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  1. #1
    Good Enough The J Man's Avatar
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    Default The News as Comedy: The Daily Show and Colbert Report Thread

    I know these shows can be pretty polarizing to people; some love them, others hate them. I can understand people not liking them for their views but first and foremost, they are comedians doing the news. I am an avid watcher of both these shows and have actually been to two tapings of each over the past year--experiences which I'll share here. Also, I wanted to use this thread to post good bits from episodes because the writing of these shows is fantastic in their ability to spin a comment to a joke.

    So I'll indulge a little bit about my experiences with Jon and Stephen at their tapings.

    The first one I went to was Colbert on May 5, 2011. It was kind of surreal seeing such a popular and influential TV personality in person, out of character, and then snapping immediately into character. Stephen does a Q&A before the taping so I was able to talk to him. The quick 30 second exchange left me kind of star-struck. Off air, he is such a nice, warm guy; he even teaches Sunday school.

    A few days later I tried to get into the May 9, 2011 taping of the Daily Show but missed it by 3 people.

    A few months later I went back to NYC with some friends Halloween weekend and we went to the October 27, 2011 taping of the Daily Show, the guest being Judge Napolitano from Fox News. Jon also does a Q&A before the show so I asked him a rather pointed question: "Do you tell your friends when they make really bad movies? Are you honest with them? Adam Sandler is coming out with Jack & Jill and that is just..." His response was pretty sarcastic, but in good fun: "What, so you mean every Sunday at my A-list celebrity brunch? No, no, of course I do, I'm pretty honest with them. I mean, your friends tell you when you fuck up, right? I do the same."

    At the beginning of May this year, I was able to go back to NYC for a few days after I graduated from school. I went to the May 7, 2012 taping of the Daily Show where Sacha Baren Cohen was the guest in character as the Dictator. I once again got to talk to Jon but decided to make a comment rather than ask a question this time. I told him that in my education classes, I have used his show in lesson plans when having students look at different forms of media, how to read them for content, audience, context, etc. Jon immediately asked, "Wait, you're an English teacher?" and laughed. I said yes and that the State of Michigan emphasizes pop culture in its curriculum. He thought it was pretty cool but warned, "I don't want you to get fired for using my show though! Oh, and another thing: grow a mustache or something man, you look like you're 12!" I was sitting right at the side of his desk so I was pretty close to everything the whole show. I must say I was impressed: the interview with Sacha Baren Cohen was unscripted. Around the 4:00 mark in this video, he makes a joke about Rick Santorum and you can hear me laugh first at the joke. I love a good Santorum joke.



    Colbert the next day, May 8, 2012 was pretty fun too. Stephen talked about his time on "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" and how agreed to do the show on account of they didn't have him rap, because "White men rapping is the lowest form of entertainment on the planet...and God dammit they made me do it! They fucking made me do it!" We all had a good laugh at that. Someone else asked him if he'd ever seriously run for president to which he said "Oh God no. Don't you watch the show? I wouldn't have a chance with the terrible, terrible things I say in character when I'm at the desk right there. I shouldn't even be allowed in the country." The show itself was pretty funny, better than the first one I saw. Maurice Sendak died that day so he played clips from an interview he conducted with him in January. While the clips were playing you could see him get a little emotional actually. After the show finished taping, he took a few more questions and I got to tell him that I've been trying to start my own splinter Super PAC at school--Spartans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow. He had a good laugh and said that he hopes I can get a following going, that he was impressed with the young demographic's enthusiasm for showing the ridiculousness of the Super PAC legalities. He said that legally he wasn't able to tell me what to do, paused, then said he hoped that I found a way to mess things up. Pretty darn cool.

    I'll update this throughout the week with clips and highlights!

  2. #2
    Master Bluesman Elwood P.'s Avatar
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    Colbert's hilarious! Stewart's good too, but at times he actually gets seriously which can throw people. I like him best when he's trying to be funny. Colbert is 100% satire.
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  3. #3
    Good Enough The J Man's Avatar
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    Mitt Romney's iPhone app which misspells America as "Amercia," and Stephen takes it a step further to mean Ronmey 2101!

    http://www.colbertnation.com/the-col...y-s-iphone-app

    Really great interview with Dan Rather about media, its biases and how it has evolved:

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/we...012/dan-rather

  4. #4
    Eruption HippieLettuce's Avatar
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    Ahhhhhhhhh......

    Shucky Ducky!!
    Ni h-eibhneas gam Chlainn Domhnaill

  5. #5
    Good Enough cabomiro's Avatar
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    I enjoy both of them. Funny stuff.

    Have been a fan of Stewart since he had VH on his Fox show in 95.
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  6. #6
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    I like the Daily Show. In fact, some might think it odd that the only two political shows I DVR are that and the O'Reilly Factor, though those are probably the two shows where the two hosts go on each other's shows the most. In fact, the Stewart appearances on the O'RF are always great.

