Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Another motherlode of irony discovered, possibly enough to fuel mankind's needs for the next 200 years, courtesy this ultrapartisan and tendentious piece by Al Gore.
This was the point made by Jon Stewart, the brilliant host of "The Daily Show," when he visited CNN's "Crossfire": there should be a distinction between news and entertainment.
Yes, because by hosting a show whose whole premise is presenting news as entertainment, Jon Stewart is doing so much to preserve that distinction.

What is it that Daily Show promotors like to brag? 20% or so of young people report the Daily Show is their primary source of news? Does Jon see that as a problem?

Maybe he was joking.


Blogger Fargus... said...

Jon Stewart DOES see that as a problem, if you'd bother to check it out. When first quoting the statistic you cited, he made an honest plea with people to get their news from actual sources. Even the Comedy Central teaser lead-in says, "More Americans get their news from The Daily Show.....than probably should."

The Daily Show does a fine job of preserving the line between entertainment and news. Pointing out absurdities in the news is not equivalent to, say, a legitimate news network's covering a vanished girl in Aruba for days on end.

4:46 AM  
Blogger TallDave said...

If he sees it as a problem, then why does he still keep making the show? It's like a drug dealer saying "Don't do drugs people! Durgs are bad!" Rings a bit hollow given that he does the opposite of what he says and profits enormously from it.

Of course it's comedy and parody, but saying it's comedy doesn't change the fact that it's presenting news as entertainment. If you're going to rail against something, you should probably stop doing it yourself first.

7:37 AM  
Blogger TallDave said...

Also, a missing person IS news. It may not be the news coverage YOU want to see (and it's certainly not what I want to see, I fast-forward through all of it), but it is what sme large percentage of people wants to see or it wouldn't garner the ratings it does.

It's not like they're producing fictional stories and passing them off as news (except of course for CBS).

What they really need is more perspective with the news. For instance, how about someone just once comparing prisoner treatment in Iraq and Afghanistan to WW II prisoner treatment or civilian prisons in the US and elsewhere, which by all accounts were and are generally much worse? Instead we get these splashy pictures of dogs and pyramids and leashes.

7:48 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

That Gore speech is a gold mine! If I get the time and inclination I may have to give it a fisking.

I wonder if Gore could provide an attribution to his assertion that over half to two thirds of Americans believe Hussein was personally responsible for 9/11?

I've never seen anything close to that. Or maybe Gore is so out of it that he presumes that any support for the invasion of Iraq must have grown from the belief that SH was responsible for 9/11.

Of course Gore himself supported the invasion, he just hopes you forgot.

6:54 AM  

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