Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Orwell Spins In His Grave

An article in the New York Times asks whether Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's Daily Show has become the most trusted man in America, pointing out that his fake news comedy show has emerged in recent years as a "genuine cultural and political force." While 24-hour news networks like FOX, MSNBC and CNN have been pumping out infotainment-style news about topics like dead celebrities and sexual predators, the Daily Show has been critically tracking the cherry-picking of prewar intelligence, the politicization of the Department of Justice and the efforts of the Bush Administration to increase the power of the executive branch. Stewart has proven to be a master at calling out government and corporate spin, hypocrisy and red herrings, and helping his audience see them, too. A 2008 study from the Project for Excellence in Journalism at the Pew Research Enter for the People and the Press found that the Daily Show has had an impact on American dialogue and that it is "getting people to think critically about the public square."

“The Daily Show” resonates not only because it is wickedly funny but also because its keen sense of the absurd is perfectly attuned to an era in which cognitive dissonance has become a national epidemic. Indeed, Mr. Stewart’s frequent exclamation “Are you insane?!” seems a fitting refrain for a post-M*A*S*H, post-“Catch-22” reality, where the surreal and outrageous have become commonplace — an era kicked off by the wacko 2000 election standoff in Florida, rocked by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 and haunted by the fallout of a costly war waged on the premise of weapons of mass destruction that did not exist. - NYTimes

Never Forget

Building 7 WTC 2001

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