Jon Stewart is a real newscaster?
July 21, 2004 9:58 AM   Subscribe

The Daily Show wins an award for news programming? this seems pretty funny to me. and sort of sad that a fake news show gives me better news than the real news shows. the daily show beat out several other real news programs to take the award. i find that stewart is a less biased host than many on the news today, regularly features people from conservative and liberal camps, and is a pretty damn good interviewer, spending more time asking about things people care about and less time grinding an axe. he's also very good at getting his (mostly liberal) audience to respond politely to conservative guests. so why can't i find that in a real news show?
posted by caution live frogs (57 comments total)
 
Well, Stewart seems more honest because he's more forthright about his biases. Everyone knows the daily show has a liberal bent, and No one ever claimed differently. In fact, their 'fake news' style kinda lets 'em off the hook.
posted by delmoi at 10:07 AM on July 21, 2004


I think Stewart must have been visited in the middle of the night on 9/10 by the ghost of Dennis Miller's Self Respect.

"Hey, buddy, see these trackmarks? They're where I shot up when I pandered to the lowest common denominator by telling them they're smart for laughing at me."
posted by lodurr at 10:13 AM on July 21, 2004


Something else you won't find in a "real" news show - the willingness to call politicians on their lies and other outrageous statements. Among my favorite examples - replaying tape from the interview where the Vice-President is saying the very words he denied ever having said in a subsequent interview. This used to be called 'doing your job' if you were a journalist - now its 'comedy'.
posted by krtzmrk at 10:16 AM on July 21, 2004


Everyone knows the daily show has a liberal bent

Caveat: being somewhat liberal myself, I'm probably not able to give a completely objective response to that, but I'm not convinced of this.

I would say that the show has a strong anti-hypocrisy bent, but liberal, I guess is in the eye of the beholder. I've seen Kerry, Clinton, Dean and Gore get just as reamed on the show as Bush, Cheney, Rice and Rumsfeld. It just so happens that the right has more power these days, so they naturally end up taking more flack.
posted by psmealey at 10:19 AM on July 21, 2004


I'd say a centrist bent, but it all depends where you're standing, I guess.
posted by rushmc at 10:22 AM on July 21, 2004


An anti-politics and news media bent, from where I'm standing.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:40 AM on July 21, 2004


TV journalism has been beaten to death by corporate interests. Knowing that the set and the "talent" are a bigger priority than the news just wears you down. Having to hunt down the real facts after watching a biased news program sort of makes it no longer worthwhile.

But with fake news you don't have that issue. The Daily Show's success is the result of "easy to loath" format which real news has dumped on us.

Plus, they do fake news much better than real news does fake news.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:41 AM on July 21, 2004


It's not "fake news". It's real news, reported in a funny way. There's a big difference.
posted by interrobang at 10:54 AM on July 21, 2004


"hey as long as its all fake news, it might as well be funny"
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 10:58 AM on July 21, 2004


The Daily Show does indeed pillory the right more than the left. However, I think that may be explained in large part by the fact that the right is running the government, and thus is more worthy of attention simply due to the larger number of attention-attracting goofs the administration has made.

Frankly, TDS does a better job of making me 'run and find out' than other news shows. All they need is a small and curious mongoose for Senior Snake Correspondent.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 10:59 AM on July 21, 2004


I wonder how the progam will change after the election? For example it is possible the show could have far less political material after Bush heads back to Texas, or maybe the show will do a complete political 180...
posted by mhaw at 11:05 AM on July 21, 2004


Every night at 11pm, I thank god that Craig Kilborn thought he was too good for Comedy Central...too bad it'll take a Pulitzer landing in Jon Stewart's lap for CNN et al to wake up to their own shortcomings.
posted by junkbox at 11:07 AM on July 21, 2004


Stewart seems remarkably informed, as well, which I'm betting is why he's such a good interviewer. When he's not 100% confident with a subject, he's not shy about asking his guest for details.

One of my favorite interviews recently was with Kevin Kline, who had to repeatedly correct Stewart on details surrounding the subject matter of his recent movie (Delovely). It was funny because Kline took it completely in stride, as I'm betting he hadn't had anything but canned, general questions from any of the entertainment "press" up to that point.

