February 20, 2007



So I'm sitting at home last night getting my "24" on at the International House of Salad. We let the TV stay on and it drifts into a local news show.

Their teases to get us to watch:

1. A story about Silly String being used to fight the War on Terror. (Or "Tara," as the anchor said it. Apparently there's an insurgency at 12 Oaks.)

2. A road-rage story about a shooting on I-4 after the Daytona 500. All the suspects are black. The victim is white. And, of course, the program wants you to make the hate-crime jump.

3. A controversy involving a Checkers fast food promotion that suggests patrons put a cat in a paper bag, which when you cut off the corners looks like a shirt a rapper would wear - you know, if a rapper wore paper clothing. The idea: to tie in with their commercial showing a rapping cat named, ahem, RapCat.

I'm not making this up.

In a quasi-lame attempt to go viral with their marketing, Checkers has been suggesting on its bags that customers should: 1.) Cut the bag. 2.) Drop their cat in the bag. 3) Videotape their cat in the bag. 4.) Send the video of the cat in the bag. 5.) Win prizes.

Which, you know, now that I write it, sounds a lot like this:

But I digress.

Anyway, I'm watching this news program and they have the obligatory quote from an animal protection official and, well, even she is having a hard time keeping a straight face.

Watch for yourself.

They have no actual cats being harmed. What they have is video from YouTube of a cat in a bag without any identification of where it came from or if it's a Checkers-related stunt. And more video from YouTube. And then some stray weird cat video from... YouTube.

At this point, I'm shaking my head. I know it's sweeps, but come on.

When people criticize "The Daily Show" and "The Onion" for blurring the line between entertainment and news, I think of stories like this and wonder, "What line?"

Of course, I now have that stupid cat rap lyric in my head: Meow, meow, meow, meow, myow-mya-mya-meow.

UPDATE: RapCat has 150 friends on MySpace.

Posted by Jeff at February 20, 2007 05:25 AM | TrackBack
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