TVParty!, an old TV show website, has a entry called TV Terrorist. It contains real historic examples of TV broadcasts being hijacked. Lots of comments by users too about the events and their details. Side Note: It’s really sad when the colloquial term for political action is terrorist not activist. The events described on the TVParty! website didn’t involve suiside bombers or any death that I’m aware of. Just dramatic oposition to corporations who lease the public’s airwaves. I’m so sick of the term activist being used pejoratively. (i.e. Judicial Activist) Anyway…
My favorite example on this site is called, “Sometimes it’s the network that does the hijacking!”. It’s an example of “hijacking” media with a spoof cartoon called Conspiricy House Rock (MPEG video). It appeared on Saturday Night Live in 1998 and is quite funny. See a transcript I found bellow on the site snltranscripts.jt.org.
[ note: this cartoon appeared in the original March broadcast of the SNL episode, but was cut from the summer rerun. SNL producer Lorne Michaels told the New York Daily News he “didn’t think it worked comedically.” In an interview, Harry Shearer said “The truth is that Lorne wanted to continue working at 30 Rock.” ]
[ the song and cartoon are in the style of PBS’ “Schoolhouse Rock” cartoons. Rocky, in “SR” suit and cape, turns the stone “School Room Rock” title into “Conspiracy Theory Rock.” As a group of children enters the “schoolroom” Rocky puts his fingers to his lips as if to say “Shh!” ]
“Schoolroom Rocky’s back on the block
With Conspiracy Theory Rock
It’s a media-opoly. A media-opoly.”
[ logos of the five major corporations–GE, Westinghouse, Disney, Fox
and Time-Warner, each with eight octopus legs–sit at a banquet table
with the logos of media corporations–ABC, CNN, TV Guide, the NBC
peacock, the CBS eye–served up as food on plates ]
“The whole media’s controlled by a few corporations.
Thanks to deregulation by the FCC.”
[ the Westinghouse logo eats the CBS eye, GE gobbles up the NBC
peacock, Fox eats TV Guide, Mickey Mouse eats ABC, under which is the
title “DEREGULATION!” A bearded hippy sees this on TV and asks: ]
Hippy: You mean Disney, Fox, Westinghouse and good ol’ GE?
Singers: “They own networks from CBS to CNBC.”
[ the logos’ tentacles are shown holding various conquests: Military
Jet Engines, nuclear reactors, Radioactive waste, Cable TV, Music,
Surveillance Radar, Bass Petroleum ]
Hippy [ sings ]
“They can use them to say whatever they please
And put down the opinions of anyone who disagrees.”
[ Peter Jennings on World News Tonight wears Mickey Mouse ears. Dan
Rather on CBS reports in front of a SUPER: “WASHER-DRYERS IMPROVE
SEX”. On the Today Show, Matt Lauer covers a protest sign at the
window that reads “GE POISONS ENVIRONMENT” so that it reads “GE LOVES
Singers: “Or stuff about PCBs”
Hippy: What are PCBs?
Singers: “They come from electric power plants built by Westinghouse and GE.”
[ a nuclear factory with the Westinghouse and GE logos interchanging
produces smoke with the letters PCB. ]
Hippy: [ sings ]
“They can give you lots of cancer
That can hurt your body”
[ inside a factory worker breathes in the letters, sneezes and his
nose tears off. ]
“But on network TV
You’ll rarely hear anything bad about the nuclear industry”
[ the Logo Octopi are shown holding media logos, nuclear factories,
B-1 bombers, power plants, etc. The NBC peacock kisses one of the
nuclear factories. The CBS eye winks at Westinghouse ]
Hippy: Like when Westinghouse was sued for fraud?
[ newspaper headline reads “NEVADA POWER AND LIGHT SUES WESTINGHOUSE.”
The CBS eye jumps in and gawks at the headline. ]
Kids: “Which time?”
[ A second paper enters with the headline: “WESTINGHOUSE IN PCB SUIT”.
Each headline throughout is followed by a footnote number ]
Hippy: [ sings ] “When GE made defective bolts it was an unreported crime”
[ a newspaper headline reads “GE IN BOLT SCANDAL” The NBC peacock
comes in and angrily soils the headline ]
Hippy: [ sings ]
“Or when it was boycotted for operating nuclear bomb plants
just to squeeze a dime…”
[ another paper pushes the bird aside and reads “1% OF CONSUMERS NOW
BOYCOTTING GE”. A footnote after the headline reads at the bottom of
the page: “Chicago Tribune 5-14-91” ]
Singers: “That’s a footnote, by the way.”
Hippy: [ sings ]”A footnote protects you from folks who doubt what you say.”
[ the NBC peacock sneers at the footnote ]
Hippy: [ banging the side of his head, sings ] “Now maybe the voices
in my head will go away.”
Singers: “But the bigshots don’t care.
They’re all sitting pretty thanks to corporate welfare.”
[ the Logo Octopi sit in rocking chairs holding their network logos.
Title reads “CORPORATE WELFARE” ]
Hippy: What’s that now?
Singers: “They get billions in subsidies from the government. It’s
supposed to create jobs but that’s not how it’s spent.”
[ logos jump for joy among falling money. GE eats one of the bills.
Westinghouse stands before rows of employees. It pushes down the top
row of people who *ka-ching!* like a cash register and are replaced
with the word DOWNSIZE ]
Singers: “They use PACs and soft money to support Congressmen
Who will vote for weapons programs again and again…”
[ GE has its arm around a gray-haired politician playing golf, then
pulls down a placard, showing his face through it, reading FOR
CONGRESS. The politician, now congressman, shakes hands with and hugs
the famous SHR “Only a Bill” Bill which reads “Bomber Fund” ]
Singers: “And let them dump toxic waste where the young ones play.”
[ Westinghouse leans on a barrel of toxic waste that leaks near a
playground of children ]
Hippy: [ sings ] “I hear GE made the bullets that shot JFK.”
[ GE hands Lee Harvey Oswald a handful of bullets then shakes his
hand. Paper reads GE BEHIND ASSASSINATION with large “5” footnote
accentuated. Footnote reads “MY UNCLE LARRY” ]
“You contribute to this chain
Every time you buy a product
Sponsored on this show.”
[ GE huddles with Congressman, Nuclear Factory, Oswald, and holds up a
television which reads “BUY LOTSA BEER.” A person throws down a bill
and grabs the beer bottle from the TV. The TV opens up and a B-1
Bomber comes out ]
Hippy: [ sings ] “That’s what NBC doesn’t want you to know.”
[ the NBC peacock flies in and tries to cover the image ]
Singers: “So next timeÃ¢â‚¬””
[ screen goes blank and reads PLEASE STAND BY with NBC logo and a
high-pitched tone. Letters begin to dance ]
“‘Please stand by’
‘Please stand by’
It means there’s technical difficulty
[ the bearded hippy lifts the graphic to reveal a group of homeless people ]
“So if you see
A ‘Please Stand By’
You’ll know it’s all part of GE’s big lie.”
[ they wave dismissively and walk off towards the GE logo setting like
the sun on the horizon ]
“Why’d they take Norm MacDonald away?
Because he made too many jokes about O.J.,
but Lorne Michaels overruled.
Hippy: [ sings ]
Now don’t be fooled.
He and Marion Barry went to the same high school.”
[ the GE logo blinks then burns out. Fade ]
Thanks to George F. Higgs for this transcript!