    Regarding Stewart's viewpoints (as well as those of Rather in his recent interview), as an independent, I think the major networks and MSNBC are much more liberal than they give them credit for. I think it's tough to be a liberal and see bias at MSNBC, just like it is tough to be a Republican and see bias at Fox.

    However, he is one of the few that goes after both sides, and unless I REALLY disagree with him on something, I find all of his stuff entertaining.

    I've never enjoyed Colbert as much as most people. Steve Carell remains my favorite former Daily Show contributor.

    I also don't think that Colbert's satire is as biting as he thinks it is, unless not watching him has me skewed on his purposes. I assume his Super PAC was launched as satire over Citizens United. But last February's disclosures showed that 99% of the contributions to his Super PAC were legal not only before Citizens United, but for decades. Instead of using the "machine" to damn it, he's basically highlighting how people like to use speech to advocate censorship against speech they disagree with.

    I also think that these guys--Maher included--hide behind comedy too much. They make jokes, and some things are done purely for that, but to say that there isn't real influential and intentional commentary going on is disingenuous IMO.

  7. #7
    Master Bluesman Elwood P.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemachine97(Version 2) View Post
    I also think that these guys--Maher included--hide behind comedy too much.
    I think Maher's a jerk, except when he's trying to be funny, and he can be pretty funny. He just loses me when he gets on his rants. Colbert's pretty much a straight up comedian, maybe more accurate to call him that rather than a satirist. Tho his SuperPAC deal did raise some interesting points. All that money raised and it can go towards pretty much anything, pizza and hookers, whatever. Makes you wonder what kind of people donated that cash???
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  8. #8
    Good Enough cabomiro's Avatar
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    Stewart's take last night on the whole Bloomberg wanting to ban drinks larger that 16oz was bang on. Great stuff.
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  9. #9
    Sinner's Swing!
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    Tickets available for Daily Show tapings (probably have to get in fast.)

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/tickets
    Delusions of eloquence

  10. #10
    Good Enough The J Man's Avatar
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    There's also a twitter account for those tickets:
    http://twitter.com/#!/DailyTix

    That's how I scored tickets to all the tapings of the Daily Show and Colbert I went to.



    Here's a little collage of my tickets.
    Last edited by The J Man; 06.02.12 at 10:42 PM.

  11. #11
    Good Enough The J Man's Avatar
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    Pretty good bit on the Obama administration trying to spin the recent jobs report:
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mo...lish-that-turd

    Also, Jon as at Santana's no-hitter last week and took a moment to reflect on it and showed his own footage:
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mo...n-mets-history

    Great Colbert bit on North Carolina legislation that would outlaw scientific findings about rising water levels:
    http://www.colbertnation.com/the-col...--sink-or-swim

    This is one of the most offensive, yet hilarious videos I've seen from him in a while:
    http://www.colbertnation.com/the-col...ourism-tribute

  12. #12
    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    As a small-l libertarian, I disagree with Jon Stewart on a lot. However, he's funny, and I DVR the show and watch every episode.

    But where I have a problem with his show is when he makes a point while being grossly unfair to the side he disagrees with.

    I am not sure how many of you saw the minimum wage segment with Samantha Bee, Barry Ritholtz, and Peter Schiff, but Peter Schiff is speaking out against how much they manipulated his answers.

    Here is the segment: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tu...st-the-machine

    Here are some excerpts from Peter Schiff's response:

    "The Daily Show": A Call To Action

    ... Jon Stewart's staff constructed my sentence like Dr. Frankenstein pieced together his monster.

    The segment shows Samantha Bee asking a question or making a statement, but then uses my answer or reaction to a completely different question from an entirely different part of the conversation.

    In fact, my comment about people being “worth what they are worth” was not said in reference to the intellectually disabled. I told Samantha Bee something to the effect of, “If an individual can only deliver $5 per hour of productivity to an employer, but the government mandates a minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, an employer would be legally prohibited from hiring that worker. The government cannot force employers to pay workers more than they are worth -- YOU ARE WORTH WHAT YOU ARE WORTH -- and the only way a worker can earn more money is to increase his value to employers." ...

    ... The finished product in no way resembled the discussion that actually took place. In one case, fragments from several unrelated sentences were pieced together to form what seemed to be a continuous statement that I never actually spoke. Statements, made hours apart, were juxtaposed to create the false impression that they were related ...

    ... To persuade me to agree to do this interview in the first place, “The Daily Show” assured me that my views would be given a fair representation – that nothing would be taken out of context, or pieced together out of sequence. I was repeatedly assured, both prior to and during the interview, that they had absolutely no intention of making me look bad ...
    (http://www.schiffradio.com/b/The-Dai...398783791.html)

    ...and...

    'The Daily Show': Intellectually Dishonest about the Intellectually Disabled

    ... Of the more than four hours of taped discussion I conducted, the producers chose to only use about 75 seconds of my comments. Of those, my use of the words “mentally retarded” (when Samantha Bee asked me who might be willing to work for $2 per hour – a figure she suggested) has come to define the entire interview. Although I had no intention of offending anyone, I just couldn’t remember the politically correct term currently in use (it is “intellectually disabled”) ...

