Are you a news junkie? Do you follow current events and love a good story? Me too.
Then tell me if this looks familiar — this is some coverage of the controversy over the latest iPhone. You know, the antenna problems and Apple’s reactions to consumer complaints and so on. This comes to us from billionaire Jimmy Lai’s Taiwan and Hong Kong media factories:
What the hell was that? Other than hilarious? That was the future of tabloid news.
Jimmy Lai didn’t get to be so successful by waiting for good things to happen to him, he makes good things happen. And when the publisher of popular Next Magazine, “which combine(s) tabloid sensationalism with hard-hitting political and business reporting,” gets a juicy story, he knows how to get people to read or see Next’s version of it.
What he didn’t know how to do, until now, was to get his hands on the critical video or images of a big story when they didn’t exist. That was frustrating. Until he came up with the answer to his problem: he’ll just make the video himself using live action animation:
It’s a bit of genius, really. The whole thing puts the jokers at Fox News to shame.
Since you know you’re really in the news business to pump schlock into the shallow sewers of pop culture, why bother with the pretense of hiring on-air personalities? Why pay them ridiculous amounts of money, indulge their egos, tell everybody how trustworthy they are, spend years waiting for them to develop a relationship with the audience?
The only reason they’re there is to mouth your pre-written yellow journalism. They’re just puppets for your sure-fire pop sensationalism. Why not just cut out the airheads and their egos and get straight to the point, right? You wanna know what went on in that hotel room with Al Gore and that masseuse? I’ll tell you what went on, right here:
Forget trying to get Bill O’Reilly to report that stuff — one way or another he’ll screw up the message and insert himself into the middle of the story because he’s a self-important idiot. You can get your animation people to write, act, film and animate the whole thing in a matter of hours for far less than a day’s pay of O’Reilly’s bloated salary.
Better yet, the clip does what O’Reilly could only dream of: it shows people the story. That’s what they really want. Who wants to watch self-important jackasses read things on air? Fuck that nonsense. Show me the news. Show me all of the news, I want to see it.
Lai is only too happy to oblige. And his animation unit are no slouches, in any respect. They are savvy, they are hip, they know American pop culture like the back of their hands and they are great at putting clips together. This Sarah Palin clip is brilliant — it’s the best thing I’ve seen all year. Be sure to catch the screen crawls during the Fox News bit:
Taking the piss out of the rich and self-important, that’s what’s going on here. It’s as classic a goal of the wildly successful cheap journalists as there is. Though it may be too much for Americans to buy into — I’m not sure why, Fox’s reporting is nowhere near as faithful as some of these clips — it’s not going away any time soon in Jimmy Lai’s world. Like all tabloid news, as long as it’s spirited, timely, contains a bit of humor and a molecule or two of truth, people will gobble it up.
Say, did you hear about Justin Bieber’s internet pranksters?