Thursday, November 30, 2006

Tempest, Meet Teapot

Here's the latest...

Cheating is not unheard of on university campuses. But cheating on an open-book, take-home exam in a pass-fail course seems odd, and all the more so in a course about ethics.


“We have encountered a serious problem with the final exam, and will not register a passing grade in the course for anyone who does not attend,” David A. Klatell, vice dean at the school, wrote in an e-mail message, which was forwarded to a reporter by a student. Mr. Klatell did not respond to several telephone and e-mail requests for comment.

[Cheating on an Ethics Test? It’s ‘Topic A’ at Columbia via NYT]

Look Ma! We're on the 'net!

Knew it had to break eventually. And now apparently CNN is casting commentators. Good times... See y'all at 1:45 tomorrow!

Ivy J-Schoolers Fail Ethics, Ace Irony

Cheating on an ethics exam? It sounds like the setup for a joke. But
a group of grad students at Columbia's journalism school are
suspected of having done just that, according to a source at the

Tomorrow, the entire student body is required to attend a special
session of "Critical Issues in Journalism," an ethics course taught
by New York Times columnist Samuel Freedman. In an e-mail announcing
the meeting last week, vice dean David Klatell stated only that
there had been a "serious problem" with the final exam. Failure to
attend the session, Klatell warned, would result in a failing grade
for the course.

Neither Klatell nor Freedman responded immediately to calls for
comment, but students believe the purpose of the meeting is to
exhort suspected cheaters to step forward. "It's an 'Out yourself
or you'll all have to suffer' situation," says the source.

"Critical Issues," an all-school seminar, focuses on dilemmas facing
journalists in the post-Judith Miller and Jayson Blair era. The
class includes topics such as "Why be Ethical?" and "Tribal Loyalty
vs. Journalistic Obligation." The final exam consists of two essay
questions to be completed in 90 minutes. Since the test can be
taken at any time during a 36-hour period, students are instructed
not to discuss the exam questions with each other.

In this case, it seems a few of the aspiring Woodwards and
Bernsteins were a little too adept at working their sources. No
word on how the school's administration got wind of the cheating.

If the disgruntled posts on are any indication,
Freedman's students haven't exactly been soaking up his sermons.

"Maybe he could e-mail his 'speeches' to the students instead of
making everyone suffer through the most wasted class in j-school
(collective punishment?). His ethical Fridays were a pompous
exercise in self-adulation. He seldom talks about the readings and
a typical speech always begins, 'In (fill in year here).'"

By Jeff Bercovici 11/30/06 3:07 PM

Monday, November 27, 2006

Gravitas, Mocked

Ok, I dare you to submit this MP3 for your next Radio Skills assignment.

5F15 - Girly Edition

Lisa becomes anchor for a new news program for kids, with help from Bart, Nelson and Milhouse. Bart's on camera presence gets him upgraded to co-anchor. After he overhears his sister calling him stupid, Bart seeks some advice from Kent Brockman on how to be an anchor. He follows Brockman's advice and begins covering human interest stories that make him popular and Lisa jealous. Bart pretends to be emotional about people's problems.

Meanwhile, Lisa devises a plan to expose Bart for being a phony. Bart ends up at a junkyard, where Willie attempts to kill him for earlier destroying his home. Lisa saves the day by using the same phony rhetoric that makes Bart so popular.

[via lardlad, click here for more audio]

Lede of the Day

Really, this one is a winner...
this from sheri h. and colleen kelly, both in the twin cities.

quote of the year, so far, actually: "The statute does not prohibit
one from having sex with a carcass,'' Anderson wrote.

kicker of the year, too. wait for it...

DULUTH -- Prosecution of a case involving alleged sexual contact with
a dead deer may hinge on the legal definition of the word "animal.''

Bryan James Hathaway, 20, of Superior, Wis., faces a misdemeanor
charge of sexual gratification with an animal. He is accused of
having sex with a dead deer he saw beside a road on Oct. 11.

