Writer and broadcaster Charlie Brooker takes a satirical look back at the events of the past 12 months. (BBC)
[…] A decade ago, stunts like this might have been fodder for a reality show, like Fear Factor or maybe Jackass. Today, the Jackasses are just as likely to be professional journalists, dressing up as Marilyn Monroe or strapping on an adult diaper in the name of content. And as ad models shift toward video and live streams, journalists are now eating paper and freezing themselves in cryotherapy chambers on camera.
When did journalism become so… physically degrading?
Immersive journalism is not new. In 1887, the reporter Nellie Bly feigned insanity in order to be committed to a New York City insane asylum. Her stay resulted in a landmark undercover account of appalling conditions at the Women’s Lunatic Asylum. Eighty-odd years later, Hunter S. Thompson wrote a manic first-person account of the 1970 Kentucky Derby, which more or less invented the genre now known as Gonzo journalism.
“What’s happened now,” says Duy Linh Tu, a professor at the Columbia School of Journalism, “is there’s been an escalation in the types of stuff [writers will] do.” Stunt journalism is pretty easy to define: It’s any article wherein a writer becomes a guinea pig, attempting some masochistic or outrageous challenge in an attempt to prove a point or provide a first-hand experiential account. But it’s not so easy to trace its history; nobody can really tell you when stunt journalism evolved into today’s more sensationalist form, so let’s just go with May 2007. That was the month Vice magazine had an intern masturbate into an ice tray for a week, freeze the semen and then eat 12 multi-flavored “cumsicles” (ew) formed from his seed.
[…] Jonathan Pie, the foul-mouthed creation of actor Tom Walker, has become an internet sensation since the success of his short comic films in which his television journalist melts down on screen once he is “off air”. Pie rails against hypocrisy in politics and in television newsrooms and is disillusioned with both his job and the ethics of Westminster.
But Walker told the Observer he is to cut ties with his controversial television network, RT, formerly Russia Today. The news channel is owned by the Russian state and is often criticised for operating as a propaganda tool for Vladimir Putin. Walker said that, while he was grateful for the platform RT had given Jonathan Pie, he was now ready to move on.
“When I started out I had various offers and, funnily enough, RT were the ones that offered me total artistic control, which I really wanted,” Walker said. “I was perhaps a little naive, as I did not know about RT before, but it was important to me that I would not be controlled, although I had more lucrative offers.”
Sorry Bernie Bros, Your Candidate Just Doesn’t Have The Foreign Policy Experience Necessary To Prop Up A Pro-Western Dictatorship
All election long, I’ve seen post after post from rabid “Bernie Bros” ecstatically trumpeting the enlightened policies of Senator Bernie Sanders. You can find them in every corner of the internet spewing impassioned diatribes against anybody who dares criticize their presidential candidate. Well, I’m sorry, Bernie Bros; it’s not working on me. Bernie has a couple nice economic pipe dreams, but he simply does not have the foreign policy experience necessary to prop up a pro-Western dictatorship.
Argue all you want, but the bottom line is that Sanders has repeatedly failed to demonstrate the deep grasp of international affairs that a president needs to install politically expedient totalitarian regimes abroad.
Sure, he can speak abstractly about international relations, but enabling the rise of the next Pinochet requires a lot more than abstractions. For that, you need actual diplomatic chops and hands-on experience supporting tyrannical despots, and that’s where Sanders would be way out of his depth.
This 2009 video from The Onion is what some of Hillary Clinton’s most ardent and narrow minded supporters sound like.
Onion staffers may think twice before they produce more stories like Hillary Clinton Tries To Woo Voters By Rescinding Candidacy, Hillary Clinton To Nation: ‘Do Not Fuck This Up For Me’, Hillary Clinton: The Merciless, Unrelenting March To The Presidency, or the signed Hillary Clinton editorial titled I’m Weighing Whether Or Not I Want To Go Through The Hell Of Appealing To You Idiotic, Uninformed Oafs.
