If you’re new to journalism or considering dipping your toe in the industry, there’s a parody video from Half Day Today you may want to take somewhat seriously. There are always exceptions to jokes. But a sliver of truth is always a little funny, right?
“The Wolf of BuzzFeed,” a parody of the BuzzFeed site and its founder Jonah Peretti, depicts the site as a high traffic, greedy, deceptive form of journalism that steals from others, uses “nonsensical blobs of stuff” and highlights nostalgia, cat pictures and never uses an even number in its titles. “If you cite sources and give people credit it benefits everybody right?” the Peretti impersonator asks their coked out, wild broker Matthew McConaughey-esque character in the white tablecloth restaurant. Response from martini-drinking businessman: “No.”
The Peretti impersonator soon gets self-reflective. “The question was this, was any of this interesting?” he asks amid a flood of listicles and GIFs flashing all over the screen. “Absolutely not.”
This one is already going viral. But so far BuzzFeed doesn’t appear to be amused, and BuzzFeeders are not madly retweeting it. Peretti’s sidekick has a funny refrain: “We got lists here, we’re makin’ lists.”
UPDATE: The real life Jonah Peretti does appear to have a sense of humor about the parody video. Earlier today he tweeted the film along with this: “THE WOLF OF BUZZFEED – Official Trailer. Can’t wait until this movie hits theaters!!” And BuzzFeed reporter Dorsey Shaw disagreed with my characterization that they were “unamused” and wrote me on Twitter saying, “I thought it was funny, Betsy!”