Does Wendy Davis's Ad Cross the Line in Mentioning the Accident that Put Greg Abbott in a Wheelchair?

Wendy Davis’ latest campaign ad was released on Friday. It opens by explaining that Republican Gubernatorial nominee Greg Abbott was disabled after a tree fell on him in 1984, before describing cases in which Abbott, as Attorney General, sided with the relatively powerful, rather than the victims of various acts of negligence. That sounds straightforward, but the ad was, to put it mildly, the source of some controversy. Texas Monthly’s own Erica Grieder called it “mean-spirited,” while a breathless post on the otherwise-sympathetic-to-Davis lefty magazine Mother Jones insisted that what the ad is really about is “basically calling Abbott a cripple.” Abbott himself told the San Antonio Express-News that it was Davis’ choice “if she wants to attack a guy in a wheelchair.”

When You Hear Someone Talk about "Ebola Symptoms," They Are Just Talking about a Tummyache, Y'all

Let’s make this clear: If we went into the apartment where Thomas Eric Duncan, the sole confirmed U.S. Ebola patient (who, sadly, died from the disease yesterday morning), stayed before going back to the hospital and then we woke up the next day with a tummy-ache, we’d be freaking out, too. No one should blame Michael Monnig, the Dallas deputy who had been sent to that apartment to serve a quarantine order to Duncan’s family, for getting nervous that the otherwise-common symptoms he was experiencing might actually be Ebola. That’s just human nature.

What may also, depressingly, be human nature is the desire to sensationalize Monnig’s situation. Here we are, a week into Ebola Watch 2014. We know how Ebola is transmitted—through contact with the bodily fluids of someone who has not only been exposed to the disease, but of someone who is actively exhibiting symptoms, which are then taken into the body. If you towel off the sweat of someone who is infected with Ebola and then bite your cuticles? You might get Ebola. If you enter a room where there are people who have potentially been exposed to Ebola days or weeks earlier but they are not exhibiting symptoms? You are at little risk of getting the disease. Texas health officials have made clear that Monnig is at “no risk of Ebola.” 

Why We Can't Celebrate the Great Performances By the Cowboys and the Texans With a Clean Conscience

Last week, buried as part of a late-Friday news dump, the worst PR week in NFL history got even worse: Adrian Peterson, the game’s best running back, was arrested out in Montgomery County on child abuse charges. That followed the horror show that was the release of the video of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancee in an elevator in New Jersey, and the subsequent questions about what, precisely, the NFL knew and when it knew it, and why Rice had only been suspended two games until the public saw the video.

All of this is well-established at this point, and it’s been so pervasive a story that networks have broken into regular programming to feature updates from embattled NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, whose job seems less and less certain as the days go by. 

The Internet Had A Lot Of Fun With Rick Perry's Mugshot Last Night

Rick Perry’s mugshot-heard-round-the-world was taken yesterday, and there is really almost nothing to distinguish it from any other stylish, handsome-looking headshot taken of the longest-tenured Governor of Texas. (Though he’s not wearing his recently-acquired signature glasses.) He wears a dark suit and a smart blue tie, holds up no numbers, and gives a practiced headshot-taker’s confident smile—they even got him from his best angle. 

Even if Perry’s picture really just looks like any other photo of the man, it’s still the mugshot of a sitting governor with a national profile who’s been a meme at least three times before—when he debuted his “Strong” ad in 2012, after a photograph in which he appears to be pouting while the rest of the table is laughing during last month’s meeting with President Obama, and “oops,” a joke that never seems to go away. In essence, the picture was a big, smiling target for the Internet, and the Internet was quick to take its shots. 

A Houston Teenager Put a Face on the #IfTheyGunnedMeDown Hashtag

The situation in Ferguson, Missouri, has escalated every night since the shooting of eighteen-year-old Michael Brown by a police officer. Official details on what happened are still scarce—Brown’s friend and an eyewitness to the shooting, 22-year-old Dorin Johnson, has been interviewed by MSNBC in the days since Monday’s shooting, but not by local police. The public still doesn’t know the name of the officer or how many times Brown, who was unarmed, was shot. Police say Brown assaulted the officer and tried to take the officer’s gun; witnesses on the scene, including Johnson, refute that with a detailed recollection of the events

In these types of situations, the character of the person who was killed quickly becomes fodder for discussion, and the evidence used against them tends to come from places like Facebook, where media outlets pull photos that depict the victims of the shootings in ways that make them look like bad guys from simplistic TV shows. The intial photos of Brown, for instance, showed him flashing a sideways peace sign, which media members questioned might be gang signs. This led to the formation of the #IfTheyGunnedMeDown hashtag, where people began sharing pictures side by side—the first of themselves in a way that might match a stereotype of a threatening young person, and the second of themselves dressed in a way that’s more easily relatable to viewers whose understanding of good and bad kids comes, apparently, mostly from stereotypes. 

