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Bill Barol

Entries by Bill Barol

All I want for Christmas is the $62,000 Twitter owes me

(1) Comments | Posted December 24, 2010 | 2:53 PM

I'm not a greedy man, or an unreasonable one. (Nor, for that matter, am I insane. I'm NOT.) So when I sat down to place a monetary value on the content that's gone missing from my Twitter stream over the last week, an issue that Twitter has so far failed...

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Ted Sorensen, Behind the Scenes

(0) Comments | Posted November 1, 2010 | 6:15 PM

I never met Ted Sorensen, the all-purpose Kennedy insider who was JFK's principal speechwriter. But one had a sense that with Sorensen -- unlike a later generation of political aides who cultivated public selves to feed the 24-hour news cycle -- what you saw was pretty much what you got:...

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The Moment Springsteen Gave Up (And Why It's Good He Did)

(22) Comments | Posted October 14, 2010 | 3:00 PM

Longtime music business insider Jimmy Guterman, writing over at Boing Boing this morning, makes a reasonable point about the paralyzing effects of perfectionism:

My favorite part of The Promise, a documentary about the making of Bruce Springsteen's 1978 album Darkness on the Edge of Town that was on...
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The Simpsons and Banksy Peel Back the Curtain

(7) Comments | Posted October 11, 2010 | 2:47 PM

Anybody who says The Simpsons has lost its bite wasn't watching last night, when the 21-year-old comedy bit its corporate parent, 20th Television, and I mean hard. That the opening was created by guerilla artist Banksy was only the beginning of the surprise. The real gut punch was...

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Leslie Buck

(5) Comments | Posted April 30, 2010 | 12:59 PM

2010-04-30-anthora.jpgIs glory real if it's anonymous? That's one of the questions raised by today's front-page New York Times obit for Leslie Buck, the designer of the iconic Anthora to-go cup. The cup is more ubiquitous these days...

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It's Official: Tiger Woods Has Absolutely No Shame

(7) Comments | Posted April 7, 2010 | 8:21 PM

Mediaite gets it just about right in its post on the new Tiger Woods Nike ad, calling it "strange, uncomfortable, sad, painful and creepy." I can think of a couple of words to add: "Reprehensible" would be one. "Execrable" would be another. Why on earth would Woods involve...

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A Day In The Life of an Internet Celebrity

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2010 | 4:05 PM

Note: The following post has been meticulously hand-crafted to provide no backlinks to its subject, because the last thing the subject needs is more backlinks. And now: Please enjoy.

So, yeah: Some of you may know that there's this chick called Justine who bills herself as {Justine with an 'i"...

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Obama's "Failure"

(24) Comments | Posted March 22, 2010 | 11:20 AM

Some of my friends -- the ones who would probably describe themselves as progressives -- are unhappy this morning. They're complaining over their coffee and Danish about the flaws in the legislative package passed last night, and about the shortcomings of incrementalism as an approach to real change. I respect...

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Better than TED

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2010 | 3:49 PM

So I'm thinking my invitation to speak at TED this year got lost in the mail or something, but you know. Whatever. It's like the third year in a row and honestly, the mail's not that bad around here, you know? The LA County Clerk always manages to put...

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BIG QUESTIONS: A video update

(0) Comments | Posted December 8, 2009 | 4:00 PM

You may remember that I'm in the process of beating the e-drum for a new Web video project called BIG QUESTIONS. It's an experiment in crowdsourcing the costs of a new enterprise, and in a new kind of journalism for the Web, and so far the results have been...

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BIG QUESTIONS: A Web video pilot

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2009 | 12:52 PM

There's a great quote attributed to Milton Berle, of all people: "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." I'm building a door. Or, more accurately, a Web video series. It's sort of Journalism on Acid... no, wait, it's New Journalism for New Times... wait, hang on, it's The Onion meets...

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Walter Cronkite: A Yet Further Reappraisal

(2) Comments | Posted July 28, 2009 | 9:18 PM

A July 17 appraisal of Walter Cronkite's career was corrected at length by The New York Times on July 22. In the last week a number of additional factual errors by the Times' Alessandra Stanley have come to light.

The Normandy invasion did not take place in the Upper...

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To Tweet or Not to Tweet

(4) Comments | Posted March 1, 2009 | 3:19 AM

The first draft of this piece was written for Twitter, and was 133 characters long. It read, in its entirety:

Alessandra Stanley proves that bloggers aren't the only ones who can be reflexively snarky about things they don't really understand.

I spiked it, because Twitter -- a popular microblogging...

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The Rocky

(0) Comments | Posted February 27, 2009 | 5:18 PM

The irony of this post isn't lost on me: I'm a blogger passing on a video about the final days of the Rocky Mountain News, which published its final edition today. Bloggers come in for some gentle criticism in the film. Sportswriter Jeff Legwold remembers the old newspaperman's admonition If...

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McCain Staff Memo (not for distribution): Dismissive Obama References Still in Play for Wednesday

(1) Comments | Posted October 9, 2008 | 3:24 PM

1) This guy
2) The O-Man
3) Barry Barry Bo-Barry, Bana-Fana Fo Farry
4) That one
5) Capt. Happy, here
6) The Bar Mitzvah Boy
7) Stretch
8) The distinguished junior senator from Illinois {w/ eye roll}
9) Fonzworth Bentley

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What Should Happen Tonight at Columbia University

(12) Comments | Posted September 11, 2008 | 12:11 PM

SCENE: A backstage green room. Senators Barack Obama and John McCain wait to appear at a forum commemorating the 9/11 attacks.

STAGE MANAGER: Gentlemen, I'll be back to get you in about ten minutes. Please remember that, by agreement of the campaigns, tonight's event is non-political.

McCAIN: Of course.


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On Sarah Palin's Likability

(36) Comments | Posted September 4, 2008 | 12:38 PM

If you work at home and are distractable like me and you tend to listen to cable news at a low volume throughout the day, pausing only occasionally to scream WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT or OH FOR GOD'S SAKE GET HEATHER WILSON OFF MY TV or YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY...

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The Most Revealing Video of the DNC

(4) Comments | Posted August 28, 2008 | 3:22 PM

The most revealing video of the DNC may be airing right now on MSNBC. (Go ahead, tune in. You'll catch it. They've got nothing but time to kill until Olbermann and Matthews convene tonight's slapfight, and they're cycling through B-roll like it's going out of style.) It's a ten-second...

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"But I am reasonably certain, my friends, that I own exactly sixteen Patek Philippe watches."

(2) Comments | Posted August 21, 2008 | 11:46 AM

If you're looking for a good, concrete example of a guy who's right in touch with the aspirations of ordinary Americans you'd be hard-pressed to top a guy who isn't sure how many houses he owns. I mean, isn't that The American Dream right there -- to own so many...

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Dance On, Matt

(2) Comments | Posted June 24, 2008 | 1:47 PM

I've been trying to figure out why Matt Harding and Melissa Nixon's Dancing 2008, the breakout viral video of the moment, is so charming, so endlessly watchable, and ultimately so moving. (If you haven't seen it yet, I won't spoil it for you. Watch it below.)


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