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December 18, 2013 11:22 AM   Subscribe

Conan O'Brien once again catches local news media recycling the same joke, over and over, this time for christmas.

Previously on Conan.
Some analysis.
posted by anazgnos (122 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Where does the copy come from? Surely they can't all spontaneously come up with the same lame joke at once?
posted by ColdChef at 11:26 AM on December 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Another Bloom County for all seasons.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:26 AM on December 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


From the analysis link, referring to the ubiquity of Yeah, Baby on the Mike Myers story:
...the offending line came from CNN News Source wire copy, and was part of a packaged segment called “Hollywood Minute.”

“I imagine that it was a copy and paste of the entire intro,” he said.

Reading wire copy word-for-word is a practice known in the biz as “ripping and reading.”

“You have the right to (do so), but it’s our standard operating procedure to put that into our anchor’s voice and be a little creative with it,” Saxton said.
posted by mochapickle at 11:30 AM on December 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


1:49 local news represent! WJHL is owned by Media General.
posted by maggieb at 11:32 AM on December 18, 2013


It's OK, you can admit it, if you repackaged an item or two, or ten, this Christmas.
posted by MuffinMan at 11:33 AM on December 18, 2013 [13 favorites]


You know, it's o.k., you can admit it, if you've "ripped and read" an item or two, or ten...
posted by yoink at 11:34 AM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's o.k., you can admit it, if you've been a couple of seconds late with a punch line or two, or ten on Metafilter.
posted by yoink at 11:34 AM on December 18, 2013 [28 favorites]


Metafilter: an item, or two, or ten for yourself.


Did I do it right?
posted by Twain Device at 11:35 AM on December 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


it's ok if you're going to be the first, or second, or tenth person to use this joke format.
posted by chasles at 11:35 AM on December 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


Ah huh huh huh huh huhhh! Ahhhh.
posted by Z. Aurelius Fraught at 11:35 AM on December 18, 2013


If the local news stuck to, you know, local news, this wouldn't happen.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:40 AM on December 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


I thought I'd get through the whole segment without laughing but that was really funny. Damned if I can figure out why conformity in monitor reading is so damned hilarious.
posted by bearwife at 11:40 AM on December 18, 2013


Damn, I think that'd be a great home business... writing fluff feature copy for local news stations across the country, unable or unwilling to staff their own writers, to use unattributed. Your words, spoken on hundreds of local news stations a night. Yeah, they're schlock, empty-headed time-filling words, but still, it'd be like "dance, my little minions, dance!"
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:42 AM on December 18, 2013 [7 favorites]


wait, who still watches the local news ?
posted by k5.user at 11:43 AM on December 18, 2013


The interns at Conan.
posted by cmfletcher at 11:44 AM on December 18, 2013 [20 favorites]


I think the tickers at the bottom of these various shots should have all been replaced with:

Breaking News: Now you know what Semantic Satiation is. Breaking News: Now you know what Semantic Satiation is. Breaking News: Now you know what Semantic Satiation is. Breaking News: Now you know what Semantic Satiation is. Breaking News: Now you know what Semantic Satiation is. Breaking News: Now you know what Semantic Satiation is. Breaking News: Now you know what Semantic Satiation is. Breaking News: Now you know what Semantic Satiation is. Breaking News: Now you know what Semantic Satiation is.

For me, this went from a chuckle, to funny, to annoying, to plain scary.
posted by Debaser626 at 11:47 AM on December 18, 2013 [7 favorites]


I want to see this as a 16-way split screen with synchronized audio.
posted by ceribus peribus at 11:48 AM on December 18, 2013 [12 favorites]


Damn, I think that'd be a great home business... writing fluff feature copy for local news stations across the country...

I'm pretty certain that business already exists.

Damn near anything you see on your local news that isn't expressly about something happening in your community is probably pre-packaged from any number of "news" services, as well as business and political organizations.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:51 AM on December 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


to plain scary

Conan Berberian Sound Studio.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 11:52 AM on December 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


Some of them are noticeably better at delivering the "joke" as it where.
posted by The Whelk at 11:54 AM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Seems to be a feature.
posted by Obscure Reference at 11:54 AM on December 18, 2013


I'm not sure why we should be alarmed by this. I mean, sure, it's amusing to see it stripped into a continuous video like this, but there's really no more reason that a thousand different local news channels shouldn't run the same story than that a thousand different local papers shouldn't run an AP newswire story. By definition, if you're watching local news channel A you're not watching local news channel B unless you're trolling for comic material.
posted by yoink at 12:01 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but the thing is that they act all ad libby, all off the cuffy, chuckle chuckle at our own jokes, and then you see that even miserable crap like this is scripted by headquarters.
posted by pracowity at 12:05 PM on December 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


Before I started watching these things I always assumed that local stations wrote their own copy, but that's obviously not true (except in the case of actual local stories). This does make me more interested in the business side of mass produced teleprompter grist.
posted by codacorolla at 12:05 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is the latest sleeper cell activation signal. Last time it was Letterman asking drummers if their drum sets were rentals.
posted by mullacc at 12:08 PM on December 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


the thing is that they act all ad libby, all off the cuffy, chuckle chuckle at our own jokes

Sure, but that's what they're trained and paid to do. It's like complaining that actors don't make up their own lines.
posted by yoink at 12:08 PM on December 18, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'm with Debaser626 on this. After 5 or 6 (or ten ~laugh track~) clips, it quickly veered to OH GOD IS THIS THE TWILIGHT ZONE territory for me.
posted by specialagentwebb at 12:10 PM on December 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Damn, I think that'd be a great home business... writing fluff feature copy for local news stations across the country, unable or unwilling to staff their own writers, to use unattributed. Your words, spoken on hundreds of local news stations a night. Yeah, they're schlock, empty-headed time-filling words, but still, it'd be like "dance, my little minions, dance!"

