At Sunday’s New Yorker festival, Jon Stewart actually had to deny that he was going to run for President in 2008, describing it as a “sign of how sad people are” about the state of the government and the country. He also scoffed at the idea that anybody gets their news from The Daily Show.
But a recent Indiana University project has recently determined The Daily Show to be as substantive as any network news program. That doesn’t mean that the Daily Show is better than news shows, but that news shows are as bad as a comedy show. The impression that people get their news from The Daily Show might be augmented by the fact that network news had signifigant amounts of “hype than substance.” Hype by definition is designed to hide substance, whereas if you going to be funny - you have to use the real facts as setups to your material. Often the Daily Show is using the hype as the setup and the facts as the punchlines - no wonder it comes out more substanative. It’s actually building it’s material from the substance rather than showing substance and hype at equal weight.
The Daily Show only comes off with more meaning because the Mainstream Media is letting facts get obscured by talking points far too often. At the same New Yorker festival, Jon Stewart also said:
It’s not a dodge for us to say, ‘We’re a comedy program.’ We don’t have to do their [the MSM’s] job too. It’s like asking a movie critic, ‘Why don’t YOU make a movie?’ [We are a comedy show,] and that to me is enough.
In an earlier post, I talked about how sincerity was becoming the new mode in comedy. I think people on both sides of the aisle because of their agendas, mistake exactly what Stewart & Colbert are sincere about. They don’t think either side necessarily has a monopoly on the truth - perhaps one side is certainly more truthinees right now. But what they are sincere about is their anger about how dishonest our government and media, on all levels, is being with us. They don’t want to run the country or do real reporting, they’re mirroring our own disappointment partially in hope that our leaders and reporters will start doing their jobs. And start making theirs harder.
Related: An Imagined Jon Stewart Presidency.