Archive for snarkage

SNL spoofs CNN: Pregnancy test sends out countless irrelevant bulletins

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cnn most trusted

Whether we watch CNN, MSNBC, Fox, or the Big Three TV networks, we are often subjected to a constant stream of non-news, redundant reporting, irrelevant stories, inane bulletins, anchors and commentators with nothing new to say, repetitive clips, video packages, you name it.

I rarely watch CNN any more, but I do keep an eye out for interesting tweets on the Twitter Machine. And guess what? The tweets from people and organizations I follow were filled with mockery and snark about CNN's incessant coverage of the horrific Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappearance.

Coverage of a major news story is one thing, red herrings and extraneous filler are quite another. It was hard to avoid the multitude of tweets noting how CNN devoted twenty-four hours a day (or so it seemed) to one story, even when there was nothing to report.

Ocean footage is not news.

CNN was clearly aware of the social media reaction. Well, Jake Tapper was, anyway. When I retweeted Jacki Schechner (@JackiSchechner), about it, he popped into our thread to inform us that CNN, as we speak, was airing a report about something else. Hey, if you have to interject that your network has taken a hiatus from their fixation on one story, then maybe the criticism is valid.

jake tapper tweet jacki schechner CNN Malaysia

That's an order! One that I didn't obey.

If only news networks would become, you know, news networks, instead of commercialized, ratings-centric infotainment feeds.

And with that, here is Saturday Night Live's "commercial" spoofing news media coverage generally and CNN specifically. They nailed it:

BREAKING: CNN more confident than ever that it will soon know if you’re pregnant,” read one alert from the test, in between updates about Oscar Pistorius removing his legs in court and Kesha. Ultimately, we learned nothing from the pregnancy test...

H/t: Mediaite

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"Turns out, Al Gore was right. Next we’ll discover he really did invent the internet."

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al-gore-climate-changeal gore climate change hot in here

Another snark-filled guest post by the one, the only Will Durst who's having a little fun with the unnerving prospect of living, and dying, with spot-on predictions about climate change by none other than Al Gore:

TINA TURNER, MAD MAX, AL GORE AND YOU

According to a new UN report, there’s good news and bad news about global warming. The good news is- it’s worse than we thought. Yeah. That’s the good news. The bad news- you don’t want to know. Because then there’s worse news and ultimately, “holy moley, is that an asteroid the size of a mini- mall crushing my house” news.

The same kind of news a doctor offers up after inviting you into his office, closing the door and advising you to sit down. Or your lawyer recommending a friend who “specializes in this sort of thing, but I warn you, he’s not cheap.” A mechanic walking slowly from your car, wiping his hands on a rag, sadly shaking his head. Or when a spouse’s packed bags are stacked near the front door and a voice from the kitchen intones: “We need to talk.”

After delivering their communiqué describing how not only has global warming already arrived, but it’s unpacked, made friends with the dog, is sleeping on the couch and drinking daddy’s bourbon that he thinks nobody knows is behind the Wheat Thins; the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change threw up its hands and ran screaming from the room. The unreported nature of these actions can be chalked up to being considered normal activity at the UN.

Remember about 10 years ago, when the IPCC told the world that something had to be done soon or all hell was going to break loose? Well, guess what? Nothing was done and all hell has broken loose. You can actually see chunks of it littering the outskirts of Phoenix. With Lucifer himself haunting the halls of the Arizona State Capitol.

The gist of the statement is instead of wasting time on political gridlock strangling all efforts to diminish global warming, we need to learn to live with it. Seriously. That’s what they said. Their recommended strategy has evolved from halting climate change to surviving it. From mitigation to adaption. No more trying to keep gas out of the basement, now we concentrate on not lighting any matches. Turns out, Al Gore was right. Next we’ll discover he really did invent the internet.

Time to wave bye- bye to certain South Sea Islanders, unless they begin building a big bunch of boats real soon. Europe will need to increase flood insurance coverage exponentially. Sales of air conditioners in the US are destined to skyrocket like condom sales in a bus station brothel, and Australia might just want to pack up and move. Now.

Its not just increased temperatures and rising sea levels and more severe weather and ocean acidification and species extinctions and multi- ecosystem collapse and slathering on sunblock 8000 and polar bears wandering Winnipeg; they’re also predicting violent conflicts over dwindling food supplies and fresh water. Like the beer cooler at a 7- 11 on Bourbon St. the Saturday before Mardi Gras.

