Comedy is the new news
With Jon Stewart fast becoming the most influential and news worthy commentator on TV is should come as no surprise Barak Obama chose the Tonight Show for a 27 minute interview. Leno to his credit kept most of the interview questions serious asking hard hitting questions about the economy, AIG, and the presidential dog. Obama to his credit had more and funnier jokes than Leno. If only Richard Pryor had known the first black president would be cracking America up with jokes about the secret service, Washington politics, his daughters eating star burst, and campaign promises about the family dog. Obama commands great authority while lightening spirits and being supremely likable.
Why Obama chose late night TV for such a serious interview is clear as day to me. Cable news has turned the news anchor into a political pundit. Whether it be Lou Dobbs with his disingenuous smile or Bill O’Really with his feigned anger or Jim Cramer with his sound effects, these guys would be laughable if they weren’t taken so seriously. As 24 hour news stations compete they have turned to a fear filled form of commentary that seeks only to entertain with shock and awe and not to inform or enrich. When all of these news pundits complain America is critically flawed the first place they should look is too themselves. Maybe if they got back to reading the news and stopped trying to scare America into buying their books they could land a presidential interview. In the mean time the comedians are left to do the serious reporting.
Video after the jump
To quote Jon Stewart lecturing Jim Cramer, “We’re both snake-oil salesmen to a certain extent. But we do label it ’snake oil’ here.”