In Praise of Sploid

In Praise of Sploid

In Praise of Sploid

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
April 8 2005 5:37 PM

In Praise of Sploid

Today bloggers praise new Gawker Media subsidiary Sploid, discuss a movement in Congress to extend daylight-saving time, and debate new revelations about the Terri Schiavo talking-points memo.

In praise of Sploid:The Gawker online media empire launched its latest franchise Wednesday, a tabloid clearinghouse of "the best and newest in non-mainstream journalism," called Sploid.  Steered jointly by former Gawker editor Choire Sicha, Ken Layne of Tabloid.net, and one-time Wonkette underling Henry Seltzer, the Drudgelike zine promises to put the "top stories up top, played big, as fast as they break. If there's a political line," the editors declare, "it's anarcho-capitalist: sniffing out hypocrisy and absurdity, whether from salon left or religious right." Bloggers swoon.

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"It delivers the headlines worth talking about, like Drudge. But it looks better—like a cheesy German tabloid," writes critic Jeff Jarvis at BuzzMachine. "And it won't spare Drudge's sacred cows." (Later, Jarvis applauds a Sploid item that skewers the honorary role at the pope's funeral given to the disgraced former archbishop of Boston.) Plenty of others also note the similarity to conservative Drudge. But expat Douglas Arellanes thinks the Sploid launch is headed in a different direction. Knowing Ken Layne, he writes, "I figure it'll be closer in spirit to his pioneering and kickass Tabloid.net."

"Sploid is like a Gawker blog but even lazier," plugs Gawker subsidiary Gizmodo dryly. "Nothing but 80 point headlines," briefs omnivorous blogger Kevin Aylward at Wizbang. "Their tagline should be, 'When reading a second sentence is just too taxing.'"

At Modern Fabulousity, however, Gabriel offers a rare voice of dissatisfaction. "Sploid is fun but hard on the eyeballs (how about toning those headlines down a bit, gang?), and despite the editorial presence of the marvy Choire Sicha, it's still got a ways to go before it finds its own voice," he writes. "Still, I'd rather do anything than read Drudge, so my bookmark is now set."

Read more blogging about the new tabloid.

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More sun! Less oil!:The House Energy and Commerce Committee has approved a proposal to extend daylight-saving time by two months. Designed to save energy, the amendment would "add" hours of daylight to the bleak months of March and November. The plan will likely face a full vote in the House as part of a significant collection of energy legislation scheduled to hit the floor in the coming weeks.

"Please, please, pretty please extend daylight savings time," begs libertarian David Wylie at Target Centermass. "Do it for the energy savings. Do it for whatever reason you can come up with, just do it." Some bloggers are a bit more skeptical. "I am a big fan of daylight - especially when I get home from work - but does Congress really need to spend its time on this?" asks economist Craig Depken, who doubts congressional estimates of how much energy the bill might save. "Does the issue satisfy marginal benefit = marginal cost?"  

At Dave's Picks, Dave Polaschek cheekily applauds the legislation, since "we all know that you can legislate the way the Earth spins." Some bloggers wonder how it is that congressmen are such late risers. "[I]f you - like me - go to work at 6:30 in the morning and resent losing that precious morning light that was just starting to make it possible to see more than just what your headlights illuminate," writes Jack K. at RuminateThis, "then your Congress has a special deal just for you… morning darkness for earlier risers and commuters while not having all that much effect on early commuters' ambient light in the fall."

Read more about the bill.

Schiavo memo redux: The Washington Post yesterday revealed that the memo cynically outlining the political benefits of the Terri Schiavo case was written by an attorney on the staff of freshman Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida. The memo, which the Post originally reported had been distributed by party leaders, has been the subject of heated debate among bloggers since the story originally broke.

Although he admits the news "solves the mystery of where the 'talking points memo' came from," John H. Hinderaker of conservative Power Line thinks it "leaves open the question of why ABC and the Washington Post reported the memo the way they did," since the attorney "was not authorized to speak for his boss, and most certainly was not empowered to speak for the leadership of the Republican party." At TalkLeft, Denver criminal defense attorney Jeralyn Merritt warns not to take the admission at face value, pointing to local press and suggesting Martinez has a reputation for making scapegoats out of staffers.

Read Slate's Mickey Kaus on the memo and the Post coverage here. Read more about yesterday's revelation here and more about Terri Schiavo here.

Have a question, comment, or suggestion for Today's Blogs? E-mail todaysblogs@slate.com.