The tweet of manufactured infamy: Last night the satirical news "source," The Onion, came under fire for a tweet they made about 9 year-old Oscar nominee, Quvenzhané Wallis. They soon removed the tweet and issued a public apology this morning promising to punish "those responsible." What is confusing about this behavior is that the tweet was fully within the realm of satire that The Onion bases its existence on. There are entire TV networks (E!, Style, Bravo, etc.) who earn their fortunes on programming ("Perez Hilton," "TMZ," "Entertainment Tonight," "Access Hollywood," "E! News," etc.) that bashes and exploits how people look, talk, and behave, what they wear and who they might romantically be involved with, and these shows have never let minors off the hook.
The next logical extension of this kind of programming was neatly summarized in The Onion's tweet - media is heading in that direction, let's be honest about it, think about it, and maybe change it. The Onion was calling out this trend and mocking the hater crowd, obsessed with honors that they will never be considered for. Was there another, less harsh, "softer" expletive that could have been used? Yes, but that's not the point, as a Mario Lopez or Kelly Osbourne of tomorrow was already being preened and coached to use the exact phrase that The Onion penned. Was it the most clever joke they have ever offered? Far from it and they would probably admit to that. If only people would be similarly outraged by cuts to education and meals for children in poverty, you know, stuff that actually matters.
The Onion exists to push the limits, point out hypocrisy, and get some laughs as part of the bargain. The edge they tread is an ambiguous one but to take their tweet out of context, out of the stream of shameless Oscar promotion and snarkiness, is not a victory against sexism, for feminism, or for good taste.
LA-based comic and TV regular ("Conan," "2 Broke Girls," etc.), Eddie Pepitone, has been traveling the world promoting, The Bitter Buddha, the documentary made about Pepitone, his life, and his approach to comedy. But even with several LA-area screenings over the past several months, a lot of people haven't been able to see the film so a lot of anticipation has been building for a DVD and/or online release, which finally happened last week on iTunes. Want more Eddie? Listen to some of the podcasts we have in the Download This! section.
Speaking of E!, one of its stars, Chelsea Handler, has never had much respect for the network's other programing, and has soldiered on with yet another season of "After Lately" which premieres tonight at 10:30pm. This mockumentary of what happens behind the scenes of the show has always been the "little show that could." Taking advantag of the deep pool of talent behind the real talkshow, putting on a scripted comedy series seemed like the inevitable no-brainer. Show favorites include writers room regulars Chris Franjola, Josh Wolf, Jeff "Jiffy" Wild, Sarah Colonna, Brad Wollack, and Jen Kirkman but numerous A-lister guests pop in to throw the group a curveball in every episode, the premiere will be featuring Reese Witherspoon, for example.
DVR This! Tonight/Monday - "Adventure Time" (Cartoon Network, 7:30pm); "Regular Show" (Cartoon Network, 8pm); "After Lately" (E!, 10:30pm) season premiere; "The Late Show With David Letterman" (CBS, 11:35pm) Alec Baldwin guests; "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" (NBC, 12:35am) Michael Phelps & Kate Upton guest. Tuesday - "Raising Hope" (Fox, 8pm); "The New Girl" (Fox, 9:00pm); "Justified" (FX, 10pm); "Conan" (TBS, 11:00pm) Kevin Nealon guests. Wednesday - "Modern Family" (ABC, 9pm); "SouthLAnd" (TNT, 10pm); "Chelsea Lately" (E!, 11pm) Eli Roth guests, with Brad Wollack, Morgan Murphy, & Matt Braunger on panel. Thursday - "1600 Penn" (NBC, 9:30pm); "The Ben Show With Ben Hoffman" (Comedy Central, 10pm) series premiere; "Legit" (FX, 10:30pm); "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" (NBC, 12:35am) Bill Nighy guests with Tina Fey, Bob Mould performs. Friday - "Real Time With Bil Maher" (HBO, 7pm) back from hiatus. Saturday - "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 11:25pm) Kevin Hart hosts, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis perform. Sunday - "Girls" (HBO, 8pm); "The Walking Dead" (AMC, 9pm); "Californication" (Showtime, 10:30pm); "Shameless" (Showtime, the 11pm rerun).
Events/Shows Hot Tub with Kurt & Kristen (The Virgil, doors at 7pm) T.J. Miller, Wil Anderson, Garfunkel & Oates, Beth Stelling & Dan Mintz! The Kevin Nealon Show at the Laugh Factory on Tuesday will feature the very funny Eric Andre, among others. Also on Tuesday is The Evening Hour with Sean Conroy at the UCB, guests will be Jenny Slate and Nick Kroll. Moshe Kasher at the Hollywood Improv (Saturday at 8 & 10pm).