21 June, 2016. 14:34
ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
RANTALISM IS THE FLAVOUR of the month in world journalism at the moment – and there’s none more successful that British-born American television entertainer, John Oliver.
The unique fashion in which the 39-year-old Brummie mashes comedy, journalism and yelling has taken the world by storm, inspiring a generation of mid-career television presenters to head down the same avenue.
Gold Logie winner Waleed Aly is one of those who looks to Oliver for inspiration and meaning – so much so that the Melbournease telejournalist has hung a picture of John Oliver above his Toorak bed.
“It’s just a small reminder of what I’m trying to get out of my career,” said Aly.
“Because at the moment, I think I’m taking it a bit too seriously, I need to be a little bit funnier. I’m trying to be a credible journalist, but nobody wants to end up like Charles Wooley or George Negus, nobody under 30 knows who they are,”
“The monologue is the 21st century’s answer to the feature article. Rantalism is the cutting edge of the monologue movement. It’s gonzo for the borderline illiterate. If another one of my journalistic heroes, Hunter S. Thompson, were still around he’d have his own show where he’d rant into a camera for 20 minutes. I’m sure of it.”
However, Wooley has hit back at Aly’s comments, saying he’s happy being himself.
“Look, I’m OK with being a complete unknown to young people. Young people wouldn’t know quality journalism if it dragged them out of the bar and punched them in the mouth,” he said.
“I’m pretty much retired anyway. Between my many engagements, I just sit in the spa at home and enjoy the odd cigarette in bed. Life’s good,”
“Good luck to the lot of them. I know there’s a photo of me hanging in a few student journalism newsrooms around the country, so suck on that.”