I have a very unhealthy relationship with Jon Stewart, according to any credible news source, because I take everything he says to heart as my own and none of it with a grain of salt. I giggle like a school girl when he laughs at his own jokes and mirror his dumbfounded looks as Bush tells us that Kazakhstan is a threat to world peace. At this new job I have actual work to do (not pleasant, not my first choice, not worth it – I don’t want to come across as pretentious.) so I don’t have as much time to peruse the NY Times headlines as I used to in OH-IO. I still need to have some idea of current events if I wish to continue to bash them. So I need it quick and I need it to maintain my attention away from Friends reruns and Janice Dickerson’s Modeling Agency. So I have become completely obsessed with The Daily Show (A Daily Show until the writers strike ends). I’ve always tried to catch a bit here and there but now I have to get home by 7pm everyday to see Jon scribbling all over his note cards. This has also made it hard to keep my mad crush on him under wraps when I have a smile slapped on my face for the whole half hour. (I have watched this clip ten times already and still laugh at the idea of CNN broadcasting from Circuit City)
I know in the back of my head that there is controversy around reckless Gen Yers like me getting our news from a self proclaimed “nightly half-hour series unburdened by objectivity, journalistic integrity or even accuracy.” But I can’t pull myself away from the brutally honest humor in it.
I just started reading The Emperor’s Children (Ok that was the first time I’ve read that review and it pretty much gave away half the book. Awesome.) and within the first 50 pages it mentions a character doing a documentary on “the current wave of satirical press and its role in shaping opinion…the blurring of left and right politics in contrarianism. People who aren’t for anything, just against everything.”
So I looked deep inside my cynical self to understand why I see Jon Stewart as my generation’s Tom Brokaw. Due to the fact that Jon bashes both conservatives and liberals, I see this as a subjective view on the news. And why can’t my news have some humor? Doesn’t it make fact that we can no longer say we are the “greatest nation in the world” without some ignorance just a little bit more bearable? It does for me. I’m not using any type of official statistics here but it seem that as things spiral downward for G.Bush, the popularity of shows like the Daily Show and the Colbert Report seem to rise. People are looking for the silver lining in the political turmoil that we are becoming accustomed to. The most literal reason I watch his show is because politics are, in reality, one big joke. I can’t help but feel more fulfilled by my own life when I listen to politicians rambling on about nonsense world peace and “change”. When Jon Stewart is running a spoof on Lobbyist reforms, I feel like me and 1.4 million other viewers are in on a joke that Congress just can’t go deep enough to see. Campaigns are more staged than a Britney headline. And more red ties and pant suits than a meeting of the Brooks Brothers board of directors. How can American’s relate to whats going on on top of the hill, how The Suits are running things around here, when most politicians are starting to look like Pinocchio. Maybe Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert bring out the real boy in them…