Thursday, October 05, 2006

Jon Stewart interrogates Question Marks

Over at Joel Mathis' blog, Cup o' Joel, there's a lively blogospheric cage match going on regarding the relative merits of "traditional" television news and The Daily Show. Joel, incidentally, has a decent-sized dog in this fight, seeing as he is in the employ of Lawrence, Kansas', local newspaper.

At any rate, I threw in my .02 cents' worth by saying that, while Stewart is no newsman, neither is he just wise-cracking. At his best, his humor is borne of analysis of political rhetoric, the mechanics of the medium delivering a message. And so we laugh, but we end up thinking about the message, too--and more importantly, this sort of humor encourages us to pay closer attention the next time the "real" news comes on.

Case in point: this bit on how CNN and Fox use, of all things, interrogatory statements in captions for their respective news segments. It's kind of like Victor Borge doing the news, with a dash of George Carlin thrown in.

(Hat-tip: MonkeyBoy, in the comments section for this post)

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Joel said...

I don't think we disagree here. I've said a few times that I think Stewart and his ilk have a role to play in the national dialogue.

But I want people to be cautious about thinking they can or should forsake traditional media in favor of comedy shows or, say, blogs. Stewart wouldn't be anywhere if he didn't have CNN footage to set up his punchlines...

John B. said...

No argument here, and Stewart would heartily agree. I seem to recall having heard him say, though, something to the effect that he'd like to see the media be more forceful in reporting the truth of things where government is concerned, as opposed to the talking points of one side or the other. But he's not interested in seeing a revival of yellow journalism, either. Leave that to the pajamahadeen.