Parsing Auto-Tuning the News #2

Another post — this is one of those things that should be obvious, but I’d like to draw out the subtle critique embedded in Auto-Tuning the News #2.

During the conversation with Sean Hannity, Hannity is performing outrage.

SH: Now that Captain Phillips has been successfully rescued. The president has decided to step in front of the spotlight.

Hannity is angry with the president, and he needs a guest who is similarly angry — the exchange with the guest is not antagonistic, as it might be with one of Hannity’s liberal interlocutors; rather, both host and guest are performing outrage. Hence,

AG: Ooh, I’m angry! You can’t see it, but my forehead’s veiny.

The echo chamber consists of “angry gorillas” — outrage for hire. And the angry gorilla knows exactly what’s going on.

AG: Well, don’t you worry, baby boo. You’ll always have an angry gorilla to be angry with you. That’s what I do. Just ask Donkey Kong. He’s in my crew.

I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that I too will always be your angry gorilla. Can’t you see my forehead’s veiny?

Felix Gillette, who covers the media beat for The Observer, had the great pleasure of interviewing the brilliant Michael Gregory.

Does Mr. Gregory have a favorite TV newsman?

“I don’t know if it’s possible to like pundits,” said Mr. Gregory. “For the purpose of auto-tune, I’m making new favorites on every video, learning who to use and who not to use.”

“I thought that Hannity would be great because he’s shouting,” added Mr. Gregory. “I was like, ‘That will make great music, that will be an awesome melody.’ But it turned out not to work that well. Whereas, Katie Couric really surprised me.”

She surprised me as well. Sigh.