Truth Through Comedy: NBC's 'Great News' Notes That Objective Journalism is Dead

"This is where we are now. It's prison rules."

In the January 4th episode of sitcom Great News, veteran anchor Chuck gets a dose of reality: objective journalism is dead. The NBC news comedy's installment entitled "Catfight" finds Chuck being schooled by his younger co-host Portia about the mechanics of modern news media.

Chuck is being hailed as a hero by thinly-veiled "Blightbarf" -- an alt-right website -- for having put his left-wing co-anchor in her place during an evening broadcast. The problem is, neither Chuck nor Portia has any idea what the website is referring to. Having watched a tape of the newscast, their best guess is that Chuck inadvertently rolled his eyes while trying to adjust his contact lens.

Being an old-school broadcaster, Chuck is upset that any political organization would claim him as its own. To emphasize Chuck's adamant intention to always be an objective observer, a flashback reveals the newsman at a baseball game as teams argue over the umpire's call. Chuck is wearing a shirt which reads simply "Baseball" and yelling, "Each team team has a valid perspective on this!" Now that's the mark of a truly objective reporter!

Ultimately, Chuck and Portia discover the reason he's being heralded as the victorious conservative in the news duo's nonexistent on-air clash of ideologies: his red MAGA tie. Chuck is extremely confused, and with good reason: at the behest of the network, he's been wearing a green tie, but unknown to him, in order to heighten the drama, producers have been using his tie as a green screen to display images such as the Texas flag, MAGA, a devil-horned Obama, and Hillary Clinton being decimated by an animated bomb. 

The result of the contentious appearance is a host of new fans for Chuck. Portia believes he should be happy about the support, but to Chuck, the whole situation is antithetical to proper journalistic standards:

"I want fans who like me for the right reasons: because I'm impartial and I'm trustworthy."

Chuck decides he's going to clear up the misunderstanding on the air. Portia tries to intervene, with an absolutely hilarious reference to a certain left-wing icon:

"That is a big mistake, Chuck. Once you've been claimed by either side, you're stuck with it. Look at poor Michael Moore. You think he still wants to be a liberal crusader? You can tell by the way he dresses he clearly just wants to be a pornographer."

In light of Chuck's broadcast clarification, Twitter explodes with vitriol. Portia informs:

"The right is calling you a traitor, but spelling it with a 'D,' and listen to what the Left is saying: 'Remaining neutral is a privilege reserved for a rich white man.' Congratulations, Chuck. Now both sides hate you." 

Portia uses the situation to school Chuck on the reality of network news:

Portia: If you listened to me, you wouldn't be in this mess.

Chuck: Please help me, Portia. I'll give you anything. How about a $25 gift card to Coconuts?

Portia: Look -- I'm sorry that impartiality in journalism is dead, but this is where we are now. It's prison rules. You either pick a side, or everyone kicks the crap out of you.

Hiding under his desk at work -- daunted by criticism and doxxed by trolls -- Chuck is saved by his younger and more savvy partner. Under Portia's instruction, he states a bunch of nonsense on the air, filled with buzzwords. Miraculously, both political sides are satisfied, and he can return to being an objective reporter. But the lesson is clear: the news world doesn't thrive on impartial coverage of facts; opinions make the world go 'round, and dry journalism is dead. Sadly.

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