A motion filed last week by his attorney, public defender Fredric
Anderson, argued that since the deer was dead, it was not considered
an animal and the charge should be dismissed.

"The statute does not prohibit one from having sex with a carcass,''
Anderson wrote.

Judge Michael Lucci heard the motion Tuesday.

"I'm a little surprised this issue hasn't been tackled before in
another case,'' Lucci said.

The Webster's dictionary defines "animal'' as "any of a kingdom of
living beings,'' Anderson said.

If you include carcasses in that definition, he said, "you really go
down a slippery slope with absurd results.''

Anderson argued: When does a turkey cease to be an animal? When it is
When it is wrapped in plastic packaging in the freezer? When it is
served, fully cooked?

A judge should decide what the Legislature intended "animal'' to mean
in the statute, he said. "And the only clear point to draw the line
in that definition, I believe, is the point of death.''

Assistant District Attorney James Boughner said the court can use a
dictionary to determine the meaning of the word, but it doesn't have

"The common and ordinary meaning of a word can be found in how people
actually use the word,'' Boughner wrote in his response to the motion.

When a person's pet dog dies, he told Lucci, the person still refers
to the dog as his or her dog, not a carcass.

"It stays a dog for some time,'' Boughner said.

He referred to the criminal complaint, in which Hathaway told police
he saw the dead deer in the ditch and moved it into the woods.
Hathaway called it a dead deer, Boughner said, not a carcass.

"It did not lose its essence as a deer, an animal, when it died,'' he

Anderson argued that the statute, which falls under the heading
"crimes against sexual morality,'' was meant to protect animals. That
would be unnecessary in the case of a dead animal.

"If you look at the other crimes that are in this subsection, they
all protect against something other than simply things we don't like
or things we find disgusting,'' he said.

Other crimes in that subsection include incest, bigamy, public
fornication and lewd and lascivious behavior.
Boughner said the focus of the statute was on punishing the human
behavior, not protecting animals.

"It does not seem to draw a line between the living and the dead,''
he said.

Interpreting the statute to exclude dead animals would also exclude
freshly killed animals, Boughner said. That, he said, could lead to
people who commit such acts with animals to kill them.

Lucci said he would render a decision by Hathaway's next court
appearance on Dec. 1.

The misdemeanor charge carries a maximum penalty of nine months in
jail and a fine of up to $10,000. If convicted, Hathaway could serve
a prison term of up to two years because of a previous conviction. In
April 2005, Hathaway pleaded no contest to one felony charge of
mistreatment of an animal for the shooting death of Bambrick, a 26-
year-old horse, to have sex with the animal.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

And in today's totally-unrelated-to-journalism amusements...

Maybe there's a lesson to be learned about the power of editing to convey many different stories from the same material? Or maybe... just maybe!... we can all enjoy the inherent creepiness of red Swingline staplers.

Office Space: Redux

"...because I told, I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I'm, I'm quitting, I'm going to quit. And, and I told Don too, because they've moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were married, but then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn't bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it's not okay because if they take my stapler then I'll set the building on fire..." - Milton

You know you love it

Afghan Warlord Takes Anderson Cooper As 43rd Wife

Columbians Gone Wild

From the NY Daily News:

I'm still not sure they mean the Columbia we go to. But I'm sure all these things are really, really totally different than the high-class Puritan class and modesty that goes on everywhere else. And without the Daily News' hard-hitting undercover work, we'd never know...


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Phyllis Garland, Journalism Prof, Dies at 71

Phyllis Garland, the first female and first African-American faculty member to receive tenure at the Columbia School of Journalism, died of cancer on Nov. 7. She was 71.
For a laugh -- or tears -- note the spelling of "Winston Marcellus" in the Spectator.

Sounds like a great professor. Check out Vibe and the Post-Gazette, which said:

She loved jazz, ballet and soul music and believed deeply in the power of the arts. She taught her students to cover them as thoroughly as they would city hall.

