2:53 p.m. August 5, 2013

Slideshows of Shame

Last week, I explained how BuzzFeed's support for Team Weiner amid continuing scandals might be explained by the fact that Sexting Tony is the next guest at the website's BuzzFeed Brews event.

In the first draft of that post (later updated to include more gory details) I referred to "BuzzFeed hack Ruby Cramer" as someone who had written favourably about the campaign. It was Cramer herself who first cried foul over my use of the "h" word, although several of her colleagues soon joined the slideshow of protest.

Today, though, things got way weirder when conservateen-blogger-turned-squishy-liberal Jonathan Lee Krohn Tweeted this...

Krohn can keep for later -- and I link to this photo without further comment -- but I should probably explain my use of the word "hack". You see, as any of my countrymen will confirm, "hack" is common British slang for any journalist, not just one who works for an outlet as awful and compromised as BuzzFeed.

Similar geo-linguistic confusion was evident among members of America's fourth estate when, earlier today, Tina Brown suggested that Howard Kurtz's apparently hypocritical sniping at her was "shurely shome mishtake". What could she possibly mean? enquired -- sorry, inquired -- the yanks? Ish Tina's feed having a shtroke?

We Brits on the other hand, recognised the phrase used by Private Eye magazine to mock disingenuous statements by the rich and famous.

In the meantime, further investigation of Ms Cramer's work has lead me to realise I did in fact err in my description of her. Cramer spent several days embedded with the Weiner campaign, penning a series of gushing profiles of the candidate's "press-averse," "notoriously private" wife. She also admits to being the first to receive and publish Barbara Morgan's non-apology-apology to NSFWCORP's Olivia Nuzzi. Ruby and Barbara are on first name terms.

Given all of the above, it's clear that Cramer is no hack. Rather as any fule kno, as the Weiner campaign's most faithful profiler and most trusted mouthpiece, Ms Cramer is more accurately described as a flack.

I regret the error.