‘Trib’ Blog/Video Jokes About Payoffs and Reporters’ Image

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By: Joe Strupp

From the Chicago Tribune jokesters who brought you the winning entry in a rival Chicago Sun-Times Sam Zell video contest comes a new satire blog, Head Candy.

And in perfect self-deprecating fashion, the blog has launched with a video that depicts a Tribune reporter paying off a source, outing him, and cursing out an editor.

“It is sort of laughing at ourselves because we are so uptight about ourselves, it is obviously a joke,” says Kevin Pang, one of the site’s creators who also works as a features reporter at the paper. “We are just trying to have some fun.”

The blog can be seen here.

In the black and white video, dubbed “Chicago Tribune Guide to Newspaper Reporting,” Mike Rich, a designer for the paper’s Red Eye tab, depicts a 1940’s Hollywood newspaper character, advising viewers to wear the PRESS card in the fedora, while typing on an old manual typewriter.

At one point, though, the narrative tells viewers to: “meet your undercover source in a dark alley, slip ’em a couple of Ben Franklins, tell him, ‘I want all the dirt.’ If he expresses hesitation, threaten to expose his family as communist sympathizers. Tell him, ‘you’ll never work in this town again.’ Once you force the information from your source, tell him, ‘ha ha, I’m going to rat you out anyway, you dirty grease ball.”

It then goes on to say, “now, go back to your newsroom, and start typing, young man. Those exaggerated half-truths aren?t going to type themselves.”

Later, the narrator asks, “What’s that now? Your editor wants that story 10 minutes early? Tell him to “go BLEEP yourself, you rat bastard.'”

The site, so far, also offers other links to humorous videos, from a Tribune television station in New York reporting on bird poop facials to weight guru Richard Simmons telling a joke in a men’s room (perhaps, to denote bathroom humor).

“We are trying to harness this video power to the Tribune,” said Pang. “We want to come up with our own home-grown content. This is one of those efforts.”

Pang and his Tribune cohorts brought some fame in March when they entered the rival Sun-Times’ Sam Zell Wrigley Field naming rights video contest, which starred intern Katie Hamilton. Pang appeared in the video with a Sam Zell mask

When they won, it drew some humorous attention on the paper and the ongoing controversy surrounding Zell’s efforts to cut costs and change many of the Tribune paper’s staffing approaches since he took over last year.

Pang makes clear Zell will be the focus of some future video satires: “I’ve got a Sam Zell mask, and I’m not afraid to use it.”

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