Friday bylines

Dec 11, 2015

"Is Luke Skywalker a terrorist?wonders John Carney, perfectly encapsulating Comfortably Smug's argument that the Star Wars trilogy simply chronicles a Jedi’s path to jihad (1,100+ shares and climbing, and just in time for last night's premiere). "While I don't agree that the empire is good (its a neocon cabal of fear), equating Luke with a Jihadi is amazing," admits Fortune's Ben Geier. "You’re a STAR WARS guy. Do you think Luke is a space terrorist?" New York Post's Mark Graham asks of Gavin Purcell. There's even a line about Yoda, "an extremist cleric who runs a Jedi madrasa on Dagobah." Hmm. We never thought of it like that. "I do love that the 'We need guns to overthrow the gov't one day!' crowd also argues Luke Skywalker is a terrorist," muses Washington Examiner's Kyle Feldscher.

Now that we've got the obligatory Star Wars takes out of the way, let's get down to some international news. Alibaba is dead set on buying the South China Morning Post in an apparent effort to influence media. "Sad day for freedom in Hong Kong," Wall Street Journal's John Bussey responds to the news. "What's the closest analogy here? Like Google buying the International Herald Tribune or something?" asks Billy Penn's Chris Krewson. "If Alibaba wants to counter 'negative' portrayals of China, buying @SCMP_News is defintely not the way to do that," points out Re/code's Edmund Lee. Also, Syrian refugees have just arrived in Canada to a warm, fuzzy embrace from prime minister Justin Trudeau. "Canada's PM tells Syria refugees 'you're safe at home now,' in contrast to anti-Muslim paranoia in USA," observes Rick Gladstone at the New York Times. Huffington Post's Samantha Lachman also notes, "it's actually impossible to imagine Obama and Boehner greeting Syrian refugees at Dulles together."

While we're on American politics, now might be a good time to let you know that Ted Cruz's campaign has been using a firm that harvests data on millions of unwitting Facebook users. "Most surprising thing about the Ted Cruz/Cambridge Uni/ Facebook story is practice is neither illegal or regulated," points out Adrian CarrasquilloThe Guardian's Emily Bell. Meanwhile, fear of terrorism continues to lift Donald Trump in the polls. Because, of course. "I'm totally terrified by ISIS! And the only person who can save me is a reality-show star!" Daily Beast's Noah Shachtman mockingly tweets. So obviously the GOP is girding itself for what will probably be a contested convention. "This is like picking a Pope but instead of the white smoke, blonde hair may ascend," quips BuzzFeed's Adrian Carrasquillo.

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Writes the @MuckRackDaily & runs #muckedup chat. Creator of #100helpfuldays. I can haz media tips?

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