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It was April 2009 when The Gregory Brothers — then a fledgling folk/soul band comprising brothers Michael, Andrew, and Evan, complemented by Sarah, who literally married into the group — debuted the first iteration of their Auto-Tune the News series. It’s a wonderful example of media convergence: the brothers record television news as it occurs; insert clips of themselves in a succession of zany costumes while singing parodic tunes over footage and commentary that is freeze-framed, sped-up, or repeated; process the audio tracks of political luminaries and newscasters through the Auto-Tune technology popularized by T-Pain; and post the results on their YouTube channel.

Previously, the group’s best effort at rising to prominence entailed getting laughed out of an American Idol interview. Now ATN’s most popular episode is approaching 3 million views on the group’s channel alone; additionally their videos are simultaneously hosted on the Barely Political channel, which brought the world Obama Girl. The Gregory Brothers have since been featured on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show. They obtained a record deal and released an album in July, and they’ve become sought-after session musicians, lending their skills to projects helmed by wunderkind Sufjan Stevens. Even T-Pain himself — an artist who demonstrates a remarkable capacity for self-parody — is now in on the joke.

So the Gregory Brothers effectively force the likes of titans Joe Biden, Michele Bachmann, and Katie Couric to sing their songs for the world to hear; their meta-commentary supplants the original commentary that it pillories.

Auto-Tune #9 debuted yesterday:


Richard Cohen at the Washington Post has some deep thoughts about torture:

But where I reserve a soupçon of doubt is over the question of whether “enhanced interrogation techniques” actually work. That they do not is a matter of absolute conviction among those on the political left, who seem to think that the CIA tortured suspected terrorists just for the hell of it.


Actually, Dick, if you devote even a fraction of your attention, you’ll notice that most American critics of the War on Terror as practiced by the most recent Administration are highly in favor of making public as much information as possible, as they are primarily concerned with determining who authorized the torture, and when, and why, and what the practical effects of those decisions have been — which sort of undercuts your two propositions that

A) critics of the torture already know why it was done, and

B) the focus of this criticism is directed at the CIA agents who performed these acts, rather than at the Administration officials who called for them.

As to A), the running theories are that

a) the Bush Administration comprised a gang of sadistic imps who were simply too inept to allow intelligence professionals to perform their jobs in the manner in which they had been trained, and

b) the Bush Administration believed that if they could extract some bogus confessions indicating collusion between an Afghanistan-centric Al-Qaeda and a nuclear-enabled Iraq, they could bolster their bogus case for an expanded war.

Naturally, while these theories  do complement one another, they are nonetheless mere running theories, so they beg for further information which may alter our understanding as said information arises. Which is why the hell we are having this discussion.

A “Shorter” Matt Kibbe:

Because absolutely every person who voted for Obama in November is a commie whose sole interpretive lens for things that happen in the world is Steven Soderbergh’s Guevara biopic, The Media is totally lying about the meaning of the Teabag Fiestas, which is that absolutely every person who voted for Obama in November is a Godfearing Republican who was tricked into thinking that Obama would cancel taxes.

Because The Media is totally lying its Big Media head off, the only outlet that can be trusted for a reliable estimate of crowd size at the Teabag Fiestas is the same organization that coordinated those parties, except there was no coordination at all and the claim that there was is just a Big Media Lie, so therefore it must be understood that there were at least twice as many people at these events than claimed by any other source, making the Teabag Fiestas almost a fraction as populous as the war protests that have been occurring all over the world for the past six years.

Really folks, everything that ever happens in the world can be best understood through the sole interpretive lens of the pseudoscientific ramblings of that Swiss Death ‘N Dying lady who charged grieving widows to get fucked by a swami who impersonated the ghosts of their late husbands and gave them all yeast infections at her cult compound in Arizona.

Also, the fact that David Axelrod is a campaign manager who became a Senior White House Advisor means that he is completely just like Karl Rove in every aspect, except that when Axelrod describes the Teabag Fiestas as an exercise of First Amendment rights, what he really means is that he intends to round the teabaggers up and send them to re-education camps.

In conclusion, the Teabag Fiestas are collectively the most important thing that has ever happened, for they presage a complete Republican takeover of Congress as early as November 2009, which will save America from Obama’s gay zombie wave of taxandspendy destruction.

Thanks a million, Memeorandum.

This whole “shorter” thang is, of course, a feeble nod to the archivists of internet traditions over at Sadly, No!