Skip

And I looked and behold: a pale horse. And his name, that sat on him, was Death.
February 14, 2007 5:02 PM   Subscribe

You knew it was coming. Fox News's "Daily Show for conservatives", The 1/2 Hour News Hour.
posted by Arcaz Ino (128 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Fox's real news is funnier.
posted by puddles at 5:08 PM on February 14, 2007 [6 favorites]


The repeated use of the same laugh track made that seem more like a spoof than anything real.
posted by tkolar at 5:09 PM on February 14, 2007


"We report. You deride."
posted by rob511 at 5:09 PM on February 14, 2007


"B.O." Ha, ha. "His middle name's Hussein." Bwahaha. " His college nickname was Gassy." Stop, I'm gonna bust a gut.

This show will last a week, but you know Limbaugh and Hannity, et. al. will promote the hell out of it.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:11 PM on February 14, 2007


Honestly? I was expecting it to be worse. It's true that there wasn't anything real funny there, and the laugh track was bad, but there were things that had the air of the funny about them-some of the magazine stories were near the neighborhood of funniness. Remember, The Daily Show took a while to find its stride. As disasters go this was more "private plane crash kills two" than "Holocaust."
posted by Kwine at 5:13 PM on February 14, 2007 [3 favorites]


nice rip-off of MTV's "half hour comedy hour".

conservatives can't even rip off funny properly.
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 5:13 PM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


My god these guys have no stage presence or comic timing. Even shitty material like that would be kinda funny with the right people delivering the lines.

They speak in "we are fake reporters and here [pause...] is a joke" accents.
posted by fleetmouse at 5:13 PM on February 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


It's not bad. But it's also not good. They need better writers. It's funny, but the way a Leno monologue is funny. You've heard the joke before, and you might chuckle.

I was expecting more venom and bile, more Coulter-esque humor. Instead, it's post-Tina Fey Weekend Update.
posted by dw at 5:13 PM on February 14, 2007


more Coulter-esque humor

What - calls to imprison liberals for treason? [slaps knee]

Try the veal!
posted by kgasmart at 5:15 PM on February 14, 2007


Hey you are not supposed to LIKE it ! Where should the liberal hating people find complacent dismissing holier-then-thou dissent ? You are supposed TO HATE it and dismiss it !
posted by elpapacito at 5:19 PM on February 14, 2007


DEMOCRATS ARE THINKING OF WHO TO VOTE FOR IN 2008!

HA HA HA HA HA!

THAT IS SO FUNNY!

HA HA HA HA HA!

DEMOCRATS ARE SO DUMB!

(Anybody besides me wondering how many coke jokes they plan to make about George W Bush?)
posted by brain cloud at 5:20 PM on February 14, 2007


Is he having a laugh? Is he having a laugh?
posted by papoon at 5:20 PM on February 14, 2007 [4 favorites]


What - calls to imprison liberals for treason? [slaps knee]

A man walks into a bar, shouts "Death to America!" and blows himself up, killing 20 people.

And the rabbi turns to the bartender and says, "Ted Kennedy Surrendermonkeys Abortionists Monica Lewinsky!"

Take my wife -- please! She's a Democrat and doesn't deserve life!!

Thank you John Birch Society! You're the best!
posted by dw at 5:21 PM on February 14, 2007 [12 favorites]


LMAO, papoon.

Extras is a much better show!
posted by OhPuhLeez at 5:22 PM on February 14, 2007


One of the 'fans' speaks out on YouTube:

Obama is a tool. Go ahead, try and elect him. Even Hillary will stand a better chance than this asswipe uncle tom wannabe.
He isnt fit to tie my shoes let alone pretend to be a congressman.
Sorry libtards, this isnt your negro messiah, just another jagoff wishing he was working in the massah's house polishing hillary's china.
Enjoy losing yet another election if you try to run this guy, now i see where you all get the name Dumocrats.


Yup. That's your market, FOX. Stay classy.
posted by maryh at 5:24 PM on February 14, 2007 [3 favorites]


Conservative, by definition, is humorless. This is but another case in point. Dennis Miller, anyone?
posted by basicchannel at 5:24 PM on February 14, 2007


This just in: Michael Moore is fat.
posted by Flunkie at 5:25 PM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


My favorite Coulter joke is her one about explaining things to liberals with a baseball bat. Having spent years letting people beat me with sticks, I'd love to let her explain something to me with a baseball bat. I give it about 15 minutes before she'd confes to being the 20th hijacker.

Really more ironic than funny.

Tip your waitress!
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:27 PM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


The repeated use of the same laugh track made that seem more like a spoof than anything real.

Orlando Sentinel's review:
"Laughter, of an awfully canned variety, greets all the gags. Nothing happening on screen justifies these outbursts. …

Fox News Channel will offer a second episode at 10 p.m. March 4. If we’re lucky, we’ll never hear of this dreadful show again."
posted by ericb at 5:29 PM on February 14, 2007 [4 favorites]


This isn't the first time I've heard of some show being derided as a ""Daily Show for conservatives"" - and somehow, I don't think it'll be the last.
posted by drstein at 5:31 PM on February 14, 2007


I wasn't deriding it, that's the pitch from the creator Joel Surnow.
posted by Arcaz Ino at 5:32 PM on February 14, 2007


The fact that they set it up EXACTLY like the Daily Show makes it just look like a pathetic imitation. But I guess creativity isn't conservative?
posted by Citizen Premier at 5:33 PM on February 14, 2007


I don't have Audio speakers on this Mac Mini, is it 5$ of bad?
posted by darkripper at 5:35 PM on February 14, 2007


"look like"?
posted by Flunkie at 5:37 PM on February 14, 2007


The thing the makes so-called "liberal" humor funny is actually its self-deprecating nature. It's a sense of: yes, I'm fucked up, that's how I can tell that THEY are REALLY FUCKED UP... this is what reaches people.

