3 Reasons Anchorman 2 is The Most Important Movie of The Year

As Anchorman 2, the long-awaited sequel to 2004’s Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundyhits 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

Far more than critically acclaimed critiques such as Network, Anchorman brilliantly lampoons the self-importance and deranged egos of media stars.

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 powerAnchorman 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.

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  • sarcasmic||

    3 reasons why sarc will not watch this movie: Will Ferrell, Will Ferrell, and Will Ferrell.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    What did Will Ferrell do to you?

  • VicRattlehead||

    He was in the film "The Campaign" which repeatedly demonized the Koch brothers for things that they have never done nor suggested doing. furthermore the Koch brothers are one of, if not, the largest contributors to the Libertarians so the idea that they would work to put any big government goon in charge of anything is an out and out lie. Shit I just fed the Prog-troll didn't I?

  • Lord Peter Wimsey||

    If you don't feed them occasionally they start eating themselves. It's quite disgusting, really.

  • Dweebston||

    I've only enjoyed Ferrell's camera presence once, just once, and only because he played a character the opposite of his usual roles. That movie was The Other Guys.

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

    Old School was good, at least.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Talladega Nights

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Baby Jesus

  • Loki||

    "I like to picture Jesus in a tuxedo T-Shirt because it says I want to be formal, but I'm here to party."

  • VicRattlehead||

    Just say no to man ass

  • kinnath||

    I can't stand Will Ferrell. So I was quite shocked to find out that he voiced Megamind which was not a terrible bit of animation.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    No.

  • HTuttle||

    You must be kidding.

  • HTuttle||

    The ads alone make me want to put a bullet in my head.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I see a Bill O'Reilly spoof in Anchorman 3

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Didn't Reason TV just have a kick ass interview with Mike Rowe? Now, what is this crap? Anchorman 2 is not a key indicator of the culture.

  • wareagle||

    yup...Rowe's become quite the crusader for training for jobs that are actually in demand. If Will Ferrell is a cultural barometer, we are beyond screwed.

  • Brett L||

    At least we now know where that mysterious $50K came from during the fundraiser.

  • l0b0t||

    Thanks Brett, now I have coffee on my keyboard from laughing so hard.

  • John||

    This is a bit of a reach. There has been satires of journalists since pretty much forever. Maybe because Nick is a journalist, he is unaware how much people actually despise his profession. If Anchorman is the most important movie of the year, Dirty Laundry is the most important song of the 1980s.

    People have hated the media and considered them buffoons since time immemorial. Sadly, that hasn't seemed ot diminished the influence the news media has.

  • Mongo||

    I think the Simpsons' Kent Brockman has pretty much expended all of the vapid anchorman scenarios by the time Ron Burgundy rolled around.

  • RBS||

    I'd watch a two Kent Brockman clip show.

  • RBS||

    *two hour

  • Loki||

    "Thanks, Mayor Simpson! From now on, we'll all be taking golden showers."

    For your reading enjoyment: IMDB's Kent Brockman quote page.

  • MJGreen||

    There is no stopping them. The ants... will soon be here.

    And I for one welcome our new insect overlords. I’d like to remind them that as a trusted TV personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.

  • BakedPenguin||

    John - it's not even satire. It's just Will Ferrell acting stupid as he always does. I watched the first one hoping for some parody or satire (and Christina Applegate), but they had literally no intelligent points to make on the TV news industry or the people in it. It was a series of unfunny vignettes that showed stupid people acting stupid.

  • John||

    That is a good point. I never liked the first movie. I found it unwatchable. But you are exactly right that the entire movie is just a vehicle for Will Ferrell to act stupid. The movie could have been about any industry.

    These sorts of pieces make you really wonder about Gillespie. How could he honestly believe this shit ?

  • The Last American Hero||

    Yes, you can definitely tell the articles Nick writes while wearing the Jacket and the ones he writes when the Jacket has other matters to attend to.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    "These sorts of pieces make you really wonder about Gillespie." I quit wondering as soon as he said he didn't find Lenny Bruce the least bit funny. This article only confirms my assessment.

  • Pinky||

    Will Ferrell's entire comedic oeuvre is predicated on Will Ferrell being funnier than he is. If only the French would honor him for his existential geniuous.

  • Pinky||

    Will Ferrell's entire comedic oeuvre is predicated on Will Ferrell being funnier than he is. If only the French would honor him for his existential geniuous.

  • mr simple||

    It's just Will Ferrell acting stupid as he always does.

    Yeah, I learned not to watch Will Ferrell movies when I quit after the first 20 minutes of Elf.

