The weekly newsletter from On the Media
Good morning, Readers.

This week's newsletter begins with something of a eulogy, as Vice President Joe Biden announced yesterday that his nonexistent campaign for the Democratic nomination has come to a close.

What a long, strange trip it's been for the once-surging, never-existent Biden campaign. It all began late this summer when the Vice President didn't make a formal announcement that he was entering the ring. All of a sudden the possibilities seemed endless! Should Hillary be worried about Biden's political clout not being thrown into this or any other race? How might the Vice President fare if he were pitted against former VP and fellow fake contender Al Gore, the non-comeback kid, who had roared on to the scene with a short-lived, equally imaginary campaign of his own? 

The rest, of course, is history: the months of not campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire. The stump speeches he didn't give, and the advertisements he didn't approve. And of course, the debate, which everyone agreed Vice President Biden soundly did not participate in. 

But even a consummate politician eventually grows tired of the fictional campaign trail and so, yesterday afternoon, in the real White House Rose Garden, standing next to the real President, Joe Biden announced that his campaign, which never, ever existed, was over.

Sigh.
Listen To The Latest Show: "Porn Politik"

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Playboy Covers Up

Last week Playboy announced its plan to strip what made it iconic: the nude. Does sex no longer sell? Speaking to Dian Hanson, Sexy Book editor at Taschen, about the history and cultural impact of the magazine, and revisiting a conversation with Hugh Hefner himself, Brooke offers a requiem for an iconic rite of passage.

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Source: The New York Post

"Don't Outsource Your Thinking": Unsatisfactory Answers In The Case Of Lamar Odom

Watching the reporting surrounding former NBA star Lamar Odom, Firefox co-founder Drake Ross noticed a troubling pattern in the media: a lack of answers about the mysterious, dangerous supplement near the heart of the story. Unsatisfied with the media's "skin-deep" reporting, Ross did some digging himself. His goal: not to serve up vigilante justice but "to help you become a better consumer of the press, so that when you read paper-thin accounts [...] you stop and say: 'Hey! That's not real journalism.' Only with that kind of pressure will the media improve."

[ From the Archives ]

George Takei Has A Play

The new musical, Allegiance, starring George Takei is in previews now and will open on Broadway early next month. The show is set during the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, and is inspired by true events in Takei's life. We revisited a conversation Bob had with Takei last year, in which the two discuss Allegiance, Takei's activist work, and, of course, Star Trek.

[ ...Coming Up ]

The Intercept's recent report, "The Drone Papers", included revelations about how the Obama Administration's language about drone strikes has been vague and misleading. This week on the show, Brooke speaks with Cora Currier of The Intercept about how to unpack the White House's jargon, what it tells us about drone policy, and what the murky wording means for journalists trying to report on it. Stay tuned.
Thanks for listening, and for reading. We love feedback, so please contact us with any questions or comments. We're busy, but we read them all, promise. 
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