melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2010-06-15 10:41 am

More Fake News In Heaven And Earth


Does anybody know of a way to download The Bugle podcast without installing iTunes? I refuse to install iTunes *just* so I can get the Bugle - partly because I don't really have the system resources for it, partly because I viscerally hate the thing, partly because the iTunes store needs to *not* crash my browser every time I go there, thanks. But the Times website has finally put it under pay-only lock (and now it turns out that the Times was several episodes behind what itunes has anyway.)

I recently acquired an ipod and was forced to install itunes just long enough to flip the bit that lets you use your ipod as an external drive (though it still doesn't work right) and I really, really don't want to have to put it back on. :/ Dear Apple: if I can buy an $8 mp3 player that has all the capability and more of my iPod shuffle and can, oh, use software that doesn't try to malignantly take over my computer, surely you can design one that does the same for eight times the price.

I suppose I can just wait for the new season of the Now Show to start for my Andy Zaltzman fix, because oh look, BBC Radio Four streams internationally! -- but I can't wait until after the World Cup for my next Andy Zaltzman fix!1!! D:

Why yes, whinging about the evil of Apple does count as working on my copyright primer for con-txt, shut up.

Anyway. Since I'm asking for help about the Bugle already, I shall just make the post I've been playing with for a few weeks now, about Fake News (and "Real" News and Politics) fandom around the world and around the web.

The goal here is to get a guide to 'canon' sources and fandom sites for that somewhat-expanded RPF fandom that is, really, one of my most abiding loves. (My earliest datable memory involves Reagan giving a campaign speech. I would have been two.) I'm reasonably competent on the American ones (though my attention there is ... sporadic, and I might have missed something) and on the British ones (though, not being British, I've probably missed something.) I have a vague idea of where to start for Australia and Canada. I've no clue whatsover beyond that, and if there's anyone on my reading list who does know of other awesome fake news sources - English language or not - I would *love* the contribution!

This is meant to be video, audio, and text sources that I think everyone into current events from a fandom perspective ought to be at least minimally familiar with. (either because they're fundamental to the current fandom community, or because they're so awesome everybody should know about them.)

Here's what I've got so far. What have I missed? What should I cut?


The Bugle - weekly radio comedy current events show, hosted by John Oliver (in New York) and Andy Zaltzman (in London) and for a short time produced in Australia. Was free through Times Online, also available free through iTunes.

BBC World News - nightly 'real' TV news broadcast. Widely available in broadcast in the US, clutched as a lifeline as a source of TV news that *isn't* jingoistically US-centric. (occasionally jingoistically UK-centric, but even that's a breath of fresh air in the US.)

That Was The Week That Was (emeritus) - weekly comedy current events TV show that ran in several countries in the 1960s and inspired similar shows in several other countries. (I am sad to say that I didn't even know it had started out in the UK until I looked it up on Wikipedia recently.) Best known in the US as the source of all Tom Lehrer's best work.


The Daily Show - Fake News TV show, hosted by Jon Stewart with a revolving crew of correspondents who are some of the best young comedy talent in the US. Notables past and present include Lewis Black, John Oliver, Sam Bee, John Hodgman, Aasif Mandhvi, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert. Center of US Fake News fandom.

The Colbert Report - Fake News TV show, parody of conservative 'news' shows, hosted by "Stephen" Colbert in character as a shouty, perspectiveless right-winger. Co-center of US Fake News fandom. Jon and Stephen flirt a lot. Stephen also has a UK-style soulbonded comedy parter in Paul Dinello, with Amy Sedaris as the girl sidekick.

Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me! - Radio comedy news quiz/panel show (It was "inspired by" The News Quiz much like HIGNFY was.) Hosted by Peter Sagal, Carl Kasell of the coveted voice, and produced by Doug "the subway fugitive, not a slave to fashion, bongo boy" Berman. Has one fic on yuletide but needs a larger fandom.

Whad'ya Know? - Radio comedy quiz show with significant current events content. Michael Feldman is frequently annoying, but much slashier with Jim Packard than Carl is with Peter.