  • VicRattlehead||

    Megamind is worth a watch if you have kids, its amusing

  • Sam Grove||

    Stranger Than Fiction

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Actually, I watched "Elf" through to the end -- several times over the years, just to be sure -- and I came away with a much kinder opinion of the movie, and Farrell in it.

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

    "The Most Important Movie of The Year"? Meaning, more important than 12 Years a Slave? This site is racist, straight up.

    /prog

  • AlmightyJB||

    OT: "John Doe" found guilty in order to preempt statute of limitations defense when/if identified.

    http://www.nbc4i.com/story/242.....lin-county

  • AlmightyJB||

    Correction. Indicted. Not found guilty. Still interesting though

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Thanks @AlmightyJB. This case is fascinating, although troubling on several levels. I hope Reason has already jumped onto this story and follows it out as far as it will go. I'll go looking for more coverage here after posting this.

    I want to see rapists get caught and get their well-deserved punishment. But I am very uncomfortable about bending to near-destruction the statutes of limitations in order to achieve the righteously sought "justice." Not speaking of this case specifically, but there are false-rape charges. In this modern age, just having someone's DNA inside you might make that person a key suspect in a rape case, but it's a long way from establishing grounds for indictment, much less conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. It would be better to extend the statute of limitations or eliminate it altogether in rape cases, than to let the precedent stand for (not to mention get in the habit of) indicting John Does based on DNA. I can't see this road ending anywhere that's good.

  • John||

    That is very interesting. Not sure what to think about it. Is DNA the same as a name? I can conceptually see how it is. If they indicted John Smith and had no idea where he was, the statute would toll until they found him. Here they are indicting a person, just identifying him by a DNA profile rather than a name.

  • Pinky||

    Why does a DNA sample make this particularly indictable? Is there something special about DNA when it comes to meeting a sufficiently satisfactory degree of identity that a witness's description would not also meet? Or a finger print?

  • ||

    Sorry, but this is fucking bullshit. Put someone on trial within the SOL or fight to change the SOL law.

  • mgd||

    Given that one purpose of statutes of limitations is that the defendant becomes increasingly incapable of mounting a defense to the State's claims as time passes, I can't even imagine how this is not a flagrant violation of the SOL.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I've seen a number of movies where the media has been portrayed in a similar manner. Usually futuristic ones. Robocop which I just saw again a week ago comes to mind.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Anchorman was a great movie and anyone who says otherwise can suck it.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Elf too!

  • AlmightyJB||

    Not now artic puffin!

  • John||

    Elf was good but only because it had Bob Newhart and anything with Bob Newhart is great. And the contrast in skill and comedic talent between Newhart and Ferrell was striking.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Zooey.

  • John||

    She is a cutie. Who doesn't love a cute brunette with big, blue eyes?

    I don't think she is that talented though. I think she is just blessed with being so irrepressibly cute and sexy, she always adds to a movie. NTTAWWT

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    She was blonde in Elf for some reason.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    She can sing in my shower in whatever hair color she wants.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    And by sing, I mean just Baby It's Cold Outside, not any of her original crap.

  • sarcasmic||

    Having never seen the movie I can say with authority that it sucks donkey dick. Why? Because Will Ferrell is in it, and any movie with Will Ferrell sucks donkey dick.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    You're truly fucked up in the general bitter clinger way.

    You no doubt think Red Eye is the only "comedy" in the world because insulting liberals is worth an hour show at 3am. Just for you and about 10,000 others like you.

  • sarcasmic||

    It takes one retarded retard to construe political motives out of one's taste in comedy. You truly are the King of Tardville. I bow to your retardedness.

  • Loki||

    Just don't look him in the eye. Don't do it, puts him on edge...

  • VicRattlehead||

    Red eye is awesome because of the intergalactic correspondent Oderus Ungerus, bashing Proglodyte scum is just a bonus.

  • Mike M.||

    Uh oh, sarcasmic is in big trouble now! Weigel has put him on his enemies list because he insulted someone who Weigel obviously worships.

  • Drake||

    Two words for you:

    Ricky Bobby

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

    I remember it being an OK comedy with a handful of funny parts and a lot of dull stretches.

  • albo||

    Anchorman was a great movie and anyone who says otherwise can go back to their home on Whore Island.

    improved that for you

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Whammy.

  • Lord Humungus||

    I saw it once. And that was enough for me. The only part that stuck with me, oddly enough, is the jazz flute bit.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_c_ufaxeSTs

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I'd like three fingers of Glenlivet with a little bit of pepper...and some cheese.

  • Pinky||

    There you go, Will Ferrell sucks and every movie he has ever been in sucks and the reason you know it is because there isn't a single moment in any of his movies about which any culturally literate individual needs to have any knowledge.

