High Programmer > Blog Archive > Jon Stewart is my Hero
Friday, October 15, 2004

Jon Stewart is my Hero

Jon Stewart is my hero.

See Jon Stewart on Crossfire to understand why.

A guy who runs a comedy show needs to tell the news media how to do its job. And he's right.

(If you can't view the video, I suppose you can read a summary, but it will lack something.)

You can stop reading now, unless you like being bored by my ramblings.

When Jon Stewart took over The Daily Show from Craig Kilbourne, I wasn't sure what to think. I liked the old show. I liked Five Questions. Jon's first season was a bit rough, he clearly wasn't comfortable.

But as I continued to watch, Jon grew comfortable. The coverage became more and more political. Instead of becoming less funny, it became topical and resultingly more funny. More and more real politicians were guests, not just the vapid actor of the moment. I can't put my finger on the moment when it became brilliant, but at some point it became the news source I trusted most. CNN betrayed me years ago. (The breaking point was, "And now holiday shopping tips from our special AOL correspondent." She proceeded to tell you how to shop on AOL.) WPR is pretty good, but there is a lot of pointless fluff and the hosts are too cowardly to really challenge someone. The internet helps some. But for honest news it's hard to beat The Daily Show. The key problem is that other news sources feel a need to balanced, even if the balance doesn't make any sense. Instead of actually researching stories we get a report that Candidate A says that Candidate B's tax plan will destroy America, while Candidate B denies it. The idea of investigating, determining the truth, then reporting that seems to have escaped people. Coming to a conclusion isn't bias. The Daily Show comes to conclusions and doesn't suffer political double-speak. It may be humor, but you know where it stands, you know what conclusions they came to after reviewing available information.

Some news media has a clear bias. Some just acts as stenographers for the two major parties. Almost no one actually reports the facts. It's almost as though the facts aren't newsworthy, aren't worthy of discussion.

Unsurprisingly Jon Stewart summarized it best himself earlier this year, "Why do the facts hate America?"

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