Headlines to heed and ledes to read
"Ted Cruz gets the @Oatmeal treatment after attacking net neutrality," announces Huffington Post viral news editor Nick Wing, sharing the latest delightful diatribe from beloved cartoony curmudgeon Matt Inman, which begins: "Dear Senator Ted Cruz, I'm going to explain to you how Net Neutrality ACTUALLY works." Backing up a bit, this all goes back to yesterday, when President Obama announced his plan for a free and open Internet, and Sen. Ted Cruz promptly compared Net Neutrality to Obamacare. With lightning fingers, Oatmeal illustrated his retort and has been rewarded with 108,750 shares as of this morning). "Been waiting for that," comes the nod from freelance journalist Dave Cullen. "The @Oatmeal, gleeful skewerer of the ignorant, is a national treasure," Andrew Jaquith declares. "I'm sure this has been tweeted at @tedcruz 1,000,000 times today. Make that 1,000,001," Amanda Enayati of CNN and PBS adds her tweet to the pile.
Cruz isn't the only politician getting some unpopular attention this morning: Foreign Policy says that Russian president Vladimir Putin hit on China's first lady (by offering his coat?) and the PRC's censors are none too pleased (16,547 shares). "They are calling it Coatgate," Newsweek's Benazir Shah tweets from Pakistan. At ICIS Energy, Ben Lefebvre imagines how Putin struck up the conversation: "Would you like to see my Superbowl ring?" OICWYDT. "Is it cold in here? Or is it just my icy blue eyes?" Quartz's Adam Pasick takes a shot at this game, too. Wall Street Journal's Adam Najberg finds the silver lining: "At least Vlad kept his shirt on..." If we're really fair about it, Putin seems to have been attempting to make a gallant gesture, but the Chinese saw fit to scrub it from the web.
Another story gathering heat: The LDS Church has confirmed that its founder Joseph Smith had up to 40 wives (documented here by the New York Times at 11,662 shares)--although it remains unclear how many of those marriages were physical or simply spiritual (in the Mormon faith, spiritual marriage is a crucial step to exaltation). Although Smith's polygamy was far from a secret in the Church, it's definitely always been a very big elephant in the room. "Shocked at the shock that Joseph Smith, Mormon prophet, was mega polygamist. I mean, there was a PBS series on it," points out NYT's Jonathan Weisman. "'There's no single fact more unsettling than Joseph Smith’s marriage to other men’s wives.' There is the 14 yr. old," colleague Michael Slackman remarks, while quoting from the piece. Freelance journalist Steve Silberman makes this case: "Mormons finally admit founder had 40 wives, inc. one 14 years old. (Hey guys, all I have is one husband. Chill.)"
And we mustn't forget to mention that Craig Spencer, the New York doctor with Ebola, will leave the Bellevue hospital (10,805 shares) as well as point to what an uncensored letter to M.L.K. revealed. Harsh summation from Politico's Timothy Noah: "Fifty years later: J. Edgar Hoover's letter telling MLK to kill himself. Just as disgusting and evil as you imagined."
And across the pond, Britain observes Armistice Day. "Quiet in the sea of red," Globe and Mail's Jacquie McNish reflects. Simultaneously from England, a Wall Street Journal investigation into how the House of Lords mixes politics and business.