The Brutally Honest Conspiracy Theory Cartoon that NBC Only Aired Once
It’s not too often that you see the mainstream be honest about what it is that makes them mainstream. Media is big money and has significant influence in our lives, and at present a mere 6 corporations own 90% of all the media that makes it into your mediasphere. Voices critical of this power structure are rarely heard on the big networks, however, sometimes the truth gets through.
Take this eye-opening cartoon for example.
In 1998, cartoonist Robert Smigel created an animated short for ‘TV Funhouse,’ a weekly skit on the popular NBC sketch comedy television show, Saturday Night Live (SNL). Dubbed ‘Conspiracy Theory Rock,’ the episode is two and half minutes of rich parody of the well-known kids educational program of the 1970’s and ’80’s, School House Rock.
It’s a rather well done piece of anti-propaganda that tells the truth about the consolidation of media, media censorship, war profiteering and election-engineering. It even mentions the JFK assassination… who believes the official story about that?
Many think Conspiracy Theory Rock was banned from SNL, supposedly deemed too offensive to the corporate overlords at NBC, GE and the other corporations who fund the production of SNL. This is totally plausible, however, NBC did originally approve this cartoon to air on SNL in 1998, which it did, and although it never aired again, it does not appear to have been officially banned.
“The 1998 Robert Smigel animated short film “Conspiracy Theory Rock”, part of a March 1998 “TV Funhouse” segment, has been removed from all subsequent airings of the Saturday Night Live episode where it originally appeared. Michaels claimed the edit was done because it “wasn’t funny”. The film is a scathing critique of corporate media ownership, including NBC’s ownership by General Electric/Westinghouse.” [YouTube]
The merit of this hilarious cartoon is not in whether it was banned or not. It’s merit is in its brutally truthful commentary of the incestuous relationship between national media, politics, and war-profiteering. Most importantly, it reminds us that those who work in the high offices of the big networks, those who produce the programs that make it on the air, and those artists who contribute their creativity to the networks, all know just how broken and corrupt the media industry is. Yet, they continue to choose to participate, self-censoring as necessary to stay on the team. They all know the truth.
Take a look for yourself. Did Robert Smigel hit the nail on the head about how our media, politics and war machine really operate?
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