Conservatives can never seem to grasp this, which is why they will never truly be funny or deliver messages that can resonate on any level other than prejudice, self-interest or fear.

Their humor is mostly about: WE'RE RIGHT, of course we are. LOLZ LIBRULS!! THEY'RE SO DUMB WHY DO THEY DO SUCH CRAZEE THINGS? Not very inspiring, thought-provoking or funny.
posted by psmealey at 5:37 PM on February 14, 2007 [4 favorites]


Here's the thing. You can't make a "Daily Show for Conservatives" by merely reversing the polarity, because the Daily Show isn't explicitly for liberals. Sure, its audience is mostly left of center, but it's hard to tell how much of that is merely a product of the fact that the show's never done its thing well, which seems to be making fun of the stupidity in power, while the power wasn't Republican.

The best argument for The Daily Show to having a true partisan political slant is the complete softball John Kerry interview in '04, and, well, I don't have a counterargument for that.

The closest thing to a "Daily Show for Conservatives" I could think of wouldn't even try to be funny, and would promote a non-questioning acceptance of and deference to power, or at worst a distraction from it, instead of ridicule. In other words, 24-hour news.
posted by Vetinari at 5:41 PM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


A line in the linked video says

"This one's a no-brainer."

Never a truer word spoken.
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:41 PM on February 14, 2007


Wow. Jack Donaghy got kicked out of the TGS writers room, so he started his own show on Fox.

Can their doing Dilbert be far behind?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 5:42 PM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


This show is, I think, a project of the guy behind 24. The most recent New Yorker's got a profile of him and 24 that's good.
posted by grobstein at 5:43 PM on February 14, 2007


also what psmealey said, though I'd be a little wary (just a little) of generalizing LGF forum posts to a definition of conservative humor. But from what I remember of the jokes my father used to tell in another life when I was being raised Republican... yeah.
posted by Vetinari at 5:44 PM on February 14, 2007


Conservatives try to conserve, whereas comedy is about variety and unexpected change. Conservatives try to maintain social structures, whereas comedy is about inverting them. The heart of conservatism is protecting ourselves from what we fear; the heart of comedy is confronting it and laughing at it.
posted by Arcaz Ino at 5:45 PM on February 14, 2007 [7 favorites]


Darkripper, you'll enjoy your $5 more if you just get it changed into coins, and then shove them all up your nose.
posted by pompomtom at 5:49 PM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wait, actually, this was kinda funny. Not great, but kinda funny.

On review of thread: what a timid, careful minority of posters said.
posted by grobstein at 5:49 PM on February 14, 2007


The best argument for The Daily Show to having a true partisan political slant is the complete softball John Kerry interview in '04, and, well, I don't have a counterargument for that.

I have one. Every single time John McCain and Bob Dole have been on the show.
posted by eyeballkid at 5:49 PM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


The best argument for The Daily Show to having a true partisan political slant is the complete softball John Kerry interview in '04, and, well, I don't have a counterargument for that.
Stewart softballs almost all politicos (when he has them in person, that is).

The only political guest I remember Stewart really cutting into was former Representative Henry Bonilla.

Conservatives he has softballed include, for example, Bob Dole, Zell Miller, Trent Lott, and John Fucking Ashcroft.

And McCain is softballed on the Daily Show on a regular basis.
posted by Flunkie at 5:49 PM on February 14, 2007


even the laugh track sounds forced. funny doesn't do well aimed at narrow attack targets. The fact that even my bush loving navy vet friend loves the daily show shows the influence of decent humor.
posted by sarcasman at 5:50 PM on February 14, 2007


Conservatives he has softballed include, for example, Bob Dole, Zell Miller, Trent Lott, and John Fucking Ashcroft.

Don't forget Musharraf.
posted by Arcaz Ino at 5:51 PM on February 14, 2007


A comment to Orlando Sentinel's review:
Here's the first questions we should be asking: What is a comedy show (if you can call it that) doing on a news channel? Even Jon Stewart would joke that his lead in is puppets crank calling each other.
How true.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:52 PM on February 14, 2007


I was actually going to say Musharraf, but decided to limit myself to American autocrats.
posted by Flunkie at 5:52 PM on February 14, 2007


Somebody linked to Stephen Colbert's IOP address at Harvard previously; watching that was one hour of my time well spent.
posted by phaedon at 6:00 PM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Conservatives he has softballed include, for example, Bob Dole, Zell Miller, Trent Lott, and John Fucking Ashcroft.

Santorum too.
posted by octothorpe at 6:01 PM on February 14, 2007


This is like if Jay Leno hosted Saturday Night Live. Watered down tripe that's been watered down.
posted by Frank Grimes at 6:04 PM on February 14, 2007


Wait, actually, this was kinda funny. Not great, but kinda funny.