So for all you survivalists who have always imagined living like a post- civilization Mad Max fighting feral dogs for scraps while fending off leather- clad, Mohawk- sporting punks, your dreams may have finally come true. Hey, this could be fun. Especially if you’re Tina Turner. And secretly, who here among us, isn’t?

Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about his new CD, “Elect to Laugh,” a calendar guide to personal appearances and info about the documentary film “3 Still Standing” in which he's one of the standing 3. Still.

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Commercialism: "Eventually our refrigerators will be sponsored and make suggestions."

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commercialism

Commercialism is everywhere, which is the reason for another snark-filled guest post by the one, the only Will Durst:

SAWBUCKED TO DEATH

These days, the only thing harder than making money is hanging onto it. Easier to protect dandelion fuzz in a tornado. Everywhere you go, everyone wants a taste. Their only job is to get a grip on your money. And some of these folks are pretty darn good at their jobs.

Solicitations. Donations. Hand-outs. Charges. Taxes. Commissions. Percentages. Invoices. Expenses. Billings. Licenses. Permits. Compensatory Remunerations. Honorariums. Balance due. Ante ups. Shipping fees. Handling fees. Entrance fees. Exit fees. The way we’re getting nickel and dimed from every angle is like being nibbled to death by ducks.

You know that phrase: “The best things in life are free.” Popularized by rich people to keep the rest of us from getting too curious. Besides, nothing’s free anymore. Fast food condiments cost extra. Bags at stores are no longer gratis. Gas stations charge for air and water- setting an ominous precedent.

Banks used to reward people for handling their money, not anymore. Now customers pay for everything. There’s a charge for using a teller. There’s a charge for not using a teller. There’s a charge for telling the teller where to stick the charge.

Airlines have figured out how to make money off of food, blankets, legroom, checked bags, aisle seats, in- flight entertainment and it’s only a matter of time before the bathrooms, seat belts and oxygen masks require prepaid activation codes. “Oxygenated air or non- oxygenated air?”

TV and radio used to be free. Now all the premium content is on cable or satellite. Then after purchasing comes the maintenance fees. Upgrade fees. Squeeze you like a turnip fees. Convenience fees. For whose convenience are these fees? Not mine.

Microsoft and Adobe have moved to a subscription model. Netflix is 10 bucks a month. Third world orphan rescues cost 10 bucks a month. Dating services, cheap gyms, music apps- 10 bucks a month. Everybody wants 10 bucks a month. You know what: ten bucks here, ten bucks there. That stuff adds up. We’ve moved beyond nickel and dimed to death: this is more like sawbucked to death.

There’s a free trial period, but we need your credit card number for processing. And the expiration date. And the super secret code on the back. And your social security number. And your PIN number. And how many moles on your upper right thigh? And what time of the day is best for our Nigerian prince to contact you?

And yes, you’re right. This column is written every generation. Our parents lamented the passing of full service gas stations. Our kids will probably bemoan the loss of free water in public rest rooms. “Used to be, you could let the water run right down the drain until it got to be the exact temperature you desired. No, I’m serious.”

Even when you do buy something, you’re immediately harassed into acquiring other useless stuff, no matter the location. Commercials at the checkout counter, gas station pump, in elevators, cabs, movies, ballgames. Ceiling screens at the dentist are next.

Eventually our refrigerators will be sponsored and make suggestions. Until finally people are convinced to sell naming rights to their children. “Did you hear? Clear Channel Schultz is going out with Enron Nelson. It’s a match made in heaven. And Texas.” Speaking of which, might as well prepare, there will be Geico commercials in Hell.

Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about his new CD, “Elect to Laugh” and calendar of personal appearances and 3stillstanding.com for info on the documentary film in which he's an integral piece.

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Cold War redux: "Freeze dried tension. Refrigerated Tang with a shot of paranoia."

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cold war cartoon Khrushchev v Kennedy arm wrestle

Another snark-filled guest post by the one, the only Will Durst who's having a little fun with the unnerving stand-off between Russia and the United States. Ahh, there's nothing like reminiscing about the good bad old days:

The Frigid Fracas

After an absence of 25 years, it's downright ducky to be able to welcome back one of the great socio-politico conflicts in the history of the planet. How about a round of applause folks, because the Cold War is back and it's colder and warrier than ever.