Many news outlets covered Univision Communications’ purchase last week of a stake in The Onion, the world’s leading news publication. According toNPR, Univision bought a 40 percent controlling interest in the company, and also acquired the option to buy the remainder of The Onion in the future.
But what’s gotten no attention at all is that Haim Saban, Hillary Clinton’s biggest fan and financial supporter, is Univision’s co-owner, Chairman and CEO. Saban and his wife Cheryl are Hillary Clinton’s top financial backers, having given $2,046,600 to support her political campaigns and at least $10 million more to the Clinton Foundation, on whose board Cheryl Saban sits. The Sabans are also generous supporters of the overall Democratic Party infrastructure, donating, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a total of $16.1 million since 1989 to Democratic and liberal candidates, party committees, leadership PACs and federally-focused 527s.
- The Influencer
- 41 years, $3 billion: Inside the Clinton donor network
- The 20 donors who have given the most to support Hillary Clinton’s political runs
- Haim Saban Says He’ll Contribute ‘As Much As Needed’ to a Hillary Clinton Campaign
- Would Pro-Israel Billionaires Adelson and Saban Really Buy the NYT?
- Superdelegates Turned Down $1 Million Offer From Clinton Donor
- Democrats’ $7-Million Superhero
Sky News talks to author and journalist Jürgen Todenhoefer who spent 10 days embedded with Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria last year. (Sky News)
- Former ISIS Hostage Says Airstrikes On Syria Are A Trap
- Ex-US Intelligence Chief on Islamic State’s Rise: ‘We Were Too Dumb’
- ISIS wants to destroy the ‘grey zone’ — Here’s how we defend it
- The Paris Attacks Were Probably All About the “Grayzone”
- How Western Militarists Are Playing Into the Hands of ISIS
- Islamic State Files Show Structure of Islamist Terror Group
- The hidden hand behind the Islamic State militants? Saddam Hussain’s Army
There were a lot of tributes after the horror in Paris. It has to be said that Trafalgar Square is an odd choice of venue to show solidarity with France; presumably Waterloo was too busy. One of the most appropriate tributes was Adele dedicating Hometown Glory to Paris, just as the raids on St-Denis started. A song about south London where, 10 years ago, armed police decided to hysterically blow the face off a man just because he was a bit beige.
In times of crisis, we are made to feel we should scrutinise our government’s actions less closely, when surely that’s when we should pay closest attention. There’s a feeling that after an atrocity history and context become less relevant, when surely these are actually the worst times for a society to go on psychopathic autopilot. Our attitudes are fostered by a society built on ideas of dominance, where the solution to crises are force and action, rather than reflection and compromise.
If that sounds unbearably drippy, just humour me for a second and imagine a country where the response to Paris involved an urgent debate about how to make public spaces safer and marginalised groups less vulnerable to radicalisation. Do you honestly feel safer with a debate centred around when we can turn some desert town 3,000 miles away into a sheet of glass? Of course, it’s not as if the west hasn’t learned any lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan. This time round, no one’s said out loud that we’re going to win.
- John Oliver Mocks ‘Noted Swine Fellatio Enthusiast’ David Cameron
- PigGate claims: David Cameron says he is ‘too busy’ to sue over pig allegations
- David Cameron hits back at Ashcroft, calls him “little prick” over #piggate controversy
- Jeremy Corbyn Says Piggate Scandal Risks Distracting From Real Issues And World Peace
- Charlie Brooker’s ‘Black Mirror’ impossibly predicted David Cameron’s #PigGate scandal
- David Cameron #piggate storm is a sideshow from the real issues and it’s certainly effective
- Co-author of Cameron book: We couldn’t ‘get to the bottom of’ pig story… so we reported source’s account
- Former NoW political editor: Ashcroft’s Cameron pig head story would not have passed ‘basic standards’ for tabloid
- 9 questions about David Cameron’s #PigGate you were too embarrassed to ask
- Drugs, debauchery and the making of an extraordinary Prime Minister
- Piggate – Wikipedia
‘A complaint about a police officer buying shoelaces while on duty spiralled into a seven-year dispute costing the public an estimated £500,000.