"BO" Magazine? ...really? I mean, really?
posted by Symeon at 6:09 PM on February 14, 2007


"I don't have Audio speakers on this Mac Mini"

You must have ordered the optional Video speakers, then?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:10 PM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


What Vetinari said. "Reverse the polarities" of funny and you get unfunny. Yes, John Stewart is left of center. But he made funy of John Kerry. He made fun of Joe Biden, to his face. Modern Republicans, being the boot-lickers they are, lack the spine to do true comedy and/or satire. You'd have to mock the powerful, regardless of whether they're Hillary Clinton or George Bush.
posted by bardic at 6:10 PM on February 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


*What's really funny is my spelling ability today.
posted by bardic at 6:11 PM on February 14, 2007


(Great thread title btw.)
posted by bardic at 6:19 PM on February 14, 2007


I'd totally wear a teeshirt that said, "Don't tell Mama I'm for Obama."

I like how they keep their hands tightly clasped in front of them the entire time. Very professional. Oh, and the "fake" phone number. Clever.

And couldn't someone from the "real news" department show them how to fix their makeup and hair? They look like badly embalmed corpses.
posted by ColdChef at 6:25 PM on February 14, 2007


Wow. Reading the comments for that clip...

Do they even teach grammar in schools anymore?
posted by ColdChef at 6:38 PM on February 14, 2007


Yes. Just not in home schools.
posted by Flunkie at 6:44 PM on February 14, 2007 [6 favorites]


Wait so, conservatives really can't figure out anything actually bad to say about Obama? guess he does have a chance.
posted by subtle_squid at 6:44 PM on February 14, 2007


I don't have Audio speakers on this Mac Mini

Huh? All Mac minis have a built-in speaker good enough for hearing movie sound.
posted by cillit bang at 6:44 PM on February 14, 2007


I smiled at BO Magazine. Then I felt bad. Then I wondered if they had an RSS feed I could subscribe to.
posted by Plutor at 6:46 PM on February 14, 2007


but you know Limbaugh and Hannity, et. al. will promote the hell out of it.

They promoted the hell out of that right-wing comic book starring Hannity and Gordon Liddy as superheroes, too. Sometime, just sometimes, even celebrities can't save utter shit.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:47 PM on February 14, 2007


Wait so, conservatives really can't figure out anything actually bad to say about Obama?
What? Weren't you listening? His initials are B.O.! B.O.!

And his middle name is Hussein!

And Marion Barry exists!

Stupid libtards! Ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha! (Am I supposed to keep laughing? Yes? OK.) Ha ha ha ha!
posted by Flunkie at 6:50 PM on February 14, 2007


I'm not a huge fan of Obama. Actually, I know very little about the guy other than that he's supposed to be the savior of my political party.

But it's going to be awesome when the first overtly racist comments come out of the mouths of Rush and Hannity and Coulter. They can't help themselves.
posted by bardic at 6:53 PM on February 14, 2007


omg, that laugh track just drove me nuts.
posted by Demogorgon at 6:59 PM on February 14, 2007


it's going to be awesome when the first overtly racist comments come out of the mouths of Rush and Hannity and Coulter. They can't help themselves.

Given the correlation between a large number of right-wingers' opinions on Muslims and the way those same right-wingers seem to delight in any opportunity to say Obama's middle name for no discernible reason, I would say the comments are already out there; they're just too high-pitched for human ears just yet.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:59 PM on February 14, 2007 [2 favorites]



I remember one night I was watching television and Scarborough on his MSNBC show was asking two satellite-linked "experts" why on earth was Stewart and Colbert so funny (as they watched and laughed at clips of both shows) and why was he, John Scarborough, so irrelevant? I flipped to CNN, where Larry King was interviewing Bill Maher, and before he cut to commercial break he played, no, not a clip of Maher's show, but a clip of The Daily Show! These gasbags can't come up with compelling content of their own, so they had to play clips from the Daily Show to hook viewers. Anyway, those cable news guys have barked themselves into irrelevance and the Daily Show does such a perfect job of calling the MEDIA out even more than it does people in government - all it has to do is play clips of the CNN anchor looking inside the break room fridge to get some insight into her own personality (!) (re: Anna Nicole Smith's "DEATH FRIDGE"), while this show reminds me of being at the lunch table in 8th grade.
posted by bukharin at 7:00 PM on February 14, 2007


Jon Stewart does lob softballs at just about everyone who comes on his show. Doubtless they wouldn't go on if he was actually going to talk about important stuff. He did rip into Ramesh Ponnuru... but that was one soft target.
posted by rxrfrx at 7:01 PM on February 14, 2007


*rips out a blank workbook page* *grabs multi-colored pen, alternating between the red ink and the blue*

omg. mr obama is soooo dum! *underline underline underline* i cant believe he's still talking. govermint is totally boring!!! hillary told me his first name is barrack. that means his inishulls are B.O. LOL ROFLM--- *security glance* ---AO!

*passes note to best friend*
posted by katillathehun at 7:01 PM on February 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


The dedicated Fox News watchers are captive audiences in nursing homes, with their 30-45 demographic snagged while browsing the electronics section of Walmart. This show is only necessary in the lineup because teens from those families who allow moderate laughter all want to watch Comedy Central, which is blocked at home. Most viewers will never the know the difference until after their sense of humor is destroyed.
posted by Brian B. at 7:05 PM on February 14, 2007


I've seen stewart try to give "harder" interviews, the last time Bill Kristol was on he (kristol) said (paraphrasing) "I feel like I'm your punching bag, you have all these guys, like Ashcroft come on and you're nice, and then you take out your aggression on me".

