I’ve been thinking a bit about The Daily Show lately. I’ve been watching it for something like 6 years now, and I’ve been finding myself impressed on a constant basis by the show.
The Daily Show is undoubtedly the best source for common sense news right now. It is first and foremost a comedy program, yet it manages to point out the ridiculousness and stupidity of our society on a regular basis. It is a wickedly clever satire that mocks the parts of life that need mocking, and effectively acts to point out how surreal society has managed to become. It is sometimes rude and crass, and is not above juvenile humor and jokes if it swerves the point that is being made. Yet even as is makes fun of all parts of the political spectrum and life, there is an underlying sense of common sense and hope that permeates throughout.
One of the most interesting things about The Daily Show is that it manages to provide the most fair and level headed news coverage, despite the fact that it is a sarcastic take on the news. Yes, Jon Stewart often takes the liberal side on debates. However, that doesn’t stop him from pointing out fault with Democrats just as readily as Republicans. And he manages to be polite and engaging with his guests, no matter what their political stance it.
In fact, that is one thing that has amazed me about Jon Stewart over the years. The evolved legitimacy of the show has made it so that Jon interviews heads of state and billionaires on UN committees just as often as he does vapid celebrities and political pundits. He always manages to have a good series of questions ready, and doesn’t shy away from asking hard questions. He’s not afraid to be academic as well as thought provoking, but can easily slip back into silliness in a heartbeat.
All in all, The Daily Show has transformed from a Comedy Central news spoof into a legitimate news source that manages to find humor and the ridiculousness in life on a regular basis. I’ve seen Jon Stewart offer the President of Pakistan a Twinky during a tense time of war while interviewing a controversial head of state. And that is enough to endear me for life to the show and its host.