    ... When asked the $2 per hour question, I responded that very few individuals would take a job at that pay, even if it were legal. In a free market, businesses compete for customers by keeping prices down, and for labor by keeping wages up. Any employer offering even low-skilled workers just $2 per hour would be outbid by others offering to pay more.

    However I did suggest two groups of people who might be willing to work for $2 per hour. The first group -- which was edited out -- was the unpaid interns who tend to value work experience and connections more than pay. (In fact, “The Daily Show” staffer who booked me, and who was present during the interview, had been thrilled to start there as an unpaid intern). Since many interns work for free, $2 per hour would be an improvement. Some interns are even willing to pay to work. Since employers are afraid to hire them without pay for fear of violating labor laws or inviting lawsuits, they often hire young people working for college credit. These individuals are forced to pay college tuition to get a job they could have had for free had there been no minimum wage.

    The other group was the intellectually disabled, who are in fact already exempt from the current minimum wage law by federal regulation ...

    ... I further explained that since such individuals typically live with their parents or other caretakers, they are not working to support themselves or anyone else. They are working for the self-esteem associated with having a job -- the pride of working and making a contribution. Many of the jobs they perform may seem mundane to those of normal intelligence, but they are often the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. I pointed out that if the federal minimum wages were to apply to them, a great many of those opportunities would vanish. Others may disagree, but I believe a job for such a person at $2 per hour is better than no job at all ...

    ... But “The Daily Show” was never interested in an honest debate about the minimum wage. Nor is it concerned with the intellectually disabled, whom they have no qualms about offending if they can get a laugh. In fact, it's “The Daily Show” that wants to tell the intellectually disabled they are worthless, as they want to make it illegal for them to have jobs. I did not notice any intellectually disabled people working at “The Daily Show.” I’m sure many would jump at the chance, particularly if they were offered minimum wage or higher. But since they choose to pay their intellectually capable interns zero, why should they be expected to pay the intellectually disabled more?

    (http://www.schiffradio.com/b/The-Dai...630098994.html)

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Mr. Schiff's mistake was thinking that a COMEDY SHOW was interested in a SERIOUS debate.
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    Atomic Punk lovemachine97(Version 2)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bklynboy68 View Post
    Mr. Schiff's mistake was thinking that a COMEDY SHOW was interested in a SERIOUS debate.
    I agree, to an extent. But Jon Stewart and the Daily Show gets serious when he wants to. And according to Schiff, "the segment with Barry Ritholtz, my supposed opponent in this 'debate,' was rehearse and scripted. Rilholtz knew the questions in advance, had time to prepare his answers, and was even given several takes to deliver his lines to Hollywood perfection. In fact, it was Ritholtz who suggested 'The Daily Show' book me as his mock opponent after having seen my Wal-Mart video. He didnít like that video, and saw this as an opportunity to help discredit me for having made it."

    I think the accusation is that Jon Stewart runs a political show and hides behind the fact that he has a comedy show on a comedy network, yet uses it as a megaphone to distort the politics of people he disagrees with.

    Either way, the show makes me laugh, and I am glad I realize most of the stuff he does is taken out of context.

    The scary part is that actual, real news media ran with the quotes from the show and reported them without checking with Schiff to see if they were actual quotes. They printed them as if the Daily Show is a legitimate news outlet.

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    Atomic Punk jimmy812's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovemachine97(Version 2) View Post
    I agree, to an extent. But Jon Stewart and the Daily Show gets serious when he wants to. And according to Schiff, "the segment with Barry Ritholtz, my supposed opponent in this 'debate,' was rehearse and scripted. Rilholtz knew the questions in advance, had time to prepare his answers, and was even given several takes to deliver his lines to Hollywood perfection. In fact, it was Ritholtz who suggested 'The Daily Show' book me as his mock opponent after having seen my Wal-Mart video. He didnít like that video, and saw this as an opportunity to help discredit me for having made it."

    I think the accusation is that Jon Stewart runs a political show and hides behind the fact that he has a comedy show on a comedy network, yet uses it as a megaphone to distort the politics of people he disagrees with.

    Either way, the show makes me laugh, and I am glad I realize most of the stuff he does is taken out of context.

    The scary part is that actual, real news media ran with the quotes from the show and reported them without checking with Schiff to see if they were actual quotes. They printed them as if the Daily Show is a legitimate news outlet.
    What people fail to realize is that ALL news media shows take things out of context. Yes, Fox News and MSNBC, for example, do it all the time (but, for some reason, they don't hide behind the "it's-just-a-comedy-show" excuse....maybe they should--afterall, most of their shows are very funny).
    Too many people listen to these news outlets, soak in all the over-spun politically-biased bullshit, and then spew it out to others as if it's hardcore facts.
    I love these people who always warn me not to believe everything I read or hear.......and then they go and believe everything they hear from their precious cable news channels. Makes absolutely no sense.
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