I think Stewart hates the sort of bullshit confrontational tone you see a lot and tries to actually understand people. With Kristol, he know's he's not going to offend the guy, so he just says whatever. He still doesn't seem anywhere near "mean" because he's just not a mean guy.

On the other hand, Stewart interviewed a global warming skeptic and it seemed like he was struggling to stay polite. The skeptic went so far as to compare "greens" with Nazis, the audience was stunned. It was a very strange interview.
posted by delmoi at 7:07 PM on February 14, 2007


Even the promo gets it so wrong: This show will offend democrats.
posted by meech at 7:11 PM on February 14, 2007


The more I think about it, the more I doubt this kind of "conservative humor" is any different from the Ann Coulter sort. It's the use of "humor" as a justification of ad hominem and downright stupid (making fun of someone's name) attacks. Respond to a serious criticism of the GOP with a non sequitur cheap shot or threat of violence, then when called on it say "hey, lighten up! It's humor! You liberals are so uptight."
posted by rxrfrx at 7:13 PM on February 14, 2007


But it's going to be awesome when the first overtly racist comments come out of the mouths of Rush and Hannity and Coulter.
Ask and ye shall receive.
posted by Flunkie at 7:14 PM on February 14, 2007


One strange aspect of "The Half-Hour News Hour" was that frequently-but-not-consistantly-funny and politically-independent celebrity blogger and radio semi-legend April Winchell was involved in the project, until about two weeks ago...

(quoting her blog because she still doesn't permalink)
After all the meetings, after all the waiting, after shooting the pilot and Fox News actually picking up the damn thing . . . I'm not doing the Half Hour News Hour after all.

Yeah, I'm not gonna lie. That one hurt. I won't go into the details because I just managed to stop the bleeding. Let's just say that I didn't want to do what they wanted me to do. So I didn't.

Well, what are you going to do, you know? This kind of shit happens all the time, and you have to be adult about it or you'll never survive.

So I'm going to take the high road, and just say that I hope it's a giant pile of shit that would have ruined my career and gotten me blacklisted.

No, actually I really like the people who created this show, and I sincerely wish them all the best.
I hope she offers more detail in the future, if only to declare that the "BO" magazine idea was NOT hers. (Please!)
posted by wendell at 7:19 PM on February 14, 2007


Jon Stewart's teeth come out when gay marriage comes up. Those are the moments I love.
posted by ColdChef at 7:20 PM on February 14, 2007


"BO" Magazine? ...really? I mean, really?

Well, it was a sly link to Oprah ("O" magazine). There's a dumb level, and then there's actually another intelligent level, so that wasn't a bad joke, really.

The only good funnay -- most of it was clunkers or at best tolerable unfunny -- was "Barack positions that will drive voters wild". Kind of a backhanded acknowledgement that he's good-looking.

Sure didn't take them long to break out the "Hussein" joke, though ... and Marion Barry? Do the kids even know who the hell he is?

Anyway, not enough to really judge.
posted by dhartung at 7:22 PM on February 14, 2007


why on earth was Stewart and Colbert so funny

The thing is, they're really not. I mean Jon Stewart is a funny man, and the Jon Stewart Show on ABC c. 1993 was very funny.

But the Daily Show is not a funny format. It's half semi-serious interviews, and half semi-funny preaching-to-the-choir comedy. It tries to be two conflicting things and doesn't fail, but looked at without a political agenda, it doesn't really succeed either. "Bush is dumb LOL" got old for me in like early 2001 and I'm sure I;m not the only one.

I'd rather watch the "libertarians" (ie closet republicans) who make South Park any day.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:25 PM on February 14, 2007


Did anyone else notice the fact that, like, 90% of the voices on the laugh track were male? It was kinda freaky. I actually didn't realize it was a laugh track the first time I heard it-- I just thought, "wow, they must have had a hard time finding any women to sit through this crap."

What do you think is behind that choice (if it was a choice)? Is this supposed to remind their core viewers of those ribald, completely heterosexual days of laughter in the high school locker room with the guys, after which they'd go out and lynch somebody?
posted by otherthings_ at 7:26 PM on February 14, 2007


The only good funnay -- most of it was clunkers or at best tolerable unfunny -- was "Barack positions that will drive voters wild". Kind of a backhanded acknowledgement that he's good-looking.

Or, it's a subtle dig at black mens' sexual appetites. But maybe that's giving them too much "credit".
posted by ColdChef at 7:27 PM on February 14, 2007


The OB magazine verged on funny. Didn't the producers notice that nobody puts a laugh track over a fake advertisement? Or if they noticed, did they ever wonder why?

The stiff and stiffette 'news anchors' performances would be embarrassingly wooden in a junior high christmas pageant:
("Let us follow yonder star.")
posted by hexatron at 7:28 PM on February 14, 2007


"Bush is dumb LOL" got old for me in like early 2001 and I'm sure I;m not the only one.

You obviously don't watch the show very often. The joke now is "Bush is evil." Except that that is not funny either, but for different reasons.
posted by ColdChef at 7:29 PM on February 14, 2007 [3 favorites]


I just remembered that I came across some news regarding this show a couple of weeks back*. Rush Limbaugh and his part on FOX's right-wing version of The Daily Show. Apparently he plays the President on the opening sketches of the show and Ann Coulter is VP. Rush thinks it's hilarious.

