This morning, in a segment that has clearly been sitting there waiting for a slow news day for years, "The Today Show" finally did the hard-hitting, take-no-prisoners investigation into whether or not emoticons are okay. In this bizarre-for-existing, VERY "Onion News Network"-reminiscent segment, the following things happen or are said:
1. Emoticons are explained to the viewer. ("Even skateboarding?!")
2. "What's the deal with all the faces?"
3. People on the streets of New York City are interviewed about emoticons, and the two men above are shown out of context, presumably confused or angered by emoticons. Also a guy in a Pixies t-shirt says about emoticons: "Oh, they're terrible. They're awful." in a disappointed-Grandpa voice.
4. An actual EXPERT IS INTERVIEWED in a pre-taped snippet sitting in front of an emoticon-covered background.
5. Correspondent Jenna Wolfe sends an absolutely insane email to the Executive Producer of "The Today Show" as an "experiment" to see if he responds well to it.
6. The email involves her boyfriend's sister's cat dying.
7. Something about the extreme level of email security at NBC? What? Oh, for the love of god, just experience this for yourself. Watch every over-produced moment carefully. This is national morning news in 2011. Yes, I know it's supposed to have a sense of humor about itself, some kind of answer to Andy Rooney, but it's just...unbelievable. Surely, something of national import could have filled this four minutes! (Though, after the third viewing, you might start wishing "Today" would do something like this every day.) Emoticons are not the downfall of civilization. THIS IS: