Bit Rate

Wall-E's Cable News Spoof From the Future

7/10/2008 11:51 AM

Buy n Large, the scary mega-corporation that controls the world in Pixar Animation Studios’ Wall-E, doesn’t just lay waste to the Earth’s environment.

A few decades from now, it completely neuters cable news.

Pixar’s very convincing site for Buy n Large includes an array of fake press releases from the year 2057 — “Wisconsin Mall Granted City Status,” “BnL Announces Police Select” — including one announcing the BnL Infotainment Network, “where the news of the world will always be shown in an entertaining, softer light.”

“Mixing humor and news is a booming industry, and the space is rapidly becoming crowded with newcomers,” says the release, credited to the BnL Associated Press.

The network aspires to be “the clear leader in presenting hard news in a soft shell” with shows like “A Lil’ News” that deliver a punch line every 30 seconds “regardless of the news topic.”

BnL’s faux report even quotes “analyst Richard Greenberg,” which sounds suspiciously similar to a real analyst, Pali Research’s Richard Greenfield — who covers Pixar’s parent, Walt Disney Co.

The BnL story has “Greenberg” praising the company’s successful launch of the Dogs with Sprinklers Network: “No one could have predicted that a 24-hour network featuring various breeds of dogs playing with sprinklers would ever have been a smash hit. BnL has proven it is willing to take risks, and this bodes well for their latest offering.”

What does Pali’s Greenfield think of this coincidence? He writes in an e-mail: "I would be sincerely flattered if there is a connection between anything Pixar creates and our research work."

March