Monday, October 18, 2004

Of bow-ties and punditry

Have you seen the clip of Jon Stewart on Crossfire?

He lights into them pretty hard in a way that it appears that they were not expecting. Perhaps they were thinking, "But he's never like this with Larry King!"

Tucker Carlson's attempt to chastize The Daily Show for not being hard-hitting enough with its guests is something that Jon Stewart takes particular issue with, pointing out that his show follows a show about puppets making prank calls and CNN shouldn't be looking to Comedy Central for tips on media punditry. I see his general point, and god knows I love Jon Stewart, but I wonder if he's not being a bit disingenuous here: the point of his interview segments isn't full-on debate, but even Stewart himself acknowledged in a post-Kerry episode that he might not have made the most of the opportunity he had with the Kerry interview.

I don't rely exclusively on The Daily Show for information about current events and most of what I learn I learn in non-televised form, but The Daily Show is my only real TV source, and I don't think I'm unusual in that for my demographic. What's more, I bet there are heaps of people who really are relying exclusively or near-exclusively on The Daily Show for their news. That may highlight a variety of problems, but at least one of them is the inadequacy of other competing sources.

I'm trying to work in a way of saying that Stephen Colbert is my own personal demi-deity, but nothing clever is coming to mind. So I'll just say it outright: Stephen Colbert! Whoo!


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