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Sanity, Fear, and Sanchez
December 31, 2010 1:12 PM   Subscribe

The Year's Top Moments from Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert, according to TPM.
posted by pecknpah (39 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's a somewhat odd feeling but seeing John Stewart take the politicians to task and get the 1st Responders bill passed made me somewhat proud of a "comedy news" show. I type comedy news in quotes but at times I feel they're more news than most "news" programs are anymore.
posted by Nauip at 1:32 PM on December 31, 2010


'The Daily Show' Year In Review: A Month By Month Look At 2010.
posted by ericb at 1:33 PM on December 31, 2010


I type comedy news in quotes but at times I feel they're more news than most "news" programs are anymore.

I find it useful to classify TDS as snarky activism rather than news or comedy. Here's to another great year!
posted by Burhanistan at 1:43 PM on December 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


Jon Stewart is a genius.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 1:55 PM on December 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


In Canada, Comedy Central Videos are available on The Comedy Network.
posted by breakfast! at 1:57 PM on December 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


I find it useful to classify TDS as snarky activism rather than news or comedy.

You just missed an opportunity to use the phrase snarktivism.

For shame.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 1:58 PM on December 31, 2010 [6 favorites]


My snarktivist group will be called "Nearly Activist Men Bringing Laughing Action"
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:02 PM on December 31, 2010 [11 favorites]


I thought Jon Stewart did a real disservice by drawing false equivalences between, for example, Rachel Maddow and Glenn Beck — but what he did for getting the 9/11 Emergency Workers health bill passed makes up for a lot of that. It was a real showpiece for the kind of political power he can wield for genuine good, whether or not he would like to admit he has that clout.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:07 PM on December 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think once a year every Christmas Jon Stewart should be allowed to make one law.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:10 PM on December 31, 2010 [26 favorites]


I don't know any other program besides TDS that consistently holds the news media accountable . . . or so speedily catches public people lying, with taped evidence. I like a lot of Stewart's interviews especially with authors of books I might otherwise miss. I also owe TDS an eternal debt for saving my sanity during the Bush years. Long live Stewart and TDS!
posted by bearwife at 2:11 PM on December 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


I still check TPM every day but the breathless coverage of TDS is kind of embarassing. The TPM homepage is pretty much TDS and lolwingnut in equal parts. If I was prone to speculation I would say that JMM has been bought and paid for by the fat cats at comedy central.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:31 PM on December 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


I never understand why real news organizations can't seem to do the background research that Steward does. If he's interviewing someone, he actually tries to know something about the subject beforehand and calls people if they try to BS him. Why can't the real reporters show up armed with the actual truth when they're interviewing some politician or pundit with an agenda?
posted by octothorpe at 2:44 PM on December 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ad hominem: I don't think it's that, I think JMM is just starstruck; the fawning has only been since he met Colbert that time. Not that this is the biggest reason I've mostly-stopped reading TPM (i.e. it's not in my RSS anymore). I don't think he's bought and paid-for, just ambitious. My sense is that he's aiming for a Press Secretary position sometime in the next 20 years and staying on the Hip Left is the skateboard that will help get him there.

Also: eponysterical
posted by rhizome at 2:48 PM on December 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


The cable news hosts have more time to fill and more people to interview, and sometimes interview like five people at once. They will never be as prepared to take someone on.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:50 PM on December 31, 2010


Why can't the real reporters show up armed with the actual truth when they're interviewing some politician or pundit with an agenda?

I'm sure someone else who took more than one journalism class can step in and discuss further, but journalists are pushed so far towards trying to eliminate biases and appear neutral that often they seem to take this to mean that they can't challenge anyone. Not even Mike Wallace in his heyday could do a takedown like Jon Stewart can.
posted by incessant at 2:50 PM on December 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


What! No Go F*uck Yourselves?!
posted by Max Power at 2:50 PM on December 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think I naturally am trusting of the media, and in the past, I never readily questioned the content that I would receive. "If TV says it's true, than it probably is," was my mantra, and "TV tells me what I should think"

Then one night I was watching TDS where, Stewart played a clip of some comment Al Sharpton made during some Democratic convention (I don't know exactly what). The comment seemed pretty normal, but then Jon switches to clips of the FOXNews talking heads who were all slamming Rev. Sharpton for his "terrible comments".

I forget what the comment was or what FoxNews said about him - I don't even have an opinion about Rev. Sharpton (I don't know enough about him). But that segment made it clear to me that even an innocent-enough comment can be interpreted and misrepresented by anyone, if they want to.

Had I seen the FoxNews clip by itself, I probably would have been convinced that what Rev. Sharpton said was wrong. But seeing this segment on TDS switched on something up there in my head, and from that day onward, I started to be more critical of what I heard and read.

Lord knows, I'm far from free-thinking. I regularly check MeFi to see what other's opinions are and which opinion has the most favourites, and am still easily swayed by a smooth-talking reporter or pundit, or MeFi denizen at that.

But not as much. And I owe this microscopic evolution in my thought process and free will to TDS and Jon Stewart.
posted by bitteroldman at 2:51 PM on December 31, 2010 [15 favorites]


Yeah I wasn't serious about him taking cash to promote TDS on the TMM homepage. I just miss drunken JMM from before he moved to New York.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:54 PM on December 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's hard to explain exactly why - and indeed nobody has ever forced me to - I prefer Colbert to Jon Stewart, and probably my favourite Stephen Colbert moment this year was his sincere duet with Elvis Costello, singing the Everly Brothers' 'All I Have To Do Is Dream.'
Not on the 'Tube, unfortunately.
posted by Flashman at 2:54 PM on December 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Stephen and Elvis Costello: 'All I Have To Do Is Dream' [video | 03:29].
posted by ericb at 3:22 PM on December 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dear god Jon Stewart in that Faculty clip is like the entire early 90s in hair form.
posted by The Whelk at 3:26 PM on December 31, 2010


I never understand why real news organizations can't seem to do the background research that Stewart does.

