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Is The Daily Show a news program?


bascule
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But they still do report on news, right? Doesn't that make them a de facto news organization or something?

 

Not trying to single out A Tripolation here, I think it's an interesting question.

 

Fox News is all...news-y.

 

Can we call any outlet of content that contains newsy informational value a news program?

 

If so, would The Daily Show, Comedy Central's newsical comedy program count as a news program?

 

(Edit: Wow, this thread sho could use a poll!)

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No. While TDS often presents news, they are not themselves a news program. I enjoy TDS. I think they illuminate some key issues and shed some much needed light on some really dark parts of our culture, but I would not go so far as to call them news. They are info-tainment...

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No. While TDS often presents news, they are not themselves a news program.

 

And what standards are you applying that disallows them from being called a news program? True, it's often silly, but the information that they talk about is news. So long as the news is reported, they are a "news" organization in my book, though not the one that I have idealized in my mind, as complete objectivity is impossible in humanity.

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In my mind, they are not a news program for the same reason Fox is not a news program. A news program is like the News Hour with Jim Leher, or NPR or something. THAT's news. TDS and Fox are certain approaches to presenting news in an entertaining manner. News itself is without filter... Which is why google news is so good. You get to see everything (as long as you don't limit it too much with personal preferences), and it updates every few minutes... National, global, political, local, sports, entertainment... all on one page.

 

 

EDIT: I like Bascule's suggestion of "meta-news" below quite a lot.

Edited by iNow
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If I really had to say what I thought the Daily Show was, I'd call it something like meta-news. You will derive a certain degree of news value from it, but at the same time it flips the camera back around on the media themselves, especially cable news, and exposes fluff, incompetence, bias, mis-reporting, and basically everything wrong with the news media today. Of course, it does the same thing with politicians' media appearances as well. If the show is anything besides a comedy, it's a statement on the media themselves.

 

However, the meat of the program isn't Jon Stewart's goofy news-laced monologue. It's the interviews at the end that really count. Depending on the subject, I can see the interview segments of the Daily Show as actual news material. Jon Stewart does a really good job with them, and while they can be lighthearted and gimmicky, often times they're rather heated and serious.

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TDS makes stuff up. True, they make it up as part of satire, and tell you (indirectly) that they are going to make stuff up. And it's pretty easy to tell the fact from the fiction. But any news they report is a byproduct — it's necessary to do that in order to lampoon the hypocrisy, lies and idiocy, which is their true purpose. Because it's so easy to filter out the satire, they are (IMO) a decent news source, because they un-spin what they report on. But because they make stuff up, and do not attempt to be comprehensive, they are not a news program.

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Don't all news programs make things up?

 

Yeah, probably. And the quality of news probably correlates inversely with this. The big differences is that they pretend that they don't (and sometimes people do get into trouble for doing so), and The Daily Show doesn't operate under the pretense that they aren't doing this. On the contrary, they appear to be quite proud of it.

Edited by swansont
typo
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It's pretty simple: the Daily Show is a comedy program, which means it has jokes. Jokes, however, need to be set up - you need to give the audience enough background to get the joke (called "laying pipe" in writing).

 

Unlike a *true* news show, where conveying information is the end goals, on TDS, news *is* conveyed, but only in the process of 'laying pipe' for the joke.

 

The various omissions of TDS (parts of stories or whole stories) are due to this - they're giving you as much information as you need to get the joke, rather than as much as you need to thoroughly understand the subject, then moving on to the next joke.

 

Because TDS goes for somewhat smart humor (in terms of minimal reliance on fart jokes), a fair bit of pipe has to be laid, and thus a fair bit of information conveyed. But, as Stewart himself said, "The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls!"

 

It's all about the jokes.

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I actually get a lot of my news from the Daily Show and Colbert Report. However, I don't consider them news shows. John Stewart has often pointed out that he is not a real journalist. What I like about them, apart from the humor, is that they are quite honest. But of course they focus on the jokes, and occasionally will leave out part of a story if it would ruin the humor.

 

I don't watch news programs on TV; I've found them disgusting. If I want news about something I'll look it up on the internet.

 

Oh, and +1 to Bascule's meta-news comment.

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It may or may not be news, but it's damn funny and rather good at commentary regarding society.

 

Last night... A parody of Glenn Beck. If you want to see brilliance in pure form, give this link a click and check out the beauty:

 

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-november-5-2009/the-11-3-project

 

 

It's stunning how close he came.

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I do not think that The Daily Show, or The Colbert Report for that matter, are news programs. I feel that they are more commentaries. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert both give their own spin on the stories they pick to report on and so I wouldn't call it news. That being said they do occasionally do incredibly good interviews. The one that comes to my mind is Jon Stewart's interview with Mike Huckabee over abortion.

 

No matter if they are news programs or not they are amazingly funny, and a good way to end my day.

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