If Comedy Central's new experimental offering Dog Bites Man nails the flavor of local news, I'll eat my press pass. Though it does sound promising: producers of Da Ali G Show combining narrative comedy and improv to follow 'an outrageously inept local news crew chases down the big stories, leaving innocent bystanders and journalistic integrity in their wake.' Hmmm. Sounds like a few high noon live shots back in the day, but I digress. Here's hoping the show at least delves into the inspired lunacy of local broadcasting and doesn't just squeeze the Mary Tyler Moore newsroom template for a few more boorish laughs.
Whatever the case, it's only a matter of time before some comedy team mines the fertile mirth of local news for laughs that ring true among the off-camera set. Broadcast News captured the insipid machinations at the network level. Anchorman delved into mid-seventies affilliate life, but in a fairly schizophrenic and cartoonish manner. (Still, can you a fault a film that features a street fight between rival news gangs? I think not.) Is it wrong to yearn for newsgathering goofs that are a bit more, I dunno - acerbic? Perhaps ... Hey, I got it! How about a series of film shorts based on the stylized prose of one blowhard photog? Cast some brooding hotshot and call it Viewfinder Bl-- Hmm? What's that?
You're right ... that would never fly.