Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Daily Show vs. "real news"

Rick Rojas posted an op-ed piece on how Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" is providing better journalism than traditional outlets. I've seen comments like this before, and the usual context is how sad it is that traditional media sucks so much that a mere comedy show is a more worthwhile news source.

But it's not just that "The Daily Show" is great by comparison; it's great, period, and the difference is Jon Stewart himself.

What sets "The Daily Show" apart is Stewart's commitment to doing his homework. He's not just being snarky; he's up on the subjects, he reads his guests' books, and he has an equal-opportunity bullshit detector.

Investigative journalism has been on a downward spiral ever since the Reagan administration, when what passed for reporting was not much more than the verbatim regurgitation of Michael Deaver's press releases.

Even were it not so, "The Daily Show" would be valuable not only because it makes important news funny, but because it gets to the point quickly, exposes the hypocrisy, then moves on to the next issue.

Yay, Jon.

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