Damien on… "The Daily Show"
It has been said that many Americans these days get most of their news from Jay Leno’s nightly monologue (U.S. – monolog) and Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” – like that’s a BAD thing.
But one suspects that few realize just how valuable The Daily Show IS, as a disseminator of news.
Sure, on the surface, the show appears to be little more than a series of silly, irreverent sketches and mock-interviews, capped by a conventional interview – and hosted by a jester.
However, when one stops to ANALYZE the show, one discovers that those silly, irreverent sketches are actually brilliantly written and finely honed caustic comments on the day’s happenings.
In fact, The Daily Show carries on a tradition of political SATIRE which is HUNDREDS of years old – and whose points have FAR more staying power in the mind than any number of mere RANTS.
And having penned a fairly large number of rants in these very columns, this writer knows what he is talking about. Writing satire is damned HARD.
Then there are those interviews. Have you ever considered how much information on EVERY subject Jon Stewart must absorb, for him to be able to hold his own with guests who are generally experts in their fields?
And just look at how wide-ranging those fields are. Plus, most of them are touting doorstop-sized books. Yet Jon is able not merely to ask a list of pre-prepared questions about that person’s tome – but to expand on questions THEY raise.
In short, he manages, DAILY, to actually READ their huge books. Sure, a battery of researchers could do that for him – but ultimately, all they could give him would be bullet-points and a few scattered highlights.
For him to be as incisive as he is, he has to read them HIMSELF.
Can YOU imagine reading an entire 500-page book EVERY DAY – and then RETAINING enough of it to enable yourself to hold YOUR own with its AUTHOR for six minutes?
The irony is that Fox “News” presenters talk about Jon Stewart like he’s a buffoon – yet not one of them has a QUARTER of either his knowledge or his intelligence.
Long may Jon Stewart and The Daily Show live.