BamaBeerBelly54 and the World Economic Crisis: The Future of Journalism?

The year is 2016. Anderson Cooper has bought out the rights to his 360 show and started his own channel, AC 24/7. The channel features 1,000 lifelike Anderson Cooper Avatars (ACAs*), stationed around the globe, reading tweets to @AC247, IMs to AC247@gmail, wall posts to the AC247 Facebook Fan page, follower comments from the AC247 blog, and introducing, then airing, viewer comment videos posted to the AC247 YouTube channel.

ACA#213 stands in front of a newly formed pile of debris somewhere in the world, puts his right hand to his ear, looks away from the camera to the ground and issues an expression of . . . surprise . . . disquiet . . . apprehension . . . look at that perfectly chiseled bicep, viewer . . . he fiddles with the earpiece, flashes looks to the camera and then back to the ground with worried concentration . . . concern . . . expectancy . . . what in the world is happening, where in the world IS that AC avatar, anyway . . . and . . . no, no . . .yes, but wait, ACA#213 looks to the ground, back to the camera, bicep trembling, lips parting, mouth opening, here it comes, the next big thing and you are hearing it here first, on the AC24/7 channel, straight from the mouth of ACA#213 and POW!:

“In breaking news on the world economic front,” speaks ACA#213, “’BamaBeerBelly54 has offered a solution. ‘We solve this mess EZ:,’ tweeted ‘Bama, ‘just conquer China and take all the stuff – we know it's all there, because that's where they make it. Then we sell it on eBay!’”

“To this,” reports ACA#213, “NYDem2008 has replied, ‘Yeah, sure, we just march right into Tienanmen Square and put up Old Glory. Good one, hick. ‘”

“This," ACA#213 says as he plays with the earpiece, "prompted a reply from Freebird’74: ‘Yeah, NYDem, that’s how we do, yo! Impeerialism rulz!’”

“Meanwhile, GonnaPartayAllNight69 wondered, ‘Am I on TV?’” before ‘BamaBeerBelly54 concluded, ‘Goooo freebird, you tell him! And stop bein’ soft NYDem, you probly pink-o don’t u know USA ownz! Hey Gonnapartay – u near Birmingham?’”

Is this the future of journalism? Actually, it is the present. Do you know how I know? Because I saw it the other night on television. You may have seen it too. In fact, it happens every day. CNN anchors read viewer tweets. Headline News anchors read Facebook friend comments. And viewer comments regularly flash in real time across the bottom of the screen in countless other newscasts.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to hear what ‘BamaBeerBelly54 has to say about the world economic crisis. And I don't want to party with him either. I've seen Deliverance.

Does this mean that I am anti Web 2.0? Of course not, I am all for it; in fact, as you know, I am Web 2.0-ing right now by writing this blog post, and I hope that you all will Web 2.0 me back with a comment. But do we really need, or want, Headline News 2.0? CNN 2.0? TV 2.0? No, we don't , and I am here to say that I am very anti TV2.0.

The purpose of the television is not to be an interactive tool. The purpose of the television, from its beginnings, has been clear: provide an excuse for absolutely no interaction -- no family interaction, no interaction between the brain and any kind of effort, and certainly no interaction between the viewer and the TV.

I am not tuning in to the news to hear analysis from armchair secretaries of state. That's what Thanksgiving dinner is for. Just give me the facts, presented by chiseled, Roman God-like male anchors and exotic, statuesque, Eastern European model-like female anchors. And please, don't ask me any questions. Because I'm not paying attention. I am thinking about nachos.


*No ACAs were harmed in the blogging of this post.

Read me as the Inaugural LJL post at The Parody Files

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