At The Atlantic Wire

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Why the 'Real Romney' Can't Exist

At The Atlantic Wire.

That reaction [to the secret fundraising footage] from the right means that, in that room on that day, Romney was probably saying exactly the right thing. He wasn't there to be honest, he was there to accomplish his goal: getting wealthy conservative donors to pony up.

Mitt Romney is a habitual liar. But that's only because Mitt Romney is a perpetual candidate.

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Exactly What's In A Name, MLB Edition

At The Classical.

But there's another lesson, here, in the sad decline of the legitimately literal baseball team name. How many baseball teams actually have players that reflect the team name? How many Yankees are yankees? What major league team today even comes close to the Naps?

Enter: science. To answer this question -- how many players on the Xs are actually an X? -- I did a little digging, based on four simple rules.

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The 'Cliffs Notes Web' Has Won

At The Atlantic. Featured on Daily Dish.

We trained ourselves to quickly scan and evaluate links, a tendency perfected and exploited by Twitter. Brevity is fashionable -- the ever-hip Awl's Twitter feed, for example, goes out of its way to be terse. This is the gateway web now: blurb, link. Sometimes combined, sometimes not.

What makes Pinterest unique is that the blurbs are images. The front page of Pinterest is an old-fashioned link blog using pictures instead of words. It's not a blog platform; it's image Twitter.

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What BuzzFeed's New Politics Team Is Doing Right

At Mediaite. Featured at Poynter.

One month ago, people chuckled at Ben Smith's bizarre move, one that they snarkily assumed would take him from the world of competitive politics to a world of competitive YouTube clips. Instead, he's unveiled a different, compelling way to cover a political campaign - and other media outlets are figuring out how they can catch up.

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Why Did Hollywood Earn Less in 2011 Than 2010? Hint: The Movies

At Mediaite. Featured at Shortformblog.

Slate's Dave Weigel noted that 2011's box office earnings are on pace to be $1 billion below 2010's. Which made me wonder: is there a correlation between the quality of this year's movies and the reduced earnings?

Yes, there is.

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Santa's Christmas Eve Workload, Calculated

At The Atlantic. Featured by The Economist, Five Thirty Eight, The Wall Street Journal, Freakonomics, the Washington Post's Wonkblog, Buzzfeed,, Southern California Public Radio, Daily Dish, and New York magazine.

It is stipulated that Santa Claus exists. Further, that he spends the night of December 24th circling the globe in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer. That he gains access to the homes of children that celebrate Christmas children, and that he gives them presents. And that he does this in the dark, unseen.

Granted, it seems... impractical. Over the course of one night, St. Nick has to stop by the home of every Christian child in the world. Of which there are a lot.

I decided to figure out how many.

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