Thursday, July 29th, 2004
An odd theater went down on Nightline yesterday. Ted Koppel was having a discussion with John Stewart of the Daily Show, Stewart getting lots of air time as the convention proceeds. I’m starting to look at JS with a keener eye and the conversation was intersting but strange. I’ll have the trnscript up soon to mark some areas of interest.
Mainly the issue was media, markets, and the nature of the Democratic Party Convention as presented via media outlets. On TGH, we’ve talked a lot about media, journalism, and media space. The Daily Show, hosted by John Stewart, really has an edge over mainstream media, such as ABC news or Nightline. Why? Because the show is satire, a rhetorical tradition that goes back thousands of years. One of it’s goals is to “reveal” or attack human weakness, excess, failure, and other things that “hide” behind the public mask. Consider A Modest Proposal in this light, Swift’s works meant to “reveal” through irony, hyperbole, and metaphor.
Stewart made an interesting point about the convention and about media programming, describing a typical “scene” on CNN as an example: 2 partisans come on stage and sell their “ideas” and the anchor or host dismisses them after their time with a “thank you for your views, an example that also describes Nightline (which didn’t seem to rub Koppel the right way). The point of the example is that “news” has become part of the narrative of the “selling” of opinion (and candidates) to audiences. Stewart’s criticism came down this way: “Why doesn’t the anchor or host tell the partisans that their both pedalling BS”?
More on this later. There are important point to be made here. Horace can help.