There is a popular news graphics outfit that basically just picks a few headlines each day and whips up a still splash image and looping motion graphic for each, often variations on the same template, which is all of like, a morning's work - and a huge number of stations use them, paying a few hundred a month each for a subscription fee. I've thought about trying something like that, but the licensing for copyrighted images you'd need to use eventually sounds like a nightmare and I'd imagine the only real overhead they have besides a pretty low-traffic, limited-access server is legal fees.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:10 PM on December 18, 2013


WNYC/NPR's "On The Media" covered this a few weeks ago (alt: transcript). Answer: yes, they're all reading from the same service. What, you thought your "local news crew" came up with everything they read?
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:13 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


laugh track

I think that's Conan's studio audience. I don't think US local news has started adding a laugh track. Yet.
posted by yoink at 12:13 PM on December 18, 2013 [9 favorites]


Damn, I think that'd be a great home business... writing fluff feature copy for local news stations across the country, unable or unwilling to staff their own writers, to use unattributed. Your words, spoken on hundreds of local news stations a night. Yeah, they're schlock, empty-headed time-filling words, but still, it'd be like "dance, my little minions, dance!"

This is actually a thing. It's called being a joke writer.

I don't think local news affiliates hire them, and 24 hour cable news networks either do this way on the down-low or just have in house people (probably just the regular copywriters, or somebody from the team who is good at these intro/segway/banter things).

For a while I worked for a "tech correspondent" who was a regular on morning shows. We didn't script her segments, but the talking points process was so intensive we might as well have. I definitely wrote specific jokes for her to use in presentations at tech conferences.

Once you get over to E! or Access Hollywood, yeah, they hire joke writers. And pretty much everything said on a talk show is scripted by a team of writers.

Joan Rivers was recently in trouble with the WGA for hiring non-union joke writers to write for her show on E!.

I actually spent some time writing late-night monologue jokes for a popular YouTube personality.
posted by Sara C. at 12:15 PM on December 18, 2013


It's ok, I can admit it.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:16 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Speaking of Conan and repetition...
posted by kmz at 12:16 PM on December 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


If it isn't a local story, chances are very good it's a national package from the parent station, AP or CNN. (The surprising thing is that FOX national actually massively tones down its packages for affiliate use and doesn't go all FOX News on them, they're usually actually quite boring and middle-of-the-road.) Often the intro and the outro tag, if they do one, are rewritten by the local station, but not always. May even be that most stations don't.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:17 PM on December 18, 2013


Oh, also, morning shows have scripts. Like actual paper scripts of what everyone is going to say. I forget whether this is only for the anchors or covers the guests as well, but they definitely exist.
posted by Sara C. at 12:18 PM on December 18, 2013


You know how if you say a word over and over again it stops sounding like a real word? And then it becomes harder to say? Some of those newsreaders stumbled over "you can admit it" ("you can commit it" or "You can a minute") and that seemed completely appropriate. If I had just repeated that phrase that many times, I'd be bobbling it, too.
posted by janey47 at 12:18 PM on December 18, 2013


mochapickle quoted the analysis link:
“You have the right to (do so), but it’s our standard operating procedure to put that into our anchor’s voice and be a little creative with it,”
I have, over the years, learned a few things about how the media works, but back in 1995 I was at Pixar when it went from a group of people spoken of in hushed terms by computer geeks to a household name, with the release of Toy Story. When the movie came out, the internal mailing list was flooded with links to reviews and mentions in all sorts of media, and it became plain that...

... well, it became plan that most of what passes for "journalism", at least in terms of movie reporting, is a matter of introducing typographical errors into press releases. Local news outlets got the wire copy, rewrote the stories to mis-spell "Pixar" in some very innovative and creative ways, and ran the articles as their own.

And before that, I had a brilliant PR guy (who's still working, so I won't name him) help out on some stuff we were doing with an early ISP. He brought the local TV personality in, handed said TV personality the text of the interview, TV personality said "great, we'll shoot you guys saying the answers, I'll dub in the questions back in the studio". And he did.

This is how news is made. Local reporters read the copy they've been given by PR firms, or have bought from the wire services.
posted by straw at 12:19 PM on December 18, 2013 [9 favorites]


The weird thing was when I found out that you can actually be a writer for a game show. I don't know why this never occurred to me, since clearly someone has to write the questions, and it's unlikely that Alex Trebek et al come up with their own banter off the cuff. But, yeah. Writers. They're everywhere.
posted by Sara C. at 12:19 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


This would of course be totally unremarkable and unnoticeable were I simply seeing this on my local news broadcast, but when put together in a loop the overemphasis many of these anchors put on the word "ten" comes off as hilarious, in the same way the bad acting in a local community theater production sometimes does.
posted by The Gooch at 12:19 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Reading wire copy word-for-word is a practice known in the biz as 'ripping and reading.'"

When I was an AM country disc-jockey in the early 80s, it was the top station in the region but I worked the overnight shift and so I ended up reading a number of PSAs when there weren't any spots sold where such breaks were set in the clock. For variety, I'd also read some AP wire stuff. And then of course the weather forecast and whatnot.

What I discovered was that my being an avid reader from an early age provided me with a skill that none of the other jocks had, not even the highly paid morning guy who was also the PD. I read about ten words or so faster than I spoke when I read something aloud, that is, my reading comprehension is about that much ahead of my speaking. I'd first noticed this in school when we'd read stuff aloud and for humorous things, I'd laugh a sentence before I got to the joke in my speech.

Anyway, this made it possible for me to read extemporaneously material that I'd never seen before, live on the air, and rephrase it on-the-fly and make it much more natural and not like, you know, I was reading something.

I don't know how newscasters do what they do and how much they've already seen some of the copy they're reading; but I do know that although presumably many of them can do what I could do, they don't have the opportunity because teleprompters don't really show that much.

Well, they didn't, anyway, back when I ran one for the local PBS station during a fundraising drive when I was in high school. Back then, it was literally a downward-facing camera trained on paper that scrolled past with stuff that was often handwritten. It's computerized now, but to make it legible, they still have to make it big and so not much is available to be read ahead. That actually seems to me like a rarefied and difficult skill, to read naturally things that you're only seeing a phrase at a time.

