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Watching the Watchdog: The Bare Facts About "Naked News"

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Program: The Naked News.

Date: Sunday, May 6, Monday, May 7, 2012

Anchors: Various.

NAKED FACTS: The Naked News (The Program With Nothing to Hide) bills itself as "the only fully nude real news program of its kind in the world where 10 beautiful anchorwomen undress the latest top stories."

It's a subscription website, based in Toronto. It charges $14.95 U.S. a month (and up) for a daily 25-minute episode and access to lots of fleshy archives.

At one time it offered naked male anchors too. But apparently the male version didn't "enjoy the female version's popularity and fame" so now the presenters are all rather obviously female.

The Naked News claims Time magazine reviewed it as "the best international coverage this side of the BBC." A claim which couldn't be confirmed even after considerable searching on the Internet.

NAKED DETAILS: The Naked News is the love child of Playboy and Entertainment Tonight. For teenage boys and lonely men everywhere it's the answer to the nag: "Why don't you stop playing all those damn video games and actually learn something by watching the news instead?"

It offers news, sports, business, entertainment and interviews (some guests naked, others incongruously dressed) and viewer comments. Just like any other information program.

But it goes further: "Select your favourite Naked News anchor and she will sign the photo you select! In addition to the anchor's personal signature you can request a pre-selected personalized comment at no extra charge."

Which is a lot more than CBC, CTV or Global ever offer. With or without clothes.

NAKED TRUTH: Unless you're a Playboy photographer (a job to which my son once aspired), you don't often get to see a whole bunch of good-natured beautiful women who seem genuinely comfortable, friendly and approachable while working stark naked.

Strippers, for instance, are seldom able to persuade that they really enjoy working the pole to excite male erotic fantasies.

Women on nude beaches don't even try. Nothing to see here. Don't look. Don't touch. Don't even think it. Just like costumed women on regular beaches.

Women at swingers' clubs are a combination of the above. Yes, they might be interested. But they vibrate the warning -- no always means no. So you still have to woo them, persuade them, seduce them. Just like real life.

The women on The Naked News are in an entirely different category. Unless they're all trained actors (which is highly unlikely), they're exhibitionists honestly enjoying the work. Entirely comfortable in those lovely, unblemished skins.

If you should be so lucky, they're the girl next door who just happens to forget to get dressed that morning and knows all this information stuff and wants you to know it too.

They're not even particularly erotic unless you've lived your life in a monastery and never saw gorgeous naked women before.

Instead, they're fun, cheerful, even joyful. My God, how upbeat and positive they are! Which is more than you can say about most mainstream anchors and reporters.

They all fit the same pattern. The same designer template. Homogenously fit, slim, tanned (likely owing more to science than beaches), long-tressed, shaved (not a body hair in sight) and firm-breasted (again, perhaps owing more to science than nature).

Research at Boobpedia reveals they're mostly of the C-cup sisterhood.

They're a fleshy celebration of the entirely erroneous Fox News claim -- fair and balanced (as in looks and bodies).

NAKED ANALYSIS: Oh yes, the requisite professional analysis.

The Naked News isn't really news, of course. No on-the-scene reporting, no investigative reports.

It's entertainment thinly disguised as news. Just like so much clothed TV news today. Particularly Fox News down south and Sun News up here.

Except that it's not at all political. Not unless you consider naked breasts and vaginas exposed without eroticism to be a political statement. Which, I suppose, some would.

Performance: Uniformly rather good. My guess is that most are out-of-work actors earning money while they wait for roles of which their mothers would approve.

Unlike most mainstream anchors and reporters, they've obviously been trained by a professional to work the teleprompter -- so come across as real people talking to other real people about stuff that interests them and should interest anyone watching.

Only complaint is that they're too loud. Like their mainstream colleagues, they project too much. In their case, presumably because there's nowhere to hide lapel microphones.

Writing: Considering the ultra-light-weight subject matter, surprisingly good. Short, simple, conversational words in short, simple, sentences. Lots of slightly risqué double entendres, of course. Again, the work of a professional.

Production: Very slick, fast-moving, energetic. Lots of CGI (computer generated imagery). Lots of YouTube video, particularly the viral kind and even more particularly the naughty viral kind.

NAKED END: The show opens with: "This program contains nudity, viewer discretion is advised. This program is best viewed naked."

I exercised no viewer discretion -- whatever that is -- and as a professional reviewer remained fully clothed throughout.

Anyway, it was a cold and windy day.