How to report the news

Charlie Brooker reports. It's remarkable how it differs in small but insignificant ways from the U.S.'s own 'model.' It also gave me weird flashbacks of 1980s' BBC news reports concerning South Africa, every single one of which concluded with stock footage of dancing Zulus, to illustrate whatever Mangosuthu Buthelezi of the Inkatha Freedom Party thought about the matter at hand. Via John Biggs.


  1. Sarcastic, disparaging comment asking if we haven’t already done something like this, and is it really the best of the web.

  2. Slightly miffed comment wondering whether Boba Fett Diop has something against the always incisive Charlie Brooker, and asserting that while it may not be the very best thing on the web, it is at the least better than you, for example.

  3. Comment trying to point to this post as a stab at an intellectual sounding topic in disdain feigning expertise with said subject not actually providing any evidence of such knowledge or a relation of this post to that topic.

  4. Wisecrack that seemed humorous as it was being written, but solicits no responses and has author questioning their skills as a comedian.

  5. Points out the evils of American imperialism and expresses indignation that we could care about such a story while such evils still continue.

  6. Out of the blue claim that poor reporting only happens when government bodies like the FCC attempt to interfere rather than letting efficient market-based reporting determine reality.

  7. Vague flattering comment posted by a spambot for the sole purpose of seeding the page with a link.

  8. Also consider the clueless news-reader who adds something from his/her personal storehouse of knowledge that demonstrates no understanding of the story at all.
    My all-time favorite was the anchor who demonstrated not once but a dozen times that she didn’t know the difference between the gas in a stove and the gas in a car.

  9. Followed by a note from somebody that once watched him on BBC4 while staying in a B&B near Paddington station, then promptly forgot about him and his razor sharp whit until this BoinbBoinb post.

  10. I’ll be the guy that misses the point on purpose, I guess.

    I’m not sure about the differences between this and US news reporting, but this formula fits Canadian TV news well.

  11. amused meta-comment that exists only internal to the comment thread itself. attempt at summary wisdom. nodding off in a clever and understated way.

    (“free lunch…final wisdom…total coverage.”)

  12. comment recognizing that the prior comments were epic win, and that commentor can come up with no better, yet apparently still feels the need to comment nevertheless.

  13. The BBC is in the “Business of Anger”. It happens on both sides of the cultural spectrum – from both the left and the right perspectives. There’s an entire business…a huge industry, actually…that bases all that it does on getting you p!$$ed off! Rush Limbaugh. Bill O’Reilly. Glenn Beck. All variations of the same thing: people in an industry who want you to believe their function is to “move the public dialogue forward” or to “make an opinion count on your behalf”…blah blah blah. But NO!

    Their sole function is to make you angry. That’s right. Get your dander up. Get you riled up and feeling as though you’re right and all those other asses are wrong – and stupid! In turn, they hope that you’ll pay more and more attention to them – while they reinforce your growing anger and disillusionment – and give them big ratings and more money from their advertisers. Do you feel kinda slimy and manipulated? You should. Cheers!

    1. Do you feel kinda slimy and manipulated? You should.

      I do, and it’s infuriating. Please, if there’s someplace you have more commentary on this, I’d love to look at it.

  14. Reference to regurgitated 4chan meme dating back to 2001, not at all relevant to this post, but causing great amusement for the poster.

  15. Anonymous comment that is obviously astroturf citing some personal experience contrary to the article and other poster’s comments and which is unabashedly anti-common sense or personal decency.

    Followed by comment on how ironic the captcha text was.

    1. Comment referencing the mythical golden age of Boing Boing when things were so much better, but without explaining why commenter bothers to keep coming back.

  16. Boondocker (#20) raises a good point. I don’t see any difference between this formula and the formula for American news.

    I particularly liked the headless fat people. Very true.

    The Brian Williams news runs the same B-Roll of people lined up outside an unemployment office every time they do a story on unemployment. My wife and I enjoy spotting it.

  17. Obligatory Apple reference using key words like iPad, iPhone, Mac, all in the hope of starting a go nowhere flame war.

  18. Anonymous #29 may have a point about US News, but the BBC can never get more money from their advertisers – they don’t have any.

    It’s public broadcasting supported by a compulsory tax (“license fee”) on every TV in the country.

  19. This comment contains a hyperlink to a video-mashup that is fortuitously relevant to the points raised by the non-meta-phrased commenters in this thread.

    It also cunningly hides the author’s covert attempt to post his work, in the comment-section of a blog with a far higher readership than his will ever see, as being a helpful addition to the conversation.

  20. comment attempts to draw a weak parallel between the post topic and the commenter’s own personal experience, but only as a thinly veiled route to boasting about their own dubious achievements.

  21. Yet another anonymous poster, too lazy to actually register at the site, but insistent on stating definitively that Boing Boing with this thread has Won The Internet.

    And who furthermore notes that the recaptcha words he had to type in order to submit this comment were smoot fastest-growing. They seemed apt.

  22. Reaction to perceived inaccuracies in posts, by asking all to once again look at the video.

    Just look at it!

  23. Egocentric commenter takes personal affront at an earlier negative comment and assumes it was directed specifically at them. Posts an ill-judged passive-aggressive ripost !!

  24. My personal opinion on the subject has been greatly altered by this story, until another convincing report like this comes along to tell me different,

  25. Anonymous poster (#54) who checks in on the post to see if his contribution got approved, and discovers to his horror that another anonymous poster (#51) almost–ALMOST used the same captcha joke that he did, and so is determined to have the last word.

    the Flipper.

    (No, I’m not kidding.)

  26. I haven’t actually read all the comments yet but I have pressing need to express a strong opinion on the Middle East that is very tangentially related to the story.

