7) TWO WORDS, RUPERT:DON'T MESS
After Rupert Murdoch violates his promise not to interfere with the Wall Street Journal's editorial integrity by forcing out managing editor Marcus Brauchli and installing as his replacement Robert Thomson, formerly the editor of Murdoch's Times of London, the Dow Jones Special Committee — the body charged with protecting the Journal's independence — courageously responds by giving the Thomson hire its unanimous approval.
8) STAY CLASSY, KYRA!
During an on-air conversation with her news colleagues Gerri Willis (who's white) and Don Lemon (who's black), CNN host Kyra Phillips discusses making a "reverse Oreo" with her fellow anchors.
9) ALL THAT TWITTERS IS NOT GOLD
After an illegal immigrant with a history of driving violations crashes into a Colorado-area Baskin-Robbins and kills a young child, Denver's Rocky Mountain News sends a reporter to Twitter the boy's funeral. The reporter's "Tweets" — observations of 140 characters or less, composed and sent by cell phone, and instantly distributed to the News' Twitter-connected readers — include the following hang-on-every-word nuggets: "procession begins," "people gathering at graveside," "coffin lowered into ground."
10) A DUCK BLIND, A 28-GAUGE SHOTGUN, AND THOU
The Boston Herald unwittingly reprints a satirical report from noted humorist Andy Borowitz, on Dick Cheney's desire to go "hunting" with Hillary Clinton, as straight news. Busted by Boston magazine blogger Amy Derjue, Herald editor Kevin Convey admits the paper was "bamboozled."
11) LIKE THE HANDMAID'S TALE, BUT GLOSSIER
The New York Times Magazine publishes a front-page story by Style-section flunky Alex Kuczynski, known for her work as a plastic-surgery guinea pig, on surrogate motherhood. Titled "Her Body, My Baby," the piece is packed with enough self-pity, self-regard, smug classism ("I had the natal equivalent of a hall pass, a free ride, an automatic upgrade to first class"), and problematic racial imagery (e.g., the plantation-y portrait of Kuczynski, her child, and her child's black nanny) to alienate even sympathetic readers.
12) NEWS YOU COULD HAVE USED, BUT, LIKE, EARLIER
The economic meltdown takes the vast majority of Americans by surprise — including the vast majority of the business media, which seems just as dumbstruck by it as the rest of us did. In playing catch-up, economic reporters then struggle, with limited success, to explain in semi-intelligible terms what the hell just happened.
13) THE TRIALS OF JOBS
In August, while updating the obituary of Apple founder Steve Jobs (who battled cancer several years ago, but is very much alive), Bloomberg News accidentally publishes the obit online. Two months later, a CNN "iReporter" falsely reports that Jobs has suffered a heart attack, causing Apple stock to plummet.
14) BUT HE'S OUR DOUR, HUMORLESS BLOWHARD
Over the course of the year, Keith Olbermann completes his transformation from liberal antidote to Bill O'Reilly into liberal Bill O'Reilly in need of antidote.
15) DOWN, GIRL
Writing on Salon, zany cultural theorist Camille Paglia fêtes a bizarro Sarah Palin who seems to exist only in Paglia's own overheated imagination. "There is a powerful clarity of consciousness in her eyes," Paglia hallucinates. "She uses language with the jumps, breaks, and rippling momentum of a be-bop saxophonist."
16) ANOTHER JOB FOR THE INVISIBLE EMPIRE!
Discussing Tiger Woods's dominance with former pro Nick Faldo, Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman proposes that Woods's young PGA rivals "lynch him in a back alley."