Tumblr, Vimeo Founders Talk Creativity At SXSW Brunch

Want to brunch with Tumblr founder David Karp? Split an omelette with Vimeo founder Jake Lodwick? Have an espresso with the lead singer of OK Go? Yep, so do I. And maybe someday we will, but for now, we’re getting the next best thing: a video from GE’s two-hour Brilliant Brunch at SXSW, when eight leading creators of all things tech, media, & music came together to dine on waffles, sip Bloody Marys, and tackle how they got started, what challenges them, and how they stay on top.

In this video, the innovators discuss their “Path to Creativity.” Check out the full list of videos, sit back, grab a coffee, and get instantly inspired. Or at least hungry.

Follow Bonnie on Twitter here.

Politico Once Again Incapable Of Relevance

Over the course of the 2012 elections, Politico proved itself over and over to be one of the most vacuous, false-equivalence-spouting, stupidly anecdotal, hand-wringing, unscientific and completely myopic outlets for horserace coverage out there. And that’s really saying something, when you consider these morons were also getting paid to publicly characterize the campaigns. (Maybe the fourth estate could stand to be a bit smaller? Just a thought.)

And now, at a time when most newspapers and magazines are taking a look at how Romney lost and Obama won, how the former cut his staffers’ credit cards off and how the latter might lead in a second term, Politico chooses to rehash a would-be viral story from weeks ago: the guy who got the Romney-Ryan logo tattooed on his face. Oh yeah, him! I’d forgotten all about that dude, just like any normal human should have. But even then, in this piece that’s designed to gloat and mock a clearly deranged individual for a few hundred pageviews, they can’t get it right. Check out that headline: “So, maybe that Romney face tattoo wasn’t such a good idea … ” What, you think so? Jesus, I hope you didn’t keep the fact-checkers too busy with that one. Then, this lede: “With the election over, supporters of Mitt Romney have to pack up their campaign signs and paraphernalia and get on with their lives. But what if you can’t get rid of that stuff? Literally.”

Incredible. It’s as if they were typing this up in Microsoft Word and the little paperclip character showed up and went “Hi! It looks like you’re trying to write a blog post from a few weeks ago just to ridicule a guy who has not yet begun to understand how his unexamined actions will dog and haunt him throughout his life, when you could have attempted actual analysis of current events. Can I help?” and then just filled in the rest. Great job, Politico! Now we know you’re as bad as aping Gawker as you are at everything else.

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

Can We Laugh At the Newsweek Tumblr?

This is somewhat personal, because my dad was once an editor for Newsweek International and wrote an unforgettable cover story on the WTO protests in Seattle in 1999. It’d be enough of an insult to his résumé that the magazine has been pared down to 14 pages of Tina Brown political slashfic, but the Tumblr incarnation of this sorry media outlet operates strictly beyond the pale.

Some recent offenses:

  • Getting all cutely offended by the Huffington Post for running a photo of a coat hanger under a headline about abortion, then turning defensive about their reaction, then converting their cursor from a dreadfully twee handlebar mustache to … yep, a coat hanger. Please note that all this happened one day after they aggregated something from the Huffington Post without comment. JOURNALISM.
  • Screencapping a Drudge Report banner suggesting that their highly fanciful and not very true anti-Obama cover story by noted butt-wipe Niall Ferguson constituted, if not technical plagiarism, a late-to-the-Tea-Party grab at their conservative readership. Newsweek bungled this one by going with the caption “Rawr,” when they rather should have committed seppuku.
  • Articulating the single lamest comeback to a blogger who dared to point out that their worthless infographisticle included a categorical error. (And promptly having their asses handed right back to them.)

Luckily, plenty of righteous Tumblr citizens take the publication to task for any and every slip-up; there’s an auto-pile-on for every failure to fact check, and you see a lot of those without fact-checkers. But all this has led me to a philosophical conundrum: If everyone stopped following Newsweek, would it still reblog .gifs from Buzzfeed to make fun of CNN?

The ‘New York Times’ Wants You to Know That Salman Rushdie Has Tons of Sex

What’s going on with the Grey Lady this weekend?! First, the New York Times Magazine published its amazing interview with a clearly annoyed Sandra Lee. Not to be outdone, the paper’s Styles section just released a creepy-and-not-in-the-still-endearing-way profile of author–excuse me, I mean totally awesome partygoing awesome ladies man who is awesome and has tons of sex and all of the friends and wow man he’s just so cool seriously just an awesome sex-having ladies man–Salman Rushdie.

The Rushdie profile is noteable from the get-go due to its headline, "From Exile to Everywhere." So fetch, right? So original and totally not cliche!

It begins:

AT 8 p.m. on a rainy Tuesday last month, Salman Rushdie strode into Junoon, a Flatiron district restaurant where 90 people awaited his arrival, some sipping chamomile-infused vodka cocktails. Mr. Rushdie, the Indian-born British author, was the guest of honor at a dinner sponsored by Dom Pérignon and Booktrack, the maker of an app that synchronizes music to e-books.

It was the second party that night for Mr. Rushdie, 64, who earlier in the evening could be found chatting with Diane Von Furstenberg at a downtown show for the artist Ouattara Watts, hosted by Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld, one of his gallerists.