Yes, I know the source is Free Republic but the original source was a cached link to Limbaughs own site that no longer works. So Free Republic will have to do.
posted by Effigy2000 at 7:29 PM on February 14, 2007


The 1/2 Hour News Hour?

Gee, that sure does sound a lot like Canada's version of the Daily show This Hour has 22 Minutes
(which is a cute show, but also not as funny or nearly as smart as the Daily Show).
posted by meta_eli at 7:52 PM on February 14, 2007


"Did I mention I went to Harvard?"

I don't get it -- does Obama bring that up more often than he ought, in the estimation of many people? Or is that a "Whoa, he's black and he went to Harvard? What's up with that??" kind of joke?

Especially following the "Barack versus Tiger Woods: who's more diverse" joke which I guess I also didn't get. So they're both black and therefore the only thing they can see is "hurf durf diversity lolz -- get it... they're both not white men, am I right?!"? (hoping there's more to both of those jokes that I didn't get...)

And the 99.9% Democratic approval rating thing? Doesn't make any sense, especially considering he's 2nd to Clinton by a considerable margin.
posted by BaxterG4 at 7:54 PM on February 14, 2007


Gee, that sure does sound a lot like Canada's version of the Daily show This Hour has 22 Minutes

This hour now has 30 minutes. Inflation, you know.
posted by oaf at 8:15 PM on February 14, 2007


Gee, that sure does sound a lot like Canada's version of the Daily show This Hour has 22 Minutes (which is a cute show, but also not as funny or nearly as smart as the Daily Show).

Even then, an average 22 Minutes clip is funnier that this clip.
posted by dw at 8:24 PM on February 14, 2007


Michael Moore is fat.

Also, annoying.
posted by oaf at 8:30 PM on February 14, 2007


laughtrack/fox interns
posted by Kifer85 at 8:36 PM on February 14, 2007


BaxterG4 - I think the joke is supposed to be that both Tiger and Barack are the products of miscegenation.

Lick enough boot polish and you start thinking crap like that is funny, I guess.
posted by bashos_frog at 8:40 PM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh,, this show is going to be funny. Funny as a fucking heart attack.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:40 PM on February 14, 2007


I'm beyond trying to understand Republican memes. Essentially, they can't be looked at as rational formations, i.e., "ZOMG HARVARD LIBRUL ELITIST."

George Fucking Bush went to Harvard. And Yale. Grew up in New Haven. Went to Andover. But speaking with a fake Texas accent makes him "common man" material. Ugh.
posted by bardic at 8:43 PM on February 14, 2007


Fox ought to give up now. What's funny about white males in business suits robbing and stealing? Nothing, if you're on the side trying to defend them. That's why right-wing humor doesn't work, and why the left has the most hilarious script practically written for them everyday.

(That was all insider memes, racist undertones, barely suppressed entitlement, and campaign points disguised as jokes.)
posted by luckypozzo at 9:04 PM on February 14, 2007


The best argument for The Daily Show to having a true partisan political slant is the complete softball John Kerry interview in '04, and, well, I don't have a counterargument for that.

I do, I do! Check it:

Jon Stewart is making a show not a NEWS show. As such, there is no onus on him to be combative, or confrontational with his guests. It's not like he's unwilling to call them on their bullshit.

He tries to have a civil conversation with them rather than a shouting match. While I know a lot of people who don't dig the interview portion of the show, I think Stewart's approach works fine for him. He's a comedian, not a pundit or a journalist.
posted by sparkletone at 9:04 PM on February 14, 2007


Ask and ye shall receive.

Limbaugh Should ‘Renounce’ His Species And Just ‘Become a Komodo Dragon’
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:05 PM on February 14, 2007


meta_eli writes "Canada's version of the Daily show This Hour has 22 Minutes
"(which is a cute show, but also not as funny or nearly as smart as the Daily Show)."


22 minutes was brilliant when Mercer was on it, it kind of dropped off a cliff when he left. Of course there was a couple minutes of his monologue to ease the demands on the writers.
posted by Mitheral at 9:06 PM on February 14, 2007



The Daily Show isn't funny? I keep hearing this argument. Why are we all laughing?
posted by bukharin at 9:24 PM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Its the gas.
posted by TwelveTwo at 9:47 PM on February 14, 2007


22 Minutes hails from Not the Nine O'Clock News, a BBC production. And before NtNoCN there was, I believe, an earlier BBC make-fun-of-news-media show.

Which is what I think TDS is: not a comedy show so much as a "pointing out the foibles of our mass media" show. The thing is, top to bottom, a send-up of "real" television. It's a continuous intern-oiled, seventh city phd-ing, real-life labwork in media studies. It's a meta-analysis.

IMOYMMV.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:14 PM on February 14, 2007


I can't decide if I'm beginning to hate almost everything involving humans because I'm turning evolving into a Cranky Old Bastard Compleat, or if it's because almost everything involving humans has become crap.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:21 PM on February 14, 2007


Just not in home schools.

Hey, don't be hatin' on the homeschoolers... I homeschool my son (for reasons I won't go into here) and I am as left-of-center as you can get...

