White Dudes Talking

This year’s OVC was great, yes. For my post on the resources and responses from the community, check out my NAMAC post here.

For the rest of the stuff, keep reading.

As to be expected with one of the industry’s largest and most topically diverse conferences, there was a lot of shop talk at OVC. As a result, we were all quite excited for The Daily Show’s “investigative humorist” Adam Chodikoff to combine shop talk with seething political commentary and sarcastic humor to help us laugh away the day’s stress of limited wifi. But when he started off his Saturday night presentation with “I’m not really sure why I’m here”, that excitement faded. Chodikoff finds and assembles all the clips the Daily Show relies on for setting up John Stewart’s punch lines. A really interesting job to learn about, especially for people interested in accessing news and information via video and compiling it all in huge databases ready to be remixed utilized at any time.

The talk had to have been the bane of this 30-something’s existence that weekend, presumably due to fear preparation on behalf of the Comedy Central PR dept. because Chodikoff proceeded to read directly from his ‘presentation’ which was the equivalent of a elementary school career day speech about what his job entails: “I pull video clips for brilliant writers”. Chodikoff played said video clips for the audience and they were large portions of The Daily Show pointing out political double speak. McCain-said-he-doesn’t-believe-in-something-he-said-he-believed-in-last-week type of thing.

For those live streaming at home, who also did the majority of the live-tweeting since there was very limited internet access inside the venue, a bizarre turn of events occurred: streamers weren’t able to watch  said clips since they weren’t allowed to be streamed outside the auditorium. Yes, at an open video conference, at a presentation that acknowledged Fair Use, Comedy Central, via MTV Networks, via Viacom decided it’d be a smart idea to censor the news clips just to illustrate how archaic and non relevant they are in the industry. This is Viacom’s digital strategy? If so, their total FEAR of us and the future is showing and rightly so.

But that had nothing to do with Adam. Presenting in front of an audience is tough. Especially when there’s so much competition for the role of funny white guy.  HOWEVER, I’ll let my curated selection of tweets narrate the rest of this post.

Yes, interns! Probably lots of non-paid labor on behalf of the fourth-largest media conglomerate goes into this process of finding, collecting and managing this gigantic clip-compiling process. I get that he didn’t really know why he was there…because that’s what he said. But was there a large memo that went out to all the white dudes that said self depreciating humor equated an acknowledgement of the people and processes that help you do your job well? That’s what people want to hear about. That’s why you are there!

This isn’t a comment on OVC so much as it is about men who get up and talk: Other people help you do your work. Acknowledge them. Because talking about yourself gets old. Real. Fast.