Weekly Wide Web

Adventures in Fox News PR

Anytime I write about Fox News on the Tucson Weekly's daily dispatch, The Range, there's generally some sort of response. Liberals hate Fox; conservatives feel the need to defend it. No big surprise there.

Well, a Range post last week ("Barack Obama's Birthday Party Offends the Fox Nation," Aug. 5) mocked the channel's Fox Nation news-aggregation offshoot for running an article calling President Obama's 50th birthday party a "hip-hop BBQ" that "didn't create jobs." That post had one somewhat surprising response: An employee of Fox News sent several e-mails and left a phone message asking for the post to be amended with Fox's side of the story.

Fox's official position, which somewhat misses the point, appears to be that it was OK to call the party a "hip-hop BBQ," because Politico mentioned there were kids at the party who did dance routines to hip-hop songs. The response does not discuss why the president isn't allowed to have a birthday party that doesn't create jobs, why the stock photos used with the piece were entirely of African Americans, or why the URL of the article said that the event was held while "Rome burns." Maybe the fact that the hashtag #hiphopBBQ took off on Twitter made Murdoch and company a bit sensitive.

I'm sorry I hurt your feelings, Fox News, although I can't imagine it'll be long before the Fox Nation does something else equally ridiculous, like presenting President Obama as TV's Urkel or continuing its war on climate-change scientists.

The week on The Range

We discussed the fallout of the debt-ceiling deal; brought you a dispatch from an Independent Redistricting Commission meeting; told you that the UA Lunar and Planetary Lab made headlines with a suggestion that there may be saltwater flowing on Mars; noted that state Sen. Russell Pearce has an odd habit of plagiarizing the work of white supremacists and neo-Nazis; and broke the news that former state lawmaker Nancy Young Wright was considering a run for the Pima County Board of Supervisors.

We continued following the Tucson Padres; introduced you to KFMA morning-DJ Fook; worried about strange orange goo drifting ashore in Alaska; wondered about a Swedish man who was trying to split atoms in his kitchen; and considered the possibility that dieting damages your brain.

We recommended the Metro Restaurants gift-certificate sale; celebrated the opening of downtown café Sparkroot; announced the reopening of Takamatsu; suggested you stop by Mercado San Agustín for breakfast; searched for the nine Buddhas on display at downtown's V Fine Thai Dining; found reasons to avoid Outback Steakhouse; and asked if Yelp is useless.

We learned more about comic books thanks to the guys at Heroes and Villains; shared artwork from Tohono Chul Park and the Museum of Contemporary Art; swore we would not watch a reality show about a salon in Wasilla, Alaska, even if it is where Sarah Palin gets her hair cut; looked back fondly at Saved by the Bell; lusted after the 1971 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible used in the film version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; laughed at the Tea Partiers who are upset that President Barack Obama turned 50; and busted on the new Budweiser cans.

Comment of the week

"Oh Mr. Gibson! All reality TV is bunk! But of course, were it a show like Michelle Obama's Gynecologist, you'd be GLUED to the TV! How predictable of you!"

TucsonWeekly.com commenter "PUPITO" has a very active and strange imagination ("TV's New Low: Sarah Palin's Salon," The Range, Aug. 6).

Best of WWW

We're proud that the digital arm of the Tucson Weekly is rolling out new online features all the time.

In the last few months, we've added weekly features focusing on what's happening on TV, and discussing local bicycling news, as well as the video series "Talking Comics With Heroes and Villains." We want to be a one-stop source for news, fun and information about what's happening in Tucson, so we keep looking for relevant sources of information for our readers—and you've responded by telling your friends about the site, sending links via social media, and visiting more often.

First of all, thanks. Second, we're excited to bring more new features in the coming months, including a regular local gardening column. Third, we welcome your ideas. E-mail our Web producer, Dan Gibson, if you have any comments or suggestions about our online presence.