Friday, September 26, 2008

On "The Daily Show"

A while back New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani wrote of John Stewart and "The Daily Show":

"Mr. Stewart … and his writers have energetically tackled the big issues of the day -- ‘the stuff we find most interesting,’ as he said in an interview at the show’s Midtown Manhattan offices, the stuff that gives them the most ‘agita,’ the sometimes somber stories he refers to as his ‘morning cup of sadness.’ And they’ve done so in ways that straight news programs cannot: speaking truth to power in blunt, sometimes profane language, while using satire and playful looniness to ensure that their political analysis never becomes solemn or pretentious."

It's amazing that, in the pages of the New York Times the sentence "they’ve done so in ways that straight news programs cannot" can be written with seemingly little shame, apology, or call to action. Media critic Norman Solomon was perturbed by this praise in the pages of a "straight news" source as well, which led him to write this at Guernica in response:

"If -- as the New York Times soberly reported in the article -- 'straight news programs cannot' tackle the 'big issues of the day' while 'speaking truth to power,' we should ask a key question: Why not?"

Exactly. Why can't the New York Times and other "straight news programs" do this:

Forget about speaking truth to power, let's just speak truth to the people of this country whose memories are so short or whose lives are too comfortable to care that they are lied to repeatedly, over and over and over.

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About Me

David Luke Doody is a freelance writer and editor. He is a founding editor of InDigest Magazine (, an online literary magazine and the blog editor for Guernica Magazine ( His writing and interviews have appeared in those magazines as well as in The Huffington Post,, The Minnesota Twins Yearbook, and Intentionally Urban Magazine, among others.

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