January 13, 2010

The Daily Show Is Not News

Jon Stewart, by all accounts, got outmaneuvered and outclassed by John Yoo (the author of the torture memos) the other night.  Well, I guess that isn't much of a surprise.  Stewart is not a lawyer, not a journalist, not an interrogator.  And in fact, in order to attract guests, he does need to provide them with enough room to express themselves, and that means that some of them, like Yoo, will succeed in framing things in a favorable way.  Mainly, though, the Daily Show is a comedy vehicle, not an investigative news vehicle, and the interview cannot get too heavy.  It falls to serious news shows to do serious interviews with the architects of American torture (including the one now teaching law at UC Berkeley) and it falls to Jon Stewart to point out for comedic value the times when those serious news sources have failed to do their jobs.  It is not Jon Stewart's job to do the serious job of investigative journalism himself.  And in a way, I'm glad that Stewart didn't play "gotcha" for yuks with something so serious as this in the first place.  Let him have fun with the non-issue of Harry Reid's unwise remarks, the Daily Show is good at that sort of thing.  But we shouldn't play torture for laughs.

1 comment:

zzi said...

The Daily Show Is Not News
To a lot of people it is news and not only young people