The Daily Show, The New Yorker, and Who Protesteth Too Much?

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A tip of the hat — make that a terrorist fist bump — to Jon Stewart, for summing up in three sentences what I wanted to say all last week but couldn’t exactly articulate, from the moment I read the virtual gasps of indignation on Twitter, until I finally saw the actual cover of the New Yorker magazine that had made such a stink. Once you actually see it — I hope — you get it: yes, it’s tasteless. Yes, it makes you uncomfortable.

IT’S SATIRE, PEOPLE. As Jon Stewart says in the video:

” Senator Obama should put out the statement that he is in no way offended or upset by this cartoon portraying him as a Muslim extremist, of which he is not one. Because you know who gets upset about cartoons? Muslim extremists.”

Check it out, because that gem alone might be worth the other four minutes. But wait. There’s more.

He points out that the media’s tsk-tsking on behalf of the Obamas (anytime we have Anderson Cooper and Bill O’Reilly agreeing, we should at least raise an eyebrow) is a little too angelic; but then, “raising questions about Obamas’ character without saying whether they are actually true is SO THEIR JOB.”

There’s no saving the media on this one: the New Yorker cover being so piously renounced simply sketched in one image all the intimations about the Obamas’ character that many news organizations have been alluding to — or pretty much saying outright — in the first place.

Now, I’m usually a bit of a media apologist; and what’s more, I hate bandwagons.

But in this case, the media should apologize — just hit their collective foreheads, go “Doh! What were we thinking? We look like IDIOTS! Stinky or poopy is right!”

p.s. – another terrorist fist bump to Robert French (@robertfrench), whose excellent blog and post pointed me to the Jon Stewart clip in the first place.



Filed under Media

5 responses to “The Daily Show, The New Yorker, and Who Protesteth Too Much?

  1. I saw (& laughed hysterically through) that episode of the Daily Show. It’s broadcast in the UK, delayed by one day. John’s exposure of political irony and hypocrisy work extremely well in satire-mad Britain. That New Yorker cover would barely have raised an eyebrow here. British Politicians (and often George Bush) are lampooned mercilessly in political cartoons. What really freaks me out having left the US 11 years ago now, is the increasingly demented, populist and vacuous US television news broadcasting. We are so lucky, indeed spoiled, to have the BBC. Paying for a TV licence is a concept that would outrage most Americans, but I pay mine willingly and with pride.

  2. Bea A. Sutton

    Telling the media that they were the ones that were two dimensional was priceless! That sorting the stereotypes from the actuality was SO THEIR JOB! Too bad Bill O’Reilly will never get that concept, as his stock and trade is fake news (not “fair and balanced”), which quite ironically, was the original concept for Jon Stewart’s show.

  3. alittleclarity

    It’s true; that montage of the news programs was wince-inducing — and not just O’Reilly, either. You’d think they’d get headaches from being continuously breathless with excitement. It does make me a little sad – but perhaps they occasionally do reflect and wince, themselves — and pause — and start over. One can hope. Thanks for the comments!

  4. Ike

    A couple of nights prior to that, Stewart made a joke about Obama and started to get thoroughly booed by his audience.

    “You folks DO realize that it IS okay to make fun of him, right?”


  5. alittleclarity

    I think comedians (and all media) are looking for a way to make fun of him that has some intelligence behind it. So often Leno’s or Conan’s writers go for the easy “shorthand’ joke: Clinton was a perv; Bush is not very bright — or at least he’s linguistically clumsy — or McCain is old. And the shorthand on Obama would probably be insulting not just to him but to a whole class of people. But in fact, last night (7-28) Stewart played a quick clip of Obama “being downright Presidential” meaning … linguistically clumsy or not very bright. Obama said something like, “Israel is a friend to the Israelis.” It was dumb and he probably deserved to be dinged for it; what’s more it was okay… I think… because in general, most people know that Senator Obama is unbelievably articulate and intelligent. My .02 anyway. Nice comment, as always. For more Ike Pigott folks, go to

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