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Friend of The Toast Jacqui Shine on the strange history of ABC Family (I didn’t know ANY of this stuff, btw):

But my older associations with ABC Family get in the way. According to network president Tom Ascheim, Deadline reported Tuesday, the motivation for the rebranding was that “core viewers understand the younger, social-media active brand while non-viewers associate it with wholesome and family-friendly programming.” This name-change marks a decisive effort to finally shed the neoconservative Christian ethos that has dogged the channel’s branding, however mildly, since Fox bought the network from Pat Robertson in 1998. Yes, that Pat Robertson. In the ABC Family constellation, the televangelist may be the Foster family’s strangest bedfellow. He has maintained a hold on the network’s identity through two sales, and, however vigorous Freeform’s rebranding, he’ll continue to lurk in the background.

Robertson founded the network, then called CBN Satellite Service, in 1977. CBN’s flagship program was The 700 Club, a five-day-a-week program already in production for 11 years; it began as a nightly religious variety show—it’s where Jim and Tammy Faye Baker got their start—but has gradually evolved into a newsmagazine style talk show. Over the next two decades, under Robertson’s ownership and his son’s direction, the network dropped most of the explicitly religious content and evolved into The Family Channel. Even then, the network struggled with its core identity. Like a weird mash-up of competitors Nick at Nite and the Game Show Network, The Family Channel broadcast wholesome syndicated series like Ozzie and Harriet and Barney Miller and tepid originals like Big Brother Jake and parenting game show (not joking) Wait ‘til You Have Kids!!

Buzzfeed has found my niche (Hamilton):

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and even more so:

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Here is a cool podcast with Rebecca Carroll on race, the limits of white guilt as journalism, the need for more EDITORS of color, and what she calls “the anti-It Gets Better” experience of her work in media.

yes (this is a cartoon about spending the day with a baby)

Hayden Panettiere has checked into a treatment center for postpartum depression, and I’m really glad she’s talking about it openly. Mental health stuff is already something people shy away from disclosing, and add our national hang-ups around motherhood to that, and you’ve got a stew going:

“It’s something a lot of women experience. When [you’re told] about postpartum depression you think it’s ‘I feel negative feelings towards my child, I want to injure or hurt my child’ — I’ve never, ever had those feelings. Some women do. But you don’t realize how broad of a spectrum you can really experience that on. It’s something that needs to be talked about. Women need to know that they’re not alone, and that it does heal.”


For years I’ve known that my mother lived in New York City in the early 1960s and was a secretary before she married my father. Recently I was reminded that she’d worked at Playboy magazine. She said I knew this—how had I forgotten?

This was Playboy at its peak, when it was an intellectual magazine as well as a pinup, when people really did subscribe to it for the articles. But it was also when the Playboy Clubs were ridiculously popular and Nora Ephron was told that “women don’t write at Newsweek.”

I pictured my mom in a tight sweater typing away, wishing the world would change. Was this right? She agreed to an interview and the following conversation occurred by email over the course of several days.

Choire on pieces he chose not to publish (oh, man, I have my own list in my mind right now.)

Kima Jones interviewing Marlon James (this is older, but great):

The idea that ancestors are always present and that their duties don’t stop with death is something that’s been a part of literary and oral and musical culture from the beginning. In this novel, the twist I made is that no one can hear the ghost and no one is listening anyway, so it’s the source of his torment. Even if there is wisdom of the elders, no one is listening, and it’s the reason why we keep making the same mistakes over and over again. The character in the book, Arthur Jennings, dies a violent death, and he keeps seeing people around him dying of violent deaths—the seven killings, and more and more. A dead person almost becomes a sort of Cassandra. Even if they have this wisdom or experience, or they know the mistakes they fell prey to and they have this information to bestow, it doesn’t mean that we’re taking it. We’re rejecting it because we just don’t believe in it anymore.

If anything, this novel is about the severing of the link between the ghosts and the spirits and the living. In the absence of that link, everything sort of falls apart.

just some gay dudes who love baseball, man, I love to see this kind of aside in an article:

As fans piled onto Addison Street after the game, celebrating while trying to navigate the packed crowd, P.D. Wadler slipped into Starbucks.

“Hi!” he said as he FaceTimed his mom, dad and aunt in Texas. He smiled, waving. “It was awesome!”

Wadler, 55, and his husband witnessed the win from their seats in left field.

“I could cry, you know,” his husband Richard Brown, 60, said. “And what could happen could be amazing.”

My friend Carrie’s new puppy enjoys faux-fur throws:


Latoya Peterson on her issues with Miranda July’s Rihanna profile:

I wonder if that “omg can you believe I get to interview this person?” trope is just another kind of racially influenced narcissism – why center the words of the black woman I am speaking to when my inner dialogue is so much more interesting? There can’t be two subjects of a profile piece. And, interestingly enough, it’s anathema to the entire celebrity journalist code – the first rule is that you do not fan out, because it obscures your subject. If you are too busy fawning, you don’t ask follow up questions, and you don’t reveal anything new to your readers/viewers. (There are many issues with celebrity rags, but this sort of thing would not fly in People Magazine.)


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Do #BlackLivesMatter in presidential debates? Meh, says Jamil Smith, he’s not impressed:

About halfway through Tuesday night’s Democratic presidential debate, CNN moderator Anderson Cooper said, “I want to talk about issues of race in America. For that, I want to start off with Don Lemon.” I shuddered. For one thing, there’s the whole let’s-go-to-the-black-guy-to-ask-about-race thing, which was followed later in the debate by an instance of let’s-go-to-the-Latino-guy-to-ask-about-immigration. But I was primarily concerned that Lemon, known for his empty stunts andbizarre remarks, might ask one of his own questions. I feared it would be laced with the rubbish respectability politics that have earned him side-eyes from black viewers and interview subjects alike.

 Thankfully, Lemon cut to a Facebook question from Sterling Arthur Wilkins, a black law student from Des Moines, Iowa. “My question for the candidates is,” Wilkins asked, “Do black lives matter, or do all lives matter?” That was it.

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