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Kids Singing Gamergate's Soundtrack, Getting Paid to Review Pot and More #Mustreads

Weird Al Yankovic meets Gamergate, a day in the life of a marijuana critic and more.

SerrNovik via iStock

Happy Monday!

You wouldn’t go skydiving without a parachute, so why surf the Internet without the helping hand of Re/code? For your consideration:

  1. Katie Notopolous, Buzzfeed editor and scholar of weird shit on the Internet, has discovered a trove of Weird Al-style musical parodies with pro-Gamergate lyrics subbed in. The “Mary Poppins” one is strangely okay, but the whole thing is pretty unnerving and hilarious.
  2. Last year, the Denver Post drew a bunch of attention for announcing they were looking for a “cannabis editor” to cover the newly kosher cash crop of Colorado. In December, they said that the paper’s own entertainment writer Ricardo Baca would be taking on the job (here’s an older Gawker story with more on that). This weekend, the New York Times ran a profile of a different Denver Post pot critic, illustrating why what he’s doing doesn’t make him all that different from a restaurant reviewer, and why he’s likely one of the first of a whole new generation of cannabis critics.
  3. After last Tuesday’s midterm elections, I am sure you saw a lot of Big Important Pieces telling you what the results mean for both parties. To see something significantly more interesting, read Buzzfeed Editor in Chief Ben Smith’s piece about the emerging power of Facebook (and decline of broadcast TV) in connecting the media and politicians with voters. Requisite caveat: Smith benefits significantly if his thesis pans out, as Buzzfeed is working directly with Facebook on an election project.
  4. Citing the hyper-effectiveness of social media at helping terrorist groups like ISIS with propaganda and recruitment, a number of defense officials in the U.S. and U.K. governments are asking for expanded surveillance authority to gather data about potential terrorists. The Guardian’s John Naughton doesn’t think this is a good idea.
  5. This is a mind-bender: Fifteen years ago, the Northwestern University Innocence Project helped get a supposedly innocent man off death row in Illinois, a famous case which ultimately led to a state ban on capital punishment. But a Milwaukee man who ended up confessing to the murder — first to the Innocence Project, and then to the courts — later said he was innocent. And prosectors agreed — after he was in prison for 15 years. Read more about it at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

If you see any stories you’d like to send our way (or have any questions/comments about stories we’ve recommended), feel free to shoot an email to

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