Saturday, January 03, 2009

Under Siege?: Costumed Activists In The News

For whatever reason, Costumed Activists, or RLSHs, if you prefer, have garnered attention from various news sources in the past month -- most of it less than positive.

The spate of recent coverage began with a Rolling Stone profile of Florida-based hero Master Legend. The piece, written by Joshua Bearman (who was part of the team behind acclaimed documentary The King Of Kong) seemingly went out of its way to paint Master Legend as being down on his luck. Peter Pixie has reported that when contacted by Citizen Prime, Bearman said that the story's slant was the result of an editorial mandate; the original story, Bearman reportedly said, struck a more balanced tone.

Citizen Prime himself was the focus of a piece by KNXV-TV in his native Arizona. Though somewhat neutral, the story makes what some are calling a mistake in reporting about RLSHs: it cites the World Superhero Registry site, which is reportedly not even maintained by an active hero.

On the heels of the Rolling Stone report,, a normally reputable news/rumor site, published a highly dismissive post titled One More Reason To Hate MySpace. As snarky as it was, however, at least it didn't seem to resort to outright false information, as was allegedly the case with this London Times piece, which details the misadventures of "Mister Invisible" -- problem is, said hero isn't even real, according to Zetaman.

"Mr. Invisible" and the Times story was cited on the Fox News program Red Eye, this past week during a panel discussion where heroes were called "cowards" and chided for allegedly lacking a sex life. The negative tone of the item was curious, considering another hero, Razorhawk, was featured in a more positive light on Fox & Friends. Also, less than three months ago, Red Eye devoted a segment to an interview with Dave Gibbons, artist for the legendary Watchmen graphic novel.

Mister Pixie and I will discuss these issues tomorrow during the premiere of Hour 42, Sunday night at 8pm PST.

-- El Secreto