The Daily Show: comedy news versus fake news

I’ve written that while Trump complains about the media, and mainstream media is critical of him, it fails to convey just how insane this is. Instead it maintains a patina of sober reporting, as though it’s all just normal news.

But not The Daily Show. Of course, that’s a comedy show, not (technically) a news program. And it does play for laughs. Yet it’s the one media venue that, unconstrained by an ethos of bland neutrality, is really telling it like it is.

When Trump announced his candidacy — that crassly tacky elevator descent, launching what surely seemed his own comedy show — Daily’s longtime host Jon Stewart blew air kisses at what he envisioned would supply plenty of laugh fodder.

Trevor Noah

Stewart’s been succeeded by Trevor Noah, a young comic fresh from South Africa. After a somewhat shaky start, Noah has found his footing. And while he does mine the rich comedic vein that is Trump, he meantime conveys the seriousness of what’s going on. In the applicable vernacular, The Daily Show has its hair on fire about Trump. As should we all.

His shouting “fake news” is an archetypal Trump inversion of reality, he himself being the biggest purveyor of fake news ever. A recent Daily Show highlighted this. Trump made quite a production of a supposed reform of air traffic control, flourishing his oversized signature applied to . . . something. As Noah said, he loves to perform as president (like on his TV show); actually doing the job is something else. The air traffic control reform is fake news. There is no reform. What Trump signed with such fanfare was not legislation, nor even an executive order, but merely a suggestion sent to Congress. (Good luck with that.)

This indeed is the Trump M.O. — all hat, no cattle. It’s true of most of his “accomplishments.” Fake news galore. His tax reform plan is not a plan at all. He talks about his fantastic, tremendous infrastructure plan. Guess what? There is no infrastructure plan either. The Muslim travel ban is blocked by the courts. The wall is not being built. And of course, as of now, there is no health care law, the House bill he celebrated so vaingloriously in the Rose Garden he himself now calls “mean,” and the Senate bill mashed up in secret, to govern a sixth of our economy, without careful fact-gathering and analysis, is bound to be a train wreck if it somehow passes.

But The Daily Show, alas, preaches mainly to the choir. Surely few Trump supporters watch it. However, the show often puts them on camera, illuminating the problem we face. One, on a recent episode, when asked for the first word coming to his mind to describe Trump, replied “honest.”

He probably believes in God and Heaven too. And the Easter Bunny.

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5 Responses to “The Daily Show: comedy news versus fake news”

  1. david c Says:

    If we could genetically engineer a minimum IQ of 125 maybe just maybe humanity might stand a chance. The race is on!

  2. Jim Bulmer Says:

    Then we would just have smarter idiots

  3. Edit_XYZ Says:

    Last time I was here, your last article concerned your disposition with regard to president Trump being elected.
    It was about how persons with an optimistic view rebound after a negative event, maintaining said disposition,

    Apparently, praxis is harder than theory.

  4. Roger Green Says:

    But Trevor on Philando Castile was just painful: http://www.rogerogreen.com/2017/06/23/philando-castile-homicide-wrecked/

  5. Lee Says:

    I like Noah’s show. I also recommend John Oliver’s weekly show. Most weeks he goes in depth on a topic. Yes, it is still comedy, but it is not so superficial as some others.

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