Anyway, I watched this looking for people to both make it as natural sounding as possible while also their comedic timing and affect for the "or ten" line. It was interesting hearing the variation, and how most of it was not varied at all, but a few people were a lot better at making the material their own than the rest.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:20 PM on December 18, 2013 [7 favorites]


I REFUSE TO ADMIT IT
posted by Greg Nog at 12:22 PM on December 18, 2013 [10 favorites]


Yeah prompter copy is still pretty big as the prompter may be at some distance, and you don't want to lose your place, etc.
posted by Mister_A at 12:22 PM on December 18, 2013


The local business end of this is other local stations. If you[WK-local station] comes up with a good story. The networks will call you and ask to put it in their big big database of stories. Then, OTHER local stations can pick from your work.
When your story goes to the networks they take the amusing copy the local anchor/reporter/producer wrote. Then from there it goes.
In my old days as a producer, I think it would be awesome to make it onto Conan.
posted by hot_monster at 12:22 PM on December 18, 2013


ADMIT IT! ADMIT IT, DAMN YOU! IT'S OKAY!!
posted by Spatch at 12:23 PM on December 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Who the hell buys ten christmas presents for anyone, let alone for themselves

Yes that is the part of this I choose to be outraged by
posted by ook at 12:26 PM on December 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


Where does the copy come from? Surely they can't all spontaneously come up with the same lame joke at once?

Do we really expect every single local news station in the country to have someone on the Mike Myers Baby beat? Or is it maybe okay if one news outlet talks to Myers about the blessed event, and then tells all the others? Can we live with that?

This is why the Associated Press exists, you know. Ditto things like NPR. Syndicated columns. Calvin and Hobbes.

TV and radio stations (mostly, sort of) have limited coverage areas - newspapers used to before the Internet - and so they mostly weren't competing for readers, and a story researched by the New York Times wasn't going to make it to the Chicago Sun's audience. So it made perfect sense for the newspapers to improve the quality of their news, and help each other out, by swapping stories.

It's just that we didn't have Conan back then to make a joke about how a basic function of the news business is absurd.
posted by Naberius at 12:28 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not okay. I am now ashamed by the present I bought my mother.
posted by vbfg at 12:29 PM on December 18, 2013


This is how bad news is made. Bad local reporters read the copy they've been given by PR firms, or have bought from the wire services.

It's not the rule, though. And going the extra mile doesn't mean dick in the ratings game, so yeah, a lot of news outfits don't care, but some do, a lot. Entertainment pieces not so much, because they are fluff and padding through and through for local news (I mean really, who tunes in for the local TV station's take on entertainment news?), but it's not SOP for everyone to just phone it in and regurgitate press releases without questioning them and only using them as one source in a bigger story. Not really in some "old guard journalists with ink in their veins telling truth to power!" way, more a "oh god kill me if I ever become a useless tool, I've at least got some self respect!" way.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:30 PM on December 18, 2013


I read about ten words or so faster than I spoke when I read something aloud, that is, my reading comprehension is about that much ahead of my speaking. I'd first noticed this in school when we'd read stuff aloud and for humorous things, I'd laugh a sentence before I got to the joke in my speech.

You should try out for Jeopardy!

Seriously, this and good hand eye coordination on the buzzer are the trick to winning at Jeopardy!
posted by Sara C. at 12:31 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is how news is made. Local reporters read the copy they've been given by PR firms, or have bought from the wire services.

This is why I call them news readers, not reporters. Their job is literally to read the news words on the prompter to you.
posted by ceribus peribus at 12:31 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


This video will be useful when it's time to pick people to put on the 'B' Ark.
posted by octothorpe at 12:33 PM on December 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's OK; you can admit it if you have recycled the same joke, or recycled it over again, or recycled it over and over again.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:33 PM on December 18, 2013


I actually spent some time writing late-night monologue jokes for a popular YouTube personality.

Wait. How can a YouTube personality be "late-night"?
posted by yoink at 12:34 PM on December 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is why I call them news readers, not reporters. Their job is literally to read the news words on the prompter to you.

Well yeah, the anchors aren't typically reporters. If you actually have a reporter on air reading something it would be quite silly to have it be someone else's prepackaged copy word for word, though, and possibly get you into legal hot water for passing it off as a reporter's work. Intro tags to packages that anchors read, yes, a lot of the time that's fluff that came down with a national package. But nobody else is writing the local stories except for the local news outlets in the vast majority of cases, so that is the words of the reporters and producers you're hearing.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:35 PM on December 18, 2013


Greg I know you say it's for the cats but do the cats really need that pasta maker?
posted by The Whelk at 12:37 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Somebody autotune this.
posted by emjaybee at 12:38 PM on December 18, 2013 [7 favorites]


(It feels weird to defend an industry I'm super, super tired of working in, but really I'm not defending the industry as a whole which is largely a lazy shitshow, and I'm more defending the actual people I know who do a very, very good job at not falling into these traps, and trying to clear up some misconceptions about how the sausage is made.)
posted by jason_steakums at 12:38 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait. How can a YouTube personality be "late-night"?

Late-Night format.

But, yeah, that was sort of one of the problems inherent to the project. It was a Conan/Jimmy Fallon/Colbert style show... on YouTube. Which clearly people can watch at any time of day.
posted by Sara C. at 12:40 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


My husband once worked at an AM station where the "Color Radar" was him reading the newspaper forecast, and the weather was whatever random people phoned in and told them. "It's raining at the Gibson's!" "It's still dry out here on Tin Top Road but I can hear some thunder!"

