Lefsetz: HBO’s Vice News Tonight —Out With the Old!

viceIt’s all about trust…

Shane Smith and his roving group of merrypersons are going to take over the news business, they’re gonna hijack it in plain sight, just like MTV became the music juggernaut.

But this is different. Because Vice is built for the 21st century. Where how you look is secondary to who you are.

The hosts were a cornucopia of sexes and ethnicities. They looked like America. Where everybody is just not an old white man.

The show was strangely riveting, like watching a younger, hipper, version of 60 Minutes. It was news with gravitas for an educated viewer – it was a home run.

And it will only get better.

We can argue all day long whether millennials watch television.

One thing we know for sure is HBO is the most trusted name in television. Its imprimatur is priceless, and yes, millennials do watch Game Of Thrones.

And they’re newshounds.

Forget Fox News; its audience is so aged the outlet should be sponsored by mortuaries.

The networks think it’s about slickness. Local stations are a joke, peopled by bimbos, both male and female – it’s a caricature of the news.

But Vice News Tonight… It was the real thing.

While all its competitors are cutting back, believing it’s about balancing the books, Vice is doubling-down and will take over, right under everybody’s noses. It’s quite a remarkable story. Vice knows the marketplace has changed, that people want to know and they want someone/something to trust, and if you provide this…

vice-news-tonightIt’s a clubhouse for nerds.

And last I checked, nerds ruled the earth. Not the pocket protector geeks of yore, but those unworried about looks and image who are focused on their identity.

The laugh is on the entertainment industry. Trumpeting nitwits and thinking it’s winning. You can make bank on Gigi Hadid and Kim Kardashian, you just can’t capture people’s souls. You’ve got a tribe of nincompoops who believe image is everything who will graduate into becoming nerds and then what?

And in music, we’ve eviscerated credibility. We tell each other it doesn’t matter. That you can sell out to everybody, sacrifice your identity for the buck. Nothing could be further from the truth. Try taking a stand, saying no. That will bond a team to you that will carry you through thick and thin.

We live in a flavor of the month culture, and for that we can blame the institutions run by old men, cynical Baby Boomers and Gen-X’ers, who not only market the songs, but write them too.

I’m sick of this aspirational b.s. Where we’re told if we’re just skinny enough, just beautiful enough, we can be happy.

And that being happy is being rich.

No, being happy is making a difference, being part of a team that is changing the world. Canvass the youngsters, you’d be stunned to find out this is true.

Right now the number one place you want to work at is Vice. Which knows the trappings are irrelevant, and that the core is everything.

They humanized Glenn Beck, a seeming impossibility.

They illuminated prison rebellion.

And used the imagery of the web in a fresh way. It was Buzzfeed with substance. When everybody else is going for lowest common denominator, it leaves the stratosphere completely empty.

The New York Times keeps laying people off. And its video is so lame, high school students could do a better job.

Cable news is so self-important as to be dismissed.

Come on, who are these people, who do no reporting and constantly give their opinions like we should care?

It will only get better.

And if you’re focused on ratings, you’ve missed the memo.

Vice is everywhere. Online, on TV; it’s the outlet of choice. It’s got boots on the ground globally when every other enterprise has brought the reporters home.

This is utterly fascinating to watch. This is why we continue to live. To find those willing to do it differently who engage us, startle us, make us think.


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4 Responses to Lefsetz: HBO’s Vice News Tonight —Out With the Old!

  1. chuck says:

    Smarmy pejorative remark about “old white men”. Check

    Pretending that VICE is objective. Check
    (Go to the website and read the lede on each story.)

    Anecdotal “Canvass the youngsters” comment in lieu of actually providing real stats to support your premise. Check

    “I’m sick of this aspirational b.s. Where we’re told if we’re just skinny enough, just beautiful enough, we can be happy.”

    Appearance is still the fulfillment of aspiration in the entertainment industry, which includes VICE. Look at the picture of that dude and tell me he isn’t worried about “appearance”. Those scruffy looking reporters on VICE affect that look in the mirror just like the Kardashians.

    Throw away piece by a man who thinks “HBO is the most trusted name in television”.


  2. vice/viceland has had some incredible shows on.
    the one on heroin and the one about oxycontin/pain pills were great
    I think they are doing an incredible job!

  3. Super Dave says:

    I found Vice to be a rather refreshing broadcast of news items.

    • the dude says:

      Same. You need to check out Viceland if you are able to. There are some throw a ways but there is also some hard hitting stuff on there.

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