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Jon Stewart’s Contributions to Democracy

Posted on March 23 2010 11:54 pm
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Jon Stewart and I have something in common: We both believe in making as much money as possible, with as little work as possible, with as little time as possible. At least, that’s what I gather from the fact that tonight’s episode was re-run, just like yesterday—even though the signing of the health care coverage is huge and easy news to cover.

From the angry outbursts on the right to the tears of joy on the left, you’d think any comedian would spend five minutes using the practically self-writing jokes to get paid for a day of work.

I’ll use today’s post about The Daily Show then, not to rehash my feelings from the re-run episode, but to praise Jon Stewart’s valuable contributions to democracy. Yes, NewsRealBlog readers, you read that right. And those contributions are his extended interview segments posted online, which I think are actually some of the most substantive debates available in a fashion that captures the attention and respect of viewers on both sides.

I first realized this when Jon Stewart debated Cliff May of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies about torture or “enhanced interrogation,” whichever label is more fitting for you. It was heated but intellectual, and although there was crosstalk, I felt like much more was articulated and discussed than on any cable news program. Check out the video below:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Cliff May Extended Interview Pt. 1
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care Reform


Then came the discussion with Marc Thiessen on the same topic, which I blogged about here. Unfortunately, the video on the show’s website is currently not working.

In the world of 30-second news cycles, the editorializing of the news, and ferocious debates with each response and counter-response limited to 10 seconds (only maybe five seconds of which can be heard through the interruptions), The Daily Show’s extended interviews are a great service to the country, especially to the younger, more uneducated voters.

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