Like an old friend popping up on your doorstep after moving to South America or Akron a quarter century ago, it is with a mixture of exhilaration and dread to see him again. All the right words are mouthed: "No, YOU look exactly the same," but inside you're praying he's just here for a quick visit and no extended stay. "So, what are your plans?"

To MI6, the British Intelligence Foreign Section Division, the Cold War was an extension of a conflict with Russia that began in the early 19th Century. To we USAers, it was a post WWII battle for the eternal soul of mankind. But it doesn't matter what you call it: Great Game, Frigid Fracas, Siberian Skirmish: the Cold War is guaranteed to ice your nerves and frost your sense of security. Freeze dried tension. Refrigerated Tang with a shot of paranoia.

Now that the mumps, measles and polio are on the comeback trail as well, the Teens are starting to look like the 50s all over again. The future will be televised in black and white; comforting we early Baby Boomers who always remained skeptical of that whole multi-hued thing. And like the Twilight Zone was scarier in black and white, so was Nikita Khrushchev. As was Speedy, the Alka Seltzer mascot.

The return of this Arctic Animus means all sorts of retro activities accompanying it; saber rattling. Nuclear standoffs. Propaganda. Espionage. One inch wide ties. Poisoned tipped umbrellas and exploding cigars- right around the corner. And Hula Hoops, only now they come with an app.

This won't be your father's ideological confrontation however. No longer a showdown between Democracy and Communism, because that fight is history like shag carpeting. Russians may dream of Mother Russia but everybody else in the world wants to be Americans.

Besides, many more opportunities for corruption exist in a democracy than socialism. Who knew? And the Super Powers have gone the way of Howdy Doody and penny candy. Less relevant than chrome bumpers and tinfoil covered rabbit ears.

No, this is more like that boxing movie Hollywood recently released with Stallone and DeNiro. Two aging Mediocre Powers trying to rekindle a dubiously remembered time gone by in an age where you can watch Indonesian soap operas on your eyeglasses while walking over the street in an air conditioned skyway.

Putin ostensibly sent troops into Crimea because he was worried about the rights of its citizens. Putin. Worried about the rights of others. Unh-hunh. Real similar to a bobcat worried about a poodle's breakfast. A shark concerned with breakfast's feelings. Bacteria worried over spoiling breakfast. Ask the Chechens about Mister KGB standing up for people's rights. Or Pussy Riot.

And while the world retreats into a circle around the two combatants, Putin and Obama are busy picking teams for their recycled rivalry. Considering the playground nature of this squabble, wouldn't be surprised if it came down to shirts and skins. Pretty sure Putin is going to choose skins.

Copyright ©2014, Will Durst. Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. One of three Bay Area comedians to be featured in the documentary film "3 Still Standing." To find out more about the post- production fundraiser on Thursday, March 27, 2014, at Alfred's Steakhouse, go to 3stillstanding.com.

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GOP's "President Sybil": "Kenyan. Hawaiian. Healer. Divider. Master spy. Muslim. Christian. Villain."

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president sybil

Another guest post by the one, the only Will Durst who's having a little fun with the many conflicting labels pinned on President Sybil, er, Obama:

50 SHADES OF COOL

It was more amusing than piano- playing kittens to see Barack Obama plug the Affordable Care Act on Zach Galifianakis’ internet comedy show. Not late night. Not basic cable. An internet show: “Between 2 Ferns.” Even funnier was the President trotting out the same expression he normally reserves for Bill O’Reilly interviews.

The Chief Executive is apparently working his way down the marketing food chain. Next it’ll be ObamaCare coupons under windshield wipers in the parking lots of flea markets. Then a series of laminated ads posted above urinals. Won’t be long before Joe Biden is wearing a giant syringe costume twirling a sign on Pennsylvania Ave.

The president is not new to the humor game. He’s proven his comedy chops o’plenty at previous functions, but even professional comedians have problems holding their own with the bearded Hangover franchise comic’s trademark condescending snark. 44, however, traded disdainful barbs like a Catskills trained tummler. Looks like the ordeal of dealing with Hillary’s State Department staff finally paid off. Can’t wait for him speak to Putin with the same sort of Borscht Belt pushback.

This was Comedy Obama at his finest. Just one of the many guises we’ve seen Honolulu’s favorite son adopt. There’s Diplomatic Obama. Arrogant Obama. Tolerant Obama. Supercilious Obama. Hollywood Obama. Mississippi Obama. New Boss Obama. And Same as the Old Boss Obama.

