Friday, November 30, 2007

Why I Despise the Daily Show

Watch this clip first. All of it:

Now I realize this is just a comedy show. But this is just one in a thousand of segments Stewart has done that attack conservative stances on positions without providing his audience or viewers any remote semblance of the opposing rationale behind those stances.

It's one thing to mock the president. It's a natural and even a healthy part of living in a Democracy where we are blessed with the right to free speech. We all laughed when Clinton was mocked for his sex life, and similarly I laugh at Bush's inability to speak the English language.

But it's quite another issue to mock conservative policies without providing a single ounce of objectivity providing viewers with the rationale behind them. By taking tiny soundbytes out of context Michael Moore-style and ignoring the reality of the actual debate that is going on in Washington, Stewart successfully convinces his audience that Republicans are anti-poor and anti-children.

Again, Bush (who, much to my own chagrin, has actually spent the last 7 years expanding the welfare state more than any president since LBJ) vetoed the Democratic version of the SCHIP expansion because it would have unnecessarily expanded medical care to middle-class kids, most of whom already have private health insurance. This would prompt many parents to switch them to free government-run care, crowding out market incentives and essentially leaving the door wide open for the implementation of socialized medicine across the board. Bush was actually the original one pushing for expansion of the bill, but only to children living below the poverty line (hence his "poor kids first" quote). From watching this clip, you wouldn't have the slightest idea that this was the case, because the segment lacks any notion of objectivity and is instead bent on making Bush look ignorant, oblivious, and insensitive.

I guess the reason for this is that objectivity simply isn't funny. It wouldn't get ratings or laughs from brainless college kids. Statistics show a rising number of politically active voters get their news solely from this show. If that's the case, then we have serious problems.

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