In the classroom, she was known for her tough, but laid-back style.

Her students called her Phyl. She lived in an Eighth Avenue apartment in Greenwich Village and, every year she invited her class to a listening party, sharing music from her huge jazz collection.

Panda Party

Here's a hard-hitting streaming video from

Panda Cam

I don't know why I find this so funny.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Newspapers vs. Google

Let the media deathmatch begin.

176 Newspapers to Form a Partnership With Yahoo

SNL "Media-opoly" Cartoon*

Here's a little Schoolhouse Rock-style 'toon about media deregulation. It's funny because it's true, um, maybe.

*conspiracy theorists take note: this supposedly aired only once.
**While we're on the subject of SNL, more cowbell.

If Tony Dec and MacGyver had a baby...

Here's a little something for you broadcast majors out there. It's a Do-It-Yourself mike stand.
Just take a metal hanger, bend it in half a little, then bend the hook down and adjust as necessary.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Joys of Bladder Control

Maybe Prof. Freedman was right. Says Barbara Walters in the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, "The reason that I am so successful is that I do not sweat, and I don't have to go to the bathroom very often. That is the key to my success. Which means that I can be on the air for a very long time...I either have great kidney control or I don't drink enough water."

Larry King Admits He’s Never Used The Internet: ‘Do You Punch Little Buttons and Things?’

Proof you don't need that new media class if you want to become an obnoxious, bloviating, ignorant media superstar.


LARRY KING: On your blog you write, “Bush is going to declare war on China next, I swear.”

ROSEANNE BARR: I was so scared because I woke up and there was the Drudge, you know. I always read the Drudge Report and it said on there that the Chinese were like, you know, spying on our subs or doing something with our subs and I was like, “Oh no, he’s going to think that’s an act of war and then we’re going to go over there next.” I mean we’re everywhere. We’re everywhere.

KING: The Internet as a political medium viable?

BARR: Yes, it’s like the only one left, absolutely, and that’s not just me saying it. That’s everybody saying it.

KING: But there’s 80 billion things on it.

BARR: Yes, but if you know where to look, you know, it all can come together. When you’re looking for the particular information that you’re looking for after you do the big search, this is what I found out by going on there, it just takes your mind and then you live in there forever. You can never come out.

KING: I’ve never done it, never gone searching.

BARR: Oh, my God! It just opens up the whole universe. It’s so awesome. You would love it.

KING: No, I wouldn’t.

BARR: Anything you want to know.

KING: The wife loves it. I wouldn’t love it. What do you punch little buttons and things?

BARR: You just click on this thing. The thing is you got to be able to read, so you have to have strong glasses when you’ve over 50 and then you just scroll down and click. It’s not that hard. I can show you how to do it.

KING: No, thanks.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Story idea

Wanted to pass along some info on a cool story to report on this
Six recent college graduates created an educational non-profit in
conjunction with the public schools and are launching a 2-year
sailing voyage around the world. They take off from Battery Park on
Sunday on their 43- foot sailboat- its an exciting event and thought
it would make a great print *or* broadcast story (i cant do it
myself so thought i'd share)
More info is below, and if anyone has questions they can give me a
call and i can put them in touch 203 913 3048
Or, to call directly:
Aaron Lasher: 847 567 7245
Brian Sabina: 7818010537
Ryan Whisner: 224 420 0576

In 1998 Reach The World ( launched the voyage
of "Makulu", a 43-foot sailboat, which has been followed by over 80
NYC classrooms. As a result of a successful expansion to Chicago, a
second expedition will be departing on Sunday, Nov. 19 from the
docks of the Manhattan Sailing Club in Battery Park City, NY at
approximately 11:00 AM. The vessel is another 43-foot sailboat
that goes by the name "Aldebaran". Come meet the Chicago team (a
group of recent college graduates who spearheaded the RTW
replication in Chicago over the past 2 years) as they say their
final fairwell to family and friends, and leave the safe harbor on
a 2-year expedition around the globe.