News is more show than business all over, I suppose.
posted by emjaybee at 12:41 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I read about ten words or so faster than my lips move when I read something.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:43 PM on December 18, 2013


Another previously, and I'm betting the first time Conan's writers noticed local newscasters reading from the exact same script.
posted by Copronymus at 12:43 PM on December 18, 2013


This reminds me of one of my favorite twitter accounts, a meta parody of all the fake will Ferrell twitter accounts (of which there are dozens). He likes to pick on jokes that people keep retelling on twitter.
For months the account kept referencing the "10 years ago we had Steve jobs, Johnny cash and bob hope... Blah blah now we have no jobs hope or cash" joke, except with slight variations, some of which make no sense, others they combine with other overused twitter trends, even translating it into Spanish, where it makes no sense. The account even came up with a Kevin bacon variation.
http://favstar.fm/users/kattwillferrell
posted by mulligan at 12:48 PM on December 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Much longer and they would be getting into "Kristen Schaal is a horse" territory, where the humor comes in weird fractal waves of alternating hilarity and exasperation.
posted by aught at 12:54 PM on December 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Do we really expect every single local news station in the country to have someone on the Mike Myers Baby beat? Or is it maybe okay if one news outlet talks to Myers about the blessed event, and then tells all the others? Can we live with that?

This is why the Associated Press exists, you know. Ditto things like NPR. Syndicated columns. Calvin and Hobbes.


Sure, it's a very efficient way to transmit information. Smaller media outlets rely on wire releases. But there's a few degrees between doing all your own news and reading it rote, including the personal-touch intro. You can, for example, make your own story with the release. Or at least switch up the jokey segway.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:00 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Or at least switch up the jokey segway.

What is gained by doing that? It's a minor piece of human-interest reporting. Why expend any person-hours at all on coming up with a variation on the perfectly serviceable intro you got given to you. Again, the audience is only hearing this once. It's not a matter of anyone in the audience saying "Oh no, not that one, two or ten bit again!"
posted by yoink at 1:04 PM on December 18, 2013


Do not switch up the jokey Segway, though. It will buck you clean off.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:06 PM on December 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


What is gained by doing that? It's a minor piece of human-interest reporting. Why expend any person-hours at all on coming up with a variation on the perfectly serviceable intro you got given to you.

I don't know, am I really the only person out there who thinks that it's better not to completely phone everything in? Is it really that hard to actually try at things, sometimes?

I don't really want to live in a world where nobody ever bothers, we don't expect anyone to ever bother, and when anyone ever points out the fact that people don't bother, the correct answer is, "Well what, do you expect anyone to actually give a shit about anything?"
posted by Sara C. at 1:13 PM on December 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh, I agree. That's why I make all my own clothes instead of buying them off the rack.
posted by XMLicious at 1:21 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


What I find more interesting is the method that the Conan crew uses to find all these clips. The company SnapStream build these rigs that allow you to monitor and record EVERYTHING and then use the closed captioning to find the keywords for each segment, and then output just the parts of the recording you want. I really wish I could get my hands on one of these things (though, realistically, my station(s) don't have much use for them, since we're just public access, and not some other thing). But the technology is really interesting, none the less.

I would love it if we had one of these, though, because then we could offer our producers clips to use from other broadcasts. I don't know how the fair-use or copyright legal wrangling would work out. I know most commercial shows that use these systems are backed by their owning corporations and contracts and deals between the other media companies. But it would be interesting, none-the-less.

As for playing all of these clips at once, if I have the time, I'll dump out the video and edit that together. It will probably require adjusting the timing on several of them as the cadence and delivery of each news reader is slightly different. But it would be an interesting editing exercise.
posted by daq at 1:25 PM on December 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, this is actually a feature of our newly connected media landscape. The old methods of mass media propagation are laid more bare, and over time, they may start to erode away in their effectiveness (at least, when I'm feeling optimistic about humanity, I really hope that is the case, though most days I feel it's wasted breath trying to explain this to people). Media education is one of the main reasons I absolutely love working in public television, because it allows me to have a serious venue to showcase just how media affects society, through the propagation of information through different channels of communication. It is also exciting to see how the landscape is changing, and changing very rapidly.
posted by daq at 1:27 PM on December 18, 2013


What is gained by doing that?

No one's rending their hair over this. But in my experience, sloppiness in things like rote reading of press releases often reflects laziness in fact-checking, too. Just in my region, I've seen numerous press release just copy-pasted and published uncritically, which even cursory Googling would refute. No, a human interest fluff piece isn't Pulitzer material, but doing your own story with available information is like, the least a media outlet should be doing. I think it's OK for people to roll their eyes at this kind of phoning in.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:28 PM on December 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


This reminds me of the time about 20 years ago when I happened upon a TV reporter filing a report from just inside the White House gates. She finished her report, snapped the station logo off her mike, slapped on another station logo and gave the same report, changing only her sign-off. I watched her go through five or six different stations.
posted by plastic_animals at 1:29 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Sara C.: "it's unlikely that Alex Trebek et al come up with their own banter off the cuff."

YOU TAKE THAT BACK.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:34 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


"You don't know me! You have no fucking idea what I bought or didn't buy for Christmas, and frankly, it's none of your business. Get off my back, already, I mean if you're so big on total information awareness, why don't you go work for the intelligence agencies, huh? Listen, I don't care what pictures your little "investigative journalist" picked up of me shopping, you don't know why I was buying those things, it's all just a bunch of allegations! I will never, never admit to buying myself gifts for Christmas. Fucking paparazzi-ass new anchors! Why can't you just let me live my life in peace!? Listen, if you want to keep talking about this, have your lawyer send me a fucking subpoena, I'm done here. Am I free to leave now? "
posted by nTeleKy at 1:34 PM on December 18, 2013


What I find more subtly galling about the piece in question, is the assumption of gross consumerism (and attendant income) expressed in the lead-in. 2,3,4, or even 10 gifts for yourself? As if to imply that it's completely normal to treat yourself to a pile of gifts while you're out shopping.

ActionNews for the 1%.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:51 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just in case you weren't certain that local news was dogshit.
posted by hellslinger at 1:51 PM on December 18, 2013


No, a human interest fluff piece isn't Pulitzer material, but doing your own story with available information is like, the least a media outlet should be doing.

I would go further than this -- if a station is casting about for something to fill time on the program, how about REPORTING SOME NEWS. You know, so people can be informed? In my experience, the quantity of relevant national and international news that goes unreported by networks and their affiliates in the course of a week is remarkable.

