Spitting Out The Mouthpiece
Where oh where will I get my weekly dose of horrendously bad comedy now?
The Washington Post has brought down the curtain on "Mouthpiece Theater."
Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli killed the satirical video series Wednesday after harsh criticism of a joke about Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, which had prompted him to pull the latest episode from the paper's Web site Friday night. The Post staffers who appeared in the videos, Dana Milbank and Chris Cillizza, agreed with the decision and apologized in separate interviews.
"I don't think the series worked as they intended," Brauchli said. "It was meant to be funny and insightful and translate the superb journalism Chris and Dana do in print and online into a new format."
"Mouthpiece Theater" was designed as a sendup of pompous punditry, with Milbank, the paper's Washington Sketch columnist, and Cillizza, a White House correspondent who writes The Fix blog, appearing with oversized pipes and smoking jackets.
Um, it wasn't a sendup of anything. It was exactly what it looked like - bitchy, self-regarding gossip from two inside-the-Beltway Villagers who accurately translated their feelings of entitlement into video form. They weren't sending up pompous punditry, they were EXHIBITING it.
By the way, you'll be excited to know that Brauchli praised Milbank and Cillizza effusively and welcomed them back to work on their regular assignments of spouting conventional wisdom and producing Mean Girl low-rent Maureen Dowd ripoffs (which is quite a feat).