Of course, the first taping after 9/11 was probably the most meaningful TV I'd seen regarding the tragedy. No heartfelt celebrities talking about heroes and terrorism, no cowboy presidents yelling at the world -- just John in front of the camera, full on crying, relating his emotions and fears surrounding the event. I'll never forget what he said about the view from his apartment to the southern tip of Manhattan had cleared from the clouds of the fallen buildings, and what was revealed but the Statue of Liberty. How fitting, indeed.
posted by thanotopsis at 11:09 AM on July 21, 2004


Kline is very on the ball; he always controls his interviews, even when they seem to go out of hand. I heard probably four or five different "Delovely"-flogging interviews, with very little repetition; he wandered off into unknown territory with very little provocation, which is supposed to be bad promotional practice, but I think he knew that just being him and being funny was some of the best promo he could give.

When I was a kid I wanted to be Gene Kelly. Now, I wouldn't so much mind waking up as Kevin Kline. (Especially since that would put me in bed next to Phoebe Cates...)
posted by lodurr at 11:18 AM on July 21, 2004


I'm going to have to agree with the general consensus here, which I guess makes posting sort of silly, but I do have a bit to add.

The Daily Show definitely makes a point to poke fun at both sides. it's clear that Stewart has a liberal bias, and I'm fine with that - he doesn't try to hide it, and he still pokes plenty of jokes at Kerry and other liberals...

On the 'fake news' front though, I've gotta say that this show provides more real news information than a lot of 'more legitimate' news shows out there. His interviews with political figures are always interesting, filled with reasonable and frankly FAIR questions, and are never 'pointed'. Most hosts invite a guest on with the explicit idea of either a) grilling them repeatedly about some issue to put them in a tough spot, or b) kiss their ass and support them and give them a chance to grandstand because they like that person / person's viewpoints.

Stewart does a great job of asking reasonable and fair questions to give the audience - mostly young folks who don't vote enough - some real information.

I, for one, welcome our new comedy news overlord. It makes real news consumable, interesting and still informative.

The real question is - now that TDS is recognized as legitimate news (to whatever extent you may feel appropriate) - will other news outfits follow suit in any way to try and make news more useful?

[note: I feel that CNN and others try to make news 'entertaining' - just not in a comedic way.. they add drama to stories, they jazz things up with visual presentation, etc.. the problem is, in trying to make it entertaining they almost take away the informative part because it's either so slanted or so buried in presentation... it's odd that TDS, which is more purely entertainment based, does a better job of providing actual information while still keeping it interesting.
posted by twiggy at 11:28 AM on July 21, 2004


For those interested in reading stewart's opening words for The Daily Show's first episode after 9/11 - here is a transcript..

It was obviously a bit more powerful seeing it - seeing Jon struggle to get the words out and hold back tears - but it's a good read anyhow for those who didn't see it.
posted by twiggy at 11:35 AM on July 21, 2004


One other thing about the Kline interview: the day before, Ashley Judd (Kline's costar in Delovely) had been on the show, and had treated the whole show as being beneath her, insulting Stewart, the show, the network, the audience, just generally being demeaning.

Stewart did a great job of covering, but when Kline came on the next day, I get the feeling that (a) he knew Stewart was wondering why they'd bothered giving two whole shows to this movie when the guests can't be bothered to even pretend to care about The Daily Show; and (b) being a fan of the show himself, Kline wanted to be sure that both he and Stewart came halfway and somethig good would come of the week for both of them.

So they talked about some things that Stewart might have only known a little bit about, and Stewart let Kline run with the ball a little bit, and it wound up being a very genial and thoughtful conversation between two smart people.

When was the last time you could say that about any conversation on any other cable (or non-cable) news program?

And yet this happens all the time on The Daily Show. The "fake news" thing is as flimsy and specious as, oh, Cole Porter's first marriage, and the only surprise is that anyone still buys into it.
posted by chicobangs at 11:40 AM on July 21, 2004


A few months ago, I was flipping through all of the news shows and their big lead story was something about Courtney Love; when I flipped to TDS, Jon Stewart was discussing something major that was happening in Iraq and I was stunned that the fake news show was the only show covering news. That I can't remember what the real news event was is another story...
posted by armacy at 11:43 AM on July 21, 2004


now that TDS is recognized as legitimate news ... will other news outfits follow suit in any way to try and make news more useful?

