How can I describe my shock upon reading that one of my favorite Funny or Die videos, Google Shit, had been labeled a scandalous knock-off of another video, RestXpress? I can’t describe it, that’s how. I was stunned, sickened, full of a righteous anger I hadn’t felt since Watergate. Nothing irks this seasoned correspondent more than a false accusation of plagiarism. Nothing, that is, except an actual act of plagiarism with a fraudulent poop joke on top… But which was it?
I don’t know what you do when irked, dear reader, but I always hear a little voice inside me. Lesley, it says, Do your duty. So I set out to get to the soggy bottom of this foul-smelling story.
Right away I discovered that:
A. The author of the first comparative analysis on record (click here to view) has been crying foul since day one.
These Google Shit
“creators” needed to see the working end of a hard-hitting investigative
interview, Stahl-style. My first target, Google
Shit director Adam Salky:
Me: Tell me, Mr. Salky, how does it feel to be so creatively bankrupt that you can’t come up with your own, shall we say, shit and giggle?
Director Salky: I didn’t know about it until the day we launched Google Shit. Somebody commented on our video and said, “Hey, this is like RestXpress,” or something. So I watched it then.
Me: Oh, come now. My staff tells me RestXpress was posted one million years ago, and you’re saying you didn’t see it until after you made Google Shit? Surely you realize that’s preposterous?
Director Salky: I don’t think so. We posted Google Shit on Funny or Die, which is where RestXpress was originally posted. If we’d copied their idea, why would we put our video right on the same –
At that point, I was reluctantly pulled away to report on
tensions on the Korean Peninsula, as if anyone cared.
But it wasn’t long before I had Google Shit writer Daniel Silk twisting on my truth-hook:
Me: Mr. Silk, the director of Google Shit claims you wrote the piece without any knowledge of RestXpress. Confirm or deny.
Writer Silk: Is this really Lesley Stahl?
Me: My eyes are up here, Mr. Silk.
Writer Silk: Um, we’re on the phone…
Me: Where did you get the idea for your video? Don’t think! Answer!
Writer Silk: Well, I wanted to write about Google and the way it’s slowly seeping into every, um, cavity, of our lives. Poop was secondary, but it was definitely the perfect example. I think RestXpress was probably more like, “Let’s make shitting easier,” but obviously I don’t really know… I’m sorry, is this important? I think Don’t Ask Don’t Tell just got –
Me: Silence! You expect America to believe you came up with Google Shit on your own? That you didn’t see RestXpress, fly into a jealous rage, and immediately set about repackaging it with a lot of au currant dot-com mumbo jumbo, thereby creating a timely hook while also throwing us off the trail of your heinous crime?
Me: Genius? I think that’s a leap. It seems we’ve reached an impasse, Mr. Silk.
Writer Silk: We have?
Me: And the shit-skit battle continues.
Writer Silk: Oh. I guess so.
Me: The shite-fight draws on.
Writer Silk: Sure.
Me: The crap-scrap persists.
Writer Silk: See, I don’t think this is Lesley Stahl, because –
At that moment, gracious reader, an urgent call from Iran
forced me to cut our interview short. Ahmadinejad. Again. But never fear! As your faithful and distinguished
investigatory correspondent, I vow to follow Defe-gate 2010 all the way to the
end of the pipe.