Reach The World is an educational non-profit that uses real-world
expeditions to uplift learning far beyong the classroom walls. By
communicating via the internet, classrooms stay in contact with a
sailing vessel and its crew as it circumnavigates the globe,
sharing their experiences in far off lands.
The students we serve often attend the most underfunded public
schools. By empowering their teachers with interactive material
from the voyage, we show the students a world outside their own,
and inspire them to dream for themselves and for the future.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

When in doubt, bake it out!

A last-day memento of our class with Ms. Judith Crist.

You Wanna Be on Top?

It's been proven again and again... journalism just doesn't make good reality TV -- or a good reality TV spoof, turns out. Judge for yourself...

America's Next Top Journalist

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Judy, Judy, Judy

As folks were filing out of tonight's lecture, a few students who'd noticed Judith Miller in the audience stopped by to say, 'hello.'

Miller did most of the talking as the six of us were somewhat agog. If I remember correctly, she said that she'd been part of a gender discrimination lawsuit at the Times in the early seventies and that she'd started out like panelist Michelle Leder, sifting through documents -- in Washington, where she insisted the Times send her.

Where should we start out, someone asked. The wires, said Miller. She'd never done it, and consequently she never learned to write quickly -- especially those first three paragraphs. That's why she got into investigative journalism.

Miller wanted to know what we thought of "all this," meaning the web's effect on journalism. (God forgive me, I was thinking, "She's got a great Cheshire smile, and she's kind of a fox" -- maybe in an infamous Mata Hari sort of way these days)

Just then, someone passed by, and I stepped away. Soon, Miller was wrapping up. She shook each student's hand and instead of walking out, she waited until I was done with my friend to shake my hand.


She was down to earth, gracious and -- I'm speculating -- appreciative that noone brought up her troubles or treated her with awkward neglect.

Anyone else who was there care to add something? About the Binaca?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Gawked, Ahhhh-gain

Gawker posts yet another exposé about the chilling ability of Columbia students to...

Dum Dum Dummmmm...


The item titled, "'Village Voice' Hiring Pool Remains Incredibly Diverse Provided You Went To Columbia."

Umm, is this a bad time to mention that the Voice was here interviewing internship candiates last week?

Seriously, does this strike anyone else as a weird thing for Gawker to grouse about?

It did to me, until I remembered Gawker's breathless, extensive bloggerage of Radar. Between the lines, it sighed "hire me."

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Former J-schooler Interview

Here's an interview with C.J. Chivers, renowned war correspondent for the New York Times. He has positive things to say about his experience as a Columbia J-schooler:

Steven Ward (reporter): Do you think an education at Columbia is important if you want to work at a newspaper? I understand that you had a choice of two big newspaper jobs following your time at Columbia—the Providence Journal in Rhode Island and a newspaper in Philadelphia. Why did you choose the Providence Journal?

C.J Chivers: Forget the debate about whether journalism schools are useful or useless. Columbia is useful. And forget the ivy. The place is a trade school, and I mean that as a compliment. Let me say I am speaking of the past—I understand Columbia has changed parts of its program, and I know little about these changes, so am not qualified to talk about the present day. But when I went there I wanted very much to learn a craft, and the Columbia j-school knew how to teach a craft. The Marines had shown me—and I still believe this—that excellence is about fundamentals. Journalism is like that, but by the time I decided to try journalism I was 29, and had little insight into the skills I would need. What records are we entitled to? How do you get them? What lines of questioning can elevate an interview, and yield the details and facts and impressions that can elevate a story? How does the First Amendment work in practice? Even little things, like where can we sit in a courtroom? When we're starting out we don't know these things. And by that time I had been a Marine Corps company commander, and I didn't like not knowing where the switches were. Columbia provided a set of answers to these questions, and many others.

