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Comedy is the new news

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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.”

5 thoughts on “Comedy is the new news”

  1. Ji-Un Kwon says:

    I really kind of dig that he went on Leno. I think it adds to this momentum: that Obama is changing the game. The man is the office, certainly, and the office inherently holds a certain amount of gravity. But I think it’s important to see our leaders humanized. I think Obama taking these moments to press upon the public that he is of flesh and bone fosters a healthy attitude about government. That it is comprised of people and is not some immovable institution.

    I don’t know that he could do that anywhere other than a comedy/late night setting. I mean the funny thing is a lot of the funniest comedians today exhibit far more intellect and thought than most of the pundits. But perhaps that’s by design. Comedy is meant to be culturally reactive… not blindly so… but it is meant to exist on the periphery and push against the mainstream. And it’s kind of funny (in a mildly depressing way) that Jon Stewart’s fake news show is doing the job of the actual news. It’s funny that when a guest possessing some measure of intellect comes on The Daily Show, we kind of know that he’s probably more evenly matched there, than he would be on a ‘serious’ program.

  2. Carl Brauer says:

    Excellent observation and thanks for including the video which I had not seen before. The news reports this morning primarily were about the “Special Olympics” aside. which they made into a major gaffe when it was only a pretty minor one.

  3. Carl Brauer says:

    Excellent observation and thanks for including the video which I had not seen before. The news reports this morning primarily were about the “Special Olympics” aside. which they made into a major gaffe when it was only a pretty minor one.

  4. Jonathan says:

    Right on Brauer Power!

    Comedy IS the new news. On some level, those fake news douce bags know it, that’s why they get so upset about “comedians” covering the news, getting interviews, and gaining viewers.

    One day, there will be a tipping point when the masses realizes that there are major problems with constantly consuming over dramatized fear mongering douche bags 13 hours a day on live network broadcast television.

    Looking forward to it.

  5. Jonathan says:

    Right on Brauer Power!

    Comedy IS the new news. On some level, those fake news douce bags know it, that’s why they get so upset about “comedians” covering the news, getting interviews, and gaining viewers.

    One day, there will be a tipping point when the masses realizes that there are major problems with constantly consuming over dramatized fear mongering douche bags 13 hours a day on live network broadcast television.

    Looking forward to it.

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