First, watch the video.
It’s simply the greatest thing ever, isn’t it? Comedian Jon Hendren (better known as @fart) appeared on HLN, an American cable news channel spun-off from CNN, apparently to defend whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Hendren starts off playing it straight, claiming “he’s doing the most patriotic possible thing” and calling Edward a “hero”.
It’s only when Hendren declares “people didn’t get scared until he started sculpting shrubs into dinosaur shapes and whatnot” that you realise he isn’t talking about Edward Snowden, former US defence worker, but Edward Scissorhands, who has scissors for hands.
Incredibly, host Yasmin Vossoughian continues with the interview, not acknowledging that Hendren has started describing a gothic Johnny Depp monster.
Hendren: “Casting him out is completely wrong, we’re treating him like an animal, somebody who should be quarantined and put away, just because he was created on top of a mountain by Vincent Price, and incomplete, with scissors for hands and no heart. Edward Scissorhands is a complete hero to me.”
Vossoughian: “But what about the choice that he made to live in a country like Russia?”
Thank you, @fart, for showing us what journalism is now.
We’ve all seen so many identikit expert interviews that we no longer hear them. We know what everyone is going to say long before they say it, and guests are cast to fill a role – controversial columnist, prevaricating official, outraged but ill-informed member of the public, Owen Jones. Why was this comedian brought on to defend Edward Snowden? Because he claimed to have the right opinion. We don’t expect the talking heads to go off script anymore than we expect Hamlet to start rapping. Hendren may have been talking nonsense, but he sounded right, and that was good enough.
It’s a bit like that outbreak of gibberish that seemed to sweep through newsrooms back in 2012.
Conspiracy theorists claimed it was evidence of mind control, but really it’s just a format that has become so rote and self-supporting, the actual content can be removed and the show will still run like clockwork. Over to you, Charlie Brooker.
Only one thing is sure: Julian Clary should be allowed to leave the Ecuadorian embassy.