Huffpost Media
Jason Linkins Headshot

WaPo Kills "Mouthpiece Theatre" After Controversy, Relentless Unfunniness

Posted: Updated:

Days after Dana Milbank and Chris Cillizza presented their "Mouthpiece Theatre" take on President Barack Obama's beer summit, repellently referring to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a "mad bitch," the Washington Post has decided to get out of the "Mouthpiece Theatre" business.

As I said yesterday, "The proper lesson" of the episode was: "IF the Washington Post's website has a feature that only receives substantial attention for how bad it is, and that no one pays any mind to were it not for an awful, mean-spirited joke, THEN perhaps it is a feature that the website can do without."

Based upon this statement from Marcus Brauchli, this is precisely the lesson the Post has learned:

"I don't think the series worked as they intended," Brauchli said. "It was meant to be funny and insightful and translate the superb journalism Chris and Dana do in print and online into a new format."

Indeed, this is in the running for Understatement of the Year 2009, as "Mouthpiece Theatre" never managed to achieve "funny" or "insightful" and more or less "translated" the idea that Milbank and Cillizza were a pair of juvenile twits who'd rolled in off the street one day, managed to commandeer a video camera, and then convinced the Washington Post to post embeddable clips of the two self-indulgently loving themselves to their website.

As so excellently satirized by actual excellent satirists from Public Service Administration, Mouthpiece Theatre was really nothing more than a desperate attempt for the Washington Post to achieve some sort of "virality" online, an effort that was ill-aided by the lack of creativity, intelligence or humor behind the entire set-up and delivery of the video content. The great irony is that only when "Mouthpiece Theatre" achieved its apogee of awesome, startling awfulness did the effort finally "go viral."

Said virus finally destroyed its host body. Time of death, August 5, at 1:53pm. Go have a candlelight vigil, if you want.

[Would you like to follow me on Twitter? Because why not? Also, please send tips to tv@huffingtonpost.com -- learn more about our media monitoring project here.]