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Some readers have pointed out to me that this column has been on a grim, cranky tear lately. But honestly, all hope is not lost. To prove it, it's time once again for a puppies-and-rainbows installment of Media Guy, wherein I do nothing but give warm shout-outs and show my love.
Thank you, unnamed Huffington Post insider or associate, for leaking to Brian Stelter of The New York Times last week that y'all think your megablog is worth megabucks. "According to one person who was briefed on discussions but was not permitted to speak for attribution," Stelter wrote, "the company has at least looked at the value of the site if it were put up for sale, and a figure around $200 million was used." Good for you, Arianna & Co.! And hooray for the delusional new-economy new math! If you do actually sell out, I guess it means that all those bloggers you don't pay -- the ones who've toiled all these years to create all this value out of the kindness of their hearts -- will finally get to share in the spoils, right? Like, if you ask me, Nora Ephron deserves at least a $5 mil cut.
Thank you, EMI Music, for hiring Douglas Merrill away from Google to become president of your digital division. Seriously, it's nice to see a big label getting really strategic about deciphering the digital future from the inside out.
Speaking of music, thank you, Why?, for your latest CD, "Alopecia," which has been on heavy rotation on my iPod the past few weeks. I'm randomly giving away a copy of "Alopecia" (via iTunes). See details below.
Thank you, NBC and Fox, for getting Hulu surprisingly right.
Thank you, photographer and web designer Justin Ouellette, for creating Muxtape ("a simple way to create and share mp3 mix tapes"). Awesome! And thanks also for calling my attention (through your blog) to neat-o Trendrr ("track, compare and share data, free"), a creation of the digital agency Wiredset.
Thank you, BBC America, for airing reruns of the recent British TV hit "The Catherine Tate Show," which is my favorite comedy import since "Little Britain." Chameleon Tate, who steps into an astonishing range of iconic, deeply neurotic characters (each with his or her signature catchphrase and invariably amazing, transformative hair and makeup), is, no kidding, a total genius. I'm randomly giving away "The Catherine Tate Show" box sets (the first two seasons that are available on North American DVD so far). See details below.
Thank you, Powerstick, for keeping my iPhone alive (especially after I've drained its annoying sealed-in battery after watching one too many YouTube videos). I'm randomly giving away a Powerstick. Details below.
Speaking of single-serving websites, thank you, Microsoft, for pre-empting Google by investing $400 million for a stake in yetanotheruselesswebsite.com, giving it a $8 billion valuation. OK, I made that up, but I'd bet that somewhere out there, a VC is crunching the numbers on the "uniques" and is considering whether or not to invest in it.
Thank you, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, for your South Park "Imaginationland" trilogy -- which aired last fall but just came out in a DVD box set. The three-episode story arc stands out as not only an all-time series high point but a Kafkaesque masterpiece of satirical commentary about the government's use of fear, in the age of global terrorism, as a cynical political tool. I'm randomly giving away a copy of "Imaginationland."Details below.
Thank you, Harper's contributing editor David Samuels, for your wonderful collection of reported essays, "Only Love Can Break Your Heart." I'm randomly giving away a copy of "Only."Details below.
Thank you, Bill Bastone & Co. of The Smoking Gun, for your continuing investigative brilliance. By now everyone knows that the Los Angeles Times was duped into believing that Sean "Diddy" Combs was involved in a 1994 hit on Tupac Shakur, but if you haven't yet seen The Smoking Gun's detailed report on how it unraveled the deception, it's a riveting read. It should be required reading at J-schools and news organizations everywhere.
To be eligible for any of the above informal random giveaways, you must reside in the U.S. and have a U.S. mailing address (sorry, foreign readers!). Chances are, if you're reading this column, you're more or less an adult, but for the record, you must be at least 18 years old. To enter, send me an e-mail
with "Media Guy loves" and the title of the item you hope to win (so, for example, "Media Guy loves 'Imaginationland'") in the subject line on or before May 7.