As millions plan to storm Area 51 in September, we take a look at the news covering the event... and the disturbing lack of Naruto respect
Recently, a Facebook event titled Storm Area 51, They Can't Stop All of Us has received quite a bit of media attention, landing mentions on dozens of mainstream news outlets over the weekend. For those out of the loop, the event is particularly notable for anime fans as it mentions our boy in orange in the description, saying "If we naruto [sic] run, we can move faster than their bullets" referring, of course, to the unparalleled defensive abilities of ninja running against military grade firearms. Now, we aren't here to debate the truth of this extremely real and very much going to happen siege of a famed Air Force facility. What we are here to talk about are the COWARDS of the mainstream news outlets who refuse to say Naruto's name.
Now, we at Crunchyroll HQ have been keeping a close eye on the news coverage of this meme, and, as I watched more and more of the videos popping up, I began to notice a disturbing trend. While many of the delightfully out of touch newscasters talked about the severe dangers of trying to infiltrate a US military base, many of them didn't mention Naruto's name. At all. Because I am a caricature of a person, I spent a lot of today developing a something I like to call the Uzumaki-Coats Media Coward Index:
This index is comprised of a few different elements that indicate the level of cowardice in avoiding Naruto's name each media outlet displayed in their videos. Each element is assigned a weighted point value based on my completely subjective feelings resulting in a score out of 20 assigned to each outlet. The closer to 0, the more cowardly the news outlet. The main four elements are as follows:
"Anime Character" Mentioned | Worth 1 point | Given if the news anchor mentions the existence of an anime or manga character, not necessarily calling out Naruto by name. Pretty cowardly by itself, but at least admits that anime exists.
The remaining columns are edge cases that will be explained on a case by case basis.
THE RESULTS, FROM MOST TO LEAST COWARDLY
Our first grouping is comprised of a few local news station affiliates, Fox News, RT News, and the admittedly-not-a-news-program Jimmy Kimmel Live. Much like the federal government with aliens, they flat out denied the existence of Naruto, neither mentioning him verbally or in text. Fox News at least didn't cut Naruto out of the event description, but they did bizarrely insinuate that the entire event could be the work of Russian bots. This was such a cowardly move on their part that I created another criterion for "not mentioning Russian bots" which awarded literally every other news outlet a point besides Fox News.
The New York Daily News and The Hill at least had the decency to mention Naruto by name. While neither had the scrupulous nature necessary to display the orange ninja on-screen, they at least acknowledged his existence, which gives them a solid C+ in my books.
The Tampa Bay CBS affiliate and Time both exceeded expectations, using footage from Naruto as B-roll for their news pieces. Both pale in comparison to the East Texas NBC affiliate, whose anchors, though they neglected to show our boy's wonderful visage, both demonstrated the famed Naruto run on live television. Truly great journalism.
Lastly, here's a video that has the right headline and appropriate copy to be included in this list but... well it's just a series of eerie panning shots of Area 51 with absolutely no voice over. The creepy video isn't absolutely silent though–you can here a slight breeze and a few undiscernable off-camera voices, which makes it even worse. Since this news crew was obviously taken into custody–either by the government or by aliens–I don't think it's fair to judge their lack of Naruto efforts.
Cayla Coats is the Editor-in-Chief of Crunchyroll News. She tweets @ceicocat