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    I agree. I don't get the hate. Anchorman, Elf and Semi-Pro were good movies as was Old School.

    His politics is lame but hey what can you do?

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    yes. That shit is funny. Removing the stick from your ass b4 watching it may help.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    The media is a parody of itself. Whether Fox, MSNBC, CNN or the networks, they beclown themselves every day.

  • AlmightyJB||

    That's true which is why I never watch any of them.

  • albo||

    Every now and then I pop on the network evening news for a few minutes.

    Man, is it terrible. The tone of voice that the anchors have is so alarming. The intros to stories are massively alarmist. The bias is so obvious. They're unwatchable.

  • Brett L||

    I kind of like our local channels because Tallahassee is so small market that anyone who stays more than two years is ugly and low on talent.

  • albo||

    Yeah, the local channels we have are excellent. It's the networks that suck monkey balls.

  • l0b0t||

    Is Tran Buei still on the TV news down there? She would often turn up at the Cow Haus and get pretty drunk at shows; it was great fun fun watching her try to hide a terrible hangover while presenting the news the following day.

  • Brett L||

    The fact that you still call it the Cow Haus is fun. But no, I think she moved on.

  • l0b0t||

    I left Tally in 1997 and have never been back. What is it now? Does Brian G. still own whatever it has turned into? Full disclosure, the original location was much more fun; we used to bring our firearms and get drunk and shoot at the signs on the back wall after closing. When Brian bought the place, the city would not allow him to occupy it because of all the toxins from the building's days as a dry-cleaner so he had to find a new location. Luckily, the new location (abandoned cigar factory) was just down the block from my house at the time.

  • Brett L||

    Ah. Cow Haus has been sold and renamed several times, I believe. He is still kicking around as Cow Haus productions, and I think he owns a venue called The Moon now, but I may be conflating two people.

  • l0b0t||

    Also, Tallahassee television weather lady (and professor of meteorology at TCC) Rhonda Ryder is the worst slumlord I have ever rented from.

  • Ron||

    Massively alarmist is right now even Al Roker every storm is massive and they now give the land area that the storms cover as a means of impressing us with the size of storms, never mind that storms across the U.S. have always covered a large land mass once they get past the sierras.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Will Ferrell has an Adam Sandler quality about him. He's got a unique shtick but eventually it gets really old. In 5 years he'll be done.

  • RBS||

    True, in small doses he's funny. Will Ferrell as a minor character: funny. Will Ferrell as the lead: Funny for about 15 minutes.

  • Loki||

    In 5 years he'll be done.

    Unless he takes another page from Sandler and does a few mainstream rom-coms ala 50 First Dates or something else to "re-invent" himself.

  • PRX||

    you know what grinds my gears? female ESPN sideline reporters who EMPHASIZE every OTHER word.

  • John||

    What grinds my gears is that there is any such thing as a "sideline reporter". What do they do other than bother coaches walking into halftime with stupid questions? If they insist on having them, then they should be dressed in the skimpiest outfit possible and be hired based entirely on looks.

    Is there anything worse on TV than Wendy Nix? She asks stupid, pointless questions but makes up for it by being fat, wearing too much makeup and looking like Miss Piggy.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Wendy Nix almost assuredly has a smooth vagina, so there is that.

  • Loki||

    I suspect they hired her simply to avoid being accused of only hiring young, attractive Erin Andrews look-a-likes.

  • John||

    But then they move them all off to minor sports and the off hours Sports Center when they get old. Hannah Storm isn't doing prime time Sports Center Lindsey Zarniac, the latest hot blond, is.

  • RBS||

  • mr simple||

    Exzclty. Plus now they've upped it to three questions before halftime and are asking Bball coaches questions during TV timeouts. That is a waste of their time and there is nothing the audience needs to know that badly about what is going on.
    Erin Andrews at least asked good questions and knew not to take too much time. She would stop at one question if the coach gave a good, long answer. And I would give her a good, long something, if you know what I mean. A back massage, is what I mean.

  • John||

    Heather Cox, who for some I reason I find wildly hot, practically drapes herself on coaches. I am really surprised she hasn't been confronted by angry coach's wife.

  • Warren_28||

    I think media people get more out of this franchise than the regular public. Not that the regular public doesn't like it. But I saw two fox anchors a while back that were obviously so into the first movie that it must have been because they live in that trade themselves.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Dorothy Mantooth is a saint.

  • John||

    It is like that movie Almost Famous. Media people universally love that movie and think it is one of the great movies of the 00s. Everyone else mostly found it fair to midland and forgot about it the day after they saw it. But not reporters. How could a story about a "journalist" not be fascinating?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Dr. Chim Richalds is a professional doctor!

