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I watch The Daily Show, I enjoy The Daily Show, and I respect and admire The Daily Show. But I also realize that I shouln't count on them for news, or take everything Jon Stewart says at face value. And I realize that they are only humans, and therefore have faults, and make mistakes, just like everyone else.

Lately, I have seen a lot of people criticize the Daily show, and their role in the media. And while many of the allegations have been very valid (sexism, racism, and ableism etc), there are some allegations that I do not agree with. At all.

 

The Daily show is a part of a racist and patriarchal culture, and some of the things they say and do, are a product of just that. I don't deny that, and I never will. As a woman, and as a progressive feminist, I do notice these things (although I'd prefer it if the people making the allegations, were more focused on the over- all problem we have in our culture, instead of trying to smear and undermine one particular show or figure, but that's whole another thing.) So I won't be talking about that, because that's been done to death.

People have been saying that The Daily show are being 'too tough' on the Democrats, that they're being too biased on the show, or even that they're a part of the mainstream media, and on the same level as people like Glenn Beck.

I disagree with all of these things. Lets take how The Daily show are being 'too tough' on the Democrats, or 'too biased' on the show.

Too tough, too biased, by what standard? What standard are we talking about here? Because if you ask both MSNBC and Fox News fans, you're going to get at least two vastly different answers. Why? because different people have different opinions. Where does that leave the Daily Show, and their reporting? Are they neutral observers? are they truth-sayers?shilling hacks? or are they simply people trying to make sense of this world and its people, all the while having opinions, weaknesses, and biased point of views, just like everybody else, only with an actual outlet to share those opinions? Because that's how I see them.

I don't see them as leftist hacks, nor do I see them as unbiased reporters. I see them as people, comedians, observing the political system, and the state of the media, with their own point of view, and a show that they build and use as an outlet for those opinions. So when they do their show, and people like it, it's not because they preach the universal truth, it's because they're funny, and because a lot of people agree with points they make, and share the outrage that they express.

If you tone down the bias, then you have CNN's so-neutral-that-they-suck reporting, and if you turn up, with no regard for facts or logic, then you have Fox News's fear-mongering-you-will-all-die- reports. Neither of those would make a very funny or truthful comedy show.

While there's a lot of truth in a lot of what The Daily Show does(because they do tend to look at things more logically and objective than either Fox News and MSNBC, imo), they still have opinions, and they still take them into account when they make their show. Because that's what The Daily Show is, at the end of the day; a satire show, full of opinions and bias; and that's okay. Because it is not on MSNBC, CNN, or Fox news, it's on Comedy Central, and it is not advertised as being the truth, it's clearly labeled at a fake news show.

If you think that Comedy Central is somehow on the same level as MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News then obviously you are going to be disappointed. Because it's not. And if you think that The Daily Show is like the shows on the different News channels, then you're in for a surprise. Because they're not like them. And they shouln't be.

And yes, it is a bit of defence, and yes, its not edgy or brave; it's just their job. A job that, at the end of the day, only they are in charge of. A job, that is clearly not labeled as news or truth, and shouln't be taken as such. And of course it still is, because you can't decide how other people view your work, or how much they rely on it. All you can do is do your job, and label it as what you believe it is. And that's what I think The Daily Show is doing. They tell people again and again that they're not a news show.

For some people, it is the news, because they find it more honest, more unbiased, and more funny than the actual news. This is not a problem with The Daily Show; more like a problem with the mainstream media. For me, the difference between The Daily Show, and the mainstream media, is that The Daily Show do not present themselves as news. That's why I like the show.

Does all of this excuse sexism, racism, ableism, or make the show immune to any sort of criticism? Of course it doesn't. Actually, because the show is such a big reflection of people's frustration with society, it may even be more important to notice it when they make these mistakes, and point them out. And although they probably won't respond seriously to these things (proved by the whole sexism-fiasco), we can try. Maybe we could even make it less of a personal attack, and more of a a thoughtful critique, in the process.

They have every right to not listen, just like we have every right to not watch. Because it's their show. I've come to accept that the show is not perfect. And I've come to accept that Jon Stewart is not either. It won't make me stop criticizing it, and hoping that it will get better, but it won't make me stop watching it either. Because nothing is without problems, and no one will ever agree on everything, and if I were to give up on every show or book with faults like these in them, I would never enjoy anything ever again.

And this is my opinion on this, of course, so it's not at all smart or interesting, just a rant I needed to let out. Please view it as such. Feel free to give your opinion on it as well.

