Desperate networks turn to anything for content
November 7, 2007
Members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA), who have demanded greater residuals for new-media outlets such as Internet downloads and mobile phones, declared a walkout effective 12:01 a.m. Eastern on Monday, and have been picketing television networks and movie studios in New York and Los Angeles. Meanwhile, the acid-tongued talk-show host Rosie O’Donnell whose dispute with Elisabeth Hasselbeck hastened her departure from ABC’s daytime gabfest is reportedly in negotiations to host a prime-time talk show on MSNBC five days a week. In an industry that needs words to survive, no amount of risk is too great.
“Rosie is a polarizing personality with lots of irrational opinions and out of control reaction, and no matter how it smells we call that ‘content’ during this writer-less time,” said NBC CEO Jeff Zucker pulling several containers of deodorant and Pine-Sol out of his suit coat. “Show business has always been about spectacle and sensationalism and one thing about O’Donnell, Rosie’s one hell of a spectacle. Is she a piece of work or what?”
Historians say that Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus reached it’s height of popularity when in addition to bringing lions, monkey’s and elephants to small town America, they also put on display the bearded lady, elephant man, mule-faced Woman and dog-faced boy. According to experts, bringing O’Donnell back to NBC fits a long established pattern of exploiting freaks.
“Rosie is one of today’s freaks of nature that no one would believe even existed if she weren’t on display,” said Buddy Hackett, a chubby comedian and history buff who died in 2003 and now only does interviews by telephone. “A few years back she decided that being known as the ‘queen of nice’ wasn’t a legacy she wanted. Now she’s known as a pissed off dyke. Guess it works for her.”
But not everyone thinks Rosie is a freak or being exploited. Some see her as a positive example of change and confidence. “She’s my kind of gal,” said Senator Nancy Pelosi taking a bite out of a Streisand CD and slowly digesting it. “Back before I had surgery that turned me into a Senator, I used to think about being a guy or an obnoxious woman. Rosie’s life choices will encourage others who want to do or say whatever pops into their minds to go for it. When she voices her opinion, no amount of logic or facts get in the way. I admire that because it’s the same way I approach my role as U.S. Speaker of the House.”
The last WGA strike, in 1988, lasted five months. O’Donnell’s time on her last talk show “The View” started in September 2006 and lasted eight months.
In related news, Rosie’s opinion that Christianity is the same as radical Islam is gaining traction among other unemployed talk show hosts, but has yet to become mainstream thinking among Americans with a lick of common sense.
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