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57 Responses to “BB Video: How's Your News? Comedy/News by Disabled People, Produced by South Park's Matt + Trey.”

  1. 13strong says:

    This could, potentially, be fantastic in so many ways, and I’m glad they’re trying it.

  2. angrydroid says:

    I think your link meant to go here:

    I’ve been a huge fan of these guys for years. It’s amazing how something so positive can elicit knee-jerk negative reactions from people who haven’t seen it. Basically the core of it is that people are made uncomfortable by anyone who is ‘different’ and want to push them out of sight. I think this show is the best thing ever… and yes, it IS hilarious but also poignant and empowering. Maybe somebody at MTV has a soul after all… but then again, who am I kidding?

  3. Xeni Jardin says:

    @Angrydroid, thanks I’ve fixed the link!

  4. citykids says:

    They lost me the moment they mentioned MTV.

  5. demidan says:


    “So it was our beloved Corporate Gods claimed they created rock video,
    Allowing it to sink as low in one year as commercial TV has in twenty five.”

    Back to the point,,,Matt and Trey, a nice thing to do and a great job!

  6. angrydroid says:

    Oh. And thanks for telling me about this. I’ve been doggedly ignoring MTV for years now but this is definitely getting some Tivo time.

  7. Xeni Jardin says:

    Everyone bitching about MTV, stuff it. Give the project some respect, and either watch it or don’t. But whining about MTV is tired. Who cares what fucking network it’s on? It’s an interesting show. If this post bores you, or the network is so abhorrent you must avert your eyes, do so, but shut up about it.

  8. NoahRodenbeek says:

    another out-moted ‘This American Life’ episode has found its second-wind in the anals of BoinBoing, once again without mention.

  9. Lord Xenu says:

    I remember reading about this in Vice Magazine in like 1998. Did a network only just pick this up, or are Parker and Stone just ripping off an old idea?

  10. microcars says:

    I put up with the BBTV commercials to watch this and it was well worth it.
    This is why I come here is to find out about stuff like this.

  11. nicheplayer says:

    Explain how the same crowd that made The Hills a hit is not going to laugh at this show for all the wrong reasons.

  12. Nougat says:

    The How’s Your News movie came out in 1999.
    I was a great Netflix discovery for me.

  13. archanoid says:

    Several of the crew, including Jeremy have Williams Syndrome, a genetic disorder often compared to Down Syndrome. Since it is a micro-deletion of a different genetic region, though, it causes a whole different set of symptoms. The Williams Syndrome Association has a web site with a lot of information about it (http://www.williams-syndrome.org).

    My 8 year old son has WS and I am following HYN very closely. There is a great deal of interest in how the typical MTV audience will receive the show.

    I’m looking forward to it and am glad BB is covering it.

  14. demidan says:

    I am sorry. The post is Very Good, but MTV deserves mounds of scorn for it’s past racial polices and the crapifying of American culture think Sweet sixteen, years without any African American performers outside of Micheal Jackson etc,,,. That this show is on MTV I count on the plus side, one of a few they have garnered in recent years.
    I am one of I bet many boingboing readers who do not watch MTV regardless of programming but it is nice to see them out on a limb once again. Also while this program may or may not be a ground breaker, the basis of the show is to make money by selling advertising. MTV is not and will never be an altruistic organization.

  15. NoahRodenbeek says:


    I’m not interested in how the MTV crowd will take this show. I would be interested in feedback from the NPR crowd though. I suppose Ira Glass doesn’t carry the same clout as Matt Stone and Trey Parker though.

  16. hiland says:

    The HOW’S YOUR NEWS film is great great great. but from what i’ve seen of these teasers….the show looks to be pretty terrible watered down version.

  17. Takuan says:

    it’s not polite to keep talking about MTV. Please be polite.

  18. virgil says:

    Stone and Parker financed the full-length feature which was made a few years ago, so I don’t think they’re ripping anything off.

    One of my favorite things about these guys is how they’ll often ask the same person the same question multiple times; when they’re talking to celebrities, it makes their stock answers and poses falter, and sometimes you even get a sincere moment from them.

  19. oxymoron69 says:

    Shit, that had some good laughs, i’ll be sure to start downloading this show when it comes out!

    Thanks Xeni, you made my Thursday!

  20. cyrene says:

    As a mom to a teen with disabilities, I think this looks wonderful!
    My son is funny, and sweet, and honest- able to question the emperor’s clothes type honest. He has a muti-faceted personality that most people never see, either because they write him off due to first appearances or because they’ve been taught not to look too closely at people who have differences from the norm.

    and was that Beatle Bob at the concert at the end?

    big smiles here, thanks!!

  21. Bledsoefilms says:

    @ #8, 9, & 11 (and all the other nay-sayers)

    Some points of clarity:

    How’s Your News? has been around since 1998 and originally started off as a cool project idea for a camp for adults with disabilities. The documentary that NOUGAT mentioned (great film BTW) was produced by Matt Stone and Trey Parker- this is not a ripoff- they’ve been with them since almost day one.