 


Date: 2010-09-09 08:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] novemberangel28.livejournal.com
You are so right. And you are so much better with words than I am.

lol @ your "fandom is srs bsns" tag :D

Date: 2010-09-09 08:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] novemberangel28.livejournal.com
*iz. I am such a grammar nerd 8)

Date: 2010-09-09 09:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamashamed.livejournal.com
Really? Thank you.<3333

hehehehe :D

Date: 2010-09-09 11:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] raikuya.livejournal.com
PREACH

They can get problematic with various -isms, and I think we should keep criticizing them when they do it wrong and hoping that they'll get better at it. But we can still like the show.

The sexism fiasco was and still is such a clusterfuck. The author of the article really shouldn't have gone to the not-so-factual personal attack level, and I'm glad the women who work at TDS spoke up about that. But I sorely wish an article that was basically 'dude, why are there so few women on TDS?' without the bullshit had been written, because I'd like to see that addressed. Some articles talk about a widespread problem but use a specific example for a cohesiveness, and it would have been nice to have an article talking about the lack of women on screen and in the writer's rooms in comedy and using TDS as an example of the larger problem. And when all those TDS men were questioned about it, none of them really seemed to know what they were talking about, only Wyatt's comments seemed non-problematic. And right now if you type 'daily show' into google search, the first google-suggested search that comes up beneath it is 'daily show sexism.' The whole situation is made of epic fail.

And holy essay, batman, I didn't mean to go on such a long tangent >_>

About the other stuff, I shall quote Jon: "I have not moved out of the comedian's box. The news box is moving towards me."

Date: 2010-09-10 01:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamashamed.livejournal.com
Thanks for reading bb! I totally agree with you.

Date: 2010-09-10 12:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emotionalwench.livejournal.com
You make some very good and well-stated points, Louise. I'm in awe of how well you express yourself and how unafraid you are to express your opinions. You should really change that username of yours. ;)

Date: 2010-09-10 01:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamashamed.livejournal.com
Thank you sweetie, that means a lot.<3 I'm glad it wasn't totally off.<3

Date: 2010-09-10 12:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] singingrain5.livejournal.com
Anything I could say would be basically repeating bits of what you've said here. So I'm just gonna say I agree, very much. :)

Date: 2010-09-10 01:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamashamed.livejournal.com
Yay!:D Thanks for reading.

Date: 2010-09-10 12:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shoebox-addict.livejournal.com
WOW. Bra-vo! I don't understand all the Daily Show hate lately, I really really don't.

Regarding what you said about TDS being "easy" on Democrats: Jon really held Tim Kaine's feet to the fire last night. I think they hold the Dems to a higher standard because they expect them to be better, more responsible than the Republicans. And when they don't measure up, the TDS folks get angry. I think they take Dems to task just as often as they take Republicans to task.

Date: 2010-09-10 01:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamashamed.livejournal.com
Thank you bb! I understand it, I just don't want to be a part of it I guess:P Thanks for reading.<3

Date: 2010-09-10 01:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] silkyjumbo.livejournal.com
*slow clap*

well. done.

Date: 2010-09-10 01:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamashamed.livejournal.com
Thank you! I tried my best to make sense. Thanks for reading.

Date: 2010-09-11 10:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wildthyme.livejournal.com
Wait, they're being too hard on the Democrats? Fuck, I thought they were being AWESOME about Democrats, where are we if we can't criticize our own party?! I want them to fucking win, which means I want them to do a good job! That Tim Kaine interview was amazing, he said all the things I've desperately wanted to say to Democrats this year and it was awesome to watch.

I mean I know I'm a giant fangirl but stuff like this is exactly why, you know?

...
anyway. Excellent rant. People get on my last damn nerve sometimes.

Date: 2010-09-11 11:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iamashamed.livejournal.com
That has been said yes, and my mind boggles. I thought that interview was fantastic, and I LOVE that Jon is so honest and tough on his guests.

Date: 2010-09-11 11:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wildthyme.livejournal.com
whaaaaaaaaaaaat
I must be really fucking out of it, I haven't seen that anywhere. I really loved that interview. And honestly? As much as I love seeing Jon smack down Republicans, it's getting a little boring--starts to feel like anyone with an ounce of common sense can take them on. I'm never going to care what their policies are. But Democrats really need to feel the heat, from their own base, and it requires much more than "we're trying but it's harrrrrd."

I love it when Jon is tough too, especially when he's tough on the right people. It was great. And I never want to live in a world where dissent and discussion even among people who agree is a bad thing.

...
this country is so weird.

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