"The 1/2 Hour News Hour" -- is it as bad as it looks?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Thomas Veil, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #1
    It had to happen. There just aren't enough hours in the day to disseminate right-wing spin on Fox News, so we're being blessed with something called The 1/2 Hour News Hour...on Fox, not Fox News Channel.

    San Francisco Chronicle

    I think the article does a good enough job on its own of explaining that The Daily Show skewers everybody, while this thing apparently has an agenda.

    I'll admit I'm "judging" it without seeing the show. It sounds awful based on the article, but I'll try to catch it this Sunday just to see if it's as bad as I expect.

    I'm not even sure what 50 "liberal" shows Surnow is talking about. The only shows I know of that truly "go after" Bush and Cheney are Countdown and The Colbert Report...and the latter is itself an answer to Bill O'Reilly.

    Did anybody see the first show? What was your reaction?
     
  2. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #2
    I thought it was funny as heck. Obviously tongue in cheek with nods to the same type of shows that the left have in Colbert and the Daily Show.

    How can you not laugh at jokes about Air America? Supposedly more than half of America subscribes to their political point of view, they literally had no competition, they had financing, free advertising for years by the mainstream media, and they had big name talent...and still they failed financially. They had a chance to show all of us how you take a product and delivery it to an audience hungry for it and provide a workers paradise in the process and they couldn't pull it off.

    I laugh hard even now thinking about it.
     
  3. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #3
    I saw a 5 minute clip of it. Its a total joke. Funny in some spots, not funny in others. You can probably see it if you go to FNCs website.
     
  4. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #4
    Didn't see it - didn't even hear about it until now. Sounds like guy is trying to build off the rampant success of 24, and writers are cheaper than actors.

    I find TDS and TCR to be funny, but beter when their politics aren't so overt. I imagine that this will end up being something like that. I certainly hope that folks will realize that there is enough room in the market for both ends of the spectrum and not rip it without giving it a chance.

    The most surprising thing is that Fox is running this (although I guess ti comes back to 24) - they've always been as liberal as Fox News is conservative.
     
  5. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #5
    I get the feeling that conservatives these days are fundamentally humor-challenged. This isn't really a poke a conservatives -- I don't think it's inherent or anything. It seems any movement in the later stages of its ascendency tends to confuse sanctimony with humor.
     
  6. Motley macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Saw some of it, the anchors really need work. They seem too stiff and everything too scripted.

    Oh, and I can't ***** stand laugh tracks:mad: Either get a real audience or kill the canned laughter (this goes for all shows with laugh tracks).
     
  7. rockthecasbah macrumors 68020

    rockthecasbah

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    #7
    Ugh I saw youtube clips of this crap about a week ago, it was painful. Fox was trying so hard to be funny, yet it just wasn't. They really had way too much effort put into the bits to be funny, the humor in many of these types of political shows is that they generally don't have that feeling of "trying" to be funny. It's mostly natural. I felt bad as an American to be associated with that ;)

    Now, for the record, i don't particularly find Jon Stewart that funny either. I like The Daily Show's investigative reports the best from that show, but nearly EVERYTHING Stephen Colbert puts out is gold. He is talent :)
     
  8. Apemanblues macrumors regular

    Apemanblues

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    #8
    I saw the YouTube clips and it's about as funny as bowel cancer.
     
  9. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #9
    I guess I'll check out one or two YouTube clips anyway. I was thinking of watching the show this Sunday, but apparently it's being pre-empted. By NASCAR.

    Which sounds like it should be a joke on The Daily Show, but it's true. :p
     
  10. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #10
    Okay, I'm back from YouTube.

    Eh.

    The Limbaugh/Colter introduction? Hmm. The sketch itself is not totally offensive; I could see SNL doing a similar sketch with Al Franken and Keith Olbermann.

    The Barack Obama thing? That could almost be a Daily Show story...except on TDS it'd probably be funnier.

    The ACLU "commercials"? That really fell flat -- not specifically because they weren't funny (I suppose a conservative would find them amusing), but because they have absolutely no idea how dumb they sound. You might not agree with the results, but talking about defending the first and fourth amendments as if that were a bad thing?? Uh...yeah. Uh-huh.

    Overall the show wasn't as offensive as I thought it would be, although I still think the agenda sucks.

    I can see why it didn't make much of a splash. It left me pretty cold. Maybe it's because I'm a liberal and can't see the humor in it. Or maybe it's because, as some people suggest, "right-wing satire" is an oxymoron.
     
  11. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #11
    I don't think it's an oxymoron necessarily, but I do think that any group which spends too much time in power eventually gets their sense of humor extracted. You know it's happened when "we good, they bad" passes for satire. Maybe I'm reading too much "Prickly City" and "Mallard Fillmore" lately, but that's pretty much a complete definition of what these two conservative cartoonists think is funny.
     
