Mike Vilensky of New York Magazine's Daily Un-Intel fact check fail about Boing Boing


Mike Vilensky of New York Magazine thinks we are laying off "staffers." I didn't even know we had "staffers." In any case we didn't lay anybody off. Newspapers AND Blogs Feel the Pinch

UPDATE: They corrected the error. Thanks, NY Mag!


  1. Mark: I would be honoured to be hired as a BB staffer for millisecond, and then you could lay me off! I would expect a severance cheque of $.000000001

  2. Did you call them? I wonder where on Earth they got that. Maybe they’ve mixed BB up with Federated Media?

    But that doesn’t make sense unless FM has been laying off. I don’t get it.

  3. @David: That’s not much money at all. If you guys at BB could spare six bucks, you could briefly hire everybody on earth. That’ll work wonders for the economy!

  4. I stopped reading the Strib (our cute little pet name for the Star Tribune) several years ago. I simply could not stomach it. I literally got a sick feeling reading it. Luckily there was an alternate source of news and info. The internet and blogs were just coming into their own around that time.

    That’s why I believe the internet didn’t kill newspapers but did enable their demise. The reason that the Strib was unreadable to me is because the advertisers had conspired with one another (this is a matter of history BTW) to force the paper to become much more conservative and a better mouthpiece for their propaganda.

    Ever since America was defeated in Vietnam conservatives have blamed the media. To get their revenge they have made a concerted effort over the years to take control of the media (this is again a matter of historical record). They have largely been successful at this as the prostrate media of the last eight years shows.

    None of this must be this way. It is not the working of some abstract economics at play here. These people are aristocrats. They want a sycophantic press, they want to eliminate the middle class, they want democratic government to fail because they are traitors at heart. They want to RULE not govern.

    There is no real economic reason why newspapers must die any more than there was an economic reason radio had to die. It was taken from us, deliberately, in order to rule over us.

  5. wow, could you have a better example of how ignorant Old Media is of the future/New Media?

    Publish? Without staffers? Ahem. It will never last.

  6. Anybody else notice that “mediamorphoses” seems to be plural, even though he uses it in the singular? I guess more than one would be “mediamorphoseses” of “mediamorphoses’s”

  7. Anonymous (#4):

    Good point! But the mutants would spend the rest of their lives either doing interviews or answering calls from future employees.

    You could bet I would put “worked at BB on my resume.” If a future employer should asks me how long I worked there I would say “oh long enough” ;{)

    P.S. Is that your real name? Still hassling Xenu’s children? Hope so!

  8. Since the subject has been mentioned here, how about some of you post a few good online news sites – preferably a news source that tells the whole truth and is written by people that don’t hate the US. I get most of my news from the internet and on the radio while driving to and from work. I used to watch TV news quite a bit during the day, but these days its so depressing I just get a summarization by reading the headlines on Google News and by reading BB of course.

    1. Tom,

      I’ve asked the same question here and the general consensus is that the BBC is a good news source. The New York Times is good, but the amount of content is overwhelming. Al Jazeera is my third source. The fact that everybody hates them is a pretty good testament to impartiality.

  9. pick the top twenty countries you’re interested in. Find their major center paper on line. Bookmark them all. Read the front pages in sequence,all of them, every day. Nothing’s changed since the days of sitting in the public library reading the news of the world – it’s just instantly up to date these days. They are all lying. When you make a matrix of at least twenty, the pattern of lies reveals the truth by induction.

  10. Antinous, thanks – I like the look of BBC News – http://news.bbc.co.uk/

    Now I’ll work on my distrust issues. I mean, if I can’t watch 5 minutes of CNN or MSNBC without yelling BullS**T! – I may have problems with BBC News. Kidding – Actually, I think I’ll have less trouble believing internet news than TV news. I can’t see that smug news anchor’s face on the internet.

  11. …Maybe the reporter got his un-intel misheard. Perhaps Boing Boing is merely getting their staffers laid.