They won a Peabody for their 2000 election coverage, remember, so I'd say that the answer is "no." The recognition of TDS as a legitimate news program has had little or no effect on traditional news outlet.
posted by kindall at 11:55 AM on July 21, 2004


What I like is how Stewart is not afraid to call bullshit on the celebrity promo parade. Jennifer Love Hewitt, on the Daily Show promoting Garfield...how absurd is it for two adults to discuss that movie as if it were interesting and worthy? Stewart is well aware of the absurdity, and as a result Hewitt left the set angry and confused by Stewart's openly mocking tone. It was great.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:17 PM on July 21, 2004


That's the thing: LiebowitzStewart isn't afraid to have an opinion, or to call a spade a spade--something we don't see on conventional news, where a misguided effort to be free of bias means that all facts are treated as matters of opinion, and both sides get to tell their story.

On Sunday, Frank Rich had an interesting column on the increasingly arbitrary distinction between fake news and real news. He was focusing especially on Will Farrel's new movie, but obviously had plenty to say about the Daily Show.

Speaking as a liberal, I think that the Daily Show made a hard effort at being centrist--trying to meet conservative guests halfway, that sort of thing--but in the past 3-4 weeks, I've noticed Jon Stewart getting more obviously fed up with the obstinate black-is-whitism coming from the right--he's had some antagonistic interviews with right-wing authors, and there's been a meaner tone to some of the news pieces. I can't say that I mind.

And when a self-proclaimed fake news show wins a news show award, you know the Black-is-whitists have won.
posted by adamrice at 12:39 PM on July 21, 2004


I agree with stupidsexyFlanders, that was a great moment. Jon is generally genial to a fault, but he evinces a little bit of a mean streak when he has a certain type of guest (fatous idiot) on the show. I was astounded a week or so ago when he had Wolf Blitzer on, and Blitzer completely outed himself as a vacuous, vain fool.
posted by psmealey at 12:46 PM on July 21, 2004


fatousfatuous ... sigh... spell check is a good thing
posted by psmealey at 12:48 PM on July 21, 2004


The Daily Show is NOT a news show. They never cover any stories themselves (heck their correspondents don't even leave the studio!)

The Daily Show is a MetaNews show. It is a show about other shows' News. Perhaps why it is so popular here.

It is also doubleplus ungood funny stuff.
posted by srboisvert at 1:24 PM on July 21, 2004


"and Blitzer completely outed himself as a vacuous, vain fool."

you don't watch much CNN do you? I envy you. because the unfortunate souls who do watch it, had figured that out long ago. Wolfy's a Jonathan Pollard apologist, too, but I don't want to derail.

I just find it funny, the whole let's-take-a-comedy-show-seriously. it's a fitting comment to the sorry state of the US media in this day and age, Stewart's success and cred.
the court jesters have become the reliable ones. up is down, really
posted by matteo at 1:25 PM on July 21, 2004


I, for one, welcome our new comedy news overlord.

ok, totally OT here. but does anyone know the origin of that style of statement? the first time I heard it was from The Simpsons "And I for one welcome our new insect overlords". but.. that CAN'T be the origin of it.. is it?
posted by eurasian at 1:30 PM on July 21, 2004


Eurasian: yes it is. Or at least that's where everyone here recognizes it from (dissenting opinions, obscure film buffs?).

Journalists in general make for poor interviews on TDS because they don't take the show seriously enough and make the mistake of trying to be entertaining, which makes them look like complete chumps next to an actual entertainer. Sort of ironic, really.
posted by cardboard at 1:37 PM on July 21, 2004


I love The Daily Show and think Jon Stewart is brilliant, but it scares the hell out of me when people hold TDS up as the best "news" show on television. And even scarier to me are people who say TDS is their only source of news.

People who think they can stay adequately informed on the major issues from a 10 minute comedy take-out of the day's events followed by a talk show-style interview are frankly on crack.

Watching Jon Stewart is certainly a lot funnier than, say, reading The New York Times, but nobody in their right mind can make a valid argument that Stewart is more informative than The Times (and I suspect that most people who try are people who don't read The Times).