  12. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #12
    They wish they were offensive. So many things they could have made fun of, so many ways they could have gone about it. Just failed. Miserably. Even conservatives seem to think it's not so good. I don't care how much of a neocon someone is, which they'd have to be to like it, it was just painful. Stiff anchors, low brow jokes, canned/forced laughter. TDS is funny for a reason, often no matter what your politics. I used to watch it when Clinton was in charge, I laugh when they make fun of liberals, and I will continue to watch when Dems are back in charge. This show just completely misses it. You have to be "in" on the joke, which fewer and fewer Americans seem to want to be. And the delivery is just awful.

    This could have been very funny actually, but face it, it wasn't. I don't care how much you hate Hillary, or Obama, or the ACLU, or Air America, or any of the other things they made fun of poorly, this is not how you do comedy or political satire. I'm guessing it will be around for awhile, just because, but I'm also guessing it will have a pretty low audience and even lower appeal.

    Still, people will defend it, no matter how bad it gets... just like they do the Bush administration.
     
  13. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #13
    Well, history repeats itself.

    In his book The Glass Teat, Harlan Ellison recounts the story of a right-wing "satire" show called What's It All About, World? that was on ABC briefly during the Nixon administration. It was apparently meant to counter the "very liberal" TV of the time such as Laugh-In and The Smothers Brothers, only this one was hosted by Dean Jones (yes, the Disney actor), and featured patriotic songs and skits, not to mention a little Shirley Temple clone who sang a tribute to President Nixon. In other words, half-propaganda and half-just lame.

    (Ellison's essay was very amusing, BTW, describing how he kept hitting himself on the side of the head because he couldn't believe he was seeing this thing right.)

    It was from here that Ellison got the idea that right-wing satire was a contradiction in terms. His contention was that political satire is by its nature anti-establishment, and conservatism (to a large degree even when it's not in office) is the Establishment. (His alternative explanation, not to be taken seriously, was that this was actually a liberal joke -- a left-wing version of what liberals think a right-wing show would look like. But he was just trying to be falling-down-the-rabbit-hole conspiracy-theory funny. :D )
     
  14. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #14
    I used to have that book. Might still, somewhere.

    I think Ellison is saying pretty much the same thing as I've been trying to say: satire is best reserved for people out of power. Those who are in power tend to use what they think of as satire to denigrate those who are not. By definition, though, satire is form of humor designed to instigate change. What kind of change do who've already got the upper hand desire? More power? Go ahead, try to make that funny.
     
  15. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #15
    Okay, I haven't seen the Youtube clips yet, but I have a question anyway. What does Hillary Clinton have to do with angry lesbians and why is it funny?

    I read an article about that Surnow guy (who also produces 24) and he's ******* crazy. Doesn't think the US tortures enough.

    I guess laughing at people who think torture works (per TDS) is easier for me than laughing at people who don't think we torture enough (per 1/2hr).
     
  16. Thomas Veil thread starter macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #16
    Because she's a lesbian, ya know? :rolleyes:

    I'm being perfectly serious here: the more I read about Surnow, the more I feel like I'm gonna have a problem watching 24 anymore. I've always given 24 a pass on the torture and the "ends-justifies-the-means" stuff, but that was when the show seemed to me to be a cartoonish (albeit grim) fantasy. Now I'm always gonna be thinking in the back of my mind that this guy Surnow is totally serious.

    And it's a shame, because I liked Surnow's other show, too: Nowhere Man. Now I'm gonna be looking at that one through fresh eyes as well. :(
     
  17. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #17
    It's gonna be amusing to watch the righties who bash Air America (not undeservedly) for failing to penetrate the AM talk market tell us this show is a success that's only being held back because of "Hollyweird's" liberal bias...
     
  18. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

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    #18
    One of the worst "shows" I've ever witnessed. It's embarrassing, and very weird.

    You wouldn't be the least bit surprised if one of the anchors just said, "HAHAHAHHAHA. Torturing brown people kicks ASS."
     
  19. joepunk macrumors 68030

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  20. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #20
    No, that show is good... this one is not.
     
  21. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #21
    doubly-so after watching this video.
     
  22. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #23
    They have been promoting this thing like crazy during Yankee games and the show looks way to forced to be funny. The premise looks good but the acting is bad and it just looks like its trying to hard. Unless the promos are way off from the actual show it looks like a train wreck.
     
  23. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #24
    I wonder why the cancellation. The ratings were pretty good.
     
  24. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #25
    It started out strong, but fell in the ratings and continued to slide. They were low for Fox. Plus it was really, really bad. The Daily Show is better at making fun of Dems, they could have learned something.

    Right now Jon is slamming Hillary and it's funnier than anything I saw on that train wreck.
     

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