Countdown with Keith Olbermann - "Real" nightly news show on MSNBC. American TV's only true bastion of angry liberalism. Frequently critiques other American news and occasionally fails to take itself seriously.

The Rachel Maddow Show - "Real" nightly news show on MSNBC. American TV's only bastion of true reasonable liberalism. Much hated by conservatives due to the fact that it's impossible to hate Rachel Maddow. Frequently fails to take itself seriously. Keith and Rachel flirt a lot.

Morning Edition and Weekend Edition - Daily radio news show, your basic source of slightly more in-depth, vaguely non-partisan old-fashioned news reporting.

All Things Considered - Daily radio current events show, your basic source of very in-depth and always interesting current events and politics reporting. Also relevant: This American Life, hosted by Amy Sedaris' brother and listened to by David Mitchell. :P

Washington Week - Long-running weekly non-comedy politics TV panel show. Currently hosted by Gwen Ifill. Also: The MacLaughlin Group, weekly non-comedy politics panel show with regular panelists, most of whom are annoying.

The Sunday Morning Talk Shows - Weekly Panel/Interview current events TV interview/panel shows. Includes Meet the Press and Face the Nation, two of the longest-running shows in television. Take themselves far too seriously. Rebroadcast commercial-free on C-SPAN radio.

C-SPAN - live, minimal-commentary political and current events coverage; includes live coverage of Congress and Presidential speeches and press events; also shows lots of archival material, choice bits of BBC Parliament and CPAC, Book TV on weekends, and a daily morning call-in show. 3 cable channels and a radio station, all streamed free online.

The Onion - Satirical newspaper, now mostly online. Tends to lean more toward the "fake" than the "news" end of things.

The Capitol Steps - America's premier full-time professional political filk troupe. Tends to do stuff that's so topical it doesn't hold up a year later. Lots of live performances.

Doonesbury - Long-running, current events-based daily comic strip. Includes both a recurring cast of politically interested/interesting characters and appearances by RL political figures. Has a history of handling sensitive issues reasonably well without losing sight of the comedy, even when it's really dark comedy.

The West Wing (emeritus) - long-running TV drama about a fictional US president and his staff. TWW fandom has large overlap with current events fandoms.

The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour - (emeritus) Along with That Was the Week That Was, TV topical satire for my mother's generation. Which means I listened to her LPs of it on repeat in childhood. Not as well known now as Tom Lehrer, which is a shame.

Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser - (emeritus) Weekly financial news TV show which consistently failed to take itself seriously and opened with a comedy monologue. Yes, a comedy monologue on the stock market. Louis Rukeyser was, um, one of my first TV crushes.

Molly Ivins - (emeritus) Wrote the country's best humorous politics columns until she left us right at the height of the Bush era, when we needed her most.

Short Introduction to National American Press: New York Times - paper of 'record'. Washington Post - Capitol Hill paper of 'record'. USA Today - generally mocked for shallowness. Wall Street Journal - finance-focussed, economically right-leaning but not batshit socially right-leaning. Christian Science Monitor - despite its name, known for objective, clear-eyed liberal-leaning reporting. Currently failing financially. Mother Jones - liberal-progressive biweekly current events magazine. Slate - online current events and culture magazine. No national far-right papers; far-right people don't read the papers.

OMG NO GET IT AWAY GET IT AWAY: Anything on Fox News. Anything involving the phrase "conservative talk radio". Sarah Palin.

Where the fandom is: tds_rps, fakenewsfanfic, punditslash, maddow_kicks, rahmbamarama, ontd_political, j2sul (on lj), punditfic, maddow_kicks, fakenews_srsbsness (on DW), political_wank, unfunnybusiness (on jf)

The UK

Have I Got News For You: weekly long-running comedy current events panel TV show. Features Paul Merton, Ian Hislop, and three others, usually two comedians and one newsmaker or politician. The centre of UK fake news.

Charlie Brooker's Newswipe: Comedic show that discusses, critiques, and looks behind the scenes at TV news coverage. Hosted by Charlie Brooker, contains post-watershed content. Hopefully will be renewed for more series.

