Earlier this week, the Fox News cable TV channel debuted a new studio they called the "News Deck" that looked more like a starship bridge, complete with lots of 55-inch touchscreens running Windows 8. In a statement, Microsoft told Neowin, "We can confirm that Fox News has deployed Perceptive Pixel by Microsoft devices in their newsroom. PPI devices, combined with Windows 8, open new possibilities for productivity, collaboration and presentation for customers like Fox News."
While Fox News, and anchor Shepard Smith, seemed to be impressed with what the channel had created, the News Deck still became the subject of parody in many late night talk shows this week. An example was shown on Jimmy Kimmel Live that offered a clip of Smith and one of the News Deck's touchscreen operators talking about a very serious story that involved eight people dying. Smith then asks the News Deck operator, "These things (the touchscreens) are fun to work with, aren't they?". As Kimmel himself says, maybe it's not a good idea to say "eight people dead" and "fun to work with" so close to each other. Later, it alters Smith's remote that controls a video wall to make it look like a light saber.
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart always has Fox News in its sights and this week's introduction of the News Deck was a perfect opportunity for Stewart to make fun of the channel and the new studio. Even though both the touchscreens and OS were made by Microsoft, Stewart said that they looked like big iPads that had been stolen from an angry giant. Stewart also suggested that the staff of the News Deck used the big screens to play Fruit Ninja when Smith wasn't looking.
The Colbert Report went the furthest with its parody of the Fox News Deck, as host Stephen Colbert introduced us to their own advanced touchscreen that blows away the ones made by Perceptive Pixel. The "Colbert Info News Veranda" has a 38-story touchscreen climbing wall manned by "information sherpas" that hang off the structure. Even if they fall to tragic deaths, Colbert says that's just an opportunity to put more information on the massive touchscreen wall informing us of their demise.