In lieu of no sports and how enjoyable media Twitter drama clearly is — like yes it divides us but it also brings us together if you think about it — I am proposing seven fantasy matches for the next round of Media Man Olympics because what the fuck else are we going to do this year. Ideally one of these could take place Friday so as to provide a long weekend’s worth of material; right before July 4 would also be fun and quite possibly patriotic. Either way I mean, my schedule is open. (Is this how fantasy football works? I really get it now).
(Please note these are PURELY FANTASTICAL media beefs; I don’t actually know any of these dudes and have no actual knowledge of whether these guys are actual friends or sworn enemies, please do not sue me; much like a bottle of self tanner this is all FAKE and FOR FUN. Unless it turns out it’s actual real, in which case, DM me):
David Remnick vs. Dean Baquet
I mean OBVIOUSLY this is the one we are perfectly tee’d up for based on the events of this week. Ideally this match would happen not on Twitter, maybe like Medium? or a Google Doc? so that all your smart friends can go in and annotate it, because let’s be honest, it would mostly go over our heads in a very eloquent way; you probably won’t even be able to tell they were being rude to each other except maybe for the occasional deep cut of Princeton vs. Columbia beef?? David would probably have the better burns bc of all the time he’s spent working with Anna at Conde.
Nate Silver vs. Isaac Chotiner
Okay so I feel like Isaac’s interviewing game is second to none, but Nate would beep boop beep up all the relevant statistics he needed to make his point, so this seems evenly matched. This one should be done over the phone but give us split screen views of their faces, CNN-style, and you gotta hire an infographics person to animate the stats. I would like a multimedia experience.
Max Read vs. Alexis Madrigal
Both of these guys are great at writing those crazy tech pieces that make you wanna throw your phone out the window in paranoia, so ideally this fight would be about whose ultra-secret doomsday bunker is more tricked out, or who has better taste in fourth wave coffee.
Glenn Greenwald vs. Yashar Ali
Brave is the man who picks a fight with Glenn on Twitter but seeing as we have never solved the mystery of how the fuck Yashar knows and tweets out about everything on the internet first, I would one million percent put my money on the latter. It’s all about the speed, baby.
Jonah Peretti vs. Bill Simmons
You can picture it already: BuzzFeed Twitter vs. The Ringer Twitter. A battle of big reach vs. the niche. A story of two media CEOs who were probably pals at some point but whose paths diverged because one time they both wore the same J. Crew gingham shirt to a conference. This beef would get turned into a podcast, of course. Then at some point, the Ladbible and The Athletic people will get involved; this will spin off into a different feud that racks up zillions of impressions for Facebook. Everyone loses; the Zuck wins.
Jake Sherman vs. Jonathan Swan
The internet desperately needs a good Politico vs. Axios brawl, and I think these two would be so fantastically sourced up that you would have the WILDEST people jumping in, possibly even like Al Gore or John Travolta, that kind of thing. This fight would be conducted in tweets with various styles of capitalization and at the end there would be a v. polished recap video you could watch on HBO.
Jim “A Herb” Spanfeller and Bryan Goldberg
Just close your eyes and imagine it with me: two of the most dunked-on media execs on the internet, duking it out. Would you even pick a side or would you just bulk-order some popcorn and make a YouTube reaction video to post later? Just think, people. This is the world we could have. This is the world we could make for our children.
(thank you to friends & colleagues who contributed to this report / insane fantasy ily)
**Please reach out to each person directly if you can help + if you want to be added, DM me on Twitter!
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Miranda Neubauer: I'm a NYC based journalist with experience covering tech policy as well as NYC politics for outlets such as Politico NY, City and State NY, the Sunlight Foundation and Personal Democracy Media. I'm bilingual English/German, having grown up as an American in Germany with dual U.S./Austrian citizenship, and am also very interested in transatlantic/international/EU/UK affairs, issues related to fact-checking and countering global online misinformation and the business aspects of media/TV/Hollywood. I was recently a contributing analyst for NewsGuard focused on evaluating the trustworthiness of German news sites. I returned to the Columbia Journalism School following my M.S. degree for the inaugural Lede Program, a foundational course in coding, Python, algorithms and related data journalism skills. I'm open to full-time and freelance opportunities. You can connect with me on LinkedIn linkedin.com/in/mirandan/ and Twitter @mirandan247.
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