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The Simpsons TKO Fox News after Three Rounds. Rematch?

Reported by Guest Blogger - December 1, 2010 -

By Aunty Em

Continuing the absurd tradition Glenn Beck started when he retaliated against Jon Stewart of Comedy Central’s Daily Show, Bill O’Reilly has now come out squarely against comedy, parody and satire. What got the hypocrite to drop his falafel was the hilarious jab to the Fox “News” solar plexus on a recent episode of The Simpsons. What only makes this whole brouhaha funnier is that The Simpsons is also a Fox program running on the Fox Broadcasting Network.

ROUND ONE: The Simpsons is the longest-running cartoon series, now in its 22nd season. It has stayed a fan favorite by taking on current social issues and having an edge—sometimes a very dark edge. That edge was razor-sharp on November 21 when Fox unreeled an episode called “The Fool Monty.” While the plot really didn’t involve Fox “News,” the episode opened with a few well-placed punches at the expense of the “Fair and Balanced” “News” network. As the credits played, a news helicopter flew towards the head of the Statue of Liberty. Written on the side: “FOX NEWS: NOT RACIST, BUT #1 WITH RACISTS.” As Montgomery Burns jumped off the helicopter into the head of Lady Liberty, it redistributed the weight of the helicopter, which crashed. As the copter went down a distressed voice yelled, “We’re unbalanced! It’s not fair!!!”

It’s funny because it’s true.

ROUND TWO: This was too much for “Falafel King” O’Reilly, who used his “Reality Check” segment to say that Fox Broadcasting was allowing its [cartoon] characters to run wild and labeled them “pinheads.” Watch:

ROUND THREE: One would think that would be the end of it, but The Simpsons knew Fox “News" was on the ropes. Obviously delighted at the feint return jab by Loofah Lad, the Simpsons corner-team huddled and came up with a strategy that worked to its opponents’ weakness. The next Simpsons came out swinging. Preceding the normal show opening, the Fox “News” helicopter appeared once again, this time above Springfield, with a new slogan: “UNSUITABLE FOR VIEWERS UNDER 75.”

If only to demonstrate The Simpsons still capture more of the national zeitgeist than, oh, say, Bill O’Reilly was the Conspiracy Theory which zipped around the internet faster than you could say “No Spin Zone.” The innertube buzz was the clip appearing on HULU had been censored by Fox because the opening was missing, replaced by Homer as King Kong. NYT’s Dave Itzkoff talked to Simpsons Executive Producer Al Jean:

The “Simpsons” producers could not let that remark stand, so they rushed their second Fox News joke into Sunday’s episode — so late in the production process that the gag could only be inserted into the version shown in North America, but not into versions shown in foreign markets or on the Internet.

“There’s a lot of masters that go out,” Mr. Jean said in a telephone interview, “so to save money we just put it in the one master that’s for the U.S. and Canada. More money that will then go to Fox News and undoubtedly to Bill O’Reilly.”

Mr. Jean emphasized that neither he nor his “Simpsons” colleagues have ever been told by their corporate Fox parents to stop making fun of Fox News.

We’ll see whether Bully Billy responds to the Pavlovian bell to start ROUND FOUR.



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