Criminal-punkish as most of their lulz were, and as much as I like public radio organizations for the quality of their news, it was pretty funny when LulzSec posted a story on PBS.org that claimed Tupac Shakur was alive and well and living in New Zealand.
The funniest part was the remote possibility that if it were true, PBSers are the ones who would be so persistent in their investigation of Tupac's murder and hip-hop-related issues in general that it would be the one to break the news Tupac was hiding in Middle Earth.
Fox News, viewed in the same media-stereotype-cartoony way as PBS, is at least as funny a target for a similar gag, not least because it is even less likely than PBS to go after stories about the murder of a black man, or a positive story about hip-hop culture, or, on certain Fox News programs, stories about African Americans that don't include the words "us" and "them."
So cracking FoxNews' Twitter feed Monday to post an item claiming Barak Obama had been assassinated had the same genuine potential for hilarity. Except that this story didn't bring a dead man back to life, it killed a live one.
And the live one it killed was the President of the United States.
And the President it killed is the first one who identifies as African American.
And that background is largely responsible for a record number of death threats against the president from people who resent one of Them being president – even one that, among Republican Presidents, is Reagan's league as a speaker and in the same international diplomacy/governmental management league as Bush pere.
So having the network most associated with the Tea Party, raving right-wing paranoia from the recently departed Glen Beck and persistent Know-Nothingness didn't have quite the frisson of satiric humor.
As wit it was more brick-to-the-head slapstick, made less funny by picking Fox as the outlet/victim because it was just believable enough from Fox to raise suspicions that the "hack" might be neo-con performance art posted at FoxNews.com on purpose.
It could have been, you know, "humor," like the guy who posed as the least believable pimp in the history of pimpin' to entrap ACORN into helping a prostitute find small-business loans. The guy who became a conservative-politics star, despite questions even from conservative political organizations about his accuracy and methods? The guy who was at his most classy and internationally relevant posing as a date-rapist to try to lure a female CNN reporter onto a rented yacht to either embarrass or assault her?
Jon Stewart put himself and the low end of the offal-chute by suggesting while being interviewed on Fox News that Fox doesn't always tell the whole truth – just the part that supports its position.
Whether you think that's true or not, using an Obama-assassination as your gag and putting it on Fox, whose enmity toward the Obama administration and reputation for outrageous, often inaccurate accusations are both well established, made it more an attempt to frame Fox than to tweak the tail of a powerful media organization.
Nice hack, dudez. Perfectly valid, technically. Nice fat target for political satire. Really bad choice of sharp stick to poke it with. Next time think of a better punchline before you work that hard on the setup. You'll end up looking less stupid, even when you're just bragging to your friends.