are serving as insightful commentary on the news.

#2 ::: Steve Downey ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2012, 04:10 PM:

'these days'?

Newsweek has always been a fearmonger.

Take a look at some of these.

#3 ::: The Raven ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2012, 04:56 PM:

It's a time in which the truth can only be published as satire.

Help! I've fallen into an L. Sprague de Camp novel.

#4 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2012, 04:57 PM:

If you're on Twitter, have a look at the #muslimrage hashtag. It has entries like

I'm having a good hair day and no one even notices. #muslimrage
Losing your kid in an airport, but you can't call out because his name is Jihad. #muslimrage

#5 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2012, 05:33 PM:

As Xopher noted @4, there's been quite a good-natured* riot on Twitter using the #muslimrage tage. Causes of #muslimrage I encountered included the cancellation of Firefly, the removal of biryani from the family menu because one's spouse has decided to go vegetarian, the hiding of car keys by Djinn, the appearence of a zit, not being able to follow the storyline in Lost. Some were in-jokes, and some, of course, dealt with the frustrations and exasperations of dealing with people who are determined to fit you into a box, including the box labelled 'terrorist'.

*For values of 'good-natured' that include "I am fed-up but as a civilized adult I am being polite and responding in a constructive and/or amusing manner."

#6 ::: Xopher HalfTongue ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2012, 06:10 PM:

The two I mentioned were Muslim-specific, but many of them were aimed at the "we're PEOPLE, dammit" kind of vibe.

#7 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker To Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2012, 08:06 PM:

I'm tempted to photoshop a parody of the Newsweek cover with images of Fred Phelps and other rabid clerics, captioned "Christian Rage". Or maybe one with images of Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, and so on, captioned "Shopping Rage".

#8 ::: Jo Walton ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2012, 09:01 PM:

Xopher: My favourite was "I'm having such a good hair day. Nobody even knows. #muslimrage" I think the sight of Muslims striking back at Newsweek *by being funny* is very cheering.

(I first heard of Newsweek in a Paul Simon song, and so the real magazine has always been a disappointment.)

#9 ::: Mishalak ::: (view all by) ::: September 18, 2012, 11:12 PM:

About six months ago I read the biography of George Washington by Chernow. In it I read how during his second term in office George Washington was sent a copy of every issue by the publisher of a publication that accused him of collaborating with the British to sell out America and the like. I was struck by the parallels with the rhetoric aimed at Obama by the right and how it made it seem like this sort of hyperbolic and disconnected from reality journalism has been around for a long time.

Since it is a secondary source I do not know if I can take it as the gospel truth or how prevalent such views actually were among the opponents of Federalism. But it it both distresses me and makes me a bit hopeful. Maybe if we can survive such ignorance in the past the present is not so bad.

#10 ::: Evan Goer ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2012, 05:02 AM:

Going full Right Wing Troll seems like a great business model for otherwise nonpartisan companies. You're tapping into a free and *guaranteed* effective marketing machine.

#11 ::: rm ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2012, 08:38 AM:

Do click on Steve's link at #2. I can't believe that when I was a pup I thought that these "news" magazines were sources of information about the world.

And the format of that, and the format that every magazine now seems to have adopted online -- the big colorful header, the headline-and-blurb list, the way the page is arranged, the slideshows and listicles -- I can't even finish this sentence. I think the internet has revealed that all magazines are the same. It is not that easy to tell the difference between Cracked and the Atlantic any more. I see now that this is not a process of degeneration; magazines have always been this way, but in print they used different kinds of paper and graphic design templates to disguise their sameness.

#12 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: September 19, 2012, 09:29 AM:

Bruce Cohen @ 7

I'm tempted to photoshop a parody of the Newsweek cover with images of Fred Phelps and other rabid clerics, captioned "Christian Rage".

That would be awesome.

For me, this American Muslim's comments sound exactly like what most Christians say.

#14 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2012, 12:40 AM:

I'm wondering when the various cast members will get together and start comparing their stories, particularly what they were told about the film. I have a feeling that they didn't all get told the same ones.

#15 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2012, 07:41 AM:

I don't have a strong intuition about whether the cast (and probably the tech crew as well) were all told the same or very similar stories.

There's a simple easy-to-remember lie which served very well and may have been repeated with ordinary variation to everyone. On the other hand, the whole project must have been invented by someone who liked deceiving people and who might have enjoyed making up more lies or who just couldn't have been bothered to keep a story straight.

#16 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2012, 08:00 AM:

Ingvar M @116: "It's under 20 miles, what could POSSIBLY go wrong?"!!! Yes, well... I've thought about cycling home on occasion, because it's only about 12 miles. Nowadays, however, I'd be happier running that distance than cycling it. Might run it sometime, (with assistance from my husband to bring back my laptop etc.).

#17 ::: dcb posts in the wrong thread ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2012, 08:01 AM:


#18 ::: David Weingart ::: (view all by) ::: September 20, 2012, 10:38 AM:

dcb @ 16: I think I'd much rather cycle 12 miles and bring the laptop than run 12 and not. Why would you prefer to run it rather than cycle,j ust out of curiosity?

#19 ::: praisegod barebones HAS PERTINENT COMMENTS ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2014, 12:44 PM:

Well, I've stumbled on this thread because of the spam attack, but given the topic of the OP, though I might as well mention the hashtag #thingsthatarenotmosques which was trending on Twitter a few days back after a member of UKIP mistook Westminster Cathedral (of all places) for a mosque.

#20 ::: estelendur ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2014, 03:30 PM:

praisegod barebones @21, that is truly bizarre o.0

#21 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2014, 03:55 PM:

Having looked a a picture of it, I can see how it might be mistaken for one. It still requires a lot of ignorance on the part of the MP.

#22 ::: praisegod barebones ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2014, 04:51 PM:

PJEvans @21: As I said to a friend: 'To be fair to him, where I live, there are a fair few mosques that look like Byzantine churches. Mostly because they used to be Byzantine churches'.

Still and all, it's not a mosque, any more than Brighton Pavilion is. (It wasn't an MP that said it, I think, but a member of Farage's constituency party.)

#23 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: November 29, 2014, 05:21 PM:

True. I've seen enough pictures of mosques to see the similarities, and I also know that a cathedral in the middle of London is extremely unlikely to have been a mosque in the past. (I can't say that I'm impressed by it, but that's my opinion.)

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