Citizen Action Monitor

BULLYING — An industry that’s created jobs, profits, and, now, a new style of political leadership

Humorist Andy Borowitz traces the roots of America’s commodification of bullying in 5-min video – What a price we’re all paying.

No 2541 Posted by fw, November 2, 2019

In a five-minute Slam! Bam! video, New Yorker magazine humorist Andy Borowitz takes a look at a thriving American industry — Bullying.

Andy Borowitz

“In 1987, Morton Downey Jr. discovered that Americans had an unquenchable thirst for seeing their fellow citizens brutalized. … Despite Morton Downey’s Jr’s impressive legacy, he was relegated to the overflowing ashtray of history, leaving an opening for a new bully – Jerry Springer. Springer improved on Downey’s creation by outsourcing the job of bullying to his studio audience. … Sensing that viewers were tired of watching their fellow Americans abuse each other – within the confines of a TV studio – savvy television innovator Mark Burnett was not afraid to spread the gospel. Burnett spread the word about bullying. He made “tiki torches” mainstream in a move that would spread tormenting to the four corners of the Earth. SURVIVOR. … Bullying the whole family could enjoy equaled ratings magic. So Mark Burnet set out to do another show, recruiting some random guy that Martin Downey Jr. knew – Donald Trump. The Apprentice was sociopathic-ratings gold. Now, you could say the Mark Burnett made a bad call by promoting bullying. But Burnett doesn’t report to you. He answers to a higher authority – NBC head-honcho Jeff Zucker. When cable news channels started to get into the bullying game, Zucker decided to head to CNN in time for a series of top-rated, prime-time bullying specials.”Andy Borowitz, Retro Report

Below is my repost of Andy’s mash-up video along with my admittedly dull transcript just in case anyone wants to review the flow of the rapid-fire, abusive exchanges. Also, at the end of this post, there’s a link to a CBC news story about a plea — from a mother of a bullied victim — for schools to act on bulling violence.

But first, I think Mutts comic creator Patrick McDonnell, with his Endangered List published today, may have captured the price we’re all paying for this bullying madness we are exposed to daily —

And, as my American pal, Stella, so indelicately put it, “We have more than our fair share of fuckin’ morons in this country.

To watch the video, without the transcript, on the Retro Report’s website, click on the following website.

**********

Andy Borowitz: The Bullying Industry: Now It All Makes Sense, by Andy Borowitz, Retro Report, October 30, 2019

TRANSCRIPT

Andy Borowitz — Today, we take a close look at a vibrant industry.

Video clip – “What are you looking at butthead?”

BULLYING

Borowitz — In 1987, Morton Downey Jr. discovered that Americans had an unquenchable thirst for seeing their fellow citizens brutalized.

Downey – “Ugly slob! You jerk!”

[Crosstalk] —  “Shut up!” / “Why don’t you shut up?” / “Why don’t you shut up?” /

Downey — “If I had a slime like you in the White House, I’d puke on you!”

Response – “Oh, yeah?”

Borowitz – Downey’s unique management style made him a star until …

Narrator – “It was a downer of an evening for Morton Downey Jr. Downey claimed skinheads attacked him, swastikas drawn.”

Downey – “They cut my hair off and then said ‘Now you’re one of us. Sieg Heil.’”

Narrator – “The trouble was not over for Downey. Sharp-eyed forensic experts noticed that Downey’s swastika [painted on his face] was drawn backwards, suggesting he painted it himself in a mirror in a bid to keep up his ratings.”

Narrator – “San Francisco airport police and spokesmen don’t believe Downey.”

Spokesman – “There were no skinheads to be found in the area/”

Tom Brokaw news announcer – “Airport officials say that they think the so-called attack was self-inflicted for publicity.”

Borowitz – Despite Morton Downey’s Jr’s impressive legacy, he was relegated to the overflowing ashtray of history, leaving an opening for a new bully – Jerry Springer. Springer improved on Downey’s creation by outsourcing the job of bullying to his studio audience.

Springer Audience member – “Question for the mother – ‘What street corner can I find you on?’”

Another commenter – “My question for Stuart Little over there …”

Another commenter – “That, that nasty bitch up there…”

Another commenter – “You need to watch your attitude ‘cause I’m not the one…”

Another commenter – No, no, come on. Come on…”

Borowitz – Classical scholars were quick to recognize Jerry’s profound debt to ancient Roman theater.

Audience chanting – “Jerry. Jerry. Jerry.”

Borowitz – Sensing that viewers were tired of watching their fellow Americans abuse each other – within the confines of a TV studio – savvy television innovator Mark Burnett was not afraid to spread the gospel.

Burnett – “We are proud to be Christians.”

Borowitz – No, not that Gospel. Burnett spread the word about bullying. He made “tiki torches” mainstream in a move that would spread tormenting to the four corners of the Earth. SURVIVOR.

Woman survivor – “You are an unemployed, uneducated leech on society. Shut up.

Another woman – “If I were to ever pass you, and you were laying there dying of thirst, I would not give you a drink of water.”

Borowitz – Bullying the whole family could enjoy equaled ratings magic. So Mark Burnet set out to do another show, recruiting some random guy that Martin Downey Jr. knew…

Downey – “Donald Trump.”

Borowitz — …who shared Downey’s knack for insulting people but had way more business sense.

Trump – “You’re fired!” “You’re fired!” “You’re fired!” “I feel good about it.”

Borowitz – The Apprentice was sociopathic-ratings gold. Now, you could say the Mark Burnett made a bad call by promoting bullying. But Burnett doesn’t report to you. He answers to a higher authority – NBC head-honcho Jeff Zucker. When cable news channels started to get into the bullying game, Zucker decided to head to CNN in time for a series of top-rated, prime-time bullying specials.

Trump during 2016 GOP presidential candidates’ debates – “I never attacked him or his look, and believe me there’s plenty of subject matter.”

Trump to Jeb Bush — “More energy tonight. I like that.”

Trump again – “She can’t run any of my companies. That I can tell you.”

And again – “This guy’s a joke artist, and this guy’s a liar.”

Borowitz – As his [presidential] competitor’s were voted off the island, one by one, a little know Slovenian activist [Melania] moved in on her target, plotting to take down bullying once and for all. She claimed to be an expert.

Melania Trump – “I could say I’m the most bullied person in the world.”

Borowitz – So she made an attempt to stop bullying in its tracks.

First Lady Melania – “Today, I’m very excited to announce ‘Be Best.’”

Borowitz – The bullying empire was under attack, but luckily Trump’s PR guy had lots of practice defending bullying, and he came out on top.

Trump scripted after GOP loses House to Dems – “You are a rude, terrible person.”

Trump unscripted – “A loser, she doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing.”

And again about his acting AG – “What a stupid question.”

Back to Springer’s chanting audience – “Jerry! Jerry! Jerry”

Then to Trump gathering chanting – “Lock her up! Lock her up!”

Borowitz [sarcastically]– It’s time to stop bullying ‘Bullying’, an industry that’s created jobs, profits, and a bold new style of national leadership. I see a bright future, where even anti-bullies have to admit bullies rule.”

Morton Downey Jr. – “I miss it. I honest-to-God miss it.”

For more by Andy Borowitz check out his recurring #NowItAllMakesSense segment that wraps up every episode of #RetroReportPBS. Stream full episodes at https://www.pbs.org/retroreport.

SEE RELATED

‘Stop hurting each other’: Mother of bullying victim calls on schools to act on violence by Jennifer Chevalier, CBC News, October 24, 2019 — CBC poll finds a third of Ontario school children experience threats, physical violence.

FAIR USE NOTICE – For details click here

%d bloggers like this: