Monday, June 20, 2011

The Bias For Stupid

Awhile ago, Lucia wrote about our addiction to The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. She made it sound as if she thought dumbed down, funny news was all she could handle, but then, ironically, made a very smart comment on the shows:
While not just making fun of the craziness of the world, Stewart and Colbert, also make fun of the coverage of the insanity.
That's pretty much exactly what makes The Daily Show a treasure -- the coverage of the coverage.

Over the weekend, Jon Stewart went on Fox news and gave a mostly serious interview, in which he tried to make that same point. The Daily Show and Fox news both point out "bias" in reporting, but Fox pretends there's a "liberal" bias that doesn't exist at all, while The Daily Show catches the real bias -- for shallowness, sensationalism, and stupidity.

The funniest part of this interview is Chris Wallace's complete inability to understand the points Stewart makes simply and eloquently.


Lucia said...

Comedians have to be smart and have ideas/opinions to be funny. It didn't seem Chris Wallace understood that.

Linda said...

Not all comedians are smart. But Jon Stewart definitely is. Obviously a lot smarter than Chris Wallace.

CW also didn't get that there's a difference between having opinions, which influence how you view the world, and shrinking the world down to a simplistic place that fits into your narrow opinions.

I think Jon Stewart is fairly liberal (less so than I am), but his most strongly held opinion -- one I share -- is that "news" ought to cover what's important and cover it in a way that people can understand it and fairly debate issues. It's not doing that. Fox does it even less than most (which is why, as Stewart, people who watch a lot of Fox news know less about what's going on than people who don't watch it), but they all fail.

Linda said...

I meant to add that that opinion-- that the news should cover important topics well, not engage in sensationalism -- is, presumably neither liberal nor conservative, just reasonable.