The Most Important Media News of the Last Two Weeks
Facebook struggle to connect with teens, while a picture of an egg is here to cure our mental health problems.
Photo: Storms Media Group / Alamy Stock Photo
Welcome to the Media Power List. Every two weeks we'll be running a rundown of who's killing it in everyone's favourite dying industry. Let's go.
15. FACEBOOK LOL
In recent months, Facebook has been secretly building a "meme hub for teens".
Regrettably dubbed "Facebook LOL", it featured categories like: "For You", "Animals", "Fails" and "Pranks".
This month, though, the company pulled the plug on testing for LOL, having previously canned their Snapchat clones, Poke and Slingshot, both of which sound less like apps and more like future slang for venereal diseases.
It seems the Zucc’s bloated org is struggling to connect with a generation obsessed with TikTok and Twitch. Teens don't give a shit about Facebook, and when they do go on it they tend to use Stories, which is much less easy to monetise than a news feed. No wonder the company’s share price tanked again this week. They’re bang out of ideas and drifting.
May we suggest the following "Dank Meme"?
He’s 92 years old, and after a lifetime of nesting at the BBC, Sir David is finally making a power move by taking his next show to Netflix. It’s a jungle out there in the content pipeline. In TV, the weak are predated upon by the strong. But the old lion of the pride still has some last strength left in his bones. Now, the silverback seeks sanctuary with a new tribe. Etc. Etc. Expect: Animal Nazis: A Warning From Geography; Vegan Animals: The Truth?; and a reboot of a kooky cult 90s nature show "updated for the #MeToo era".
Initially thought to be an absurdist comment on our collective social media neurosis and then revealed to be part of mental health awareness campaign, this month began with a kind reminder that our culture is so unwell we are now fully open to exploitation by a mentally incapacitated egg called "Eugene".
It’s always touching to see how much reporters are over-paying for their weed. Take the latest "bust worth £1.8 million". It involves 2,200 cannabis plants, which means the net value of each plant is £818.18 – considerably more than anyone sensible would ever pay.
11. JOHN HUMPHRYS
Announced that he’s quitting the Today programme, after 113 years.
For some reason it’s become fashionable to hate on Humphrys in recent times, perhaps due to his increasingly off-the-cuff, bar bore "common sense" questioning style. But in 2013, he mauled the Director-General of the BBC, George Entwistle – and, lest we forget, his boss – so badly in an interview that Entwistle resigned three days later. A few quick slashes of that "common sense" style and you can pretty much hear the DG's balls dropping neatly to the floor; the soft wet plosh of two peeled grapes.
10. TIFFANY CALVER
The new host of the Radio 1 Rap Show "won't tolerate disrespectful lyrics towards women at all" on her show, which is bad news for people who like to cry "censorship!" on Reddit but good news for pretty much everyone else.
9. MARIE COLVIN
She left her heart in San Francisco and her eye in Sri Lanka, and now, "a major motion picture" – as they say – tells the story of the adrenaline-addicted Sunday Times reporter who was murdered by the Syrian government for reporting on how they were bombing their own citizens.
It finally happened: after years of being the least-fashionable, most-dorky distant arm of the media, the podcast is now in Big Money territory. Spotify have just paid $230 million for Gimlet, a company that makes podcasts.
Yup. It's 1999 in the Dotcom Boom, and everyone's buying a pool and filling it with cocaine. The Penguin tote bag crew are about to be barged out of the way by a studio system with Marvel money and Batman v Superman-level ideas.
The 17-year-old subject of history's greatest political Rorschach test is suing the Washington Post for $250 million for demonising him from its "bully pulpit". He has another 50 lawsuits against the left-wing media locked and loaded, in what looks set to become the culture wars equivalent of Wrestlemania.
The Russian government is to temporarily unplug the entire country from the internet, in "a test of its cyber-defences" and definitely not "an impending sign of digital mass censorship".
Truly, the Alex Jones of women’s health.
Have you experienced Twitter yet? You simply must. The Zionist conspiracy theories are to die for.
You are Russian Reebok. You want to empower women. You hire an MMA fighter woman model. You compose a slogan for your pictures. You put it on Russian Instagram: “Sit not on the needle of men’s approval – sit on men’s face.” You hurriedly take it down. Job done.
The tech company put a secret microphone in their Nest Guard home security devices.
Did they ever tell anyone there was a microphone inside it? No, they did not.
What was it for? No one knows.
Does a company that controls most of the world’s data appear in any way sinister? Course not.
1. DAVID PECKER
The name of the National Enquirer boss who allegedly tried to blackmail Jeff Bezos with dick pics (Pecker's company, American Media Inc (AMI), said it "acted lawfully" in its reporting on Bezos and added that it would "thoroughly investigate" his claims and take "whatever appropriate action is necessary".)