If informing people isn't the point of a newscast, what is? Is it just feel good entertainment? Because if it is the latter, why not just re-run "Everybody Loves Raymond" for the trillionth time.
posted by CosmicRayCharles at 1:52 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I admit that I buy items for myself.

(Does anybody here admit to watching local television news broadcasts?)
posted by bukvich at 1:53 PM on December 18, 2013


Also, little news stories like these are slightly insidious in re-enforcing the consumer culture of America. Because everyone hoped on the Chicago school train of supply-side economics, the marketing of push-consumer demand has been prevalent for my entire life (and probably a lot earlier, from what I've studied). The worst of it is that it has gotten so bad that they are now guilt tripping people into over-consuming, just to keep their economic/business model functional, and it's going to tear itself apart.

It also highlights the idiocy of the people "in charge", who have kept worker wages stagnant while inflation and the CPI have risen dramatically over the last several decades.

But, whatever. I'll save the rest of my social commentary for another venue.
posted by daq at 1:56 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Who the hell buys ten christmas presents for anyone, let alone for themselves

Yes that is the part of this I choose to be outraged by


Do any and all purchases of non-essential goods in the month of December fall under the umbrella of "self-gifting"?

Is it generally accepted that there is to be a moratorium on non-essential purchases leading up to christmas?
posted by anazgnos at 1:57 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


yoink: I'm not sure why we should be alarmed by this.

Because it makes clear that these people who have had tremendous influence over the way the nation forms its opinions for decades are literally all getting their scripts from the same sources, unseen, unknown?
posted by JHarris at 2:00 PM on December 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


Lame, maybe, but joke? Where's the "joke"?
posted by ethnomethodologist at 2:05 PM on December 18, 2013


anazgnos,
I think it has more to do with the dissonance between the idea that anyone would have enough "spare cash on hand" to buy themselves presents. For the majority of people, buying other people gifts is either something they have to prepare for well in advance, meaning saving up money to buy those gifts, thus not buying things (often necessities) for themselves, or using credit cards and racking up debt to keep up the appearance of making enough money to be generous in their gifting purchases.

It is also a purely "pro-consumer" advertising message. The subtext is "it's ok for you to buy yourself something while you are buying presents for others, go ahead and spend your money, it will make you feel better. You don't need to feel guilty for buy buy buying yourself more more more." (Can you tell I hate advertising and marketing and consumerism? Is it showing too much?)

It also creates a huge divide between people who _do_ make enough money to not have to worry about overspending during the consumer frenzy that is the winter season, and those who have to be around them and suffer from feeling like they are failures because they can't "keep up with the Jones's." Add to it that it is background noise, subliminal almost. Most people actively try to filter it out, but because it is part of the environment, it still gets into your head, it still influences your mood and decision making (otherwise, why would they bother doing it?), and it, above most of the nasty sides of consumer culture, causes more and more people to give up and just suffer through it, rather than actively fighting against it. Hell, even the people who work in the advertising industry are not immune to it. They live in society too. They just don't realize that their works are adding to the pile of shit that is actively isolating us all from, if not something better, at least something different.
posted by daq at 2:07 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't even need my local news affiliate to do Actual News Reporting (though I live in a major city, so I trust that they do, as appropriate), or gin up their own human interest stories from scratch, or anything. That would be nice, but I know the kinds of budgets and constraints these affiliates are working with, so, fair enough.

All I'm asking for is for the anchors to fucking rephrase their segue banter rather than copy and pasting it directly from the AP wire, maybe even ad lib a little if they feel up to it.

What kind of world are we living in where it's too much to ask for fucking professional news anchors to insert their own bad joke into the intro to a story?
posted by Sara C. at 2:08 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Introducing typographical errors into press releases.
posted by Wolfdog at 2:09 PM on December 18, 2013


What kind of world are we living in where it's too much to ask for fucking professional news anchors to insert their own bad joke into the intro to a story?

It's also just as important a lot of the time to make sure that you remove any hint of a joke from the intro for certain anchors, because oh god the delivery will be the worst, just the worst
posted by jason_steakums at 2:09 PM on December 18, 2013


So the tension is killing me. What was the actual story that is preceded by this phrase? I assume actual footage for a story is syndicated along with this text, right?
posted by antonymous at 2:10 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait, so does the US have local news stations instead of switching to a brief local segment during a news programme for a wider audience? If that's the case then I can easily see how they might run out of original, sensible things to broadcast. We only get fifteen minutes per day of TV "news" for our federal state and that's already a lot of crap, but at least it's actually local.
posted by wachhundfisch at 2:15 PM on December 18, 2013


Because it makes clear that these people who have had tremendous influence over the way the nation forms its opinions for decades are literally all getting their scripts from the same sources, unseen, unknown?

For light entertainment fluff and national news that they don't have the staffing or resources to cover with any sort of depth anyways, yes. Local news, no, although many news outfits wouldn't know how to take a critical look at a press release if forced. And the national news packages farmed out to affiliates from the networks are boring, middle-of-the-road crap, even from FOX, not cable news ideological hackwork. It's shitty and problematic, but it's not on the same level as political parties and groups feeding talking points to cable news producers to regurgitate as propaganda.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:16 PM on December 18, 2013


Wait, so does the US have local news stations instead of switching to a brief local segment during a news programme for a wider audience? If that's the case then I can easily see how they might run out of original, sensible things to broadcast. We only get fifteen minutes per day of TV "news" for our federal state and that's already a lot of crap, but at least it's actually local.

Yep, and it's honestly surprising it's lasted this long, but it's kind of mutated into a backwards version of what you're talking about, where the news is produced locally but a large chunk of what's aired is national news provided by the affiliate's parent network, so it really is a small chunk of local news per show, and the anchors just kind of intro everything to put a local face on national news product.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:19 PM on December 18, 2013


I was searching for the emotion this inspires.