Whether the j-school experience is important if you want to work at a newspaper is another question. It depends. If you've worked hard at a solid local newspaper, or are some kind of genius, then you don't need j-school. You probably already know at least half of what they teach, and you may have been smart enough to have been paid to learn it. But if you don't have journalism experience, signing up for a structured curriculum is a good play. What did it get me, short-term? When I left I had interest from the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Providence Journal. These weren't big jobs. They were internships with a small possibility of a full-time slot. I chose Providence because it was clear from the interviewing process that the editors in Rhode Island were more personally interested in their young reporters. And the fishing was better. That mattered.

Read the rest of the article here.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Best of Ed Bradley

Link to CBS News video

Thursday, November 09, 2006

R.I.P. Ed Bradley

Bradley joined the staff of the venerable news magazine 26 years ago. His consummate skills as a broadcast journalist and his distinctive body of work were recognized with numerous awards, including 19 Emmys, the latest for a segment that reported the reopening of the 50-year-old racial murder case of Emmett Till.

Bradley grew up in a tough section of Philadelphia, was wounded while covering the Vietnam War and later became the first black White House correspondent for CBS News.

Gannett to Crowdsource News

Gannett to Crowdsource News

The publisher of "America's newspaper" is turning to America to get its news.

According to internal documents provided to Wired News and interviews with key executives, Gannett, the publisher of USA Today as well as 90 other American daily newspapers, will begin crowdsourcing many of its newsgathering functions. Starting Friday, Gannett newsrooms were rechristened "information centers," and instead of being organized into separate metro, state or sports departments, staff will now work within one of seven desks with names like "data," "digital" and "community conversation."

The initiative emphasizes four goals: Prioritize local news over national news; publish more user-generated content; become 24-7 news operations, in which the newspapers do less and the websites do much more; and finally, use crowdsourcing methods to put readers to work as watchdogs, whistle-blowers and researchers in large, investigative features.

"This is a huge restructuring for us," said Michael Maness, the VP for strategic planning of news and one of the chief architects of the project. According to an e-mail sent Thursday to Gannett news staff by CEO Craig Dubow, the restructuring has been tested in 11 locations throughout the United States, but will be in place throughout all of Gannett's newspapers by May. "Implementing the (Information) Center quickly is essential. Our industry is changing in ways that create great opportunity for Gannett."

And great challenges: Like other newspaper publishing companies, Gannett has watched its share price slide steadily southward, losing 30 percent of its value since January 2004. Although newspapers still post healthy profits, circulation has declined precipitously as more and more readers migrate to the internet, non-journalistic news sources like The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, and on-the-scene videos posted to Readership figures in the 18- to 34-year-old demographic have been especially dispiriting, and Wall Street has aggressively demanded that papers cut costs and adapt to rapid changes in technology.

Other large publishers are already experimenting with bringing readers into a more participatory role, and a host of citizen-journalism projects like NowPublic and NewAssignment.Net have sprung up in the last few years. But because of its reach, Gannett's move could bring these issues into the mainstream.

Of all the pilot projects the company has conducted over the last few months, the most promising would seem to be the crowdsourcing of in-depth investigations into government malfeasance. Crowdsourcing involves taking functions traditionally performed by employees and using the internet to outsource them to an undefined, generally large group of people. The compensation is usually far less than what an employee might make for performing the same service. Well-known examples include Wikipedia and iStockphoto.

"We've already had some really amazing results with the crowdsourcing element of this," said Jennifer Carroll, Gannett's VP for new media content. "Most of us got into this business because we were passionate about watchdog journalism and public service, and we've just watched those erode. We've learned that no one wants to read a 400-column-inch investigative feature online. But when you make them a part of the process they get incredibly engaged."

The most prominent example, Carroll said, occurred this summer with The News-Press in Fort Myers, Florida. In May, readers from the nearby community of Cape Coral began calling the paper, complaining about the high prices -- as much as $28,000 in some cases -- being charged to connect newly constructed homes to water and sewer lines.

