The U-T San Diego newspaper has created a parody music video calling for embattled Mayor Bob Filner to resign.
The video, set to Robin Thicke's sexually charged summer hit "Blurred Lines," was produced by the newspaper's U-T TV cable channel. In it, Filner's head is superimposed on a hip-thrusting dancer's body as other dancers — presumably the network's staffers — try to avoid him. The words "#RESIGN" and "#CREEPER" flash on the screen throughout the two-minute parody.
Filner has refused to step down despite being accused of sexual harassment by 14 women. Instead, he announced he would enter a two-week voluntary therapy program and is set to return to City Hall next week.
"If you can hear what San Diego says," the parody song begins. "If you can't tell we're in a different age, maybe it's time you left. Maybe you should resign. Mayor Filner you are terriiiiiiifying."
"You don't need that grabber, that man is not a mayor," the song continues. "The nation's laughing and we'd be happy, so very happy, if you'd resign."
Some viewers, though, didn't find the paper's parody so funny.
"The U-T lacks respect for the female anchors they employ by putting them into this video as a backdrop of eye ... candy, that do nothing more than trounce around in tight-fitting clothing looking like Barbies," Gretchen Newsom wrote in a comment on the newspaper's website.
"Whomever made this video failed completely," Saiya Kaizoku wrote in a comment on YouTube. "First, the original music video has nude women prancing around. Second, the song itself, much like the person you guys are parodying, objectifies women. Lyrics [don't] change the fact that this song has baggage that negatively affects your message. Entertaining, yes, but I wouldn't have chosen this song for the parody."
Some media critics also questioned the logic of a newspaper wading into late-night comedy territory. "The only thing a news organization has is its credibility in reporting the news," Dean Nelson, director of the journalism program at Point Loma Nazarene University, told the Los Angeles Times. "This doesn't help."
U-T editor Jeff Light defended the video spoof. "I don't think you would be at all confused about what was news and what was entertainment," Light said.
The paper, of course, is not alone in its call for Filner's resignation. Other lawmakers, including all nine city council members and Sen. Barbara Boxer, have publicly asked the mayor to step down.