Disgust

yeah that's the one.
posted by edgeways at 2:20 PM on December 18, 2013


It's OK, you can admit it, if you've commented on one, or two -- or maybe ten -- single-link videos you didn't actually watch on MetaFilter...
posted by not_on_display at 2:24 PM on December 18, 2013


JHarris: Because it makes clear that these people who have had tremendous influence over the way the nation forms its opinions for decades are literally all getting their scripts from the same sources, unseen, unknown?

It's a symptom of a larger trend of media consolidation coupled with downsizing and homogenization of local content. It's not a new issue, but it is a bit sad when stations can't even produce a half hour without relying on canned sources.

But I'm a bit biased since I volunteered for a community radio station that busted ass five days a week to cover city hall and statehouse. Since newsrooms have been downsized across all media over the last 25 years, that means that a big chunk of city and state politics isn't getting covered.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:26 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, man! I bought two gifts for myself. I feel so much better getting that off my chest. I had been holding it in, afraid to admit it. Afraid of what you all would think. It's been eating me up inside. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
posted by etc. at 2:37 PM on December 18, 2013


yoink: It's a minor piece of human-interest reporting. Why expend any person-hours at all on coming up with a variation on the perfectly serviceable intro you got given to you.
I don't think you're wrong so much as I wonder if you see how corrosive that attitude is.

Why bother with a local newsreader bobblehead at all? Why not insert a national fluff-story newsreader into the local newscast? (This isn't a what-if so much as it's actually the way terrestrial broadcast radio has been evolving, mind you.)

Why bother getting a human to read it? Why not just make the whole piece one of those Xtranormal type cartoons? (It is oh. kay. You can ad. Mit. It...)

Why bother with the whole stupid not-really-news-at-all piece in the first place?

I mean, if you're right, and it's not worth the effort to make it better, that's probably because you're right, and it wasn't worth the effort to make it in the first place.
posted by Western Infidels at 2:39 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wait, so does the US have local news stations instead of switching to a brief local segment during a news programme for a wider audience?

Not really.

The way it used to work before cable was this:

You had local broadcast affiliates transmitting the big three networks in each "market", loosely corresponding to the larger cities in a given area and however far out their broadcasts would reach, geographically speaking. (For example I grew up in a small town about 60 miles outside of New Orleans, and we got the New Orleans broadcasts of the networks).

In between the major network programming (which, for the most part, would be seen all over the country), there would be local programming. Most of this programming was in the form of local news, but there were also daytime talk shows, children's programming, late night monster movies, etc.

Typically in the US, local news comes on three times a day.

You've got morning news, which is lots of weather and traffic, sports (especially if there were big games last night that people might have missed), any key local news headlines people will want to know before leaving for work, and then traditionally a bunch of light variety style programming aimed at women. (Yes, American local TV is still stuck in the 50s and assumes anyone still at home past about 8AM must be a homemaker). This runs for about an hour in smaller markets, but can be from as early as 5AM to as late as 9 or 10 in some places.

Then you've got your evening news, which comes on between 5 and 7 PM depending on the market, and is about an hour long. This will be much more news driven, but there will also be weather, traffic, sports, and some human interest/feature type stuff. I vaguely remember there sometimes being interviews or special correspondents (a la Weekend Update on SNL), as well as the occasional spoken editorial or point/counterpoint debate segment. Also sometimes movie reviews?

After that, you've got the 10 or 11 PM news, which is basically a repeat of the evening news with any new updates to actual news stories, tomorrow's weather report, and sports coverage. IIRC this broadcast is a little shorter than the others, but to be honest it's been ages since I watched the local 10 PM news.

A lot of stories are repeated between the evening and late news broadcasts, and possibly among all three depending on the market. There's also a lot of "tune in at 10PM, where we'll be speaking live with Commissioner Gordon on these latest Bat Man sightings!" type stuff.

Usually all three of these local news blocks are contiguous with similarly formatted national content. So you'll have the local morning news at 7, and then the Today Show starts at 8, for instance. Or you'll have a 6PM local evening news followed by the 7PM national news, followed directly by Prime Time programming.

So you don't so much have local news channels, as you have space for local news on the major networks.

Make sense?

Also, people who have actually bothered to watch local news in the last decade feel free to correct me on any of the details.
posted by Sara C. at 2:40 PM on December 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh I read that "local news stations" as meaning "local TV stations that also do news" in my response to wachhundfisch, but yeah, Sara's right with the correct reading of it.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:42 PM on December 18, 2013


Hm, now that I think about it, the morning/evening/later news broadcasts might be more like half an hour and less like a whole hour. I don't know? Unfortunately the last time I watched any of this regularly coincided with a time where it felt like the news was on FUCKING FOREVER every night because I was eleven years old.
posted by Sara C. at 2:44 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, post cable, this is all highly garbled. Especially WRT "local" news looking to this type of non-local, non-newsworthy bland feature content to fill airtime. Rather than actually doing the one thing we really need them to do, which is REPORT ON LOCAL NEWS.
posted by Sara C. at 2:47 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


"...but it's not on the same level as political parties and groups feeding talking points to cable news producers to regurgitate as propaganda."

It isn't?
Are you sure?

I certainly am not. Given that the actual sources are not disclosed and that to a greater degree, there isn't anyone actually checking to see if the news or PR releases are a) factual or b) aren't coming from compromised sources.

Actually, there are a few places that do follow up on these things, but they are mostly non-profits or activist groups (which, by and large, are generally ignored when they try to point out conflicts of interest from political or business lobbying groups who create these puff PR filler). Check out this link for more details: No Fake News, PRWatch

I mean, I get it, budgets have been slashed in every local news room. Hiring and retaining well trained staff has been problematic at best. I've met a ton of engineers and people who work for commercial broadcasters, and they HATE working in corporate news, mainly because it is so soul destroying to have to listen to banal idiocy day in and day out. But it's the job they are trained for, and aside from going into corporate event video production (a very insular and hard to break in to job, though it can be very lucrative, but requires a ton of travel), most of them are stuck, until the beancounters decide they cost too much and decide to hire interns to do the job (it's coming, trust me).