101 Sure Signs That Summer Anne Burton Is From Texas

After four hectic months working remotely from Austin as the weekend editor for the New York–based news and entertainment website BuzzFeed, Summer Anne Burton accepted a full-time editing position with the company in 2012. For someone who loves creating and curating things on the Internet—she has an active Tumblr, a blog featuring her drawings of major league baseball Hall of Famers, and another blog devoted to obscure music from the fifties and sixties—it was a dream job.

What the New Wendy Davis Ad Tells Us About Her Campaign

For a politician derided as a “media creation,” Wendy Davis has gotten some bad press lately. Whether it’s Texas Monthly’s own Paul Burka opining last week that “there was no governor’s race” or the Texas Observer’s Forrest Wilder declaring that “right now, she’s a focus-grouped, poll-tested, highly mediated, stage-managed candidate running a somewhat moribund campaign,” most reporters in the state who cover politics aren’t writing glowing reports about her candidacy. Andrea Grimes, the Texas-based senior political reporter at, a website devoted to covering reproductive health issues, and one of Davis’s earliest supporters, has even made criticism of Davis’ campaign a regular facet of her Twitter account

Cosmo Sends A Reporter To Texas To Declare That Texas Is The Worst

If you’re a media outlet that caters to a New York or California-based audience who consider themselves to possess liberal leanings, there’s an easy way to score points: Just talk about how awful Texas is. This is such a reliable way to get cheers from your audience that last year, The Daily Show literally ran a segment called “Fuck You, Texas.” The idea of Texas, and its 27 million people, as an easily-stereotyped monolith is a popular one outside of our borders. 

That’s something that became clear, once again, when Cosmopolitan sent reporter Jill Filipovic down to learn about what’s happening with abortion in Texas. In an article for the magazine that bears the headline, “How Texas Created A Culture Of Shame And Silence Around Abortion,” Filipovich writes that the stigma surrounding abortion “is particularly powerful in Texas, where most ob-gyns don’t perform abortions and women typically have to go to abortion clinics.” 

Lance Armstrong Apparently Makes Private Videos For People With Cancer

We know: You’re sick of Lance Armstrong. When this post hits Facebook, the word “cheater” will pop up in the comments within seconds. It’s like clockwork now. And in a fascinating profile from Esquire about the disgraced cyclist who has been stripped of his titles and most of his income, author John H. Richardson gives us a chance to see what that means for the guy who not only lied, cheated, and sued people who attempted to tell the truth, but who also inspired—and continues to inspire—people with cancer all over the world.

Writing of a young fan with whom Armstrong had grown close who died at the age of 21 following an 8-year battle with brain cancer, the profile notes that

How Do We Feel About The Texas Tech Cheerleader Who's Also A Big Game Hunter?

Kendall Jones’ Facebook page features a lot of selfies. In that way, she’s like any other 19-year-old college student. She’s a petite blonde cheerleader who poses in almost all of them with a big smile on her face. But the comments on her photos are pretty rough—usually from strangers who have harsh words for her. “She looks like an alien reptiloid not a a human…,” one declares. “Kendall there is something very cold and empty inside of you,” another starts. In most of Jones’ pictures of herself, she’s posing in camo fatigues, crouched down, to better show off the body of a dead animal she’s killed. 

There are shots of Jones with dead zebras, with dead lions. There’s one with her as a young girl posing with a dead white rhino and a rifle. In another, she’s smiling next to a cape buffalo with a bright red wound still visible in the creature’s belly. She smiles next to a dead hippo, proudly displays the bow and arrows she used to bring down another lion, lounges next to a dead cheetah splayed out on a rock. There’s one in which she’s small, in the background, to better demonstrate the size of the elephant whose body she stands proudly over, rifle in the air.


Subscribe to RSS - Media