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Author Topic: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)  (Read 7898 times)
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« on: November 09, 2009, 01:46:32 AM »

Jon Stewart is in a rare place right now. Although he loathes to admit it, he might just be the single most powerful man in the news business today. Gone are the days of the Cronkite's, Brokaw's and Rather's. "20/20" is something that grandmothers and shut-ins watch. Network news is largely a local matter now and stands more as a recap of the area police blotter than anything else.

In these days of "news osmosis" (Jon Stewart's words) more and more people are getting their news from multiple sources. I know from personal experience that I am a mix of local small papers (skimmed at best), a daily trip through the AP and Reuters on the internet, an occasional news channel visit if something big is happening and of course, "The Daily Show."

The main reason that Stewart would loath to admit that he is a "news" man or that people get their news from his show is because of his respect for journalistic integrity and journalistic requirements. He goes out of his way in every interview to point out that his show is a comedy show; not the news.

So why do better than two million people a night tune in to get news from him? I can't say, but my own personal opinion is that while "The Daily Show" makes a point of their lack of journalistic integrity it is the hypocrisy in the supposed "news" today that breeds such contempt for those who purport to uphold those standards.

In short, if the guys who are supposed to be reporting the news are biased, have an agenda and flout the most common and time honored rules of journalism at least I can change the channel to "The Daily Show" and get news where the only agenda is to be funny.

The real problem with the news is something for a full blog some time. To summarize my feelings they did it to themselves when they started worrying about ratings and competing with each other instead of just reporting the news. The people who make news learned very quickly that they had options when it came to their public face. They could go with the honest reporter who will check his facts and ask the hard questions or they could guy with the guy who wants the ratings so bad that he’s willing to softball the interview and make the subject look good.

Once ratings became king in the news game all hell broke loose and now we are lucky if we get any real news anymore. But I digress.

"The Daily Show" is funny. It is informative in its way. The interviews may not be the hardest hitting in the world but they are both entertaining and often more true to the subject than the prepared interviews you will see on news networks. And they interview authors; something that is very rare on television these days (I don't watch "Oprah") and scores big marks in my book. I wish they did a little fiction to mix in there with the history and politics books but hey, nothing's perfect. "The Daily Show" is just, close.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2009, 12:06:27 AM by Rob » Logged

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