The Bubble: Comedy current events TV panel show in which celebrity panelists are isolated from news for a week and then quizzed as to whether stories are real news or fake news. Hosted by David Mitchell. Unique among all the panel shows I know of for consistently having something resembling gender balance and Bechdel passes. Hopefully will be renewed for more series.

Mock the Week: Weekly topical comedy panel show, hosted by Dara O'Briain. Lots and lots of comedians involved with a wide range of 'game' formats.

The News Quiz: Long-running current events comedy radio panel show. Have not actually listened to any of this, something I should fix soonest.

The Now Show: Fake News radio show, hosted by Hugh Dennis and Steve Punt. Andy Zaltzman is a regular guest and there are also frequent musical segments. Did the Vote Now Show special series for the election, which I have torrented and was amazing.

The Big Fat Quiz Of The Year: annual comedy current events panel show on Channel Four. Usually features several people from the above. Very long and worth a watch. Channel Four also does live comedy election coverage with the usual suspects.

Private Eye: Current events satire magazine, edited by Ian Hislop. Gets sued for libel a lot. Source of most of the injokes in British public affairs.

The Thick of It: currently-running sitcom about the workings of the British government. I know very little about this, except that I spent several weeks thinking it was actually about organized crime.

Question Time: Non-comedy weekly political panel/talk TV show, featuring actual politicians and newsmakers.

This Week: Current events TV talk show featuring Andrew Neil, Diane Abbott, and Michael Portillo. Generally fails to take anything seriously. More people need to ship Abbot/Portillo, srsly, folks!

Newsnight: Daily non-comedy current affairs/interview show. Hosted by Jeremy Paxman.

BBC Parliament: Broadcasts live, commentary-free coverage of Parliament and other government affairs. Available internationally through Democracy Live. Premier event is weekly Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons. (PS: The Chambers of Parliament are much, much more porn-conducive than anything on CSPAN. All that leather! People crammed together knee to shoulder!)

Spitting Image: (Emeritus) Fake news show starring puppet versions of newsmakers; Ian Hislop wrote for it for awhile. I swear this was shown on US Public Broadcasting when I was a child, as I still have nightmares about it.

Yes [Prime] Minister: (Emeritus) Sitcom set in a British cabinet office. Legendary show & deeply funny. Still sometimes airs in reruns on US PBS stations.

Saturday Night Armistice: (Emeritus) Fake news sketch show starring Armando Iannucci. Occasionally got very surreal.

Short Intro To National UK Newspapers: The London Times - paper of record, conservative leaning; The Guardian (aka the Grauniad) - left-leaning; the Telegraph (aka the Torygraph) - very right-leaning, supposedly read mostly by old fuddy-duddies; the Financial Times - right-leaning, finance focused; the Daily Mail (aka the Daily Fail) - extreme right-wing, given to scare-mongering and basically a tabloid.

OMG NO GET IT AWAY GET IT AWAY: Sky News; the Daily Fail; Piers Morgan; anything which gives any credence the BNP or UKIP; Margaret Thatcher.

Where the fandom's at: brookerfic, slashtheweek, glovelove, uk_lolitics & associated communities, clameron, That Other Community (on lj); lolitics @ wikispaces.


This Hour Has 22 Minutes: Weekly Fake News TV show. Based on a show that was based on That Was The Week That Was. I admit I know it best for occasional encounters with the "Talking to Americans" segment (not as good as the Bugle's American, BTW.)

Air Farce Live: (Emeritus) Long-running topical sketch comedy show which I have only encountered in bits.

CPAC: Not the evil American organization, this is Canada's live political coverage, with proceeding of the House of Commons and so on.

I swear there is a C6D fandom that's about politics or local politics or something? Anybody know what I'm talking about?


Good News Week: HIGNFY-like comedy current events panel TV show. Only know about it because of AFP-fail involving it.

What else should be on those lists? Help. Especially from people not living in the US.
naraht: (polt-Better Britain)

[personal profile] naraht 2010-06-15 05:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Very thorough guide to the UK! Just a few details here and there...