I question what people who call TDS their primary news source are really looking for: information or entertainment? If we've reached a point where we must have our news spoon-fed to us in humorous nuggets of satire, then the problem isn't the mainstream media. It's us.
posted by TBoneMcCool at 1:37 PM on July 21, 2004


I saw the Blitzer interview-- it was terrific. Stewart basically called out the major networks for not doing their job to question the administration.

He did the same thing a few weeks ago in an interview on Larry King. He came across as pretty damn intelligent, as well as tired of the cheerleading and the coverage of the trivial and distracting that the news networks trade in.

the court jesters have become the reliable ones

They always have been-- the comedian has almost always been the only person who can tell the truth, because they can couch it as a "joke" to avoid repercussions.

ok, totally OT here. but does anyone know the origin of that style of statement? the first time I heard it was from The Simpsons "And I for one welcome our new insect overlords". but.. that CAN'T be the origin of it.. is it?

Oh, but it is.
posted by nath at 1:38 PM on July 21, 2004


continuing the OT: yes, it is. Why would you doubt it in the first place? Many, many things originate with Homer et al.
posted by signal at 1:49 PM on July 21, 2004


The Daily Show is NOT a news show. They never cover any stories themselves (heck their correspondents don't even leave the studio!)

Ummm... you mean except for every single recorded-out-of-studio segment they air, usually one per show, of course.

Sorry to be snarky, but you have, umm, actually WATCHED the show, haven't you? I can't fathom how you could and say something as blindingly incorrect as that.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:57 PM on July 21, 2004


me three re Blitzer. I was crying with laughter.

Stewart also had a great deal of critical guests on about the WMD thing, at a time when no-one else was offering that perspective.

Oh, and we might want to recall that John Edwards announced his Presidential candidacy on the show, apparently fulfilling a promise he'd made in an earlier appearance. He appeared slightly embarassed, but it was quite endearing.
posted by mwhybark at 1:57 PM on July 21, 2004


twiggy: There's also video of the same monologue on that page, actually.

stupidsexyFlanders: The Jennifer Love Hewitt interview was so good it was actually poigniant. He's the most emotionally honest TV personality ever.
posted by abcde at 2:06 PM on July 21, 2004


According to my cable program guide, TDS is replaying the show with Wolf Blitzer tonight at 11, and tomorrow at 7pm.

you don't watch much CNN do you?

Guilty as charged. I haven't watched CNN since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Was that 1989?

Musing: I wonder if TDS means the same thing to today's young adult generation that Late Night with David Letterman meant to my own. I personally didn't and don't like Letterman very much, but there's no question his style was enormously influential. I wonder if TDS will have similar reach and impact.

Also, while it is probably not the best place to get all of your news, it is a good source of supplemental info and it clearly is the last refuge of straight political humor on TV, since SNL has fallen down on the job so badly in recent years. Case in point: they seemed to produce nothing but anti-Saddam and anti-protester skits in the run up to the Iraq war. Not that those two groups didn't deserve proper ridicule, but there was very little humor aimed at the whole WMD thing (which was rife with material) and the administration generally. It was a little, um, unbalanced and gung ho and bore little resemblance to the irreverent SNL I grew up with.
posted by psmealey at 2:33 PM on July 21, 2004


The Daily Show does as good a job covering politics as any of the 3 networks' nightly news. I watch both and would argue you would be more informed, in fact. I'll grant it's not as good as reading the NYTimes everyday, but how many people in the country do that?
posted by smackfu at 3:02 PM on July 21, 2004


Stewart is well aware of the absurdity, and as a result Hewitt left the set angry and confused by Stewart's openly mocking tone.

Didn't see it...but do you remember the Spice Girls interview? Ha ha ha!

And I agree with smackfu. It's unfair to compare a tv news (or meta-news) show with a newspaper (much less the top newspaper in the land). Compare it to network news, or Fox news...there's no contest.
posted by rushmc at 3:18 PM on July 21, 2004


Compare it to network news, or Fox news...there's no contest.

Really, there is. I'll ignore Fox News and talk about network news for a second:

Count the stories. Your evening network news will offer you on average about three times the number of stories that you get from TDS. Say what you want about network news, there's just no getting around the fact that it offers you more news from more places.