  12. I’m sorry you had to find out this way, Mark, but we’re going to have to let you go. Budget cuts and clogged tubes, you know.

  13. Perhaps related, didn’t a week or two you have an article saying that two authors (who were temporarily attached to BoingBoing in some way) were going off in their own direction now? This could have been interpreted, mistakenly, as a layoff. (Sorry, I don’t have the details. I don’t follow BoingBoing as much as I’d like.)

  14. “pick the top twenty countries you’re interested in. Find their major center paper on line. Bookmark them all. Read the front pages in sequence,all of them, every day. When you make a matrix of at least twenty, the pattern of lies reveals the truth by induction.”

    Takuan, I have a better idea – You do as you stated and post your summarization – send us the link. All agreed? Any opposed?

  15. @20


    I hear that a lot, about news sources and journalists that ”hate the U.S.” How can you tell hate from disgust? Or disappointment? And are you sure? One of my beloved children used to yell at me that I “hated” her when I attempted to correct or limit her misbehavior. I think she knew that I didn’t hate her. I certainly knew when she screamed at me, “I hate you!” that she really didn’t hate me.

    Is that how you’re using it? Like a petulant child?

  16. “…the pattern of lies reveals the truth by induction.”

    A friend of mine from Budapest reads the American news this way. He grew up in Stalinist Hungary and became adept at the Iron Curtain method of news analysis. He says it’s worked very well during the past ten years.

  17. Probably the recent number of guest authors on this blog confused them. Maybe once a guest blogger stops contributing, it’s looked on as laying off?

  18. Oh no, this means you’re laying off commenters, right?! I’ll work harder, become snarkier, make my comments more trenchant, anything, just don’t lay me off. My children need wine!

  19. Uh, so is Federated Media why they didn’t change the headline? Seems weird not to have any blogs listed in that story.

  20. Magazines , Blogs and Industry Journals don’t believe in fact checking.

    After too much first hand experience, I just don’t trust anything I read.

  21. you already receive the benefit of summary by my posts here. I’ll not reveal which twenty I use since that reveals too much about me. Just follow the guns and money.

  22. Sloppy…

    Even their certificate is sloppy.

    My browser throws me an error, since it is issued to the common name of *.nymag.com

    Note the extra dot at the beginning. tsk..tsk…

  23. It’s all lies and fearmongering for ratings. Journalistic integrity doesn’t exist anymore. The blogs are the true new media.

  24. <>“y lrdy rcv th bnft f smmry by my psts hr. ‘ll nt rvl whch twnty s snc tht rvls t mch bt m. Jst fllw th gns nd mny”

    …Spkng f lyng ff cmmntrs, hr’s yr pnk slp. f y’r nc bt t, w’ll thrw n pnd jr f vsln t n xtr chrg :-) -) ;-)

    Side Note: the NY Mag article no longer allows you to access the comment site since they “corrected” the article to clarifiy the reference to FM. At least I couldn’t get the link to work, as it kept cycling back to just the article.

  25. Comments there still work; Xopher dropped a thx their way for the correction. Not much of a correction, but to EH’s point at #34, yeah, the headline is now moot and, since NYMag clearly doesn’t grok this newfangled medium, they won’t retitle or republish. In the words of Leonard L. Church, “That is totally, totally lame — and not at all surprising, which is also totally, totally lame.”

  26. ANTINOUS said:

    Al Jazeera is my third source. The fact that everybody hates them is a pretty good testament to (their) impartiality.

    Impartiality does not equal Accuracy.

    BBC + NY Times + Al Jazeera does not equal a balanced news diet (in my opinion), it is three courses of news from sources that feel they are superior to US politicians/citizens…

  27. if they are better informed, then they ARE superior in terms of news. The news is not a football game.

  28. In the old days, we had a single slanted version of the news that most people more or less accepted.

    Now we all get to seek out a slanted version individualized to our own personal beliefs and prejudices.

    I guess that’s better.


  29. tom hale. propublica.org is a decent source of reletively unbiased news. if u don’t mind a lil conspiracy with your coffee, try disnformation.com , bbc is good as well.

