As Anchorman 2, the long-awaited sequel to 2004’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, hits theaters, it’s worth pointing out Will Ferrell’s fake newscaster is not just wildly entertaining but hugely instructive in our media-soaked age.
Here are three reasons why Anchorman 2 is already the most important movie of the year.
1. It Foregrounds Media Cliches and Pat Formulas.
When Ron Burgundy and team create ridiculous, over-the-top news features such as "Rip the Lid Off It!," it’s impossible to ever take a special report or interruption for breaking news uncritically ever again.
2. It (de)humanizes the Production of “News.”
By calling attention to the actual production process of “news” and the often-considerable limitations of the people who make media, the Anchorman franchise underscores that news is invented, not discovered.
3. It Eviscerates the Media'a Hero Complex
For these reasons and more – and especially at a time when even venerable media outlets such as 60 Minutes is effectively firing correspondents for inaccurate reports and blatantly sucking up to power – Anchorman 2 and its predecessor should be required viewing for everyone who takes media literacy seriously.
About two minutes. Produced by Todd Krainin. Written and hosted by Nick Gillespie.
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Related video: The Newsroom's Will McAvoy vs. Anchorman's Ron Burgundy.