Count the reporters. Networks have hundreds of people across the country and around the globe actually covering and reporting the news for viewers. TDS has none (well, one, if you count the funny little interviews done with oddballs around the country). And as we all know, The Daily Show relies almost exclusively on newspapers and on network- and cable-reported news for its content. Relying on TDS for your news just adds one more filter between you and the news.

Compare the coverage. One example: A few months back, NBC network newsman Tim Russert sat down with President Bush for an hourlong interview about Iraq, etc. The Daily Show picked up on it and offered what amounted to a hilarious two-minute highlight reel of the interview. Very funny stuff, but not as informative as watching the entire interview. The same is true with TDS coverage vs. network coverage of the 9-11 commission hearings, the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal and other complex issues. TDS offered comedic, poignant overviews of these events while the networks offered more staid, yet much more detailed coverage. Who's going to win the pop quiz in class -- the student who watched TDS's very funny bit on Condi Rice giving the 9-11 commission goofy answers or the student who watched the more thorough network news report of that day's hearings?

I hate to sound like a mouthpiece for the networks, which I'm really not fond of, and I hate to knock The Daily Show, which I really love, but to assert that a comedy show, which relies on network news for most of its content, is somehow more informative than the networks it gets its news from is absurd.
posted by TBoneMcCool at 4:14 PM on July 21, 2004


Your evening network news will offer you on average about three times the number of stories that you get from TDS.

I dispute "stories." "Headlines," I will accept. But headlines aren't particularly useful or insightful and can be gleaned much more quickly/effectively online. So tv news isn't offering me any value there.
posted by rushmc at 4:39 PM on July 21, 2004


network news will offer you on average about three times the number of stories that you get from TDS

But two thirds of those stories are entertainment "news", hollywood gossip, and or/promos for other company assets (movies, products, other media channels) masquerading as news, so it's a wash. If you combine the Daily Show with a daily reading of the What's News column in the Wall Street Journal, you pretty much have 85% of it covered. ;-)

Offtopic re: the Times. As someone who was raised on the New York Times, I have to say for straight reporting, it pains me to say that the Washington Post has been kicking the Times's ass for at least the past couple years running.
posted by psmealey at 4:39 PM on July 21, 2004


Although much of the material TDS shows is clipped from mainstream news sources, it's clear that they are also scanning news-blogs and other news sources, and regularly report on stories that are widely overlooked. They also apply a level of intellectual rigor to the stories that has become too rare with the mainstream press, which these days is often more like a steno pool when it comes to political reporting--and when the White House correspondents showed an uncharacteristic level of uppitiness at the daily briefing, TDS showed us that, too. Meta-news, yes, but also newsworthy in and of itself, and not reported elsewhere.
posted by adamrice at 4:46 PM on July 21, 2004


I think the pro-TDS defense is, basically, that the network news shows - and I don't refer to news channels here, I mean evening news shows - have the same ratio of news to entertainment, but the networks don't admit it and offer arbitrary sentimental crap to be entertaining (20/20 is probably the most flagrant about that IMO). It's so tuned to this sort of average American aesthetic, all excited about people who survive this and that disaster, or the shame of some company who mismarketed medication, etc. All at the expense of minutes that could be used to talk about national news instead of glorified puff pieces. So network news is a ridiculous horrible farce, which panders to your emotions, whereas TDS panders to your sense of humor. It's a half-hour shorter, yes, but it also covers a smaller range of topics. In every way it's better, and I'll stand by that.

Now, CNN, on the other hand, of course it'll do better. But that isn't the news format that TDS is doing/parodying.
posted by abcde at 4:47 PM on July 21, 2004


I hate to sound like a mouthpiece for the networks, which I'm really not fond of, and I hate to knock The Daily Show, which I really love, but to assert that a comedy show, which relies on network news for most of its content, is somehow more informative than the networks it gets its news from is absurd.

TDS did NOT win this award in a competition against ABC News or CNN or any news channel or evening broadcast: it won against Nightline and Frontline- both of which are also condensed news magazine shows consisting of video segments and a studio interview.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:47 PM on July 21, 2004


TDS did NOT win this award in a competition against ABC News or CNN or any news channel or evening broadcast

I was responding to rushmc's comment that TDS was better than network and/or cable news.