  • sarcasmic||

    The only good thing about that movie was a topless Kate Hudson, and even that wasn't that great.

  • John||

    Kate is nice looking but it isn't because of her tits.

  • sarcasmic||

    I remember asking myself "Why is she dancing around with no shirt on? Not that I mind, but can someone explain this scene to me?"

  • John||

    Because it was the 70s and it was like free love and that is what they did or something.

    I asked that same question about most of the scenes in that movie.

  • mgd||

    fair to midland

    Is that a recurring inside joke here, like "tow the lion"? Because I've never seen it, and if it's not, it ought to be.

    "Senator Blowhard is fair to midland on fiscal issues, but he better start towing the lion on the rest of these big government initiatives."

  • Alan Vanneman||

    Um, what's wrong with firing people when they screw up? Isn't that, you know, capitalism? Did Reason fire Tim Cavenaugh for his constantly wrong predictions of whomping "Obamaflation"? If not, maybe they should have. And Lara Logan, now back on the air for 60 Minutes, should be fired, not just for Benghazi, but for that damned clipped British accent. I don't care if it's "real" or fake, she should be fired, if not shot. Also, anyone who believes a "witness" who claims he climbed over a wall and knocked out a "terrorist" with his rifle butt is an idiot, not a journalist.

  • John||

    Also, anyone who believes a "witness" who claims he climbed over a wall and knocked out a "terrorist" with his rifle butt is an idiot, not a journalist.

    Yeah because no one in the history or warfare has ever used a rifle butt as a weapon. It is not like doing so isn't part of bayonet training or anything.

    Jesus tap dancing Christ Venneman, we know you are profoundly stupid. But God Damn, can you at least give an effort once in a while? Just a little one?

  • Lord Humungus||

    you misspelled your name

  • RBS||

    Show us on the doll where Tim touched you.

  • Ron||

    the first movie was boring as hell and I'm sure this one will be as well

  • Crusty Juggler||

    What do you say we go out on a date? Have some chicken, maybe some sex. You know, see what happens?

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I keep trying to like Will Farrell. He seems to have done a number of films that, at least in concept, should be funny. But he plays schmucks. And he plays schmucks who are POV characters. And I hate schmuck POV characters, because I feel like a schmuck often enough in my own life.

    As the Beyond The Fringe skit put it "When I go the the theatre, I want to be taken out of myself. I don't want to see lust, and rape, and incest, and sodomy. I can get all that at home!"

  • John||

    That is a great quote from Beyond the Fringe. And yes, I find most of Ferrells work induces a feeling of awkward embarrassment more than humor. Most of his movies are just Borat without the funny accent or improvisation.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Apparently, my son was on something called acid and was firing a bow and arrow into a crowd. You know how kids are...

  • ||

    I like Will Ferrell and I liked Anchorman. Bunch of haters here.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I don't hate Farrell. I dislike his persona, and don't find myself able to watch it.

  • Astra||

    The world can be divided into those who like Will Ferrill and those who can't stand him. I loved Anchorman. Hell, I even liked the figure skating movie.

  • florrichd553||

    my neighbor's sister-in-law makes 61 USD hourly on the laptop. She has been fired for 6 months but last month her income was 19604 USD just working on the laptop for a few hours. over here
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  • James Anderson Merritt||

    I am not a Will Farrell fan, but fair is fair: I do think Elf was a pretty good movie, and Farrell was good in it. Everything else in his career so far has, for me, ranged from "meh" to "gaack!"

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Do not ask for whom the media-skepticism bell tolls, Mr. Gillespie, it tolls for thee:

    We know that movies have "stealth promotion" budgets, whereby those with megaphones of various types (tv and radio shows, print columns -- especially in student publications, blogs/websites, and even the sides of automobiles, vans, and buildings) can claim bounty money or "in-kind" payment for mentioning or otherwise drawing attention to upcoming or newly released movies or their stars; in other words: product placement for films. So, how are we to know that this item wasn't intended to get its authors a seat on the Anchorman 2 Gravy Train? I think it's rich that Gillespie is telling us to view as important a movie that undermines the credibility of media creators such as himself. I guess he has succeeded if the ideas (of media skepticism, or watching Anchorman 2) get in your mind.

    Hey, the above paragraph ought to qualify for at least a Benjamin!

  • florrichd553||

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  • THeller||

    Nick - The same three reasons apply just as well to the CNC's "The Newsroom" series from the late 1990's.

    Maybe it takes a not-so-nuanced Will Ferrell to get the same message across to American audiences.

  • THeller||

    sorry, make that 'CBC' (as in Canada)

  • Pinky||

    Ron Burgundy and Will Ferrel are going to be anything until and unless they start being funny.

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