Viewing entries tagged

Comedy and politics panel at The New School feat Gregory Brothers, Steve Almond, Dan Powell and me

I was on this panel a few weeks ago at The New School. I've done lots of comedy/satire in politics panels in my three years at The Onion, from the UCB to Google and beyond. I think this is the best one yet. I was honored to share the stage with


  • two of The Gregory Brothers, who are as gracious and thoughtful as they are hilarious and technically talented
  • to my left (in more ways than one) is author Steve Almond. I'd met him years ago at the Somerville Theatre in Massachusetts, and he easily earned the title of "professor" during the 90 minute segment. 
  • to my right is Dan Powell, a former producer from both Colbert and The Daily Show, now currently with Ugly Americans.

We covered a lot of topics including, but not limited to:


  • The role/value/purpose of the Colbert and Stewart rallies on October 30th (I'll be there!)
  • The role of satire as a conveyer of information
  • The history of "the media," and was there ever really a glory day from which we've allegedly fallen?
  • How our work has had an impact overseas
  • Hate mail
  • Does making fun of politics let us off the hook for- or too easily distract us from actually doing political action, and what is the responsibility of the comedian or satirist?
  • More heavy shit like the above but in a completely funny way. really. 


Here's the official description:

Comedy and politics have gone together for a long time, and in this age, political comedy is everywhere. We have reached a point where instead of just mocking the news, the comedian Jon Stewart was ranked as America's most trusted news source by participants in a Time magazine online poll. How does comedy influence politics? Do jokes about politicians create their image, or just reflect what people already believe? Does political comedy lead people to be more critical of politicians or just more cynical? Join us for this conversation about the influence of comedy on politics.

This event will feature The Gregory Brothers, from YouTube and Barely Political fame for their Auto-Tune the News videos; Baratunde, the web editor of The Onion and co-founder of the blog Jack & Jill Politics; Dan Powell from Comedy Central's show Ugly Americans; and Steve Almond, author of My Life in Heavy Metal and Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life. Sponsored by the Graduate Program in International Affairs


 Thanks so much to Lorena Ruiz at The New School for having us!

Me With Onion Folks Speaking At The National Press Club, Plus Politico Coverage

I've been a journalism geek for a long time. In high school, I enrolled in a summer journalism program at American University, and as part of the class we got to visit the National Press Club. It was the summer that baseball almost died (again), and Bud Selig had been named acting commissioner. We got a tour of the building and got to attend his luncheon talk. Well, some 15 years later, I returned to the NPC victorious and shared the stage with coworkers from The Onion. Our charge: discuss this election season and our coverage. Here's an audio recording of the event. (apparently mainstream media is in such bad shape that they couldn't afford to record images as well). And here's the Politico's post-event report in which they reprint our post-event report and we wonder why the media is in the state it's in? :)

Video: Google Pop/Politics Panel w/ Me, Winstead, Obama Girl Guy, etc.

Friday I was so annoyed that I couldn't get my Tivo to record our Google Pop Culture and Politics panel as it was aired by C-SPAN. I completely forgot that this event took place at Google, and thus, is on YouTube. I'm an idiot. Anyway, here's the 45 minute video of our panel. They cut the opening Onion News Network video I showed right after my intro, but you can see it here. I haven't replayed the entire thing, so they may have also cut the second Onion video I showed, which is friggin hilarious. Highlights:
  • My hot shirt. Seriously, you know you love that shirt. Jill Sander baby! Bought it myself
  • Christopher Hitchens. Look at his beverage. That ain't ginger ale
  • Lizz Winstead. My hero. Twas an honor to tag team with her against our cable news-defending moderator
  • After the panel, the Google folks got short one-on-one interviews with all of us. Here's mine.
And now, the panel...
For some reason, Google disabled comments on the YouTube video, so feel free to heap praise and scathing criticism here.


There's something incredibly cool about the contrast between the foreground and background of this photo

Video Of My Panel On Participation & Politics Online

Last Wednesday, I spoke on a panel during NYC's InternetWeek. It was put on by OneWebDay and Susan Crawford. The topic was participation and politics online. It was actually really good! I spoke about the ClintonAttacksObama wiki at Jack & Jill Politics, and the audience and other speakers brought some really great thoughts and insights to the table. I shared the stage with Andrew Rasiej (Founder, Personal Democracy Forum) and Jay Rosen (Professor, NYU Department of Journalism and creator of OffTheBus at HuffPo). The moderator was Allison Fine (Author, Momentum: Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age)

Here's the YouTube Link. It's 90 minutes. You can find it in various other formats here.