Host and Executive Producer, "Vice" on HBO
Vice TV on HBO: Bill Maher and Fareed Zakaria Join Mad Media Venture:
We shouldn’t be surprised that Vice Media’s stunning transformation over the years– from a dirty Canadian hipster zine founded by anarchists and ex-junkies, to a slick site (thanks, Viacom!) focused on original video content–has lead to a pot of gold.
Vice reporters don't have a death wish, but their new HBO show might make you wonder:
Since its inception, Vice has been pitching shows to networks, none of which panned out into anything, as the Vice brand wasn’t exactly TV friendly (no, not even to the audiences of Jackass). But 2.0 Vice (and Vice.TV), with its lack of Gavin McInnes and new-found social consciousness, has landed founder Shane Smith his first network show. Forget Vice.TV…this is Vice TV!
At the height of the Vietnam War, Americans were presented with their war dead during dinner-hour newscasts.
Assorted GoogleNews headlines:
At last night’s private media screening of the first two episodes of the new HBO series Vice, a bit of that unfiltered reporting was on display....those stories included political assassinations in the Philippines, killer kids of the Taliban, and the Harlem Globe Trotters in North Korea, with details both touching and disturbing.
And yet not all the stories will be about violence, said Smith. With upcoming segments focusing on culture and the environment too—and not always just about the darker side of humanity either.
“Rather than be a black hatter and sit there and say everything’s s**t like VICE used to be, or like Gawker we’re not going to do that, we’re going to go out and try to say things,” said Smith...
"We’re not suicidal," said Smith. "We’re not danger seekers, it just so happens a lot of these stories are in dangerous places." Though he did acknowledge a bit of bias, even after saying the company had no motive other than telling good stories.
"I personally am violently anti-war because I’ve been to war zones and once you go to one you don’t want to go back," he said...
Vice' On HBO: News And Stuff, Bro-Style
VICE CEO Shane Smith Talks Dennis Rodman, Dodging Death and Severed Heads (Q&A):
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Review: HBO's 'Vice' a revelatory throwback to real journalism
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HBO's 'VICE' has its virtues
The founder of the hipster media company, which unveils its gonzo HBO docu-series on Friday, aims to launch "60 Minutes" for a younger generation. "I don’t know what journalism is anymore," he says.
Read this one: Shane Smith: 'I want to build the next CNN with Vice – it's within my grasp':
Hipster Brooklyn collided with the Media Establishment earlier this week, when HBO screened two episodes of Vice -- its buzzy new docu-series from the youth-centric media company of the same name -- for an audience that included 60 Minutes' Steve Kroft and executive producer Jeff Fager, among other boldfaced mainstream news-people...
THR: How do you respond to critics who say what you’re doing is not journalism?
Smith: The easy answer to that is I don’t know what journalism is anymore. The whole sort of debate of classic objective journalism versus a new immersion journalism – that can go on forever. ... I made no bones about my position: I don’t think you can be objective. I think if you’re in a war zone and Marines are projecting you it’s pretty hard to pan the Marines. I also think if you’re using the established media as the benchmark ... my generation and especially Gen Y was completely disenfranchised by, let’s say, the Gulf War and the failure of media, the fourth estate, to keep powerful people in check when they knew that Saddam Hussein was not harboring Al-Qaeda. When the majority of them knew there was no weapons of mass destruction. And it was seen as un-American to criticize the political regime here at that time – the Bush Administration – so the media shut up. ... If that’s the gold standard, if that’s the standard that I’m kicking against, then I’ll kick against that till I die.
Is it journalism in any sense, though, or just a curious, contrived spectacle? "Well," he says, "we are getting a story that everyone is interested in seeing and nobody else could get. People call us 'adventure journalists' or 'daredevil journalists' or whatever. But in an insane world the mad way often works …"
HBO's 'Vice' a revelatory throwback to real journalism:
....But, you know, I was talking recently to Spike [Jonze] and he said 'Take money out of the equation. And ask yourself what would you do?' and I realised two things: first I would pay money to do the job I am doing, and second I wanted to build the next CNN, the next ESPN. And I also realised that given the digital revolution that is not only within my grasp, but I am frontrunner to get there. Once I realised money isn't the report card, and putting your imprint on the world's cultural fabric is possible, that is when we stopped scrabbling around on the periphery begging for money, and thought 'let's go for it'."...
The latest newsmagazine on HBO, "Vice," is raw, unapologetic and quite frankly dangerous as hell undertaking.
(Those reasons, apparently, are fundamentally linked to Manly-Man cock worship.)
It is the antidote to the bland reporting of Anderson Cooper and the verbal bomb lobbing of Piers Morgan, and in a bizarre way, it may capture quite a conservative audience for only the fact it reveals how repressive, illiterate and downright Stone Age certain regions of the world really are.
But everyone watching will agree on one thing at least: Shane Smith and his crew have big balls to do this kind of reporting...
The premise has worked brilliantly in this format, of guerilla gonzo journalism that takes the brave step inside the Taliban's cave or dwelling, or goes deep into Filipino jungles seeking out Muslim rebels who make American God and gun nuts look like pussies...
The effort works here because Shane Smith and his team are in this for the adrenalin rush of getting to the truth, and revealing the real story, the way reporters used to do their job in the field. The intense footage they get would give veteran reporter Dan Rather a woodie.
"Vice" has two segments during the 30-minute episode. The entertainment factor alone, editing it and framing the news stories for a generation who think Jon Stewart is a real newsman was smart.
It does not glorify the assignment, but shows the reporter making critical decisions to stay alive and out of harm's way. The series brings real information and opens the eyes of a jaded and completely tech saturated youth who have no idea what real sacrifice or hardship is...
You would never find anything as enlightening or education on broadcast news and for this, Bill Maher deserves a great deal of credit. His "Real Time" salon for years has brought both sides of the political divide to the table - and love him or hate him - he's created a conversation in this country that makes us all better informed, elevating political awareness higher than it has been for a long time. "Vice" hopefully will inspire kids to go back into journalism for the right reasons...