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    "The slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts" ~ George Orwell





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    Thursday, October 21, 2004

    The Daily Show=Crossfire


    Why is it absurd for Jon Stewart to claim that the Daily Show is "just a comedy show"? Because it isn't just a comedy show. I'm not saying that it's supposed to be held to a news show standards of rigorous fact checking or reporting. It's supposed to be funny, and we all get that. But it's It's a Book and Movie selling show, that keeps your attention with comedy about news and politics. Usually this is OK, because when you are only selling books and movies for someone else, it does not highlight all the conflict inherent in the powerful and influential making fun of the powerful and influential for being...powerful and influential.

    I know, I know. The show has to have commercials and Comedy Central can't be run by anything but a large corporation, and that corporation is part of a huge conglomerate of the same corporations that all the news and spin that Jon Stewart makes good jokes about. That's a given, and I'm not ready to call that a bad thing.

    But that's not what I'm talking about, the capitalism of it. I'm for him making a buck from all this. I'm just very aware that whoever is sitting on the couch is selling a)a book, b)a movie/tv show or c)their campaign for office. I am suddenly lost in my argument when I try to nail down why this is worse than Kerry showing up on Leno or Letterman, or Regis. All of them are left leaning too, and I felt the same way about each appearance of Kerry. I don't like him as a politician at all, and even less as a guest on a comedy show. There are other candidates that I've enjoyed and I suppose that doesn't change that the very appearance was slippery in some way. Even so.

    But those other shows aren't based on the premise that all politicians are the same, liars and fakers. Their stance on the news seems to be the same: make fun of it all, or you'll succumb to all the spin!

    Well if spin is bad, what's the couch for? You're telling the god's truth about your movie being an action-packed bundle of good times if you're saying it while sitting on the couch or you don't get on this show? Is that the policy? No, anyone from any one of the many companies selling something, as well as the person sitting on the couch, who is their to sell it, and Jon Stewart who is there to help make the salesman look very good because if you like them (and we like you, Jon) then we might think they're ok. And so we know it's all spin, but we think for ourselves just like you taught us to!

    And what we realize is that you can make fun of the news and the newsmakers and the news reporters all you want, but you're still there to sell me a book or a movie or a TV show or a campaign. Leno and Letterman and Regis know this, and that's why they don't show up on another book and campaign selling show, where at least everyone understands that it is meant to be two battling sets of talking points and has the ability to think for themselves, just like the Daily Show warned us to do! Maybe that's why it was so easy for me to become disgusted with John Kerry, who is probably a decent enough guy, maybe flawed but doing what he thinks best when faced with the world.

    Maybe that's it. I'm sick of seeing all the same people who taught me so well...all the writers and the singers and the actors and the movies and the songs and the books and the comedians-most of all the comedians!-...to think for myself, I'm sick of seeing them saying it now but tacking "oh and vote for John Kerry because Bush is evil" on the end of it. Of ALL THE--WTF!

    I'm sick of all these people getting mad that I can see what a sham a lot of it is, but because I DO think for myself, I can look at it and it won't hurt me. And that means I can also see what isn't a sham and that's what has led me to conservatism, among other things. So all these people who claimed it was all a sham and told me to watch out, thank you. I was able to tell that much of what you do is also a huge sham. Please go back to warning people to think for themselves, and making good art about being human beings.

    That's really what it is for me. I don't blame Leno or Letterman for letting me just see for myself. That's valuable. I might not have minded so much about Jon doing that either. But Jay and Dave (Yes, I'm on a first-name basis with all three thanks to my television) don't muddy up the line so much. Maybe if Leno showed up on Crossfire I'd be just as mad when he called Tucker Carlson a dick(yeah, that's exactly what he's saying is wrong with the show!) but Leno was smart enough to quietly release information about his real bias and then make sure he stuck to making fun of absurdity. Well, to me once Stewart showed up on Crossfire to sell his book and started making his celebrity-with-a-cause appeal it was just as annoying to me as it is when someone does that on his show, and it made me remember that he's as big a dick as anyone and what's more if there was ever a guy ripe for the Daily Show's sharp wit...IT IS JOHN KERRY. That's the biggest hit to me.

    It's the kind of thing the old Daily Show would have been the first to point out, and instead seems to want me to believe that Kerry is an exception, and that all the other politicians are lying and absurd fools, but I should Buy John Kerry's Product, sold from the couch. And all the other shows are hurting America, but the Daily show is just a comedy show, and so can't be held to that standard.

    If we hang Crossfire, we must also hang the Daily Show. If The Daily Show is 'just a comedy show', then Crossfire is 'just an opinion show'. That's all I'm sayin'.







    posted by M@ at 12:43 AM   0 comments links to this post

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