But yeah, your comment brings up a pet peeve of mine... I live in a very conservative part of Kansas, and when people find out that I homeschool, they automatically assume that I'm a fundie wingnut, and they speak to me as if I'm in their little "club"... I have to hold myself back from launching into a tirade in the middle of the grocery store.
posted by amyms at 10:24 PM on February 14, 2007


The best argument for The Daily Show to having a true partisan political slant is the complete softball John Kerry interview in '04, and, well, I don't have a counterargument for that.

Howard Dean?
posted by dirigibleman at 10:52 PM on February 14, 2007


Comedy has a well-known liberal bias.
posted by moonbiter at 11:26 PM on February 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


TDS has become more partisan in the last few years, but then again... which party is literally FLINGING potential material at the writers?

TDS also doesn't seem as funny lately, but I can see why. The events of the last few years are too easy to poke fun at, and often too serious to laugh at. How do you satirize a government that is pro-torture?

Stewart did well during Clinton because everything was so ridiculous that you couldn't take it seriously. Hopefully he will have another Dem president to joke about in 2008.
posted by mazatec at 11:42 PM on February 14, 2007


How do you satirize a government that is pro-torture?

Write material that kills.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:59 PM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Cold Chef

You must not be a frequent visitor to YouTube. 99% of the comments are like that.
posted by Target Practice at 12:14 AM on February 15, 2007


people find out that I homeschool, they automatically assume that I'm a fundie wingnut, and they speak to me as if I'm in their little "club"...

I've long planned to homeschool and this announcement has always been greeted by instant assumptions of bible thumping by people who should know better. But then I was utterly shocked to learn what percentage of homeschoolers were, in fact, fundies. I wish I could remember but I don't want to pull a figure out of my ass. It was high, though.
posted by dreamsign at 1:23 AM on February 15, 2007


What's funny about white males in business suits robbing and stealing? Nothing, if you're on the side trying to defend them.

See I don't think that's true. There are plenty of yuks to be made; it's just that they'd be transparently bigoted if not completely misanthropic so they don't risk it. What I'm hoping is that their judgment will prove to be as bad as ever and they will.
posted by dreamsign at 1:27 AM on February 15, 2007


I had no idea there was (or was perceived to be) a correlation, at least in America. How interesting.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:27 AM on February 15, 2007


Conservativism is already hilarious, in a pathetic, evil, selfish kind of way. This cancels that out. It's just unfunny.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:04 AM on February 15, 2007


That was painfully amateurish. I hope they fix it. I would like to see conservatives constructing thoughtful commentary... you know, just for the novelty.
posted by zennie at 7:09 AM on February 15, 2007


"Gee, that sure does sound a lot like Canada's version of the Daily show This Hour has 22 Minutes

This hour now has 30 minutes. Inflation, you know."


EXCHANGE RATE, GODDAMMIT.

You must make the exchange rate joke ANYTIME a numerical comparison with Canada comes up. It's a law.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:43 AM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Just to be the contrarian here, there is good conservative humor. PJ O'Rourke used to do it, before slowly drowning his good sense in scotch and anti-Clinton material. And there are plenty of good liberal targets. The joke on Obama's 18-month political career was a good one, it just wasn't sold well. But liberals can be pompous, oafish, corrupt and deranged just like conservatives can.
The problem is that we don't really have a conservative administration, and ineptide is always funny. But a conservative Daily Show would still have to go after the administration, just like Clinton got riffed on before our long national nightmare began. And you could do that while embracing conservative principles— the current administration's spending binges, the failures of intelligence, the intersection of secular greed and religious sanctimony... There are any number of ways to go after Hillary Clinton, or Obama, or Pelosi, that are genuinely funny.
Now, granted, I have a feeling that a lot of the "HUMORZ IS TEH LIBERAL!" partisans here wouldn't necessarily find it funny, but they're wrong.

Oh and: "
I'd rather watch the "libertarians" (ie closet republicans) who make South Park any day."

South Park is a good example of this— the show became much less funny after the Republicans swept in, because they kept trying the same jokes about the "liberals" who control everything. That, and they violated one of those principles of humor, in that once you go for the cheap joke, there's no where to go for the follow-up. Think about the Paris Hilton guest show: She's a skank, yeah, what else? Or the Gore thing. Yeah, "serial" was funny. But by picking on the underdog, they make themselves only sympathetic to bullies.
Which, frankly, also explains a lot about Fox News in general. They like the bullies. They fetishize the naked exercize of power. Not to get all Godwin, but the same mentality that draws people to desire dictators all over exists there, and it's not funny, it's mean. While you can always get some people to laugh at cruelty to others, it's hard to sustain it, and there's nowhere else to go.
posted by klangklangston at 7:49 AM on February 15, 2007 [4 favorites]


Oh, and on the lineage— The Daily Show came out of a line from That Was The Week That Was through HBO's The Daily Show (both of which were pretty funny). Comedy Central was, for a long time, a weird bastard of a channel, because Showtime and HBO (whose overlords I forget, but I think ST is Viacom and HBO is Time Warner) both had competing basic cable comedy channels that were both struggling, so they merged them and kept a lot of content. But it also gave strange beasts like Short Attention Span Theater...
posted by klangklangston at 7:52 AM on February 15, 2007



Especially following the "Barack versus Tiger Woods: who's more diverse" joke which I guess I also didn't get. So they're both black and therefore the only thing they can see is "hurf durf diversity lolz -- get it... they're both not white men, am I right?!"? (hoping there's more to both of those jokes that I didn't get...)