It's the mindless rush to dominate a 24/7 news cycle, while at the same time keeping costs at rock bottom.

Stewart has a team of writers and researchers generating 22 minutes of content for five shows a week. Six to seven minutes of that content will be an interview. Most of the time, at least one of those interview slots will be an entertainment-based puff piece (e.g. Famous Actor promoting upcoming movie). The shows also stand outside of the news cycle -- TDS is not beholden to timeliness like a news show and can hold content indefinitely.

Contrast this with The Rachel Maddow Show, for example. It's 44 minutes of content, five nights a week. Maddow's staff is likely half the size of Stewart's, and not nearly paid as well (they are "journalists" and not "comedy writers" earning residuals). The show is mostly interview, with no true puff pieces. By its very nature, the show stands smack dab in the middle of the news cycle (i.e. if someone important dies in the morning, it must be on the show that night). No content can be held.

Analogy: The Daily Show is sketch comedy. The Rachel Maddow Show is improvisation.

Not that it makes them heroes or anything. Journalism is still, and likely always will be, insanely shoddy compared to what it could be.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:58 PM on December 31, 2010 [8 favorites]


Jesus Is a Liberal Democrat was one of my favorite Colbert clips from this year.
posted by pecknpah at 4:07 PM on December 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think once a year every Christmas Hanukah Jon Stewart should be allowed to make one law eight laws.

FTFY
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:07 PM on December 31, 2010 [4 favorites]


Did you know that The Daily Show isn't the first daily show Jon Stewart's had on Comedy Central?
posted by JHarris at 4:31 PM on December 31, 2010


TDS is not beholden to timeliness like a news show and can hold content indefinitely.

It would be a really great thing if news shows realized that holding off to make reports more thorough would actually be good.
posted by kenko at 4:43 PM on December 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


To add to what you said Cool Papa Bell, I used to work at a newsroom for a national tv station in Mexico. We did 4 to 5 news shows M-F and 2 shows S-S, lasting from 15 minutes to 45. This is a national network, which covers a nation of 111 million, yet we had less journalists in total than the writers that TDS has for a 22 min show.
posted by Omon Ra at 4:46 PM on December 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not on the 'Tube, unfortunately.

Every episode of the Colbert Report (and The Daily Show) are online.
posted by delmoi at 4:58 PM on December 31, 2010


I think the problem is probably just that TV sucks as a medium for news. It's just not suited for anything but real time reporting of actual events. Car chases, sports, storms and firetrucks.

If you want real news, go on the internet, and stop depending on billion dollar mega-corporations to look out for your interests.
posted by empath at 5:05 PM on December 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


It would be a really great thing if news shows realized that holding off to make reports more thorough would actually be good.

Except that traditionally, there's been a dichotomy between what some people consider "good" and what actually gets ratings. Every editorially directed, heavy-handed experiment in providing "real news" on television has failed miserably. Worse, we're in a seriously down cycle for television news.

Go to msnbc.com and look at the Title bar on your browser. The first two words are "Breaking News." There's a reason for that, and "providing good product" ain't it. ;-)
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:06 PM on December 31, 2010


Jesus Is a Liberal Democrat

I love how Colbert is willing and able to speak up against such horrible misuses of Christianity. He's a devout Catholic, and, time and time again, he shows what that really means. I may just be imagining it, but I think you can see, in his sketches like this one, real anger and insult at those who misquote the Bible for their own ends. He isn't preachy, but you damn well better know your Bible if you're going to use it to support your point on his show. I respect that.
posted by meese at 5:09 PM on December 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


or NAMBLA. I know you got the joke so how did that stay on the tee?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:16 PM on December 31, 2010


Stewart has a team of writers and researchers generating 22 minutes of content for five shows a week.

Four shows...which just makes your point stronger. And they seem to take at least nineteen weeks vacation each year.
posted by Bokononist at 8:16 PM on December 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


probably my favourite Stephen Colbert moment this year was his sincere duet with Elvis Costello, singing the Everly Brothers' 'All I Have To Do Is Dream.'

You know, the performance of "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding" by Stephen Colbert, Elvis Costello, Toby Keith, Willie Nelson, John Legend, and Feist from A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift Of All has this odd ability to make me burst into tears.
posted by hippybear at 9:15 PM on December 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


probably my favourite Stephen Colbert moment this year was his sincere duet with Elvis Costello, singing the Everly Brothers' 'All I Have To Do Is Dream.'

I can't find a Canadian-accessible version of this anywhere. I tried the Comedy Network, but they only go back to Nov. 29th. Megavideo gives me nothing.

I really, really want to see this. I loved Colbert singing Cheap Reward, and I grew up listening to the Everly Brothers.

Want!
posted by aclevername at 12:20 AM on January 2, 2011


I suffer from that same affliction, and I wanted to see it again too!
*Even*tu ally I have found it on Vimeo.
posted by Flashman at 10:12 AM on January 2, 2011


Awesome! Thanks so much flashman.
posted by aclevername at 1:15 PM on January 2, 2011


In Canada, Comedy Central Videos are available on The Comedy Network.

Hotspot Shield.
posted by Dasein at 3:30 PM on January 2, 2011


The Beck impersonations are wonderful theatre.
posted by Theta States at 12:54 PM on January 4, 2011


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