Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How To Look Like An Idiot On TV

English comedian Russell Brand was on Morning Joe yesterday morning promoting his worldwide comedy tour “Messiah Complex." MSNBC's news anchors Mika Brzezinski and Brian Shactman, along with BBC's Katty Kay, ended up looking like a bunch of airheads by the time it was all over.

It started with Mika Brzezinski's insulting introduction of her guest.

Mika: Alright, joining us now, he's a real big deal, I know, I'm told this. I'm not very pop culture, sorry. Comedian, movie star, author, and host of the show, Brand X, Russell Brand.

What was very interesting to me was how these news anchors deflected anything serious Brand had to say. At the 2:16 minute mark Brand explains what he talks about in his new comedy tour:

Russell Brand: I'm talking about Malcolm X, Che Guevara, Gandhi, and Jesus Christ. And how these figures are significant culturally and how icon are appropriated and used to designate consciousness and meaning, particularly posthumously.

Mika: And what brings all those people together?

Russell Brand: They're all people that died for a cause. They're all people whose icons are used to designate meaning, perhaps not in the manner in which they intended.

Mika: Ooooh, I kind of like that. That sounds dead serious, then.

Russell Brand: Well, it's funny if you do it as a joke.

At the 3:47 mark:

Brian: I’m going to ask a serious question, I’ll try, I’ll try,  everyone asks what do you like better, TV, movies, or standup….

Russell Brand: …There are challenges in all those different disciplines. The thing I enjoy most is stand-up comedy because you're direct with your audience. You can’t be misinterpreted, people can’t get confused. You know what happens if you work in media? People like to, uh, change the information so they assume(?) some particular agenda. If you’re in a room with people then what you’re saying is clear. If you say something that people are confused about you can explain it to them then. If you say something as a joke people can’t pretend you’re saying it serious. So I like having direct communication with people because I believe people are very, very intelligent but the information gets manipulated a lot, people like to cause, you know, fake stirs and stuff.

Brian: Funny, the accent , when I see him in person, it’s totally fine, forget Sarah Marshall or the TV show, it’s fine. But on satellite radio in the car I can’t understand a single joke....

Later when Brand pretends he is a news anchor and begins questioning the others about Edward Snowden and Bradly Manning the others defect his questions and, again, start talking about his accent and other dumb ass stuff.

By the end Brand is taking them to task.

At the 7:47 mark:

Russell Brand: Look beyond the superficial. That's the problem with current affairs. You forget about what's important. You allow the agenda to be decided by superficial information. What am I saying? What am I talking about? Don't think about what I am wearing, these things are redundant. They're superficial.

Mika: I'm distracted....

Yes, Mika, and that is how you and most so-called news shows want the rest of us to be, too.

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