  27. I haven’t actually read all the comments yet but I have pressing need to express a strong opinion on the Middle East that is very tangentially or even totally related to the story. I will do this several times.

  28. I really don’t understand the whole “submit” thing but will clutter the thread with repeated posts, because I can.

    And you will read them all. Because you have to.

  29. I really don’t understand the whole “submit” thing but will clutter the thread with repeated posts, because I can.

    And you will read them all. Because you have to.

  30. Comment by infrequent poster that will be read by few people because it was posted late at night or late in the thread.

    Oh, and an afterthought comment about somebody mentioning Nazi’s early in the thread which annoyed this particular poster.

  31. Post bemoaning constant repetition of blog entry’s key themes on BoingBoing, including disturbingly detailed fantasy of how he imagines BB’s authors live their private lives based on his/her observation of such repetition.

  32. Comment by poster in UPPERCASE that they have won the argument and that they’ve decided the thread is now closed.

  33. “Sorry, that was me” follow-up from now-logged-in user, confusing initial readers as the anonymous comment was held for moderation.

  34. Anonymous comment relating post subject matter to the mistakes and foibles of the Bush Administration.

  35. Comment praising the current thread using words including, but not necessarily limited to, “epic” and “win” for the sake of participating without actually contributing.

  36. Are the mods asleep?

    I’ve been watching Brooker on YouTube for 3 or 4 years now. He usually focuses on TV (not just news but any genre) and video games. He’s the king.

  37. I’d also like to write one of these “meta” comments, but I can’t figure out how to do it.

  38. Comment mentioning Hitler or the Nazi’s which, statistically speaking, will end all discussions in current thread.

  39. For decades writers have said that they want knowledgeable readers. Now they get them and they can’t write to a new level.

    Wouldn’t it be great to see a news story that was done for the knowledgeable and literate.

  40. Exasperated humbuggery from veteran poster who made a big scene about ‘leaving’ the site over some perceived sleight but has been lurking ever since.

    Post contains nothing of merit and contributes little to the discussion but makes several sweeping references to a golden bygone era when everything smelled of lavender. Postman’s whistle invoked.

    Ends with thinly-veiled swipe at the moderators, irrelevant jingoistic drivel about the EU and tangential comparisons with Orwell’s 1984.

  41. Trollish response from someone with a very right-wing patriotic monicker complaining that this is all Nu-labours fault and that there are too many johnny foreigner types lets hang them all along with the lefties and the gays and the Liebore party, only realising late oin in the post that this is not a HYS or DM thread

  42. mild annoyance at why no-one ever thinks of the children. Won’t somebody please think of the children.

  43. Obviously disingenuous and completely irrelevant post claiming that “I used to be a Democrat, but now that Obama is office with his communist agenda, they’ve shown that they can’t be trusted anymore.” Oh, and “I’m black.”

  44. Confused question from somebody who hasn’t bothered to read the other comments before letting whatever was on his/her mind make its way to the unfortunate keyboard in front of him/her.

  45. Comment by Brooker obsessed single woman who likely to be socially awkward but personally quite convinced of her great wit and intellect, believing her inner monologue to be consistently superior to her actual interactions. Following rejection and disappointment aplenty in her social life, she is sure that if she met Charlie he would ‘get her’ and a dream romance would ensue, despite all the things he has written is his columns that imply that this scenario is more than unlikely. Closes comment with joke-non-joke cry of ‘I will have your babies’.

  46. Comment taking the opportunity to complain about rogue apostrophes, people who smoke in building entrances, The Daily Mail, loud model aircraft, junk mail, those maddening recorded sales calls you can’t avoid if your job means you have to answer the phone, the price of fish, jumping to conclusions, and anything else annoying, irritating or irksome you care to mention. Thank you, I feel better now, have a great weekend! What was the question again?

  47. comment personally addressing charlie brooker, praising him for a hilarious video and asking him details like where he got the idea and how he made it.

  48. Anonymous poster (#51) who returns to check how the thread has developed, noticing that another anonymous poster (#54/#59) has noticed that they both made a similar joke. Said poster references several previous anonymous posts without replying directly to any, ensuring that nobody will bother to take the time to see what he’s talking about. Poster mentions the fact that he’s aware of the ease that registering at the site would solve the identity confusion and how much time has passed since the original incident, as if that will justify his adding to the discussion despite the fact that the post is nearly totally off the boingboing main page.

  49. A series of irrelevant non sequiturs strung together in a rambling, barely coherent fashion, that leave you scratching your head and wondering how on Earth this relates to the original topic. This tardy mini essay, really just a fugue-like stream of consciousness patter invites the question, is the poster senile or simply stoned out of her graying gourd.

  50. Self conscious, anonymous poster attempts to impress the BB audience by pointing out that the thread amazingly completely lacks references to unicorns, steampunk, Make magazine, titanic watches, gaming, copyfighting, or Amy Crehore.

  51. Late comment by media professor who has only just caught up with this meme and is desperately trying to raise the level of debate in an attempt to justify his thesis that online discourse is somehow more intelligent and democratic than Old Media.

  52. Impossibly annoying comment missing, not only the entire point of the thread but also the entire concept of Charlie Brooker’s humour and perhaps even the very fact that it was meant to funny in the first place. I shall instead purely focus on my own, personal and entirely misconstrued perception of the video and then make a borderline fascist comment based on this inaccurate interpretation something like “Yeah all fat people should be beheaded!”.
    I shall then have the sheer indignity to post the comment anonymously so nobody can reply to my idiotic posting and I will never look back on this page ever again as I have the attention span of a…

  53. Statement of bewildered disbelief that you tools are still pushing this meme. Suggestion that you give it a rest!

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