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Facebook Live is turning journalists into bad 'Jackass' copycats

The live stunt du jour is a Washington Post columnist literally eating his words.

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank on Facebook Live
Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank on Facebook Live

In 1980, filmmaker Les Blank made a movie about director Werner Herzog eating a shoe.

Herzog had bet the documentarian Errol Morris that he would eat a shoe if Morris ever finished the movie "Gates of Heaven," and Morris did, so Herzog held up his end of the deal and, as things often go in Hollywood, someone made a movie about the bet about a movie.

Facebook Live is forcing journalists to act similarly. For instance, on the Washington Post's Facebook page, right now, this very second, you can watch columnist Dana Milbank follow up on an earlier promise to eat a newspaper.

In October, Milbank said that he would literally eat his words if Donald Trump became the Republican nominee. Trump won, and Milbank is being a good sport about making such an abrasively wrong prediction.

So the Post has prepared a nine-course meal for him, because nine courses will perhaps be enough time for the digitally resurgent newspaper to net even a fraction of the 800,000 live viewers that BuzzFeed got when it exploded a watermelon using rubber bands.

Frankly, Johnny Knoxville and the "Jackass" crew were a lot funnier than stunts like these, and there wasn't a lot of anxiety about the future of media palpable in the background.

You can watch Milbank's stunt below:

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