Friday, April 9, 2010

'Closet Anti-Capper' Jon Stewart Blasts The New Yorker Contest: Redfaced Editor Agrees to 'Put the fix in,' Probably Won't

Fake TV newsman, Jon Stewart this week exposed the highly suspicious judging standards employed by The New Yorker's Caption Contest. In doing so, The Daily Show host forced the magazine's editor, David Remnick, to acknowledge that the judging can be "fixed." Perhaps most remarkably, Stewart revealed that he is, as we have long suspected, a closet Anti-Capper.
Remnick was hyping his 656-page book. The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama. (The subtitle works better with Bill Clinton, if you ask me.) Stewart immediately confronted him over the book's absurd length. "You could kill muscats with this thing," said the host as he slammed the massive tome down and glared with mock anger at the bewildered author.
The most enlightening segment of the interview, however, came when Stewart brought up the Caption Contest. He said he's been sending the New Yorker the same caption every week for a year. To belabor make the point, three recent cartoons with his prized caption hand written across the bottom appeared on the screen. As the slick-talking editor shifted awkwardly in his seat, Stewart sounded hurt and exasperated when he added this telling note: "I have yet to receive even an Honorable Mention." Considering that they don't accept hand written entries it's doubtful he actually sent this cap. Still there is a larger point here.
Stewart's supposedly perennial caption about Obama is mostly a sarcastic cheap shot that happens to be topical and a bit funny. In other words: an Anti-Caption. Also, while the New Yorker narrows the field to three "finalists," only the Anti-Cap offers the highly coveted "Honorable Mention" distinction. Some weeks there are dozens given out. And by now it's painfully clear that are no restrictions against entries that are insensitive, illogical, sick, stupid, prevented, or worst or all, dull as dish water. (And, as I've said many times, redundancy is not an issue. )
Also telling was the response to Stewart's gripe about being snubbed: "We can put the fix in," said Remnick with a sly smile. It seemed he was just trying to bring a bit of hope to a sad tortured old guy from Jersey who just wants someone somewhere to read his stupid caption entry. My advice to Jon Stewart and to all those who feel shunned and abandoned by the New Yorker's Caption Contest: Come to the Anti-Caption Contest where every caption is published for the world to see and "Honorable Mention" simply means it didn't suck.
Shortly after confronting Remnick, Stewart abruptly ended the interview (Yes, the half-hour was up but you could sense the tension.)

3 comments:

Glenn said...

Here's the Jon Stewart clip.

Richard Hine said...

Thanks for the clip, Glenn!

As for Alinla, surely you will one day be honored for your efforts to elevate (or should that be relegate?) the art of anti-captioning to its appropriate level in popular culture.

Anonymous said...

You better be on alert! You never know who's watching. Or reading!

Ann

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