FORTUNE — A video depicting an MTV
executive viciously berating a former fan has gone viral. Viewers might be excused for believing — at least at first — that it’s real. It’s not, but it could be — almost. And it hilariously sums up the state of music-promotion at least as well as any non-parody (or overlong, theory-heavy TED talk) could.
“Natalie Jones,” who describes herself as a woman in her mid-20s, wonders why MTV (which, after all, once stood for “Music Television”) no longer plays music videos, instead filling its schedule starring “reality shows with really horrible, vapid people.”
In answer, “Michael Destiny,” identified as MTV’s head of programming, unleashes a tirade upon poor Natalie, who believes her childhood memories of watching videos (presumably around the turn of the century) are being destroyed by MTV’s airing of such lowbrow fare as Teen Mom, Jersey Shore, and the Pauly D Project.
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Mr. Destiny (played by filmmaker Brian Firenzi) condescendingly explains to Natalie (played by Firenzi’s partner, Maria del Carmen) that music videos are nothing more than promotional material from record labels.” They no longer have promotional power because “your generation decided to steal music.” What videos do get made are made only as vehicles for shameless product placements, often for mobile phones. And anyway, what’s the point of airing music videos on television when fans have access to “the most powerful informational tool since the printing press: AKA, the Internet.” Videos on TV seem quaint in the age of YouTube
, Twitter, and Pandora
Finally, Mr. Destiny explains why MTV is filled with all the “horrible vapid” stuff, but you’ll have to watch the PG-13 video for that.