Satirical news source The Onion has selected a new target for mockery: the documentary journalism of boundary-pusher VICE News. And its first installment of the “EDGE” web series is centered on the Palestinian territories.
“Beyond The Brink: How The Israeli Occupation Has Made It Impossible For Palestinians To Score Drugs” opens with an exaggerated take on VICE’s uber-dramatic intros, with splashy captions promising “Sick Ass Sh–” and “Really Poor Countries.”
A lookalike of VICE co-founder Shane Smith offers the introductory lines of the less-than-four-minute clip, which premiered Tuesday.
Then, in a parody of VICE’s gonzo-style journalism, faux correspondent Nic Moss speaks to the camera from the West Bank, decrying how the Israeli occupation’s system of checkpoints and curfews has cut off the Palestinian people from any access to hard drugs.
“You can see all around me what it’s like here,” he says as he walks with the camera. “People living in desperate conditions, completely cut off from coke, tranquilizers, even weed.”
Moss proceeds to paint a picture of gross disparity between Israel and the Palestinian territories. In Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, he explains, it was so easy to score a high, but here in Hebron and Nablus, surrounded by hijab-clad women and automatic-weapon toting Israeli soldiers, the situation is dry as the weather.
“It’s crazy,” Moss says to a producer in a scene shot in VICE’s cameras-always-rolling style. “Just yesterday in Jerusalem I went to a nightclub and got f—ing stupid on ketamine. But over here, it couldn’t be a more different situation.”
No longer content to skewer just the print media, The Onion has branched out. In recent years, it has taken on television news with Onion News Network and, more recently, Buzzfeed-style content with ClickHole.
If you need some context to the drug situation in the West Bank, The Onion last week finally explained the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.