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Tina Brown’s new site is up and running. Brown, a former editor at Vanity Fair and a number of other illustrious places, expects The Daily Beast will set new standards for the online consumption of news and Oprah gossip. While I’d like to think that dinosaurs are good for more than fossil fuel, it’s dubious that Brown has discovered how to steal eyes from Matt Drudge or Slate—much less, how to make money trying. The Daily Beast has a schizophrenic homepage with lots and lots of pretty colors, and no written content beyond the subheads and the two-post aggregator in the far right column. In-house writers include Tucker Carlson, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Christopher Buckley, and lksde anmsd…jesus christ, I think I just dozed off. Yes, “dozed”—that’s what this site does to a young whippersnapper, which brings me to the pros and cons:
Negatives: scant news reporting, lame talking heads, stock CSS template (Gyrobase, anyone?), and a tone that’s more Reader’s Digest than cutting edge. Aggregation choices suggest that the target audience wear Depends, use the words “pesky” and “kids” consecutively, and, like the omnipresent Don Hewitt, claim to remember when “Closets were for coming out of, not clothes—shit, I meant that the other way around.”
Positives: The “Cheat Sheet” aggregator doubles as a clearing house for thestories David Plotz passed up: “Mossad has Added You as a Friend: The Isreali Army snoops on Facebook“; “I was Awake, Yet Paralyzed and Still Dreaming: A Woman’s Chilling Story of Paralysis“; and, “Did Anti-Depressants Cause the Mortgage Crisis?“