    They’ve made a number of short films since, and their crew has grown. They made a pitch to several networks, and MTV gave them the green light.This is NOT corporate exploitation, nor reformulation of old ideas.

    What struck me about these episodes was how I found myself laughing at these people, and feeling okay about it. That’s the point- you’re not laughing at them because your degrading them b/c they have a disability- you’re laughing at them b/c they’re crazy funny! I only wish I had the comic energy that these guys do.

  22. nehpetsE says:

    -to the folks bitching about it being old hat.

    The folks doing “Hows your new’s?” have indeed been doing it for for long time its obviously an ongoing and important part of their daily lives.
    From time to time they get some media coverage for it.

    Instant convenience culture is instantly disposable.

    But real people, with real lives sometimes go on living for quite sometime, and sometimes they even continue to do the things they enjoy doing even if you don’t think its hip.

    People with downs syndrome will still exist even after you think being retarded is totally “played out”. I apologize to you for this inconvenience.

    Btw, Happy Birthday Angrydroid!

  23. Brainspore says:

    FX Nws bt MTV t th pnch n ths d yrs g. Thy vn gv gy wth Trtt’s syndrm hs wn tlk shw.

  24. Bledsoefilms says:


    Who cares if it’s MTV? It’s not about MTV- you’d be seeing the same story regardless of the network. I think NEHPETSE hit the nail on the head:

    “People with downs syndrome will still exist even after you think bring retarded is totally ‘played out.'”

    So grow up.

  25. wolfiesma says:

    The news team totally rocks. Zero pretention, fantastic questions, great energy, wonderful expressions. Very enjoyable. This stuff beats the hell out of any reality tv show on mtv or anywhere else, really. Dude, he ripped the neck off that mannequin! That was awesome!

  26. archanoid says:

    @15 thanks for the link to This American Life. I enjoy Ira Glass and NPR. I didn’t know it was covered there before. Very cool!

  27. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Community Manager says:

    I love it. If you only look for a second or two at someone who’s disabled, then look away because you think it’s polite, all you know about them is that they’re disabled. When you keep watching, you start to see what they’re doing.

  28. Akezys says:

    I am wondering why it is not polite to talk about MTV. I think it is a valid concern to evaluate the source of the media and wonderful things that are brought to attention by boingboing.

    In the same way that previous discussions would, say, discuss the sources and authors of the information and books Charles Platt was referencing, shouldn’t we discuss the source of other media?

    That said, I am very interested to see how this show would be received. The remarks about the network’s demographics is poignant, and I wonder how it will be seen by the MTV-viewing public.

  29. gpeare says:

    Down Syndrome, please. Not “Downs Syndrome.”

  30. guy_jin says:

    If MTV is willing to show it, it must be evil somehow.

  31. Banksynergy says:

    #29 – “Down syndrome, Down’s syndrome, or trisomy 21 is a chromosomal disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome. It is named after John Langdon Down, the British doctor who described the syndrome in 1866. ”


  32. visalia says:

    This is sweet. and Xeni is crazy awesome when she tells people to “stuff it!”

  33. Xeni Jardin says:

    @#29 gpeare thanks, I’m sorry — correcting!

  34. Bledsoefilms says:

    And on another note about MTV, since some of you are still complaining, maybe you should actually read the blog post?

    “One of the first things that Arthur Bradford said about doing How’s Your News as a TV show was that he absolutely didn’t want to pitch the show to Lifetime or PBS or anyplace else where you would EXPECT a show like this.”-Matt Stone

    “I have so many thoughts about that I don’t know where to begin, but let me just say that I think this line of questioning does a sort of disservice to both people with disabilities and the kids who watch MTV…the kids who watch MTV are much smarter than we are giving them credit for. They deserve something like this.” Arthur Bradford

  35. Brainspore says:

    I apologize if I offended anyone in my comment at #23. It was a lame attempt to make fun of Bill O’ Reilly, but certainly not people with legitimate disabilities.

    I think the MTV show is a great idea.

  36. wolfiesma says:

    When I was a teenager and watched MTV, I went on a field trip with a youth group to Magic Mountain where we led a group of students with disabilities around for the day. It was a wonderful experience and one I’ve never forgotten. I think the show might be really well received by today’s MTV viewers, and yeah, they deserve to see it.

  37. The Bark Petition says:

    Friendly Amendment – Headline should be changed to read:

    “BB Video: How’s Your News? Comedy/News by People with Disabilities, Produced by South Park’s Matt + Trey.”

    They’re people first, disabilities second.


  38. Bledsoefilms says:

    No worries BRAINSPORE

    and very good not THE BARK PETITION!

