Saturday, April 11, 2009

Breaking News Broke This Brit's Mind

For those of you who aren't familiar with the joys of British tabloid journalism (thankfully, most of us), the name Charlie Brooker  and his new show, News Wipe isn't likely to mean anything.  So here's a little shorthand that'll help: think a Brit version of John Stewart and the Daily Show - with cussing.

He had this to say, the week after Barack Obama became our 44th President:

On the one hand, you had Obama (Will Smith in admittedly impressive makeup, although the ears never really convinced). He was practically walking on water. No one's that nice. And pitched against him, the Republican campaign, which was so nakedly horrible it could only have been orchestrated by Skeletor. Nudge-wink comments about "the real America", underhand attempts to link Obama with terrorism, automated robo-calls whispering desperate fibs into the ears of voters ... if Obama's grandmother had died while he was at her bedside in Hawaii, they'd have erected billboards claiming he couldn't be trusted around white women. Jesus, guys, why not just change your name to the Bastard Party and march around in long black capes? Vote for us, we're openly despicable

The scriptwriters clearly decided to balance the nastiness by introducing some satirical comic relief in the form of Sarah Palin, but she was scarcely plausible either. And they never really nailed her story arc, instead being content to have her wandering through every scene she was in, screeching inept banalities like a rightwing version of Phoebe from Friends. And what was with the whole Joe the Plumber sub-plot? I mean, c'mon, they invited him on tour and everything. As if. In the real world, no one would've bought that for a second.

OK, so with that in mind, please enjoy this eight-minute clip where Brooker gets to tear apart so-called TV "journalism" on both sides of the Pond. 

He sets his sites on American newsreaders about 2 minutes in. His take on O'Reilly and Glen Beck aren't to be missed.

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