Sunday, February 17, 2008

Funny vs Shocking

While watching an interview with Jon Stewart on Crossfire, he states that, “..the show that leads into me is puppets that make crank phone calls…”. The line is both very funny but brings up a good point, that perhaps the viewers not only want to receive the news, but also wish to be entertained.

Jon states in the interview also that Crossfire rather then “doing theatre, should be doing debate”. The nightly news has more or less become about and shock value rather than it is about delivering the news. This has become both repetitive and tiring to the public.
Jon Stewart stands by his claim that he is not a newscaster but instead is just a comedian. If this is the case, then why are so many turning to The Daily Show as their form of news? Do they wish to be entertained or are they keeping up to date with what is going on in the world? I believe it’s probably both.

As Laura Shirk posted in one of her blogs, “It is unprincipled to claim themselves strictly as comedians. They are, in fact, distributing news to the public. Therefore, I see them also as newscasters” (Shirk). With this I completely agree, however the show is based solely on parody and the use of political satire. By doing this, it can appeal to a larger field of viewers.

I believe that The Daily Show is a step in a new direction, or at least it is for now. There was a time when the nightly televised news, and before that radio broadcasted news, were the main sources of news consumption. Now “fake” news seems to be opening up a more appealing way to deliver the news. It's funny instead of shocking.

Shirk , Laura. "Reality Strikes Back." [Weblog Blogger] 17 FEB 2008. 17 Feb 2008

"CrossFire." CrossFire. Jon Stewart. CNN, CNN. 15 OCT.

1 comment:

I. Reilly said...

i'm interested in what you and laura are suggesting, but would you agree that fake news is not only reframing the way news stories are articulated in the media, but is also changing the field of journalism?

if you get a chance, read the geoffrey baym article (course reserve) on the daily show and reinvention of political journalism. i would be interested to hear your thoughts.