The Chambers of Parliament

This isn't UK usage. You might mean "the houses of Parliament"? Or you could just say "Parliament," or "the House of Commons and the House of Lords."

The London Times

It's actually just called "The Times." Non-UK people add in "London" just to distinguish it, but it was the original. And it used to be the paper of record but its reputation has slipped quite a bit.

the Daily Mail (aka the Daily Fail) - extreme right-wing, given to scare-mongering and basically a tabloid.

Not "basically" a tabloid, it is a tabloid. Along with The Sun (owned by Rupert Murdoch), the Daily Mirror (left-leaning, I think) and the Daily Star (politically pretty irrelevant). The other broadsheet that you ought to mention is the Independent.

And although the Daily Mail is infuriating, I wouldn't argue that it's extreme right-wing. Others might disagree.

You might also want to do a little bit about the main radio and TV stations? It can help for context.
Edited 2010-06-15 17:51 (UTC)
naraht: (Default)

[personal profile] naraht 2010-06-15 08:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Would "Parliamentary Chambers" be better, or is there some other wording, or should I drop the whole thing?

I think it would be clear from context that you meant the physical places, but if you wanted to be extra sure you could say "the architecture of the Commons and the Lords."

And yeah, I waver on calling it just the Times, but people outside the UK call other papers that, so it can be confusing - I should clarify that.

You could add it afterwards in square brackets, or something along those lines, but it's worth making it clear that it's not part of the name of the paper. (Because the New York Times has that as its full title even if people do sometimes call it "The Times" for short.)

I have absorbed the impression that the Mail, hmm. Considers itself, and is considered by its readers, to have actual journalistic current events content? Unlike the other UK tabloids, which I left out because otherwise I'd have to start trying to understand American tabloids too.

British tabloids and American tabloids are different. The Mail and Sun and Mirror are trashy to be sure but they do have some journalistic content and significant influence when it comes to election campaigns. (The Star, maybe not so much.) You're right about the content of the Mail but talking about the "extreme right" in a European context generally means parties like the BNP rather than what the Mail represents, which is basically the dodgier wing of the Tories.

Hope that helps.... I know it's complicated!
naraht: (Default)

[personal profile] naraht 2010-06-15 05:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, for Australia? Clarke and Dawe!
sarken: leaves of mint against a worn wall (Default)

[personal profile] sarken 2010-06-15 06:42 pm (UTC)(link)
On the U.S. front, you might want to add the NBC Nightly News (with Brian Williams!) and Anderson Cooper 360. You've also got [community profile] maddow_kicks listed twice -- I'm not sure if one was supposed to be the DW version, or if you just love us that much. ;) If you want, there's also olberfanns on LJ for Keith squee and wank.

ETA: If you add AC360, you should probably mention his book, Dispatches from the Edge, since that seems to provide as much canon as the actual show.

ETA2: Oh! Maybe SNL's Weekend Update should go under U.S. things, too.
Edited 2010-06-15 18:54 (UTC)
sarken: leaves of mint against a worn wall (Default)

[personal profile] sarken 2010-06-15 10:01 pm (UTC)(link)
You've pretty much summed up my knowledge of SNL, actually, so I'm probably not the best person to speak definitely on whether it should be included. The best I can do is, "Eh, maybe. I know I've seen a few stories, but I don't even know how many 'a few' is." I think 30 Rock is pretty much it's own fandom, though.

People watch Anderson more when he's on location than when he's in studio, but there are people who watch regardless of where he is. I think the general consensus of in-studio Anderson is, "Oh, God, CNN, what are you doing to this poor guy?" His book and his frequent guest hosting appearances on Regis & Kelly have a wider appeal than his in-studio show.

If NBC Nightly News didn't have Brian Williams, I don't think it would be any more relevant to the fandom than the other networks' news shows, no.

Here's another one, though: Shepard Smith on Fox. I don't actually know what his show is called, but he has a fairly large following. There's apparently some other guy on the show named Jonathan that he gets shipped with a lot.
erinptah: (Default)

[personal profile] erinptah 2010-06-16 09:09 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't know about SNL on the whole, but Weekend Update is basically a very short TDS segment, with two anchors and especially rapid-fire jokes. On the episode he hosted, Jon briefly got to co-anchor a segment (along with Tina Fey) when the regular guy got a sore throat. He was very excited about the possibility of moving up in the world from basic cable fake news.