A shopper saw the uniformed officer buying laces while on duty in the Melton area in August 2008.
The man reportedly told the officer he should not be shopping while on duty. The policeman is said to have replied that he needed the laces for his police-issue boots.
The exchange is thought to have lasted no more than one minute, but was to have long-lasting consequences for both of them.’
‘Police were called to an apartment block in Porto Recanati, on Italy’s eastern coast, after locals raised the alarm that an Isis sympathizer may be within their midst.
The officers searched the building and questioned residents, but were unable to recover the mystery black cloth spotted hanging from a tree next to the apartment block.
On further investigation police discovered that the supposed propaganda tool was nothing more than a jacket, swept into the trees after being hung out to dry, Corriere della Sera reported on Wednesday.’
- France Arrests 54, Announces ‘Hate Speech’ Crackdown
- France Arrests a Comedian For His Facebook Comments, Showing the Sham of the West’s “Free Speech” Celebration
- France Arrests 54 For Defending Terrorism, Announces Crack Down
- France arrests dozens of people for hate speech
- French comedian to be tried after Charlie Hebdo gag
- Dieudonne held as France tackles hate speech
‘Hell will host the 2026 football World Cup after a Fifa report found “no reason” to overturn the controversial underworld destination’s successful bid.
A 666-page report seen by The Telegraph concluded that Fifa had acted ethically in awarding its showpiece tournament, and suggested Lucifer be compensated with “a really nice wristwatch, one with diamonds and everything” for having been put through an “unnecessary and upsetting” grilling.
Critics had cited the soaring temperatures of fiery damnation as a major concern for a summer sporting event, and accused the damned hordes of carrying out human rights abuses. But during a “fact-finding mission”, Fifa executive committee members found Hell to be a “first-rate facility”. “I could spend an eternity here,” noted one delegate.’
- Consumers will spend $2.2 billion on candy this Halloween
- The Secrets of Sugar (Documentary)
- WHO: Daily sugar intake ‘should be halved’
- Sugar Toxic to Mice in ‘Safe’ Doses, Test Finds
- Sugary Foods Light Up The Addictive Centers Of The Human Brain
- Eating is addictive but sugar, fat are not like drugs, study says
- Humans are genetically hard-wired to prefer fat and sugar
- Salt Sugar Fat: Michael Moss on How the Food Giants Hooked America on Junk Food
- Financial Conflicts of Interest and Reporting Bias Regarding the Association between Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Weight Gain
- Are Sugary Drinks Fattening? Depends Who You Ask
- Rival Industries Sweet-Talk the Public
- Sugar adviser linked to Coca-Cola ‘will not act’ on UN guidance
- The Government-Industry Conspiracy that Promotes Crap Food in School
- NHS hospital cafés and junk food outlets ‘are helping to fuel the obesity crisis’
- 9 Reasons To Avoid Sugar As If Your Life Depended On It
- Study: Artificial sweeteners may alter gut microbes, raise diabetes risk
- Fruit juices, fizzy drinks and cereals push children over sugar limits
- Oxfam accuses sugar industry giants of land grabs and farmer displacement
- Coca-Cola and Its Egregious History
‘“UKIP MP strangely familiar”. “Anything bends if you f**k about with it enough, says Apple.” “Non-smokers have no way to signal that sex is over.” Those are just a typical day’s headlines from The Daily Mash, the British satirical website that has become a surprise dotcom money-spinner – even if Nigella Lawson failed to see the joke.
Launched by a pair of disillusioned newspaper journalists in 2007, who spotted a gap for a domestic parody news website inspired by the success of The Onion in the US, The Daily Mash has grown from a source of online distraction for office workers into a thriving business, complete with a lucrative merchandise sideline.’