I was dwelling something my girlfriend told me; Comedians are the journalists and journalists and politicians are the comedians. While I always understood it as truth it seems I never fully analyzed why. As a rational thinker (that a college education has made me) I feel I have break to it down and explain why this idea holds so much weight with myself and many others (including my girlfriend who brought this idea up in the first place).
When we typically watch comedy, we usually watch it for entertainment purposes that let us forget the depressing mundane reality. We often expect a commentary on social norms, daily life, politics, news, etc… However as of recent times it became clear that news comedy shows like The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Real Time with Bill Maher have become not only a great source of entertainment for the intellectual who enjoys news/political humor; but a source for accurate news information and better journalism than the mainstream media. It seems the comedians have stepped beyond the role of entertainers to informers of the accurate news information we want to hear. The question is why them though? Isn’t it the job of the news media to report the news and answer the questions we want answered? And what about the Washington politicians who make clowns of themselves, yet only comedians like Jon Stewart, and social networking website pages like 1,000,000 strong to improve the Tea Party’s spelling and grammar dare to challenge the BS we see from them?
Holy world turned upside down Batman, is there a way to explain all this?
Well first off Robin, we must understand the situation at hand that made average educated Americans turn to Jon Stewart’s and Bill Maher’s brand of journalism (even though it’s not supposed to be). Today’s Washington DC political climate has become a three ring circus with broken Congress of obstructionists and a Presidency that is doing very little to improve daily life of average Americans. Both Democrats and Republicans play a daily blame game and point fingers at the other. Lobbyists are buying up politicians with $1000 high fives and interest groups come before constituents. Outrageous comments are being made constantly and it seems that there isn’t a working braincell anywhere in our nation’s capital.
But Batman if that’s the case; why isn’t the news media reporting this?
Well young chum, back in the day the news used to be about facts. Newspapers printed what was happening, whether good or bad, and news programs reported it. The problem came with the news giants, that became a huge for profit industry that stopped reporting the news as it is. Profit and other ulterior motives became the main cause for the existence of these giants. NBC became the “liberal” voice (or more to the left than the other guys), CNN the moderate voice (the least of the evils), and Fox News being the megaphone of the Far Right (the voice of the cuckoo for cocoa puffs nuts). While it is clear I prefer CNN and NBC over the straight up lies of Fox Noise, I do feel that they do not tell the whole picture and bring the news to us with honesty and factual accuracy. It became all about viewership and a bringing the most ridiculous stories on the air. Scandals and tabloid rumors hit the airwaves and push serious news matters to the side Sensationalism is what it’s all about and driving news for the sake of news into extinction. Pundits rule the air ways with exaggerated facts and constant bickering that ends with name calling and slanderous accusations. Thus with the media being the circus it is, it appears no different than the Washington zoo. No reporter or journalist calls the bullshit card and it seems the young educated intellectuals have no one to turn to.
Say it isn’t so Batman, is there no one can bring about what needs to be said and report the news honestly?
Fear not my sidekick, on the airwaves of HBO, and Comedy Central ride those called to duty for truth, honesty, and some good laughs. On HBO: Bill Maher and on Comedy Central: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert (pronounced Coal-bear). It appears these comedians call the bs cards better than the news media and tell a more honest concise story without really twisting the facts. The sad truth is that the current political/media climate is so ridiculous that comedians don’t need to exaggerate the facts; the facts are exaggerated themselves. It appears in order for comedian to make things funny, all they need to do is quote politicians, call the bullshit card, and explain the facts as they really are (apparently comedy central has more fact checkers than all three news sources combined). Comedians tell it as it is, and inform those that pay attention. The funny thing is that these very comedians have never intended to become a source for accurate news information and fit the niche of informers rather than entertainers.
The conclusion is quite simple. For us to take the news seriously, all the media really has to do is tell us the unbiased and boring news that informs us. Let us make our own opinions. Keep politicians honest and expose their bullshit when they try selling it to us by asking them the tough questions. Until that day, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Bill Maher will be the preferred choice for accurate news information