Comedians more informative, while equally (and oppositely) as slanted as Fox News

Jul 6th, 2009 | By | Category: Blogs, Opinions

by Mike Courson

Thank goodness for Jon Stewart. I can recall watching his first talk show on MTV many years ago, but it was not until the 2000 election that I became hooked on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.” Since then, not only do I credit Stewart with getting me interested in the news and politics, but on a nightly basis, he does in 25 minutes what the 24-hour networks cannot do in a day: inform me.

Recently, Glenn Beck featured Michael Scheuer as a guest on his program. Scheuer said Osama Bin Laden needs to gather his troops and attack America again because that is the only way the American government will protect its people. Instead of beating his guest with a stick, or at least arguing with him, Beck more or less agreed with the sentiment.

I am all for freedom of thought and speech. Let the guy say what he thinks. Hypocrisy, not so much. When Bill Maher loses the smartest show on television because he said the 9/11 terrorists were not cowards, and this guy can, without consequences, call for another attack on America so his idea of good government can play itself out, things are not fair and balanced.

Stewart demonstrated his point by swearing at the man, then telling his viewers that they did not hear the curse word because the government decided we should hear a bleep instead. Obviously, Stewart’s one word was worse than saying America needs another terrorist attack.

That was not the only mistake on Fox’s part. Also pointed out on Stewart’s program, Fox has again resorted to calling criminal Republicans Democrats. It is an ever-so-sly move, simply replacing the “R” by the politicians name and replacing it with a “D.” Presto! It is no longer the Republican hypocrisy machine back in action, it’s another one of those darned Democrats! In this case, the politician in question just happens to be disgraced South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, who also happens to be the head of the Republican Governor’s Association. Oops!

To do this once is a mistake. Fox has done it at least three times, each involving a highly hypocritical Republican politician who made a stand on an issue at some point, then was caught smashing that ideal. One might call this yellow journalism, but I happen to like the color yellow, and this is no where close to journalism.

Finally, Stewart’s reporters often break away from the show to form successful careers of their own. Ed Helms moved to NBC’s “The Office” and recently starred in “The Hangover.” Rob Corrdry has been in a variety of films. Stephen Colbert, now with his own show on Comedy Central, has had no problem keeping his name in the national media.

It was on Colbert’s show that I learned of Missouri Republican Cynthia Davis’ disdain of the free lunch program. Davis thinks anyone over the age of 16 should work at McDonalds so they can get free food there, and not on the taxpayer’s dime. Also, she thinks “hunger can be a positive motivator.”

My writer hero Ernest Hemingway had similar sentiments in his early days in France. The difference is, Hemingway was a capable adult and consciously made the decision to go hungry, not a kid relying on responsible parents for the most basic of needs, and in their absence, using a government that could occasionally try to care for its needy.

I enjoyed Colbert’s solution. After quoting a Bible verse (he is, after all, a Sunday school teacher) and adding in a passage about letting kids starve, Colbert used Davis’ logic to determine that her ability to eat was holding her career back. Anyone who sees Davis eating, even in her own dining room, should take her food away.

Obviously, Stewart’s show slants to the left, and my tilt that way began around the same time I began watching his show. But really, who should we take more seriously? People who say the most ridiculous of things and the network that supports them, or the guy who makes fun of these people?

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