Here's one of the many reasons why I dislike the media:
A while ago, someone posted an old blooper/ joke reel from the 80's TV show "Alf." No one paid much attention to the video until BadTVBlog posted a link to the video on Dec 21. (They have since taken the video down due to the production company complaining.)
What was amusing about the video was that it shows the cast working through the chore of rehearsing and shooting the TV show. Its a tedious process that involves lots of flubed lines, multiple takes and all the monotonous stuff that takes place in producing a TV show. In the video, the voice of Alf, Paul Fusco was killing time between takes making fun of an episode of the then-popular TV show "LA Law" where a character from an episode had tourette's syndrome. He was mimicking the character from the show, while apparently also throwing a racial slur in at the same time. See, the big joke about tourette's syndrom is that people who suffer from it sometimes shout out inappropriate things at inappropriate times. Its kind of a cruel joke, but I dont know too many people that havent joked about it before.
To me, the video is pretty innocent. And most people didnt really care about it.
But then The Hollywood Reporter, desperate to fill that cavernous news-craving void left by the holiday season, decided to pick up the story and try to drum up some business:
"VIDEO: YouTube Clip of N-Word-Laced 'Alf' Outtakes Ignites Controversy "
the headline blazes.
Oh my god, you mean that cute, hairball of a family character may actually be controlled by a human being that may not always be family-friendly? Say it aint so! This is an outrage!
"The puppet can also be heard cursing and using sexual innuendo during scenes with a female co-star." the short article intones.
Oh my gawd! You mean this beloved character is actually a terrorist? He's evil in every way shape and form? Something must be done about this! I must stand up and shout about how utterly offended I am!
The THR article even mentions the exact point where Alf says the naughty naughty N-word. So that way you dont have to watch the whole seven minute video and can be offended as quickly and easily as possible.
But here's the interesting thing: other than the original article by BadTVBlog and a few copycat bloggers trying to get a spike in their page counts, no one really gives a damn about a slightly offensive puppet from the 1980s.
The only controversy that I've been able to find is the fact that the unnamed Hollywood Reporter staff writer felt it necessary to point out the offending video in hopes of increasing its own rapidly-depreciating viewership.
Is the video offensive? Perhaps if you are easily offended at a guy with his hand up a puppets ass spouting off the dreaded "N-word" But if you are one of the few individuals that think there are far better things to be offended at (like the way congress operates, for example) you would hardly blink at the supposed offense. All I can see is a media outlet trying to drum up something for people to be angry about. I guess they can only speculate on the Oscar race or report on who signed a deal with whome so many times before it gets old.
The video is below. Watch it and let me know what you think.