How’s Your News: Laughing With or Laughing At?

Monday, February 2 by

I have no idea how this steered clear of my radar for so long. It’s a show, financed by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, airing on MTV, about a team of traveling news reporters who all have disabilities. It’s being touted as an "inspiring" story. Here’s some background that I found on the website and the video preview.

How’s Your News first began over ten years ago at a summer camp for adults with disabilities in Massachusetts.  We were working in video class and searching for a format which could include as many people, with as wide an array of disabilities, as possible.  So we began making our own news shows.

In 2002 the team released a feature film about a cross country road trip with five reporters with disabilities.  This was financed again by Parker and Stone as well as Indie film legend John Pierson.  This film won several festival awards and was broadcast on HBO/Cinemax, PBS, and Channel Four England.

In 2004 we released a short documentary about our trips to the Democrat and Republican National conventions which featured very candid interviews with public figures such as Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Ben Affleck, Peter Jennings, Al Franken, G. Gordon Liddy, Andre 3000, and many more.  This half hour TV special led us to start thinking about the possibility of a HYN series.

We pitched the series idea to several networks and MTV agreed to finance a short pilot which we made in 2006.  In late 2007 MTV gave us the greenlight and we began shooting a six episode series in 2008.  It will hit the air on Feb. 8th, 2009 and we can’t believe our little project has made it this far!

I’m a little wary, because it follows the new MTV lineup which includes seventeen new Jackass-like shows. Lifetime has "inspiring" television (for middle aged women). MTV has shows that make us feel ok at laughing at other’s pain, and I’m not really down with giggling at people with disabilities.  BUT, I’m going to withhold judgement until I watch it. Which I will. This Sunday.

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