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Thank You, Daily Show

September 4, 2008

I’m a big fan of the Daily Show. I’ve been watching it semi-regularly since it first went on the air in 1996 with Craig Kilborn in the chair. At that point it was more of a rip-off “SNL’s Weekend Update,” reporting current news and adding a punchline. They had interviews like they do now, where the interviewer would ask the interviewee absurd questions, but they were clearly editing tricks, where the interviewees were not actually asked those questions.

When Jon Stewart took over, the show became more overtly political, and also grew a pair. Now when a ridiculous question pops up in an interview, we can rest safely assured that the correspondent actually asked that question.

It’s gotten to the point where The Daily Show is the only news commentary show I trust. Jon Stewart is astoundingly intelligent; whenever a guest comes on who has written a book, Jon has read the book in preparation for the interview. He asks his guests harder and more sincere questions than anyone else in the news media; he has, on a supposedly fluff “comedy show,” taken powerful politicians to task in front of a live studio audience.

Most importantly, they do their research. If a politician or news analyst makes a statement directly in contradiction to another of their own statements, they dig it up and share it with the world.

Case in point, this video from last night’s show, taking the media to task for their double standard in letting VP-nominated Sarah Palin off the hook for…well, everything.

I’m voting Obama, and enthusiastically so, and anyone who isn’t — well, I just have nothing to say to them, because obviously we neither speak the same language nor live in the same reality. But regardless of your politics, regardless of which way the pendulum swings, it’s good to know that The Daily Show is there to call people on their bullshit. And I’ve seen them hit the Dems just as hard, and with good cause.

If I believed there was a God, I would thank him for The Daily Show. Since I don’t, I’ll settle for just thanking them.

Speaking of which, I’m really bogged down with work and haven’t had time to continue Case for a Creator. Considering I don’t want to just post glib or dismissive posts, I’ll hold off continuing the reading for a while until I can review and post more substantively.

From → politics, tv

6 Comments
  1. Daniel Broadway permalink

    If I were going to vote, I would also vote Obama.

    If I were a fanatical nutjob, I would vote for Ron Paul.

  2. Drew Mazanec permalink

    If I were a german shepherd, I’d vote for Rin Tin Tin.

  3. David permalink

    This is the ridiculousness of the “two party” system… you oftentimes have to say things that support your party’s line, even if you don’t actually believe it.

    I’m willing to bet that most Republicans right now wish Palin was not the nominee, because they’re peeved at her daughter’s situation. It doesn’t matter whether what happened was wrong/right, good/bad… they’d just as soon not actually have to deal with it.

    Now that they do have to deal with it, they have to rah-rah around the party and say stuff about how it’s a private matter and “Nothing to see here! Please disperse!” when in actuality they’re probably tsk-tsking Gov. Palin under their breath for “not being a better parent”.

    Thus you get the ridiculous double-talk that the Daily Show presented.

  4. casey cosker permalink

    The best episode in recent memory was the Mike Huckabee episode (boing boing has a good excerpt of the “doublespeak” section). And it’s genuinely sad that the news media–from Fox to CNN–is more concerned with sensationalism than actually reporting the news. I’ve found that the best place to get American news–especially unbiased political news–is from the BBC. Because while they do have a liberal bias to some extent, they’re enough of an outsider to the American system that they report fairly objectively on American politics.

  5. Patrick permalink

    Why would Republicans not like Palin, David? She’s more of a conservative than McCain has been in terms of social issues at least. Also, what’s the difference between a pregnant daughter and a radical preacher in terms of public opinion? The whole Reverend Wright thing is pretty much dead now and Obama is still going strong. I predict Palin’s daughter will be even less of an issue since she’s not even the presidential candidate.

  6. David permalink

    I’m not saying they don’t like Gov. Palin… I’m saying if given the choice they’d probably rather not have to deal with the issue at all.

    Granted, in this day and age it’s probably folly to expect any potential candidate’s closet to be relatively clean… but to have this revelation occur almost concurrently with her appointment is probably more irritating than anything because they now have to go into spin cycle.

    If given the choice between Palin and the baggage, or another candidate without that kind of baggage, many would probably prefer it to be baggageless. Just my guess.

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