But that's just my own take on the situation. Other markets and other areas may still thrive if the right motivated people take up the call to actually deliver real media journalism, instead of holding out until they can retire. But that is something that the risks many times outweigh the rewards.

I also grew up on really bad 80's movies like Pump Up The Volume and loved Transmetropolitan a little too much, so I am so radically biased that no one should ever listen to me. But, whatever.
posted by daq at 2:51 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Basically now all the "special correspondents" and movie reviews and even, largely, any live on-set interviews have fallen to a lack of funding in most markets. Phoners and Skype interviews and live on location interviews are still common, but bringing people on set is really kind of dying out, unfortunately - I like it, it's fun to work on those. Morning shows are usually longer, an hour or two. Sometimes a short noon show. The 5 or 6 pm news is either a half hour or whole hour, typically. FOX stations often do a 9pm news instead of a 10, and that last news show of the night is usually a half hour.

There are a lot of markets where it really is that hard to fill half an hour with news, because shit just isn't that newsworthy on a daily basis in a lot of places and the budgets mean you can't really stretch boots on the ground in a wide net in the region for more statewide political coverage (the biggest loser out of local/state/national, since national coverage is provided by the networks daily). But yeah, it's kind of ludicrous how widespread the boring padding is. Local broadcast news has been just treading water for ages because it's just a dying business model that didn't pay attention to what the internet did to newspapers.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:53 PM on December 18, 2013


Local news is somewhat important in the United States because a fair number of things are decentralized to state or municipal governments.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:55 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I certainly am not. Given that the actual sources are not disclosed and that to a greater degree, there isn't anyone actually checking to see if the news or PR releases are a) factual or b) aren't coming from compromised sources.

See, I'm not arguing that this isn't the case, but I am arguing that it's a broad brush to paint with. There are a lot of local news outfits around that do this stuff right, a lot of news directors setting the proper tone for their newsrooms in the industry, but at the end of the day it's still crushingly boring local news so it doesn't really get a lot of notice. I want to provide some direct examples from my station, but I intentionally obfuscate which station I work at because I tend to say plenty of unkind things about them, too.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:56 PM on December 18, 2013


Why is it that the "special correspondent" and interview type stuff is being cut? I get "for budget reasons", but what it is about the budgets that makes those difficult to do? Is it just that they're not sexy enough, visual enough, dynamic enough?

Because I actually think the best thing for the local affiliates to do would be to go back to that sort of cheap and cheerful "Today we've brought in local pediatrician Dr. Whoever to talk about the importance of vaccines" type of content. Dr. Whoever just being a person from the community who is personable enough to say "OMG SRSLY FOLKS VACCINATE YOUR KIDS ARE YOU CRAZY". You don't have to pay that guy. You don't need any b-roll or graphics. You can tailor the message to the needs of the community. It seems like kind of a win-win, if you're hungry for content.
posted by Sara C. at 2:59 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Local news is somewhat important in the United States because a fair number of things are decentralized to state or municipal governments.

It's also a big country, so things that are considered newsworthy in some places aren't in others. For instance every hurricane that hits the Gulf Coast gets hours of (actually extremely valuable) local news coverage. Whereas someone in Colorado or New Hampshire doesn't even need to hear about the storm unless the damage reaches Katrina levels.

I think our New Orleans news affiliates tend to win an outsized number of Local News Emmys, Pulitzers, or whatever it is they hand out for that, due to the hurricanes alone. It definitely keeps the local newsrooms funded and keeps their focus on useful local reporting. Though I'm sure they also resort to some of this "It's OK, you can admit it" type of coverage, too.
posted by Sara C. at 3:09 PM on December 18, 2013


Why is it that the "special correspondent" and interview type stuff is being cut? I get "for budget reasons", but what it is about the budgets that makes those difficult to do? Is it just that they're not sexy enough, visual enough, dynamic enough?

Because I actually think the best thing for the local affiliates to do would be to go back to that sort of cheap and cheerful "Today we've brought in local pediatrician Dr. Whoever to talk about the importance of vaccines" type of content. Dr. Whoever just being a person from the community who is personable enough to say "OMG SRSLY FOLKS VACCINATE YOUR KIDS ARE YOU CRAZY". You don't have to pay that guy. You don't need any b-roll or graphics. You can tailor the message to the needs of the community. It seems like kind of a win-win, if you're hungry for content.


Just literally so few people actually working on the broadcasts that nobody's available to set up and deal with interviews with people. The evening news just started here, and looking into the newsroom - three people in the control room, one on the set, minus the anchors and other on-air personalities (who are finishing up their prep), and the reporters all just rolled into the building 45 minutes ago from going out getting their stories so they could quickly write and cut their packages before jetting back out the door. The production gets so stripped down and clockwork to accommodate the skeleton crew that wrangling an interview subject is a pain, having the (usually new and barely-trained) one-person floor crew handle camera changes is already hard enough - only two cameras not counting the terrible SD one with the broken pedestal that we don't use, you'll need them both for the interview and the instant the segment changes one has to already be moving over to the weather or sports set or on the second anchor and the other needs reset on the first anchor for a tight shot or insert, or if you end the segment with a break the floor crew would be busy helping the interview subject get their mic off and all that, then doing other random duties they need to do during the breaks. Whereas with Skype or a phoner, the audio op can handle that as the normal course of their duties. It's a really, really, really bare bones operation.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:14 PM on December 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


What if all those house fires they show on the local news are just the same Irv Weinstein clip of Buffalo's blaze battlers?
posted by pracowity at 3:46 PM on December 18, 2013


Oh actually though, on your example of bringing on a local doctor for a health segment, that kind of stuff does still live on in pretaped segments all over the place. You can bang out a month's worth in a couple days that way. It's just not really that common as a live on-set interview anymore. And morning shows still love the cheerful live on-set interview, but that's kind of part and parcel of doing a morning show and it's easier because there are generally way less camera moves and less time crunch since it's a longer show with a different pace, and there's no crazy last-second editing or script changes because your news stuff is from the night before, which frees up the producer to pull double duty in the control room and help out with stuff that would otherwise have the floor crew running around between set and newsroom and control room.