(If I recall correctly,) both are somewhat vocal about their multiracial heritage. I think at one point, Tiger was asking media organizations not to call him black because that would deny half of his heritage; I think I've heard Barack say that he is also white.

Being multiracial myself has made me pretty sour on the whole diversity thing, so the way I interpreted the joke was "the left values diversity of skin tone rather than diversity or merit of ideas; would they find black and Asian more diverse than black and white?"

Maybe that's taking the joke a bit too cerebrally. But that was the satiric humor I found in it.

I also took the "positions that will drive voters wild" joke as more of an allusion to the inane sex articles in Cosmopolitan rather than a jab at Obama specifically.

If more shows can do news humor, we all win. But from what I have seen from this clip, The Daily Show has nothing to worry about.
posted by bugmuncher at 8:00 AM on February 15, 2007


Limbaugh and Coulter Lead-in to the show, playing the future President and VP (as mentioned by Effigy2000 above). (via)
posted by zennie at 8:13 AM on February 15, 2007


Whoa, that's bad. Did they hire the joke writers from Hee Haw?
posted by jefbla at 9:46 AM on February 15, 2007


It's like they've read about "funny" but haven't experienced it directly.
posted by brundlefly at 10:29 AM on February 15, 2007


klangklangston - well said (et.al).

Contrasting the cogent and thoughtful comments here with the farkesque: “All conservitards suck HUH HUH HUH!” that seem to get all the favorites really messes up my brain. So, what, like 80-90% of the comments are well considered criticism or thoughtful observation, and the rest are “all ‘x’ are ‘y’” and yet those 10% seem to get most of the favs.
...actually that might ‘splain a lot.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:50 AM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, and on the lineage— The Daily Show came out of a line from That Was The Week That Was through HBO's The Daily Show (both of which were pretty funny).

HBO never had a Daily Show. Are you thinking of Not Necessarily The News?
posted by dw at 11:51 AM on February 15, 2007


A trio of Fox hacks talking about whether "agitator" Helen Thomas should be evicted from her front-row seat in the White House press room so that Fox can move in -- complete with not only a canned track of people groaning and applauding, but the same groan used twice. It's so flea-bitten, so pathetic. Bush should just restage "Triumph of the Will" with CG Marines waving little flags and cheering.
posted by digaman at 12:01 PM on February 15, 2007


No, though NNTN should have been included. Perhaps I'm misremembering the name, but there was a half-hour weekly show that (I thought) had Daily in the title, and lasted, like, six weeks.
Years ago, I had an internship with a guy named Larry Lieberman, who was part of the team that set up Comedy Central (and then moved on to Nickelodeon and MTV, and the MTV part was how I got involved).
posted by klangklangston at 12:13 PM on February 15, 2007


Hendrik Hertzberg describes this kind of close imitation of supposedly liberal institutions by the conservative movement as "cargo cult conservatism":
... the milieu that [David] Brock describes is reminiscent of that of American Communism in the nineteen-thirties and forties.... Like the American and other Western Communist parties in their heyday, the American conservative movement has created a kind of alternative intellectual and political universe—a set of institutions parallel to and modelled on the institutions of mainstream society (many of which the movement sees, or imagines, as the organs of a disciplined Liberal Establishment) and dedicated to the single purpose of advancing a predetermined political agenda. There is a kind of Inner Movement, consisting of a few hundred funders, senior organization leaders, lawyers, and prominent media personalities (but only a handful of practicing politicians), and an Outer Movement, consisting of a few thousand staff people, grunt workers, and lower-level operatives of one kind or another. The movement has its own newspapers (the Washington Times, the New York Post, the Journal's editorial page), its own magazines (The Weekly Standard, National Review, Policy Review, Commentary, and many more), its own broadcasting operations (Fox News and an array of national and local talk-radio programs and right-wing Christian broadcast outlets), its own publishing houses (Regnery and the Free Press, among others), its own quasi-academic research institutions (the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute), and even its own Popular Front—the Republican Party....

Another echo was the conviction that the mainstream media—the conservative movement called it the "liberal," not the "capitalist," press, but the air of beleaguerment and conspiracy was the same—was little more than an engine of propaganda.
posted by russilwvong at 1:45 PM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


interesting link russ
posted by Smedleyman at 2:59 PM on February 15, 2007


If they ditch the laugh track and critique their material more carefully, in two or three seasons this might be funny.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:37 PM on February 15, 2007


If they ditch the laugh track and critique their material more carefully, in two or three seasons this might be funny.
No time for that. Jesus comin' soon.
posted by Flunkie at 3:42 PM on February 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey, Smedleyman. I remember we had a long discussion last year about how to describe the Bush administration (as opposed to conservatives in general). Hertzberg and others describe it as "movement conservatism." Here's a long article from the Heritage Foundation on the history of the conservative movement, explicitly comparing it to Maoism.
posted by russilwvong at 4:26 PM on February 15, 2007


Neat stuff, russil.
posted by klangklangston at 4:30 PM on February 15, 2007


Who I just noticed is russil w vong, not russil v wong, like I've been saying in my head.
posted by klangklangston at 4:30 PM on February 15, 2007


No time for that. Jesus comin' soon.

Look busy!!!
posted by ericb at 5:13 PM on February 15, 2007


As others have noted, the Daily Show and Colbert Report are funny because both Stewart and Colbert are comedians, performers. The Surnow-funded Fox News response is just a regular Fox News broadcast, without the journalistic pretense. A bunch of shrieking, war-obsessed, racist idiots with no erudition or education, posing as journalists posing as comedians.

