December 20, 2007

Giuliani, Ads, Parodies and News

If you think this post is to make fun of Rudy Giuliani, I am sorry to mislead you.

MSNBC: ‘Surreal’ Giuliani holiday ad has to be spoof

That’s a link to a video clip of folks on MSNBC making fun of the most recent Rudy Giuliani campaign ad. I can’t believe I’m going to defend Rudy Giuliani here, but I am, sort of. There is no way I want this guy anywhere near the presidency, but his ad is not a disaster. It’s goofy, it’s lame, it’s non-presidential, but WTF do I care? I wasn’t going to vote for him anyhow.

But what strikes me more about this video is how long it drags on with these… I don’t know what they are… not journalists… talking heads? These talking heads groaning over and over again is unbearable. The camera keeps floating around the studio. I suppose that’s to give you the feeling you’re actually seeing some action take place, when you’re really just watching three people bask in their delusions of cleverness while they pretend to shuffle important papers. It must not be a news show. I’m guessing “sitcom.”

Hint: A news broadcast should never include the rhetorical phrase “remember when we” — it’s a news broadcast, not a high school reunion. Memo to the cast of this sitcom: Saturday Night Live is on hold because of the writer’s strike. That probably escaped their notice because the writer’s strike was actually news.

I did not realize that it was OK to find any random group of well-dressed and made-up people and have them talk about the “news” in front of a camera. If so, then why am I getting paid to do actual work? This is what people do when they’re relaxing. But when you put it on TV on an ostensible news channel, it automatically becomes lame. Don’t have a discussion about Rudy’s views on torture. Talk some more about his sweater vest.

Speaking of the writer’s strike, I’ve got a great idea for a cheap new news show: three guys watching YouTube videos. YouTube videos are news in the same way a lame Rudolph Giuliani red sweater is news. I bet I could grab a couple of friends and we could groan and sigh and laugh and make fun of YouTube videos all day long. It could be its own cable channel!

Congrats, MSNBC. You’re almost as lame as that other morning sitcom “Fox and Friends.”

Posted by James at December 20, 2007 8:23 AM
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Great idea, except we should do it while watching the 24-hour nooz channels. We could call it "Nooz Channel Theater 3000." They used to do that with music videos on Beavis & Butthead, too. Mockery as entertainment.

"Remember when we"... used to watch the news and they were, like, telling us what happened, and not their opinions of what happened? And they only told us about stuff that happened if it was important? And sometimes they'd analyze things but that wasn't the same thing as idle chatter? That was awesome.

I'm not sure if I remember that. Maybe I dreamed the whole thing.

I'm also not so sure that they should be making fun of just one candidate. If they're going to make fun, they need to spread it around a little. (Maybe they have. I don't care to look!)

Posted by: Julie at December 20, 2007 9:55 AM

Okay, now I've seen the ad. It's a little dorky, but it's refreshing in that it's upbeat, not heavy-handed, and he doesn't smear anyone. I wish everyone would do an ad like this to show that they don't take themselves too seriously.

Posted by: Julie at December 20, 2007 10:09 AM

It's true, what happened to the "fair and balanced" stuff (I mean, I think they all pretend they're "fair and balanced," which is kind of like charging *any* child with a felony if they bring a knife to school, because they want to be fair. I'm sick of this idiotic idea about "fair." Crap, I'm going off on a tangent.)

Uh... red sweater-vest, right. Oh my goodness, what a hokey ad! LOL. But somebody has got to slap these "news" anchors in the face and ... never mind, somebody has to fire these people and hire real journalists. Because if you let them babble on, you might get idiocy, like we witnessed there, but then there's worst case scenario where you get some moron telling a hilarious story about how he went and got some friends to beat up a gay guy because he made a pass at him.

Maybe this is supposed to make the average person feel smart? Maybe thinking about things is too intimidating? There aren't any real "right" answers to all of those difficult questions like torture, so let's talk about the sweater vest.

My news anchor was a news anchor of the month on MSNBC.

Posted by: Maggie at December 20, 2007 10:10 AM

Can we change the station name to DumbassNBC?

Posted by: briwei at December 20, 2007 10:41 AM

What's so frustrating is that the argument I always heard for non-news and "if it bleeds it leads" journalism is that TV Broadcasts don't have the time to do stories the way, say, magazines do.

But now we have 24 hour new channels and even local news broadcasts going to an hour-long format, and they're just doing MORE car crashes and fires (look, car crashes from other countries!), filled in with celebrity gossip and this type of "punditry". You'd think that with 24 hour news channels they could be like NPR or The BBC and do headlines at the top of the hour (with maybe a few headline breaks during the show) but actual in-depth feature stories instead of this crap.

Posted by: David grenier at December 20, 2007 11:26 AM

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