‘Vice’ Precedent

Here at the Global Worldwide Headquarters of Campaign Outsider, we tend to be as open-minded as the next guy – assuming, of course, the next guy isn’t Jerry Springer.

But when the hardworking staff read David Carr’s column in Monday’s New York Times, we experienced one of those Wait-A-Second moments.

Carr’s lede:

Visit CNN.com these days and you might come across a video about Liberia in which a regular-looking guy, about as far from a dashing foreign correspondent as you can get, is walking through a swamp and interviewing a Liberian warlord named General Butt Naked. (He’s called that because he leads his fighters wearing nothing more than a bad attitude.)

“Most of our boys, they would drain the blood from an innocent child and then drink it before going into battle,” the general says. “So you kill the child and then drink the blood?” the reporter, Shane Smith asks. “Yes,” says the general. Following a link in the video will lead to a tour of a fetid red-light district and a shot of a young soldier holding a human heart aloft before eating it.

Very Stephen Glass (refresher course here).

But David Carr is no Stephen Glass, right? So the hardworking staff hauled itself over to CNN.com and plugged “General Butt Naked” into the search engine and this is what we found:

Back to David Carr:

But even more surprising than this dark, scary content is finding it on a mainstream media site. The Liberia pieces are supplied through a partnership with VBS.tv, the video arm of Vice, the Brooklyn magazine better known for pictures of young topless women and articles on drug use (the February issue combines those interests in a photo spread called “THC and A”).

We have seen the future of news and it’s VBS?


And . . . okay.

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