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"The world is really so surreal these days that it's necessary for us to blunt it somehow in order to stay sane. The artist functions to short-circuit the buffering mechanism, so that people can occasionally perceive the weirdness of things as they are."
- William Gibson

News Clown  
  A person who delivers specially selected light news.  

This is not a device, so it does not, strictly speaking, belong here. However, I'm adding it anyway.

An hour before his morning program on channel six, ranking news clown Jim Briskin sat in his private office with his production staff, conferring on the report of an unknown possibly hostile flotilla detected at eight hundred astronomical units from the sun. It was big news, of course. But how should it be presented to his several-billion viewers scattered over three planets and seven moons?

Peggy Jones, his secretary, lit a cigarette and said. "Don't alarm them, Jim-Jam. Do it folksy-style...

"Folksy-style," Jim Briskin said glumly. "I grin and say, Hey look comrades - it's happened at last, the thing we all feared, ha ha..."

"Is there any lighter piece of news?" Peggy asked. "By which you could open your program? The sponsor would like that... See what you can do. Mutant cow obtains voting franchise in court case in Alabama... you know."

From Stand-By, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Not known in 1963
Additional resources -

Just in case you thought that the trend toward news as entertainment was a recent idea.

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