Might explain why the country is thisclose to contracting a serious case of Multiple Presidential Personality Disorder. He’s President Sybil. Playing more roles than the tall kid who shaves at a summer Shakespeare camp.

Doctors say the onset of Dissociative Identity Disorder can be traced to trauma and its entirely possible the Republican Party is responsible for these many faces of Eve, er, Barack. For 5 years the President has been hit in the head more often than an armless soccer goalie in a World Cup shootout. Of course, he could be setting himself up for an insanity defense. Mitch McConnell would be well advised to hire extra security.

The Oval Office Shapeshifter’s pre POTUS resume was pretty tame. Kenyan. Kansan. Hawaiian. Community organizer. Constitutional law professor. State Senator. US Senator. Marijuana advocate. Audacity encourager.

It’s only since 2009 that we’ve been treated to a kaleidoscope of eccentric facets. He’s a jock. A nerd. Cheerleader. Teacher’s pet. Motorcycle riding bad boy. Probably a closet band geek. Party standard bearer. Good will ambassador. Policy enforcer. Al Green impersonator.

He’s half black. He’s half white. Ramrod. Contortionist. Healer. Divider. Defender of transparency. Master spy. Outlaw. Sheriff. Muslim. Christian. Politician. Citizen. Figurehead. Hood ornament. White hatted hero. Melodramatic villain. A puppet, a poet, a pawn and a king.

Even the GOP can’t decide if he’s a hopeless novice or a demagoguing dictator. The right wing paints him as a radical jihadist while left wing progressives whine he’s a cowering conciliator. Making him a little bit Malcolm X and a little bit Urkel.

Barack Obama is harder to pin down than an eel in a butter sculpture. A Nobel Peace Prize winner or the Manchurian Candidate. He’s either the classiest of cats or Captain Clueless. Relentless shark or a spineless jellyfish. Power mad knight errant or lute strumming eunuch. Or maybe he’s all of them. 50 shades of cool. Or drool. Perspective is everything.

Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about his new CD, “Elect to Laugh” and calendar of personal appearances and 3stillstanding.com for info on the documentary film in which he's an integral piece. 

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MSNBC: Preen forward #OhButIKid

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msnbc shows

Oh, but I kid MSNBC. I watch it every single day, and despite it being the only major cable news outlet I can tolerate (or appreciate), there are a few observations that I can no longer keep to myself. Gotta vent. Here's my (satirical) take on MSNBC daytime:

MSNBC Host 1: So welcome to my very own show. So, today's guests are Goldie Taylor, Howard Fineman, David Corn, Joan Walsh, Michael Steele, Jonathan Alter, Michael Eric Dyson, Nicolle Wallace, Mark Halperin, Michael Isikoff, Jonathan Capehart, Kasie Hunt, Eugene Robinson, Ezra Klein, Dave Weigel, Steve Schmidt, and all my fellow MSNBC hosts who are all here to talk about their very own shows! Every single one of them. So have I told you guys what a great job you do? GOD you're good. You all excel at your jobs! To call you stellar doesn't do you justice! I'm so proud to call you "colleagues."

Chuck Todd, Steve Kornacki, Alex Wagner, Chris Hayes, Joy Reid, Ronan Farrow, Krystal Ball, Karen Finney, Melissa Harris-Perry, Ari Melber: So, thank you, my friend! So, congratulations to us! So, group hug to Camera Three!

MSNBC Host 2: So when we return, we'll explore why every MSNBC commentator begins each thought with, "So..." We'll be back in 15 minutes after these messages from Cialis, Cymbalta, Lipitor, Abilify, Celebrex, Humira, Nasonex, and Lyrica.

Chuck Todd, Steve Kornacki, Alex Wagner, Chris Hayes, Joy Reid, Ronan Farrow, Krystal Ball, Karen Finney, Melissa Harris-Perry, Ari Melber: So you forgot AT&T, BP, Exxon, Citibank, catheters, vaginal dryness meds, and Christian Mingle!

One hour later...

MSNBC Host 2: So here to help us make some sense of our top story is the host of [insert any MSNBC daytime show here]. Thanks for being here, Other Host.

Other MSNBC Host: So I'm honored, my friend. You are awesome.

MSNBC Host 2: So no, YOU are, my friend.

Other MSNBC Host: No, YOU! So.