I don't agree with Stewart at all times (I'm not just moderately left of center), but I can laugh at the Daily Show because it's clever. This show is like the levity of a seething, VFW hall drunk after his second drink and before things turn angry.
posted by inoculatedcities at 5:40 PM on February 15, 2007


"Here's a long article from the Heritage Foundation on the history of the conservative movement, explicitly comparing it to Maoism." - posted by russilwvong

Some cogent conclusions. But some which dodge certain other historical facts (probably through some literalist interpretation). Mao, in some historians views, was just another in a line of dynastic rulers. The Chinese have always adhered to stability over nearly any other national ethos, which is why they were the world power for so damned long. And also why when it slipped, they couldn't recover it. That kind of mistake is similar, in form, to Goldwater's adherence to principle on equal rights.
The great problem of taking wisdom from history (and not repeating mistakes) is avoiding being bound by tradition. Which is always in the interest of power to promogulate.

And which is a problem in both conservative and liberal thought whenever either is put into practice; and indeed is always aided from within by a certain kind of person endemic to political, or indeed any philosophy: the dogmatists.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:44 PM on February 15, 2007


(thanks again btw)
posted by Smedleyman at 9:45 PM on February 15, 2007


klangklangston: Who I just noticed is russil w vong, not russil v wong, like I've been saying in my head.

If this account ever gets banned, my next account name will be "Russil Wvong." (It's an idiosyncratic variant spelling of "Russell Wong." On the plus side, it makes me easy to Google.)


Smedleyman: Mao, in some historians' views, was just another in a line of dynastic rulers.

Sure, but I found it interesting that this historian of movement conservatism would even consider the Chinese Communist movement as an analogy, e.g. talking about party discipline, or the "Long March" of movement conservatism to power. This is admiration for Leninist party discipline, not what we traditionally think of as "conservative." It reinforces Hertzberg's comparison of movement conservatism (again, not conservatives in general) to the American Communist Party of the 1930s and 1940s--a movement that sees itself as being in beleaguered opposition to mainstream society.
posted by russilwvong at 12:58 PM on February 16, 2007


It is interesting. And I think in many ways accurate. But I think in some ways that's just how those machines work. I'd absolutely agree that movement conservativism is similar in form (not ideology of course).
I'd assert that the self image of 'beleaguered opposition' to society is a necessary fiction to any party taking this form. In many ways Orwell describes some of this method (always underrated as a political analyst - I s'pose it's the fixation on the fascistic nastiness that gets in the way).

It's interesting to note that Obama is conducting his political campaign more as a movement than a race for office. Astute bit of analysis that. He should be able to - even if unsuccessful - make a huge dent in the current state of affairs.
One thing I've always been optimistic about is the environment in which political parties develop. In China (et.al) you can have a disciplined party, seize power and expect to maintain control for a good long time. In the U.S., while a similar plan of action yields fruit, at some point it diverges too far from core ideology (we're seeing that already). And this is because it has to in order to maintain power, therefore the final ends become only maintaining power.
I'd argue to a lesser degree this is what's happening to the democrats now as well (and indeed, what had happened to the 'liberals' in the past to give rise to the conservative movement in the first place).
But historically it's always been a third party - often with one issue - to come in and kick over the whole tea party and scatter everyone's loyalties to the winds of political fortune.

And indeed, it is that state of affairs that can give rise to this sense of being in opposition to society because mainstream society appears to be driven by chaos.
But it ain't. It's merely so complex it's beyond the capacity of any ideology to cope with. So you choose THOSE ASSHOLES! over there! The liberals (or conservatives or whomever) to identify as the people driving society into the ground and identify yourselves with the righteous underdogs. And indeed any sort of responsible cohesive group under those conditions would necessarily follow similar group dynamics, self-motivators, etc, etc. And it so happens they're all on board and actively trying to get stuff done* so they don't waste time with whores or other distractions.

So yeah, they are similar in form, but it's comparing a salt-water shark to a fresh water shark.

(*most people have no ideology or pay only lip service to one)
posted by Smedleyman at 9:38 PM on February 16, 2007


Smedleyman: I'd assert that the self image of 'beleaguered opposition' to society is a necessary fiction to any party taking this form.

See, this is where I'd disagree strongly.

Traditionally, in US politics, the party which happens to be in the majority will exercise some self-restraint, because it knows that the minority party will at some point be the majority party again.

That totally isn't the Bush/Cheney/Rove style of governing. It's slash-and-burn, take no prisoners, all-partisan, all the time. The campaigns against Max Cleland and against Kerry illustrate this. The whole thing strikes me as bizarre and infuriating.

There's some kind of weird mindset going on with movement conservatism that's definitely not a traditional part of American party politics. (Like Bush getting a briefing about the situation in Iraq and asking if the briefer is a Democrat. I mean, WTF? Or staffing the Iraq mission with people from the Heritage Foundation.)

In the U.S., while a similar plan of action yields fruit, at some point it diverges too far from core ideology (we're seeing that already). And this is because it has to in order to maintain power, therefore the final ends become only maintaining power.

Right. As the man said, you can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.
posted by russilwvong at 10:27 AM on February 19, 2007


« Older LA homicide   |   Valentines Day is like herpes... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post