It's supposed to be sad
There's a moment in Jon Ronson's book, The Men Who Stare at Goats, where the story he's been following and pushing and trying to tell gets picked up, gets real attention, and is instantaneously turned into a joke.
He reports on torture, and when his piece gets picked up on national TV it's a 30-second spot about, ha-ha, the horribleness of the Barney song. Then it's over.
That scene keeps troubling me.