  30. *sigh*

    I’m a Chicagoan and I’ve always read the Chicago Tribune. It doesn’t lend itself to nicknames quite like Noen’s “Strib”; we just call it the Trib. When I was a kid my parents had a subscription. When I went to college I read the papers people left in various lounge areas. When I moved out, I subscribed. Now I’m seriously considering canceling. It breaks my heart, but it isn’t the paper I used to love anymore.

    They changed the format entirely, to make it look fresh. It was jarring, like a mature, respected aunt coming home one day with a boob job and a tube top and asking you how you like the new her.

    They caved in and changed the logo back to its old font, but the articles still look like someone in the nineties just learned how to use the font tag on a webpage. Worse, they’ve put a bar across the top of every page of the the front section with little boxes for every page number and your current page highlighted as a you-are-here marker, as if the reader had never learned to count and couldn’t figure out where, exactly, page 12 is in relation to page 11. (I can hear some belligerent graphic designer protesting that they do the same thing on the internet. Well, on the internet those numbered boxes would be functioning links. On paper they’re wasting space.)

    That would all be superficial, but it sadly serves as a visual counterpart to the overall decline of quality in the journalism. The articles are now peppered with snide, off-hand comments, as the reporter had intended the article for a personal blog.

    Why don’t newspapers understand that they can’t compete with the internet by trying to emulate it? Newsprint is too static and too slow for that. But even though I’m an internet junkie I used to make time for the paper every morning, because it can give me an experience that the internet cannot.

    Okay. Sorry about the rant. I just had to get that out of my system.

  31. TAKUAN said:

    if they are better informed, then they ARE superior in terms of news. The news is not a football game.

    You really should have capitalized the “if” in front of your statement – that is a big “IF”. The earlier writer held them up as “impartial”, I simply pointed out that “impartial” isn’t the same as “accurate” – I never said they were or were not “superior in terms of news.”

  32. Thanks minT – sounds like a great site.
    For anyone interested here’s an excerpt from their ‘About Us’ page.

    “ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. Our work focuses exclusively on truly important stories, stories with “moral force.” We do this by producing journalism that shines a light on exploitation of the weak by the strong and on the failures of those with power to vindicate the trust placed in them.”

    “Investigative journalism is at risk. Many news organizations have increasingly come to see it as a luxury. Today’s investigative reporters lack resources: Time and budget constraints are curbing the ability of journalists not specifically designated “investigative” to do this kind of reporting in addition to their regular beats. This is therefore a moment when new models are necessary to carry forward some of the great work of journalism in the public interest that is such an integral part of self-government, and thus an important bulwark of our democracy.

    The business crisis in publishing and — not unrelated — the revolution in publishing technology are having a number of wide-ranging effects. Among these are that the creation of original journalism in the public interest, and particularly the form that has come to be known as “investigative reporting,” is being squeezed down, and in some cases out.”

  33. That’s just cold – they tell everyone your business is failing and they don’t even give you a link to raise some click through ad revenue.

    (Or did they? the screenshot says no and the article has since been edited)

  34. The hardest part of this whole mess for me was giving up the corporate jet. And selling the Tokyo tower.

  35. I’ll tell you what, the reason that the Strib failed was because it was terrible — like it was locked in a to-the-death competition with the Pioneer Press for which paper could apply more vacuum pressure to their own hindquarters. Eventually they just gave up and started printing trillion dollar bills. Here’s my advice to “old media”: if your solution to lagging interest in your pablum is to reduce costs by reducing quality, you are not long for this world.

  36. I think what’s lost here is that it’s New York Magazine. Please consider the source and recognize that its just a pompous opinion mag with no news cred anyway. Have they ever been recognized for their outstanding news gathering?

  37. What CK said. The last thing that New York did that was at all interesting was a feature on Saturday Night Live during the Farley/Sandler/Spade era that took them to task in general, and in particular made Chris Farley look like a complete dick. That was sometime in the Nineties.

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