If you combine the Daily Show with a daily reading of the What's News column in the Wall Street Journal, you pretty much have 85% of it covered.

That sums it up nicely, and going one step further, I'd say the more sources you get your news from, the better off you'll be. I think we can all agree on that.
posted by TBoneMcCool at 5:18 PM on July 21, 2004


The Daily Show is not a news show, but you could watch a whole day of CNN and only come away with only a third of what the Daily Show presents.

They may be a meta-news show, but they are the only ones reporting on certain issues. They show the clips that aren't shown by the other networks - the ones where the person makes an ass out of themselves instead of the sound bite the person wanted you to see.

I'm not a fan of the interviews, which Stewart has been attempting to be more engaging about, but I don't think he's able to call people on the specifics like Russert is.
posted by destro at 5:29 PM on July 21, 2004


Ummm... you mean except for every single recorded-out-of-studio segment they air, usually one per show, of course.

Sorry to snark your snark, but isn't the running joke that those are all done with Chroma Key and whatnot? I mean, the audience always laughs whenever Stewart introduces the "Senior Correspondent" as "coming live from *wherever*." I always assumed they were in the studio standing in front of a bluescreen.
posted by ruddhist at 7:01 PM on July 21, 2004


D'oh! I just realized you were talking about the "special reports" and not the other segment.

Now I feel stupid instead of smart.
posted by ruddhist at 7:02 PM on July 21, 2004


Ummm... you mean except for every single recorded-out-of-studio segment they air, usually one per show, of course.

Sorry to be snarky, but you have, umm, actually WATCHED the show, haven't you? I can't fathom how you could and say something as blindingly incorrect as that.


First, I call bullshit...you are not sorry to be snarky or you wouldn't be. I, however, am sorry for blinding you. It was never my intent.

So now with an attempt honest accuracy, yes they do leave the studio once in a while. Mostly to conduct fake interviews with obvious cutting and question insertion on news of the Yahoo oddly enough caliber as part of their regular shtick. Surely this isn't the quality news that everyone here is discussing?
posted by srboisvert at 7:51 PM on July 21, 2004


So now with an attempt honest accuracy, yes they do leave the studio once in a while. Mostly to conduct fake interviews with obvious cutting and question insertion on news of the Yahoo oddly enough caliber as part of their regular shtick. Surely this isn't the quality news that everyone here is discussing?

It's not "once in a while," they do an outside segement almost every single episode. The show is, granted, a parody of the magazine format- news roundup, special segment, then commentary (usually Lewis Black to CBS' Andy Rooney, etc.) But they still use the same interview (and editing) technique as those shows.

The in-studio blue screen stuff is staged, for satirical purposes. But with the secondary segments the only difference from Nightline is the tone of the content, not the method used to acquire the content itself.

I'm not sure how actually interviewing an actual person makes it "fake." Nor do I see your evidence that the segments are edited to any significant extent beyond any other news magazine program. Samantha Bee's recent interview with the director of "Michael Moore Hates America" was mentioned, and praised, by the director about the "liberal biased" show on an extreme right-wing message board. I would think that means he disagrees with your opinion of both biased editing and the interview not being "real."

Regardless, even the most cursory of Google searches can find guests on "real" news shows complaining about the selective editing of an interview. Before challenging my assetion of TDS' equal "quality" to Nightline perhaps you can explain the standards of the other shows to which any other show is supposed to hold itself.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:29 PM on July 21, 2004


i'm amazed we've got fifty something comments and nobody's stated the obvious:

the target audiance (18-30 something) also happens to be the same audiance that has the internet wired into thier bloodstream. Nobody has the time to read the new york times every day, but if your like me (OCD), between metafilter, fark (yes, that one), and the daily show i feel more informed then i would if i just watched cnn 24hours a day. Note that the stat that many people only WATCH the daily show doesn't suggest anything about thier internet reading habbits.

the jokes in the daily show are not made to inform but are made to comment on the news that is already known to the viewer (or at least that's how it comes off to me). often the writers will make reference to something that has become a news item without actually spelling out what they're talking about. the fact that the audiance can keep up is just evidence that people already know what's going on, they're just enjoying the entertainment and getting another perspective.....that and john rocks!
posted by NGnerd at 9:28 PM on July 21, 2004


"Who's going to win the pop quiz in class -- the student who watched TDS's very funny bit on Condi Rice giving the 9-11 commission goofy answers or the student who watched the more thorough network news report of that day's hearings?"