I am really tired of working in news, because it's just crushing to do an important job that's looked at by station management as nothing but a loss leader that they keep around because they have to to look competitive in the market and because some sponsors are really into doing local news sponsorships so they want to keep the option there, but they don't really care to pay the price it takes to do it well or really let it do anything but limp along. You kind of feel like a show dog with a neglectful owner. But one thing I will miss is coming up with clever workflow hacks to let five people do the work of ten - I hate the whole "work smarter and harder, because we don't want to pay anybody else" thing where the venn diagram of everyone's duties kind of just looks like one slightly bumpy circle, but at the same time it's really a blast to put that kind of machine together and see it work, and just thinking of what could be done with an actual full staff with all those lessons learned is a nice thought, if a pipe dream.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:49 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Where does the copy come from? Surely they can't all spontaneously come up with the same lame joke at once?
posted by 4ster at 6:39 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


BREAKING NEWS FROM THE LOCAL NEWS CHANNEL: People buy things for themselves during the month of December.
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 7:24 PM on December 18, 2013


Local news isn't just a joke, it's a Family Guy joke.
posted by Woodroar at 7:57 PM on December 18, 2013



Local news isn't just a joke, it's a Family Guy joke.


Ya know what really grinds my gears?
posted by sweetkid at 8:48 PM on December 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


OK I searched on youtube for a video of the last late great local television news reporter in action. Marvin Zindler eyewitness news. (It's about a pest beehive removal, but he did an very large variety on this type story.)
posted by bukvich at 9:24 PM on December 18, 2013


YES JIM I'M HERE AT THE MALL.

THERE'S NOBODY HERE RIGHT NOW.

THERE WERE LOTS OF PEOPLE BUYING THINGS EARLIER TODAY.

BACK TO YOU, JIM.
posted by BungaDunga at 9:58 PM on December 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


And the national news packages farmed out to affiliates from the networks are boring, middle-of-the-road crap, even from FOX, not cable news ideological hackwork. It's shitty and problematic, but it's not on the same level as political parties and groups feeding talking points to cable news producers to regurgitate as propaganda.

It's not as overt, but there is still a profound effect there. What makes it on the news is implied to be news, in some way, and this is a strongly pro-consumption message.

The rise of the internet has made this less of a problem than it would be a couple of decades ago, since now people have access to a variety of messages if they have the wit to look for them. And I think that wit is growing, slowly, as people age out of the population and new ones grow up with stronger media savvy, skills that atrophied in the age of predominant television news.

Well, that's what I think. Take or leave.
posted by JHarris at 1:29 AM on December 19, 2013


A bit late to the party here, but a few years ago I made the mistake I always repeat during our local public-radio pledge drive, and tuned into the main local commercial alternative. Chuckle Pants and Giggle Hair were doing that thing where they talkreallyfastaboutwhat'scomingupnext! to distract you from the fact that the show is 82% advertisements, 10% scripted endorsements, 7% telling you what's next and 1% actually telling you something, and they finally got their big interview with some NASCAR guy (Jeff Gordon? I only remember that he was getting into viniculture and his wife was running some philanthropic organization).

Anyway, about 30 seconds in to the "interview", some error in their microcode sailed through my ears and into my skull like that black cat in The Matrix, and I realized instantly that CP&GH were actually "conversing" with a recording, which had been specifically created with breaks in the wordflow, little side jokes and bantering subroutines. But somebody stepped on a clam, and it was jarring enough to reveal the fakery.

I wish I could find that recording, so I could turn it into an autotuned dance mix and become a Youtube millionaire.

But more, I wish that I weren't so painfully naive.
posted by Rat Spatula at 10:35 AM on December 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I find most commercial radio infuriatingly fake. I refuse on principle to listen to "Jack FM", because ITS NOT EVEN LOCAL THEY HAVE THAT EVERYWHERE. And if I'm going listen to commercial radio jackassery, I at least want it to involve actual humans in my local area who are really doing stuff on the air for real. I think my current go-to non-KCRW choice in Los Angeles is legit, but the truth is, like your NASCAR interview example, there's really no way to know. I only know about "Jack FM" because I've seen identical billboards for it in multiple cities across the country.
posted by Sara C. at 11:16 AM on December 19, 2013


It amazes me that anybody still listens to commercial radio in the year 2013. I haven't listened to commercial radio in 15, maybe 20 years.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:19 AM on December 19, 2013


My car doesn't have an AUX jack, and I'm too lazy to burn all my music to CD-Rs to listen to in the car.

I actually don't hate commercial radio, though it is wearing on me, and it appalls me that I now have opinions on this stuff.
posted by Sara C. at 11:25 AM on December 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


In Colorado I like the 24/7 Comedy station, which tries to inject a little local stuff (they work with a local comedy club) but barely anything (I wish they'd mention traffic issues) and AM760 (Progressive Talk). Both are Clear-Channel as can be. I remember having a similar moment to what Rat Spatula mentions above where I'd hear AM760 personalities interviewing people like Roseanne Barr or random B-list celebrities, only to realize the questions were inserted. AM760 actually had a "local" Colorado-oriented host for awhile who operated out of California and constantly joked about broadcasting from an "undisclosed location." I actually liked the guy but it was pretty damned carpet-baggy hearing him dance around local issues like he gave a rat's ass.
posted by lordaych at 4:43 PM on December 19, 2013


It was pure gold hearing takes-no-shit-doesn't-give-a-fuck comedian Bill Burr interviewed by former AM760 personality / Slate columnist David Sirota. That was a real interview and Bill was a total dick when David tried to talk about [local to Bill] Boston sports teams.
posted by lordaych at 4:47 PM on December 19, 2013


I don't think I've ever even flipped over to the AM dial on my car radio.
posted by Sara C. at 5:10 PM on December 19, 2013


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