The Puppet And The Elevator


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You know, this was going to be a nice, quiet, kick-back-and-maybe-do-laundry kinda day…

Then these two videos showed up on Facebook: 

Watch a few seconds of each. Then come back & we’ll talk.




Okay, we’re back.

If you’re over 60, let go of your head.

If you’re under 20, stop rolling your eyes.

Everybody else: ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????

It is taking every fiber of internal discipline right now to hold back from launching into a curmudgeonly tirade about the decline of serious journalism and the clueless efforts by the old folks to somehow appeal to the Millennials. Same old, same old.

But permit me a few random thoughts:

It probably wasn’t their intention, but CNN has conclusively proven that comedic Wolf Blitzer is every bit as dull as serious Wolf Blitzer.

I’m not sure I wanted to see what Corey Flintoff looks like. But I’m grateful for the puppet’s probing question, “So what’s the deal with Russia?”

Before you say, “C’mon, lighten up, it’s just folks having a little fun,” look at the videos again. They are not spur-of-the-moment, hey-let’s-do-something-silly stuff. They were carefully conceived, crafted, professionally produced, directed and edited. They took time. Probably multiple takes until they got it just right. And, trust me, higher-ups at CNN and NPR, presumably grownups, had to greenlight both videos. Can you just imagine the pitch meetings? The videos were almost certainly offered as part of a greater “Social Media Strategy” aimed at luring younger eyes and ears.

Here’s an idea. Maybe, just maybe, when it comes to news, young people want what all people want: Good storytelling. Solid information. Integrity. Reliability. No BS. No preaching. No fooling around. And not being talked down to.

Don’t think so? Watch Vice News.

And finally, if you are determined to cartoonify the news, at least do it with some intelligence. There are role models out there.


And that’s the way it is.