In my estimation, 30 Rock is about as linked to the fandom as The West Wing - which is to say, completely different show, has its own fandom without any inherent connection to this one, but the content is Relevant To Our Interests.

Strangers With Candy and Wigfield certainly deserve some kind of mention, given all the common themes and crossover actors/creators with TCR. (Russel Hokes and Chuck Noblet both read a lot like proto-"Stephens".) My impression is that SWC had its own relatively active fandom back in the day, but now most of what's left is piggybacking on the larger six-degrees-of-Stephen fandom in general and TCR fandom in particular.

Also, you can totally post meta/essays/questions like this in [community profile] punditfic!
erinptah: (Default)

[personal profile] erinptah 2010-06-25 02:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Hm. I haven't seen a lot of these series, so it's hard for me to judge. For the moment, let's go with "if's a news or news-satire show, the fic is welcome; if it's about politicians or unrelated comedians, it needs to be a crossover of some sort."

[personal profile] whatistigerbalm 2010-06-15 07:00 pm (UTC)(link)
The Daily Mash - - satirical British news site; the TV series "The New Statesman" which was basically Y(P)M for the following generation; also, you forgot the Sun among newspapers, but it's really for the best.
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)

[personal profile] seekingferret 2010-06-15 08:32 pm (UTC)(link)
This American Life is hosted by Ira Glass, not David Sedaris, though Sedaris often features. I read your comment and said "Wait, Amy Sedaris and Ira Glass are brothers?" Also, weren't there 3 WWDTM fics in Yuletide this year? I definitely remember there being more than one.

Tom Lehrer's funnier stuff is the earlier stuff. His TW3 songs are mostly badly dated, whereas "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" has eternal appeal.

The New York Post is as close as there is to a batshit right wing national paper. Not as national as the NYTimes or WSJ, but it can be found all over the country and serves as the WSJ's less couth cousin.

I don't know any C6D shows about politics, but maybe The Newsroom has a fandom?
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)

[personal profile] seekingferret 2010-06-15 09:53 pm (UTC)(link)
I feel sure I've seen the New York Post on newstands in DC and Chicago. And I'm pretty sure you can find the Washington Times at Hudson News in Penn Station. (along the lines of the conversation above about "The Times", it seems odd that you'd call the NYP "The Post" when there's the Washington Post and you called DC "my area". That argues, I think, for the New York Post's national presence)

"So Long, Mom"'s finest moment is rhyming contrapuntally with Brinkley and Huntley. Timeless? Not quite. I wish "The Vatican Rag" were timeless, but sadly the Church has regressed since the '60s to the point where it just seems tasteless to remind us that Vatican II was once the present moment in Church doctrine. "Smut" might be timeless, but it's not that funny.

On the other hand, pop songwriting hasn't changed so much that just because the music of "She's My Girl" references outdated styles, the lyrics are unfunny. I'll admit I found "Bright College Days" funnier once I heard the Whiffenpoofs song and realized where Morrie's is, but the image of sliding down the razor blade of life is as cutting and funny an insight as Lehrer ever had. And I think "The Wiener Schnitzel Waltz" and some of the other parodies of outdated song styles retain mindshare because of their continued use in musical theater. Kiss Me Kate's "Wunderbar", for example, always triggers memories of the "Wiener Schnitzel Waltz" for me.
sarken: leaves of mint against a worn wall (Default)

[personal profile] sarken 2010-06-16 02:19 am (UTC)(link)
We have the Post in Pennsylvania! :)

Wait. Why am I smiling about that? Maybe because it reminds me of New York?

I just saw above where you said: The Daily Fail has to stay in because it's constantly mentioned in fandom...