  39. Sean Grimm says:

    I don’t want to start anything but…really? I’m sure no offense or belittlement was intended from the choice of article title. I find it a real stretch to find fault in the use of an adjective as some kind of snipe. The article itself makes it pretty clear that they are people with disabilities and not something else.

    Somehow I don’t see this show playing that well next to a line-up of pimp my ride, let my parents pick my new girlfriend, and I’m super rich and pretentious so watch me be bitchy at my 16th birthday party. Ya know?

  40. The Bark Petition says:

    It wasn’t meant as a snipe, hence the Friendly Amendment designator. Having worked with adults with developmental disabilities, the order of the words is not trivial, and is in fact very powerful in terms of perception and identity.

  41. thehoundoflove says:

    @#8 – “another out-moted ‘This American Life’ episode has found its second-wind in the anals of BoinBoing, once again without mention.”

    Sweet band name: The Anals of BoinBoing.

  42. Bledsoefilms says:

    No worries BRAINSPORE

    and very good not THE BARK PETITION!

  43. fhwang says:

    I’m somewhat reminded of the Jackass episode featuring the guys from Murderball, which involved (among other things) quadriplegics in wheelchairs shocking each other with a cattle prod for fun.

    I’m not personally connected to either of these communities, but I think I’m down with the general idea, which is that you have to get people you’d consider “disadvantaged” the opportunity to poke fun at themselves, or shock each other with cattle prods, to give them a full measure of personhood in society. I think.

  44. Revisorius says:

    Howard Stern used to cover these folks all the time, and his show used versions of the “How’s Your News?” theme to kick off their own news hour for years. I only bring it up because I know he likes to get credited with everything he was ever remotely involved in.

  45. Anonymous says:

    The dude in the middle looks like Anthony Bourdain

  46. wolfiesma says:

    Man, Murderball was like the best documentary of all time. I loved that movie. What a great story… true story! Fortunately there are no cattle prods in that movie or I doubt I would have liked it so much.

  47. ill lich says:

    That was remarkably enjoyable.

  48. DianneS says:

    Look what happens when you get everyone on the stage. The end scene at SXSW is an apt metaphor. I’m so, so happy to have seen this today.

  49. NathanWallace says:

    Check out what happens at 6:05, made me lol.

  50. Blaine says:

    Wait… you mean these people aren’t faberge eggs who will shatter if not swept into a closet?


    Personally, I can’t wait to see some of these episodes. Particularly if you notice the part where the one guy is interviewing ‘the bird lady’. His reaction, his questions are EXACTLY what every sane person are thinking but are two socially conscious to display. It’s amazing.

  51. Roach says:

    Fascinating. I thought it was going to be exploitative from the brief text description, and was instead incredibly fun and heartwarming.

  52. Art Carnage says:

    > Wait… you mean these people aren’t faberge eggs who will shatter if not swept into a closet?

    No, which is why I think this is nothing but pandering claptrap.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      When freak shows were made illegal, the result was that the people who closed them got to feel morally superior and the freaks had no way to support themselves. It sucks, but that’s what happened. I understand the concern that the people involved in this might be mocked or exploited, but they’re actually doing it and getting something out of it.

      How many people who condemn this show would move over to the next aisle at the supermarket if you saw that someone with trisomy 21 was going to bag your groceries and you might actually have to interact with them? Sometimes hifalutin morals are an excuse for wanting to sweep disabled people into a closet.

  53. Clumpy says:

    BoingBoing, I’d just like to thank you for not mixing up the volume for the advertisements in these videos. I never realized it until now. Something about hearing an ad at a gentle volume with Xeni herself doing the voiceover is actually pretty awesome.

  54. HarryBotter says:

    Applause and thanks to The Bark Petition for #37!

    Regardless of whether the title gets changed or not, I am sure Xeni wants reduce any barriers that would prevent someone from reading her posts – including the use of terminology that offends or marginalizes. Now we are all more informed and have the opportunity to apply that knowledge in the future.

  55. Adamus says:

    Great, great stuff. My sister has Down Syndrome and I’ve been doing volunteer work with mentally handicapped people for 12 years, and this teaser made me laugh till I cried. I can’t wait to see the full show. I’ll probably have to download it though, as I’m in Europe, but if/when it arrives on DVD I’ll definitely buy a copy or two.

  56. Anonymous says:

    I’ve actually known these people for years, and I think the show is hilarious. I also think it is empowering for both them and the viewers to see and realize just how real and down to Earth these people are. They are unique in their own way, and certainly not something to make fun of. I think the questions they come out with are off the wall, and the reactions they get from are even better.

    The only problem I have is with the “MTV” part. I understand MTV likes to be “cutting edge”, but somehow I can’t see how that target audience will laugh at the show for the right reasons. MTV might be too cutting edge for the maturity level of their own audience…

    I can’t see how kids and teens who watch shows like “The Hills”, “Double Shot At Love”, and “Paris Hilton’s My New BFF” will take the show for what (I hope) it was meant to be.