Oh shit, I'll take that bet.
posted by raaka at 9:36 PM on July 21, 2004


The Daily Show still isn't funny. I'm pretty convinced that the only reason any of you like it is because of how under-represented liberals actually are in the so-called "liberal media". Anyone who holds it up as "news" is just suffering from NBC/CBS/CNN/Fox-fatigue.
posted by reklaw at 1:30 AM on July 22, 2004


I'm not sure how actually interviewing an actual person makes it "fake." Nor do I see your evidence that the segments are edited to any significant extent beyond any other news magazine program. Samantha Bee's recent interview with the director of "Michael Moore Hates America" was mentioned, and praised, by the director about the "liberal biased" show on an extreme right-wing message board. I would think that means he disagrees with your opinion of both biased editing and the interview not being "real."

I am pretty certain I have seen several of these interviews where the questions shown were clearly not the actual questions asked. But then maybe I am wrong.
posted by srboisvert at 2:44 AM on July 22, 2004


srboisvert , The Daily Show has been in Boston all week, and i'm sure they will be all next week during the convention. Doesn't seem very 'in studio' to me.
posted by LinemanBear at 5:51 AM on July 22, 2004


Oh shit, I'll take that bet.

So staying with my specific example, you're going to watch 30 seconds of network-supplied Condi sound bites followed by Jon Stewart making funny faces, and I'm going to watch a 10 minute report of Condi's testimony that will include her comments and the response from commission members, reaction pieces from the White House and Congress and a news analysis on what it all means, and you somehow think you're going to better informed on the issue? Did I mention you can't look at my paper during the test?
posted by TBoneMcCool at 7:15 AM on July 22, 2004


regarding the whole "you can't expect to get your news in 10 minutes" thing... well, a local news network did just that. they cut out the crap, cut out the unnecessary banter, and now do all the news - national, local, then sports and weather - in 10 minutes. the remaining portion of their half-hour show is given over to a talk session - they pick a locally or nationally important issue, and have invited speakers present their perspectives on both sides of the issue. sometimes it's national policies, sometimes it's a local issue like a proposed wetland development plan. i think they would argue that the important facts in the news really can be delivered in 10 minutes. on any average day, there really isn't that much that actually happens.

the daily show, as a fake news show, doesn't summarize all the news for us anyway, they just pick one major issue and pick it apart. i agree that the kid who watches CNN might learn more about more things, but the kid who watched the daily show might be more likely to question what is going on, why it happened, or (as i do) ask why the hell more people aren't upset or outraged by it.

doing it with humor just allows stewart to ask hard questions or raise serious issues without ending up in a polarized flamewar. i doubt very many of us could have a conversation with someone we clearly despise and not end up in a screaming match.

i would hope that recognition for the daily show might embarass the "real" news shows into doing better analysis and less time on fluff or parroting the talking points they've been handed. i've told my wife for a while that the daily show is my primary news source - not exactly true, but at least when stewart delivers some info on what bush has been up to, i'm not threatening to throw something at the tv. he's the sugar coating that makes swallowing the bitter pill easier, while piquing my interest enough that i'll go online to see what additional info i can find regarding his currently lampooned subject.

and, uh, since nobody else did it yet: fakenewsfilter.
posted by caution live frogs at 8:06 AM on July 22, 2004


TBoneMcCool, are you kidding? ABC news probably showed 30 seconds of testimony, a minute of talking by a reporter, and 20 seconds of Congresspeople commenting on it.
posted by smackfu at 8:23 AM on July 22, 2004


Smackfu, I don't know about ABC's coverage, but NBC's coverage, which I watched it that night, was, to the best of my memory, the 10 minute package that I described above. It's been a few months, so my memory might be off a little. But I know for sure that, as usual, NBC was a lot more informative than The Daily Show that night, but as usual, TDS was a lot funnier.
posted by TBoneMcCool at 11:35 AM on July 22, 2004


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