"What's great about this is that the request isn't 'Give blacks all the awards,' it's 'Maybe we deserved one?'" Slate's Jamelle Bouie reacts to Oscar best actress nominee Charlotte Rampling's claim that this year's "lack of diversity" ruckus is somehow "racist to white people" (at about 10,000 hate-shares right now). "WHHYYYyyyyYYYYyyyyyYYYYY," is all The Guardian's Elena Cresci can tweet. "Girl crush evaporated, just like that," laments Alexandra Marshall. "Nottttttttttt sure this will go over well for her," remarks Upworthy's Parker Molloy. "Uh-oh, Charlotte Rampling's next role may be as a witch at the stake," predicts Reason's Cathy Young. Or worse: "Congratulations to (apparently horrible person) Charlotte Rampling for handing the Oscar to Brie Larson," tweets Barry Hertz with Globe and Mail. Which leads Cameron Bailey with the Toronto Film Festival to ask, "If Rampling was willing to say this in a formal interview, how many in the film industry think it privately?"
Today's other jaw-droppers all seem to concern Syria: first up, the Financial Times reports that Vladimir Putin asked Bashar al-Assad to step down. "Guys, Putin told Assad to resign. Assad got angry (surprise!)," summarizes The Australian's Rick Morton. Dashiell Bennett imagines how the conversation may have gone: “'You have to quit.' 'No.' 'Ok. Can we bomb someone for you, instead?'" And then there's accusations that the UN allowed the Assad regime to censor its Syrian aid plan. "Why did @un allow Bashar to censor report showing it was starving people?" demands Middle East correspondent Borzou Daragahi.
Then of course there's the "crippling" blizzard bearing down on D.C. "The barely suppressed glee coming from regional weather obsessives is a little too much to take," observes Wall Street Journal's Matthew Rose. The New York Times editorial board blasts the depraved indifference toward Flint. "NYTimes calls out environmental racism in the Flint, Michigan toxic water crisis," NYT's Brent Staples bills it. And because after all that, we know you need to end on a better note, remember that runaway cow, Freddie Mercury? Well, even if you don't, he ultimately was saved from a Jamaica slaughterhouse after his great escape. "Runaway cow's savior named him Freddie after Queen's lead singer, since 'cow was from Qns'," points out DNA Info's Nicole Levy.