What is Fusion? No one is quite sure, least of all Fusion itself. Following in the grand tradition of First Look Media, Fusion has more money than Croesus and a lot of talented people. It also has, apparently...an animated series about Buzzfeed?
This charmingly bizarre animated video attacking Buzzfeed, uploaded today, is titled "20 Reasons You Shouldn't Work at Buzzfeed." It doesn't even deliver on that premise, instead trotting out the same very, very tired jokes about listicles that people were making a few years ago. Going after a competitor is a strange opening move by Fusion's video team, made all the more strange by how shitty it is—and they could have at least made fun of garbage like this. What we get instead looks less like the mega-monied future of media and more like eBaumsWorld Redux.
One reason Fusion has so much trouble figuring out its identity is that it actually has many. There's the visible Fusion, the one that newspapers cover and journalists gossip about—the one that spent a fortune to hire a murderer's row of bylines. And then there's the Fusion that doesn't get quite as much media coverage—the one that has deals with little-discussed but incredibly popular YouTube animation studios, for example.
This video is the product of the second Fusion. It was apparently made by Mondo, a hugely successful YouTube channel that, like every other successful YouTube channel, makes videos for teens. If it had been like most Mondo content, no one would have given it a second thought. But the video trod on the kind of media criticism that is the territory of media-facing Fusion employees.
So it's no wonder those Fusion employees are quickly distancing themselves from the video:
For the record, I love Buzzfeed and Digg and it’s a hard g.— Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) January 26, 2015
That was an unfortunate content decision.— Anna Holmes (@AnnaHolmes) January 26, 2015
It appears some cartoons on Fusion are very angry about Buzzfeed. That feeling is not widely shared here.— Alexis C. Madrigal (@alexismadrigal) January 26, 2015