A staff writer for The Colbert Report has come up with a hilarious way to mock Fox News efforts to counter negative online commentary.
According to a new book by NPR media writer David Folkenflik, the network’s public relations team set up phony accounts to fill comment sections of negative or neutral blog posts with “pro-Fox rants.”
“You have to police the comment section; that’s the most important part of an online article,” said host Stephen Colbert. “It’s the only reason that I know that the ongoing war in Syria is ‘GAAAAAAY!’ (and) ‘Ron Paul 2012!’”
But Colbert noted that “these days, people get their news via the Twitter bird, and Fox can’t police the ‘tweeterverse’ by themselves.”
So staff writer Rob Dubbin designed an algorithm that posts a Twitter comment that combines a positive film review from the website Rotten Tomatoes that swaps out the film names with the names of “beloved Fox News shows and personalities.”
“All references to prophecy and the Antichrist aside,” reads one post based on a review for “The Omen,” “’Shepard Smith Reporting’ achieves its horror the old fashioned way.”
The account, called Real Human Praise, launched last week, and has already posted more than 5,500 tweets, every two minutes.
Colbert said his favorite was this one: “While you’re watching it, Hannity lives up to its title.”