About The Shot
After 21 years in the satire news business including 6 TV shows, a newspaper, a magazine, 23 books and 5 radio shows the comedy team behind The Chaser finally conceded defeat in 2020 after the real news started to sound more like a farce than the fake headlines we were writing. The result was The Shot.
The vaccine may be the antidote to coronavirus but The Shot is the antidote to the rest of reality.
During pandemic we all had far too much time for self-reflection and emotionally devastating revelations. It dawned on us, finally, that all the “satire is dead!” comments running wild on social media were actually pretty spot on. Reality has started outstripping fiction.
Sometime during the last few years – probably 2016, but we haven’t fact checked that yet – the world got too batshit crazy and reality became stranger and more absurd than anything anyone could make up.
So maybe we should just write about that? Dive into the madness and actually, you know, get things right?
That was the starting point. But it’s still only part of the equation.
Doing straight reporting the way it’s always been done is (a) not what we’re good at, (b) really expensive, (c) time consuming, and (d) a bit dull.
There are serious problems with the way news is reported in these batshit crazy times.
The voices in the media represent a narrow ideological range. They stretch from meek centrism (“Economists caution grandma sacrifice might not yield economic boost”), to the extreme right (“We should sacrifice all the grandmas for the economy”), to the Murdoch press (“The Blood God demands grandma blood!”).
Fond of our grandmas, and life in general for that matter, we thought we might try to jump in at the other end of this spectrum and drag the Overton Window out of the gutter. A lofty goal, absolutely, but while the planet remains below boiling point, we’ll give it a shot.
One way we’d do this would be not using typical media language, which subtly normalizes the rot. No saying, “This was a more presidential Donald Trump” after he managed to string a sentence together. No describing a protestor killed by a police officer as “dying from a police bullet”. What, did he fall on the bullet?! Agency matters. In contrast we’ll just say “cops killed, possibly murdered, a protestor,” and then link to an NWA song chosen not very randomly.
The upside to describing things as they actually are without couching the language in newspeak is stories end up being grimmly funny, because everything is really fucking weird right now.