TV Review: President Obama and Vice get an earful in Fixing The System

When Vice Media launched its HBO newsmagazine series in 2013, it was received with a fair amount of skepticism by media elites. In The New York Times, Mike Hale memorably summed up the first episode as “journalism at the intersection of shallow and gullible, where they meet, high-five, and compare tattoos.” His analysis was blistering, well argued, funny, and in the hindsight of three seasons of Vice, completely wrong.

Critics of the news brand—and there are a lot of them—can’t be faulted for viewing the premiere season with a bit of cynicism. Even in its modern hard news big-boy incarnation, Vice Media invites plenty of legitimate gripes. The splashy, enterprise-wide hipster-chic aesthetic harkens back to the culture jamming days of Adbusters, which is particularly dated and silly given that Vice Media is a corporate organization as modern and mainstream as anything else. Its magazine-of-origin was co-founded by …

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