Miscellaneous: December 2004 Archives

The Daily Show Phenomenon

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I love The Daily Show. I watch every episode, and usually laugh a heck of a lot when I do.

But I have a problem with the show. Well, not the show per se, but the fact that so many people take what Jon Stewart says seriously, when he is in fact joking.

Like last night, Stewart was taking shots at the people Bush gave medals to for their work on the war on terror: George Tenet, J. Paul Bremer, and others. Stewart made it sound like these people should be marched up and shot, instead of honored.

There's a grain of truth in that, since they did make mistakes, but of course, reality is more complex. But humor does not like complexity. So Stewart simplifies things into black and white terms and exploits it for a well-deserved laugh.

That's all well and good, but people then take this seriously. They say, yeah, Stewart's right, George Tenet really WAS totally incompetent!

And this reaction is pervasive. You hear it in the audience reactions every night, you see it on IRC and in Slashdot discussions, you hear it all the time. I know it's not only TDS that feeds into this simpleton mindset, but it seems to be the most common precursor.

I suppose there's not much that can be done about it. People will continue to be simplistic and cynical and hateful; it's the nature of man. But it does get tiring, especially since these people partially ruin what is otherwise a good show by turning it into a spokesman for their stupid little causes, whatever they are.

But it is not that. It's a bunch of jokes. It's not real. When Stewart says it is fake news, he isn't kidding. It really is fake. Almost everything perspective he gives about current events in his news segments is significantly, intentionally, erroneous in one or more ways. And people who say most of the news they get is from TDS are just wearing a sign saying "I R Ignorant."

The saddest part is that this needs to be said at all. slashdot.org
<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page is a archive of entries in the Miscellaneous category from December 2004.

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