Maness asked the News-Press to employ a new method of looking into the complaints. "Rather than start a long investigation and come out months later in the paper with our findings we asked our readers to help us find out why the cost was so exorbitant," said Kate Marymont, the News-Press' editor in chief.

The response overwhelmed the paper, which has a circulation of about 100,000. "We weren't prepared for the volume, and we had to throw a lot more firepower just to handle the phone calls and e-mails," Marymont said.

Readers spontaneously organized their own investigations: Retired engineers analyzed blueprints, accountants pored over balance sheets, and an inside whistle-blower leaked documents showing evidence of bid-rigging.

"We had people from all over the world helping us," said Marymont. For six weeks the News-Press generated more traffic to its website than "ever before, excepting hurricanes." In the end, the city cut the utility fees by more than 30 percent, one official resigned, and the fees have become the driving issue in an upcoming city council special election.

Maness said the experience was so encouraging that Gannett will roll out the new approach in all of its newsrooms. "We're going to restructure everything in how we gather news and information. We'll shift our eyes and ears on the ground from reporters to the crowd."

Sources at several papers, from The Indianapolis Star to The Cincinnati Enquirer to the Burlington (Vermont) Free Press, said Gannett corporate headquarters had directed them to adopt the new approach.

Naturally, the newsrooms are wary of the changes, despite the results achieved in Fort Myers. "We've broken into task forces to figure out how to implement this, but some of this stuff, I'll be honest, gives us great pause," said one midlevel editor at a Gannett newspaper, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The editor of the Indianapolis Star sparked a minor controversy when he launched that paper's crowdsourcing efforts in the editor's page a few weeks ago. Several staffers publicly expressed the concern that Gannett was turning to the crowd as a cost-saving measure, and worried that the changes would result in more job cuts.

"Look, we've got some hurdles to get over, as an industry and as a company. Cultural hurdles and technological hurdles," said Gregory Korte, an investigative journalist with the Cincinnati Enquirer who has been working to implement some of these ideas at the paper. At some point, he says, it's going to get painful. "The newspaper of the future is going to need more programmers than copy editors, and we're going to have to figure out how to make that transition."

Carroll and Maness have promised that no layoffs will occur as a result of the reorganization. "We're retraining our people, and many will take on new duties," said Maness, noting that photographers are being trained to take videos, and that library staffers may be called upon to man the "data desk," which manages the influx of information Gannett hopes readers will be submitting. "But no one's going to lose their job because of this."

Above and beyond pink-slip considerations, crowdsourcing journalism raises many other thorny issues, said Korte. The paper recently asked the crowd to weigh in on the grisly murder of a 3-year-old foster child.

"All that water-cooler speculation moved online," said Korte. The readers were convicting the foster parents before charges were even filed. "We wound up having to close down the message boards until an indictment came down. It's very hard to separate fact from fiction online, and some people expect that whatever's on our site undergoes the same degree of scrutiny as what appears in the paper."

Korte said he feels that crowdsourcing holds a great deal of promise for certain "pocketbook" issues, like the sewage scandal in Fort Myers, but that it will take a lot of thought and experimentation before discovering how best to utilize the approach.

"We're serious about this," he said. "Do we have it licked? No. But we're ahead of the curve. By maybe half a step."

For extended interview transcripts and information about Gannett's "information center" initiative, please go to Jeff Howe's blog,

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hamstrung Ex-Philly Ed Parachutes In

When Amanda Bennett inherited a Philly Inquirer emaciated by job cuts, she massed the staff, and together they came up with a dynamic plan to re-envision the respected newspaper...

For the next forty-five minutes, Bennett and Gordon outlined a plan that called for, among other changes, cutting the number of zones from five to three, and placing an ever-greater emphasis on disseminating the news online. Those and many smaller changes they detailed were in service of a larger goal: the Inquirer could not and would not continue trying to be Philadelphia’s paper of record. That, in turn, meant that the shrunken staff was now free from the burden of covering everything, and given that freedom, the paper would begin to be filled with the boldly conceived and written pieces that had once been its hallmark. The readers, too, had spoken. The Inquirer had conducted yet another round of focus groups in the fall, and the report back confirmed what people had been hearing for as long as they’d been asking: readers turned to the Inquirer to read national and foreign stories almost as much as they wanted local news.