Luke Russert: Um, hello? So did somebody forget to intro Tim Russert's trying-to-fill-his-father's-big-shoes son over here on the monitor? So I've got an exclusive I'm dying to break right here on your very own show, MSNBC Host 2!

MSNBC Host 2: So we could never forget YOU, Luke, my friend, my brother. What's your scoop? You always have the BEST scoops! GOD you're good.

Luke: So, so are you. You are a FABULOUS host, as are you, Other MSNBC Host. You two are superb at everything you do. Nobody does it better. So I'm in tears. Seriously. So how cool is it that we're all such good friends? So who knew being this incestuous could pay so well?

MSNBC Host 2: So tell us your scoop, Amazingly Adept Luke, my brother, my friend, MSNBC's own Sage of Washington DC, Our Capitol Hill Crusader! So don't you just love these obvious displays of public camaraderie? It's like our own private little club! So whatcha got, my friend?

Luke: Well crap. I forgot.

MSNBC Host 2: So we'll be back right after these words from Cialis, Cymbalta, Lipitor, Abilify, Celebrex, Axiron, Humira, Nasonex, Lyrica,  AT&T, BP, Exxon, Citibank, catheters, vaginal dryness meds, Febreze, Aleve, Verizon, Samsung, Cliffside Malibu Rehab Center, Christian Mingle, GE, financial groups you've never heard of, and endless promos of other MSNBC programming and the new MSNBC website!

One hour later...

MSNBC Host 3: So now for more repetitive analysis, welcome back to the hosts of all of our other fantastic shows. You all do such great work. Nobody does it better than you, my friends. GREAT reporting! You all look GREAT! Our audiences should be tuning into each of your shows every single day and night, no matter what effect that much exposure to redundant political infotainment has on their personal relationships!

Chuck Todd, Steve Kornacki, Alex Wagner, Chris Hayes, Joy Reid, Ronan Farrow, Krystal Ball, Karen Finney, Melissa Harris-Perry, Ari Melber: So Rachel has a very special Special coming up! Let's plug it! Over and over and over again!

MSNBC Host 3: I was just about to. But first, may I just say, you guys really set a high bar for journalistic standards. GREAT reporting, guys! But now it's time for the Tweet of the Day from Chris Matthews, MSNBC's very own god. But first: So when is Ezra Klein getting his own show already? He may put us to sleep in seconds, but he does such incredibly GREAT work! GREAT reporting! What a find! Am I right, my friends? Hey Farrow, stop giggling. So I'll get your responses to this and more on the other side of the commercial break. We have a new sponsor: ZzzKlein, er, Quil.

Fade out.

(Laffy Note: I didn't forget to include Lawrence O'Donnell, Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz, or Rachel Maddow in the Long Host List. While they do pop in on election nights or to promote a special or a book occasionally, they rarely guest on other shows as commentators/panel members.)

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Study: 1 in 10 Americans think HTML is an STD. Seriously.

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html

Not everyone knows what the letters HTML stand for, or the exact definition of Hyper-Text Markup Language. But one would think that most people know it has something to do with computers or some kind of techy stuff in general. One would be wrong.

Los Angeles Times:

A recent study found that many Americans are lost when it comes to tech-related terms, with 11% saying that they thought HTML — a language that is used to create websites — was a sexually transmitted disease.

I wouldn't put it past Michele Bachmann to warn those 11% against getting inoculated against HTML. Memo to everyone: Never listen to Michele Bachmann.

Here's a handy dandy definition that should give the 11% in question some relief should they ever find themselves exposed to an abundance of HTML:

HTML

Stands for "Hyper-Text Markup Language." This is the language that Web pages are written in. Also known as hypertext documents, Web pages must conform to the rules of HTML in order to be displayed correctly in a Web browser. The HTML syntax is based on a list of tags that describe the page's format and what is displayed on the Web page.

It gets worse. Not possible, you say? Confusing HTML with HPV was crazy preposterous enough, you say? Read it and weep:

  • 27% identified "gigabyte" as an insect commonly found in South America. A gigabyte is a measurement unit for the storage capacity of an electronic device.
  • 42% said they believed a "motherboard" was "the deck of a cruise ship." A motherboard is usually a circuit board that holds many of the key components of a computer.
  • 15% said they believed "software" is comfortable clothing. Software is a general term for computer programs.

no wayWay.

Imagine what they think a "swap file" is. (Hint: It has nothing to do with open marriage.)

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to work. I'm writing up a piece on RAM Emanuel, and I'm running way behind schedule.

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