The Journalistic Failures of Elf’s NY1 News Team


In the 2003 family comedy Elf, Santa’s sleigh crash lands in New York City’s Central Park. With the help of the titular elf, Buddy, and some standard Christmas movie nonsense, the sleigh is fixed and Santa flies away. It’s the classic kids’ movie trope where something magical happens in front of a few nice people, but the larger world is none the wiser. However there is one critical difference here: a freakin’ news team is monitoring the whole thing. For a group of professional journalists, this should be the story of a lifetime. I mean, they see Santa Claus flying his god damn sleigh with their own eyes, reindeers and all. And what’s the capper for this segment on NY1?

 Well I guess we’ll never know what happened this Christmas Eve in Central Park.


(News segment ends at 1:35)

Then what the hell are they paying you for? You send your crew to Central Park and your big scoops are that one guy is dressed like an elf and people are caroling… on Christmas Eve. Stop the presses!

With failures of this magnitude, it’s important to identify where things went wrong. So let’s break down the primary players in this fiasco that made us all lose faith in the fourth estate:

The Reporter

I’m inclined to give Charlotte a break here since her first man-on-the-street interview immediately devolved into that man sexually harassing her. However, once the kid claiming to have Santa’s Official Naughty & Nice List revealed her private thoughts about her own personal life, she should’ve known it was time to take this story seriously. At the very least, she had an extremely attentive stalker loose in the city.

After breaking the HUGE story about some people caroling the night before Christmas, what does she have to say about Santa Clause flying his sleigh right past her?

Screen Shot 2019-12-15 at 7.29.08 PM

Nothing. Not one word. Just stunned silence. Way to shine in your big moment, Walter Cronkite.

The Anchor

Screen Shot 2019-12-16 at 12.35.33 AM

Dude! Give the lady a couple seconds before you give up and say you’ll never know what happened. You didn’t lose the feed. And there must be a reason she has that dumb look on her face. Push her for an answer, hack. Democracy dies in darkness!

The Cameraperson

Pro tip: Next time you see a group of reindeer with a sleigh fly over your head, point your fucking camera at it. Thanks 😉

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