At Junoon, after plates of baby eggplant and lamb were scraped clean, Mr. Rushdie grabbed an iPad and read aloud his short story “In the South,” which appeared in The New Yorker in 2009 and which Booktrack had scored to original music played by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. After he finished, Mr. Rushdie approached a long-legged, slim brunet woman sitting at the end of a long table. “How did I do?” Mr. Rushdie asked. She cooed over the recitation, and he thanked her for coming. As he walked away, she turned to a fellow partygoer. “It’s nice to see him out, isn’t it?” she said.

You know what, it’d be impossible for me to summarize this without essentially copying and pasting the whole thing, so you should probably just go read it yourself. You know, if you’re not too busy having sex, like Rushdie is all the time.

‘944’ Magazine May Survive, in Some Form, in Vegas

Cut off the head, but the limbs live on! Or go through a “transformation” of some kind. 944 magazine may be closing down as of its June issue, but at least one of its metro editions — the Las Vegas flavor — will endure.

On the 944 blog:

Sandow Media (publishers of New Beauty, Watch Journal, Worth and Luxe Interiors, amongst many other national titles and who purchased 944 Media in December 2010) has struck an expanded partnership deal with Wendoh Media (publishers of Vegas Seven, Crystals and Inside Cirque du Soleil) to produce a new magazine which will be “the ultimate insider’s guide to Las Vegas” launching in August. The publication will have a circulation of over 100,000 and will be distributed on newsstands nationwide (and in the cities previously serviced by 944 magazine like LA, San Diego, Miami and San Francisco) as well as in public and private airports. Within Las Vegas, you will continue to find us at all the hot spots including hotels, pools, stores, restaurants and everywhere else that matters.

This makes sense, since 944 Las Vegas was a joint venture between 944 Media and Vegas-ish nightlife-esque Wendoh Media from the beginning. So, with 944 Media’s owners walking away from the franchise, Wendoh will pick up the keys to the local establishment and try to do something with the place.

‘944’ Magazine Shuts Down

Print media! Who needs it! Well, there’s one less rag to kick around now, as 944 Media will apparently be shutting down 944 Magazine as of the June issue. 944 filed for Chapter 11 last year, and in February of 2011 was acquired by Sandow Media. The troubled 944 had rapidly expanded over the last several years into a multi-edition urban lifestyle stroke book with plenty of celeb tie-ins. Unfortunately, one of those tie-ins contributed to the mag’s demise, as a botched Super Bowl party led to messy legal and financial woes.

Regardless, 944 is just one of several lifestyle/design acquisitions from Sandow, which has been snapping up various fire-sale media entities for awhile now (Surface mag, Gen Art, and even Furniture Today, among others). 944 might have just become encumbered with too many alabtrosses to make for a viable relaunch. UPDATE: Looks like the Las Vegas incarnation of 944 will survive in some form.

‘Jersey Shore’ Boys in Gay Panic on ‘Village Voice’

In a hilarious bait and reach-around, the Village Voice shot the gentlemen of Jersey Shore for a cover story — about the gays! Without telling them! Says a source. The associated cover story is a fun single-subject romp through the (actual) Jersey Shore’s sorta down-low gay scene, though it only has a little bit of sleaze and nary a mention of the TV Jersey Shore or the cast. But who cares, on to photos of those abs.

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There are in fact 14 photos of the Jersey Shore kids in the online gallery, and while in the abstract some of them are pretty gay, it’s hard to judge in context because these guys take their shirts off for any camera for any reason, at any time, and probably never suspected they might be trotted out as gay icons for doing so. Well, there is the pink hoodie and all, that’s a little on the nose, sure. Will this inspire a fit of heteronormative rage on the part of The Situation’s rabid publicist? Doubtful, as the gay reality-show audience demo is powerful indeed. Plus, they’re all going to be replaced anyway. Might as well broaden that viewer base while you can.

Fashionair & Gen Art Shut Down

Less than a year after its launch, Fashionair — the online sartorial network founded by 19 Entertainment, where Simon Fuller formerly resided – -is closing its virtual doors. Despite a current homepage message that reads “FASHIONAIR is going through some changes. We will be back just as soon as we can.” Fashionista says, “the site is set to close down in the near future, according to sources.” With Net-A-Porter alumnae Sojin Lee at its helm and various exclusive videos (take Roland Mouret showing off his dance moves for example) and user-generated content, it’s pretty surprising that the site hasn’t managed to stay afloat longer. Perhaps its need for more filtering and editing as opposed to a perpetual flood of content, which I noted on back in September, had something to do with it.

At the same time, news of Gen Art’s closure is a blow to the independent fashion community. The creative agency that has helped highlight up-and-coming designers from Sophomore to Vena Cava during their nascent stages is hanging up its hat. For the past 16 years the organization has highlighted fledgling talents from fashion and film to art and music. According to Women’s Wear Daily, Gen Art “struggl[ed] for the past 18 months during the recession,” and sites its financial troubles as the catalyst for its closure. It’s a sad reminder that aside from the recently-launched Bloomberg-approved fashion incubator project, opportunities for young designers to break into the industry are becoming fewer and farther between.

Thompson Hotels Launches Inn-Sight Blog

Your friends and ours at Thompson Hotels (6 Columbus, 60 Thompson, Thompson LES, Gild Hall, Smyth, Hollywood Roosevelt, Thompson Beverly Hills, Hotel Sax, and Donovan House) have launched a new blog called Inn-Sight. Spinning off the Room100 concept of yore, Inn-Sight posts about fashion, art, culture, and of course travel, plus interviews and cool stuff happening in and around the various Thompsons. Plus, it’s overseen by our pal Steve Garbarino — check out his Editor’s Letter for the goods on what’s going down over there.