And then she pulled the rip cord...

Some staffers, meanwhile, said that Bennett may not have improved the paper enough during her time to give a new owner reason to keep her on. "The general sentiment was there was not as much impact on the paper as some people expected given her credentials," Yant Kinney said about Bennett, a former editor at the Lexington Herald Leader whose experience also includes The Wall Street Journal. "It is hard to know if she got swept up in all of the larger problems of the paper, or got swept up in the paper, a place this big and complex."

With plans to land at the J-School.

After she leaves the Inquirer, Bennett will become a visiting fellow at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She said the exact nature of the fellowship is unknown, but will take place next semester.

Oh those poor Republicans

Election Night Coverage: Boys Club

History was all over the screen, except on the anchor desks and panels of experts, where every news division, even CNN, seemed to have sent out an inter-office memo that said, “stag."

The gender gap on election nights doesn’t match the rest of television news: be it on cable or the networks, female reporters cover every field, including Afghanistan and Iraq.

Skywriter Trailed by Skyeditor

Thanks to the Onion.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

CTV's The Gates: Everyone's Worst Fears Realized

New Professional Edge for CTV - Arts & Entertainment

Co-star Toby Mitnick, CC'10 (who plays the international student) worries about how his friends will react to seeing him on TV.

"I don't think I'm going to have any more friends," he said. "I'm scared I'm going to come off as a spectacular douche bag."

Monday, November 06, 2006

I love the smell of twatwaffles in the morning...

Today's Gawker post about what else? Drama at Columbia -- but this time, it's drama of the soap opera kind... I hope O'Reilly gets a hold of these clips.

Columbia U. Soap Opera: Best Amateur Lesbian Porn On 116th Street

It's shocking how endlessly twatwafflish Columbia students are. Exhibit #517 is this new soap opera from Morningside Heights, creatively titled "The Gates." It's being shown on the Columbia TV station but has also helpfully been posted to YouTube so the plebians can hear such scintillating dialogue as, "This is college. You have to start trying new things," and "A man of the world! Have you thought about rushing?" In Part 2, there's also some girl-on-girl action; as an added bonus, one of the parties involved is a shy Asian engineering student who's just come from Bible study. Score!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Who knew he was such a good singer?

Watch out U2, you got some competition.

George Bush's Freudian Slip

He almost got it right.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Criminal afoot in the nabe

Fortunately, he's "bungling."

Cops are hunting for a bungling teenage mugger preying on women in Morningside Heights and Harlem, police said.

The thug threatens his victims by telling them, "Give me your money!" and gesturing as if he has a gun - although several of his targeted victims have not taken his demands seriously, ignoring him and walking away.

"He's not very good at what he does," said one police official familiar with the spree.

The suspect, who is active in the early evening, first struck at 8 p.m. on Oct. 12 when he approached a 28-year-old woman in front of 415 W. 120th St. and demanded money. She walked away.

He next struck five minutes later in front of 425 W. 121st St., when he approached another 28-year- old, who also ignored him.

On Oct. 18, between 7:15 and 7:30 p.m., he successively approached four separate people in front of 512 W. 11th St.

A 28-year-old woman walked away, but a 43-year-old man felt threatened enough to hand over $5. A 53-year-old woman then gave the suspect $60, but when a fourth unidentified victim also walked away, he felt prompted to yell, "I'm only kidding."

He last struck Oct. 19 at 9 p.m. in front of 110 Morningside Drive, threatening a 21-year-old woman, who forked over $40.

He's described as 14 to 16 years old, with close-cropped hair, weighing about 140 pounds.