November 5, 2013

The explanation is a doozy, but it’s worth the payoff: Stephen Colbert’s Comedy Central show has created a spoof Twitter account to satirize Fox News’s PR operation. The initiative bounces off of revelations in “Murdoch’s World,” a recent book by NPR’s David Folkenflik, that public relations folks at Fox News had been monitoring and combating negative comments in blog posts relating to Fox News. One former staffer reported having used “twenty different aliases to post pro-Fox rants.”

Yet Colbert saw a problem here. What of Twitter? How would Fox News keep pro-Fox News propaganda churning on this fast-moving platform?

“Colbert Report” writer Rob Dubbin came up with a solution, crafting the automated Twitter feed @RealHumanPraise. Stealing an idea that the Erik Wemple Blog was just about to hatch*, Dubbin designed @RealHumanPraise to take snippets from favorable reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and edit them by substituting the names of Fox News shows and personalities in place of movie titles. Some examples of the brilliance that the formula produces:

 

 

 

 

Perhaps this all looks like a bad deal for Fox News. It deploys its people to use aliases on the Internet, and it gets mocked by a popular comedian and ridiculed elsewhere. But just think — just think of how much more fair and balanced all those blog-post comment sections are now.

*Not even close.

 

GALLERY: The worst media screw-ups of 2013

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.