Jack Stuef & The Oatmeal

For a long time, I’ve thought it would be my dream job to work at BuzzFeed. I mean, it wasn’t really about BuzzFeed itself. It’s more that I’ve always really wanted to be an Internet curator”, and BuzzFeed is one of the few sites that I’m aware of that’s successfully monetized the business of funny cat picture lists. 

But today I read this, the Oatmeal’s response to an article published by a staff writer at BuzzFeed. I love the Oatmeal website, I think Inman is a great writer, and a great comic. I was actually unaware of the rape controversy that spawned the Jack Stuef article; I just read the comic, and thought it was hilarious. It was one of my favourite comics ever, actually, and I didn’t find the last panel (now removed) unusually offensive - especially not by Oatmeal standards. 

Sidebar: this is one of the things I’ve never understood about the Internet. I like the Oatmeal, so I read the Oatmeal. Things I don’t like or care about - ultra-conservatism, sports, stocks - I don’t read. If you find the Oatmeal so offensive, just don’t read his comics! Why would you read them, and then get your knickers in a twist about the fact that they exist? The internet can be whatever you want. Just make that happen. Or go outside, or something. 

All this is to say the Jack Stuef article is one of the worst researched, most poorly written things that has ever been called to my attention on the internet. I find especially baffling the repeated references to the Oatmeal’s republicanism, since he is a very public Democrat.

Also, way to pull up some fake Oatmeal profile from a social networking” site no one has ever heard of. Great move there. Did you have trouble finding his readily available verified social media pages? Or did you just want to ignore them because they didn’t support your bullshit point.

I’m surprised that there were no fact-checkers, no one to say stop” before this error-riddled article got published. But I’m even more surprised I ever got excited about the idea of working for a place that would allow something so blatantly wrong to be published by a columnist. Poor job, BuzzFeed. If you want the Internet to look at your lists of cat pictures and cute animals, you should make sure you’re not also publishing articles” about something just straight up false.

December 11, 2012