Saturday, January 9, 2010

Is The Daily Show Falling Out Of Love?

Believe it or not, I used to be a fan of The Daily Show. When it was an equal opportunity skewer aimed at both ends of the political spectrum with a special emphasis on the absurdities of the media, I thought it was great.

I first tuned out during the 2004 Presidential election. I watched their coverage of the Republican National Convention and laughed. The show effectively pointed out Bush's foibles as a public speaker, the marionette-like relationship with Dick Cheney, and the general sense of "with us or against us" in every move the Republicans were making back then, drunk on the momentum of the War on Terror.

Then, I watched the coverage of the Democratic National Convention, expecting to see takedowns of Kerry's imperiousness, the spectacle of Michael Moore being treated like a visiting dignitary, and the cartoon-like hyperbole coming from the left about the evils of George Bush. Instead, I got unfunny, forced jokes about how the media covers conventions. The writers apparently couldn't find anything funny to write about Democrats.

It was then that I noticed a decided imbalance in the way the two parties were treated on the show. I'm not claiming the show was some utopia where liberal and conservative views were treated equally; the show always leaned a bit left. But by this time I began to realize the show's writers were pushing all their chips to one color.

Even after President Obama was elected, the show spent most of its time talking about Cheney and Bush, or making fun of Republican members of Congress using its preferred mode of re-editing interviews to make them sound dumb.

But now, it looks like the Democrat love is starting to wilt a bit. Based on the number of segments circuiting the internet these days, there is an increasing disillusionment with the party based on their secretive handling of the healthcare bill, the stimulus handouts, and the continuance of so many of the Bush-era policies that garnered such derision on the show during the previous administration.

If The Daily Show keeps it up, I might have to start watching again.

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