I think the Post (and, for that matter, Gawker) are kind of like that for the real news side of things, since they are forever running stories about Keith and Anderson, and, in fic where one or both of them gets outed, it's almost invariably the Post or Gawker that does it.
Edited 2010-06-16 02:24 (UTC)
seekingferret: Word balloon says "So I said to the guy: you never read the book yet you go online and talk about it as if--" (Default)

[personal profile] seekingferret 2010-08-03 07:23 pm (UTC)(link)
By the way, I was right that The Newsroom has an election campaign plot. The season 1 finale is Jim Walcott running for MP in an inexplicable storyline that's apparently semi-non-canonical, given that the S2 premiere does not feature a brain dead Jim Walcott. The entire Newsroom gang is now working on Jim's campaign, with no explanation given other than a note at the beginning of the episode that the story takes place "After the death of public television".

In general The Newsroom blurs the real news/fake news line a lot. A lot of legitimate news personalities appear as themselves. Linda McQuaig and Hugh Segal spoof themselves, among others.
fenellaevangela: text: Kirk & Spock & Bones & some guy in a red shirt. (Default)

[personal profile] fenellaevangela 2010-06-15 10:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Rick Mercer, of the "Talking to Americans" segments/TV special, has his own show called the Rick Mercer Report. It should definitely slip in there under This Hour Has 22 Minutes ;-) I'm sure there's some French-language stuff that fits on this list too, but I'm out of the francophone loop.

(Anonymous) 2010-06-16 04:16 am (UTC)(link)
Yes, the Rick Mercer Report definitely needs to be included!

And I'm pretty sure that C6D refers to the way every Canadian production seemingly uses about twelve actors/directors/writers, and the fandom that's built on that, which is about mostly RPF and crossovers, although I'm fuzzy on the exact details. I probably have a primer somewhere I could dig up.
onceamy: Nothing special; just a pixelated rainbow. (Default)

[personal profile] onceamy 2010-06-16 09:53 am (UTC)(link)
Australia - There's a version of C-Span called A-PAC on subscription TV. It has live broadcasts of Parliamentary hearings, and live coverage of the Upper and Lower houses. They also cover public government speeches when they occur.

Australia - Triple J, a radio station that used to have a few shows on news commentary. Also where a lot of comedy fandom favourites have started out.

Australia - ABC - Our government-owned TV station that has excellent news coverage and is home to the sometimes faily but sometimes good The Chaser's War on Everything. and the preceding series.

Australia - SBS - Our privately owned but government supported foreign news channel, with relatively unbiased news coverage. They also show a lot of BBC programming, so Australians have access to the likes of QI.

Australia: Evil right-wing bullshit: Anything on Channel 9, to a lesser extent, Channel 7. Channel 10 is usually okay, but they have had feminist and ableist fail on occasion.

International: Al Jazeera, for coverage on the Middle East that you WON'T get anywhere else.

US - Doesn't CNN count as one of the evil right-wing evil-doers?

Finally, Satirical Television Programmes might be helpful for other shows in other countries.

Edited (I can't spell.) 2010-06-16 09:56 (UTC)
onceamy: Nothing special; just a pixelated rainbow. (Default)

[personal profile] onceamy 2010-06-25 08:49 am (UTC)(link)
Ah, as an Aussie who has access to CNN, it all looked shifty to me :) I admit I've never watched it!

Go hunting? They have a website with video broadcasts and audio - it's well known in the circles I hang with. But yes, it's part of the Starter pay-TV pack that one can subscribe to on Austar. The other competing pay-TV company (Foxtel - a relation to FOX via Murdoch's 25% share in the company) does not offer it.
Edited 2010-06-25 08:56 (UTC)
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[personal profile] copracat 2010-06-16 10:37 am (UTC)(link)
Chaser's War on Everything. Wikipedia is more informative for those new to Chaser than the official site.

lady_ganesh: A Clue card featuring Miss Scarlett. (Default)

[personal profile] lady_ganesh 2010-06-16 02:21 pm (UTC)(link)
IIRC, the Air Farce is actually the televised adventures of the Royal Canadian Air Farce.
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[personal profile] lady_ganesh 2010-06-26 01:29 am (UTC)(link)
It looks like their last live performance was a New Year's 2009/2010 show.