From the Editors
Remember Yahoo? They've been big but rarely supreme in nearly every online category: search, mail, messaging, news, finance, sports, games, horoscopes. Now they're trying on a new CEO with hopes of regaining your attention. Former Google exec Marissa Meyer is bringing optimism. Michael Arrington at Uncrunched calls Mayer "a new hope for Yahoo." At AVC, venture capitalist Fred Wilson says because of Meyer's hiring, Yahoo is no longer dead to him. Marc Andreesen calls it a hiring well done and told Business insider he was amazed Yahoo could attract someone so talented. Now what? Street Fight, a blog focusing on "the business of hyperlocal," says Mayer "must take a product that has lost relevance and either add entirely new product sets or reshape it for the times." That means becoming the king of local news, shopping and so forth. The Atlantic advises "What the Internet Wants From Marissa Mayer, in Five Words... Actually, one word: 'Flickr'... the Internet has a suggestion for what she should put at the top of her agenda: making Flickr awesome again."
Elsewhere in the Valley, rumors of an iPad Mini continue to gurgle, because imagine a device with a smaller reading screen than a normal iPad but larger than an iPhone and unable to make phone calls! Bloggers are pointing to a NY Times piece as proof the rumors are legit. Apple 2.0 says Apple is strategically spilling its own beans: "Those unnamed people 'with knowledge' of Apple's new product plans cited in Monday's New York Times have been busy. Two weeks ago, identified as 'two people familiar with the plans,' they appeared in Bloomberg Businessweek. The next day 'people familiar with the situation' showed up in the Wall Street Journal. On John Gruber's Daring Fireball they flew in as 'little birdies' from Cupertino. The message is the same: Apple is preparing to extend its dominance of the tablet computer market with a 7.85-inch model that would complement its current family of 9.7 inch iPads." The second part of the rumor is that the Mini will make an Apple pad affordable. "If Apple wants to own the tablet category and fend off (i.e. crush) rivals like the $199 Google Nexus 7, aggressive pricing is one way to do it," a CNet columnist says.
It's been bloggers versus comedians this week after a blog post blew up and put the comedic stylings of Daniel Tosh and his Unconscionable Rape Jokes into the spotlight. The previously obscure Cookies for Breakfast posted a story about a woman who attended a performance by the Comedy Central TV host Tosh at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles: "Tosh... starts making some very generalizing, declarative statements about rape jokes always being funny, how can a rape joke not be funny, rape is hilarious, etc. ... I didnt appreciate Daniel Tosh (or anyone!) telling me I should find them funny. So I yelled out, 'Actually, rape jokes are never funny!' Even though being 'disruptive' is against my nature, I felt that sitting there and saying nothing, or leaving quietly, would have been against my values as a person and as a woman... Tosh paused for a moment. Then, he says, 'Wouldn't it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her...'"
Whoa. Set this one to: explode. Reports of what actually happened in the club vary, as apparently it's history's only stand-up performance that isn't on YouTube. Much backlash ensued. Voices Against Violence blogged: "Banning offensive jokes is certainly not the answer, but regulating our tolerance of them is...If society stops laughing when a comedian crosses the line, the comedian will have no choice but to find other means to elicit the same response. "Hate 1, Laughs 0," says The Solipsistic Me, in case you are keeping score at home. Maybe the most effective response was from The Onion, with the story "Daniel Tosh Chuckles Through His Own Violent Rape." Tosh apologized on Twitter, "albeit half-heartedly," says LaughSpin. He wrote: "All out of context misquotes aside, I'd like to sincerely apologize. The point I was making before I was heckled is there are awful things in the world but you can still make jokes about them #deadbabies" Comedian Patton Oswalt was outraged by the backlash, tweeting, "Wow, @danieltosh had to apologize to a self-aggrandizing, idiotic blogger. Hope I never have to do that (again)." Oswalt told Popwatch "Obviously, I don't agree with what he said...but there's something really, really dangerous about [reacting to] something you don't like by shouting it down so it's not heard." Louis CK went on The Daily Show say he tweeted a compliment about Tosh amid the brouhaha without realizing what was going on (uh, ok), making the media report that he was rising to Tosh's defense. As Mediaite repoirts, Louie deftly zigzagged from alleged rape-joke apologist to social analyst, explaining that the main problem was that it was a battle between sides that will never back down: comedians vs. bloggers, and comedians who can't take criticism vs. feminists who can't take a joke. "While C.K. explained that he still thinks any topic, no matter how awful, should be fodder for jokes, he realizes that the dialogue going on, no matter how angry, is always a good thing."
Meanwhile, humorist Andy Borowitz has been acquired by The New Yorker, which will run his fake news blog The Borowitz Report as a NYer blog. The NYer brass told PaidContent that it is expanding its web humor and bloggery significantly and that that June was the best traffic month ever for newyorker.com. In a report to loyal readers, Borowitz answers some questions: "How will moving to The New Yorker, known for its excruciating fact-checking, change the Borowitz Report, which is composed entirely of lies? Not at all. The Borowitz Report will be as inaccurate as always, and if I ever write something that turns out to be true you have my deepest apology and my promise that it won't happen again."