Darfur. We both know how serious it is, but we’re not sure exactly why or where it is.
The Onion (helping you seem more informed”) has produced this fantastic parody of news analysis. It’s called “How Can We Let Darfur Know How Much We’re Doing For Them.”
I’ve never laughed as much in preparing a post for this silly blog- in fact cried laughing (to use a bad pun). The Onion, I hope you know, is a website/print publication that has made the single finest transition to online-video content. The Onion News Network is as well written as the website I used to eagerly anticipate each Wednesday (in fact, it was literally the only website besides Google that I checked routinely in the early part of this century). But the acting is what cinches this. The acting is better than amateur online-video content, and most of television.
Watch each of these actors and realize how easy it is to believe that they’re real analysts and you’re not supposed to be laughing- the cadence, the off-camera glances, the “pile on” comments, and the timing. Folks if you’re watching, I’d kill for a cameo. No charge, and I’ll get their with 24-hours notice.
According to Wikipedia, (but watch out because The Onion reminds us Wikipedia is prone to error), The Onion launched The Onion News Network, a daily web video broadcast that had been in production since mid-2006. An early story featured an illegal immigrant taking an executive’s $800,000 a year job for $600,000 a year. The Onion has reportedly invested about $1 million in the production and has hired 15 new staffers to focus on the production of this video broadcast. Carol Kolb, former editor-in-chief of The Onion, is the head writer.
In a Wikinews interview in November 2007, Onion President Sean Mills said the ONN has been a huge hit.
“We get over a million downloads a week, which makes it one of the more successful produced-for-the-Internet videos,” said Mills. “If we’re not the most successful, we’re one of the most.”
TheOnion has a YouTube account (with an atypical banner that allows viewers to drop directly into its podcasts, website or RSS) since March 2006, but its videos are all relatively new to YouTube (past several months). As of this post, I have about 35,000 subscribers on YouTube, and The Onion has about 13,000. I’m willing to bet that the network has twice as many subscribers as me by the summer.
I’ve often said that quasi professional content is on the rise, but this isn’t fair to call “quasi.” The only reason this content isn’t a better version of SNL is because there’s not enough of it, and perhaps it appeals to a smaller segment of the SNL audience with primarily news parody. Then again- it works for Jon Stewart.
See: FDA recalls pot pies because they’re hungry and the plight of lost hikers.