Blog Archive


Listed on BlogShares

Add This

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

16 October 2004

John Stewart and "The Daily Show"

'The Daily Show' covers America in a hilarious book
Frazier Moore

NEW YORK - Jon Stewart knows the key to democracy is an informed electorate. How he acts on this knowledge is another matter. Some would say "The Daily Show," a fake newscast where he's the phony anchorman, is a half-hour of silliness meant to poke fun at politicians and everyone else who warrants it, with no higher goal than making you laugh. Others argue that, by accepting the presidential race on its own twisted terms, "The Daily Show" can treat you to rare moments of clarity - while making you laugh, too. "The Daily Show" makes a convincing case that, with journalism, bogus is the new real. But even in a political season when fact and fantasy seem more interchangeable than usual, Stewart shoots down any notion that "The Daily Show" is some kind of truth teller.


Comedy Central's Jon Stewart, left, and CNN's Tucker Carlson, getting cross with each other on "Crossfire," which Carlson hosts with Paul Begala.

Jon Stewart and Tucker Carlson got into a brawl yesterday when the faux newsman began to lecture CNN's Richie Rich about journalism on the cable news network's "Crossfire."

Stewart, who set the tone by asking Carlson why he and Paul Begala argue so much on the show, noted that he made a "special effort" to come on the daily program, in which hosts representing the political left and right scream at each other. Stewart said he made this special effort because he has said so publicly, so often that "Crossfire" is very, very bad.

"I felt that wasn't fair, and I should come here and tell you that it's not so much that it's bad, as it's hurting America," Stewart told Carlson and Begala. "So I wanted to come here today and say . . . stop. Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America. "You're helping the politicians and the corporations."

"By beating up on them?" Begala asked, one of the few times he got involved in yesterday's melee. "You just said we're too rough on them when they make mistakes."

"No, you're not too tough on them. You're part of their strategies. You are partisan -- what you call it? -- hacks!" Stewart snapped.

But Carlson had a trick or two up his sleeve, noting that on "Crossfire" they ask politicians "pointed questions." "I want to contrast our questions with some questions you asked John Kerry recently."

At that moment, up on the screen popped some of the questions Stewart had asked the candidate when he appeared on "The Daily Show," Stewart's Comedy Central late-night program. "If you want to compare your show to a comedy show, you're more than welcome to," Stewart sneered.


'Daily Show' viewers ace political quiz
Survey reveals late-night TV viewers better informed
By Bryan Long

Viewers of Stewart, Letterman and Leno scored better on a quiz of political knowledge than people who do not watch late-night comedy. One turns on Jay Leno. One tunes into David Letterman. And the other watches Jon Stewart. Who's better informed politically?

In a recent survey, viewers of Stewart's "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central tested better than Letterman and Leno viewers on a six-question politics quiz. Viewers of all three shows know more about the background of presidential candidates and their positions on issues than people who don't watch late-night TV. On top of that, "Daily Show" viewers know more about election issues than people who regularly read newspapers or watch television news, according to the National Annenberg Election Survey.


The Daily Show is one of my weekly Must See. Fortunately here in Portugal we can watch on SIC Radical (a cable TV channel).


No comments: