Controvercial Topic: When Newscasts Go Viral

Kelly Rosenblatt, Editor in Chief

We’ve all seen the viral newscast turned auto tuned rap songs on YouTube like the “bed intruder”, “sweet brown” and the Charles Ramsey interview about saving Amanda Berry. It makes sense why these videos become so popular. For one, they are on the news for everyone to see. Recently, these videos have begun to turn tragic crime reports into a laughable way to pass the five minutes in the halls between classes. Unfortunately these videos have also made a mockery of national crime, and trivialized the tragedies that have taken place across the country.


An interview with a hitchhiker named Kai (aka Kai, the hatchet wielding hitchhiker) was posted in February of this year. In the uncensored interview, Kai very explicitly explains the way he attacks a man who he had hitched a ride with. This man, clearly unstable, was claiming to be Jesus  and allegedly used his car to pin a random worker on the street to the side of a truck because of his race. Kai was deemed a hero for attacking the perpetrator in the car. But Kai’s heroic act was short-lived as he was arrested for the murder of another man named Joseph Galfy in New Jersey and is currently in jail. Kai’s erratic interview has over 4 million YouTube hits and has been auto-tuned to make parodies and has even been made into a song available on iTunes.


Several other parody videos and songs have been made in response to these viral newscasts. These parody songs and videos end up getting the same or more views than the actual newscasts. While some may find these funny, the parodies belittle the crime that took place and overshadow the social issues plaguing the nation. Instead of celebrating the return of the three women who were held in captivity for over a decade, all America can talk about is Charles Ramsey eating his McDonalds.

This isn’t the exclusive fault of the general public and viewers of YouTube, news programs themselves actually broadcast the parody videos and songs, as a part of their regular news reports. It’s somewhat ironic how they spend time discussing the parodies, instead of reporting what’s actually “news”.

This is not to say that YouTube and the news shows around the country are all bogus and that the parodies aren’t funny, but there’s something to be said about a society that turns the news into a joke and it calls our nations values into question. The way it looks now, society thinks it’s okay to be giving these silly videos all of this attention, but is it worth sacrificing the deserved coverage of the victims and their real stories?