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“Target: Women” Takes Aim at Insipid Pop Culture

by Jake Mohan 

Tags: media, internet, television, advertising, satire, humor, feminism, Sarah Haskins, Current TV, Target: Women,

sarah haskinsHosted by Sarah Haskins with sardonic, faux-naïve enthusiasm, “Target: Women” is the standout segment of Current TV’s online news show infoMania.

In each episode, Haskins sets her sights on an especially ridiculous media trend targeting the young female demographic, satirizing the insipid pop-culture trends that nevertheless remain infuriatingly popular, such as reality shows about weddings (“They put the ‘we’ in ‘wedding’ and the ‘end’ in ‘feminism’”), birth control ads (“It’s Yaz, the pill that stops all those symptoms, so you can do the women things you love, like run, wear big earrings, hug friends, and have a cool, non-specific media job”), and chick flicks (“She’s in for a surprise, when: unlikely suitor / high-concept hijinks / unnecessary obstacle / true love / happy ending!”).

Haskins got an easy target when Sarah Palin became John McCain’s VP pick. In her Palin segment, Haskins slyly celebrates that mythical demographic of Hillary supporters who the McCain campaign cynically believes will vote for Palin simply because she’s a woman. Haskins calls them P.A.N.T.H.E.R.s—joining other jungle-cat demographics like PUMAs and Cougars—whose acronym stands for “Proud American Needing Token Hillary Estrogen Replacement.”

Like the Daily Show or the Onion, “Target: Women” is smart satire disguised as hilarious pop-culture commentary. I hope that Sarah Haskins keeps it up for as long as the media cynically exploits her demographic—which is to say, forever.

(Thanks, Laura.)