A while ago I wrote about the political and comedy acumen of Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's The Daily Show.
Four times a week on Comedy Central, Stewart and his faux news colleagues serve up their subversive concoction, mistaken by many as a political humor program. Certainly, on the Emmy-winning Daily Show, the White House is routinely portrayed in dogged pursuit of a truth-free agenda, while Democrats are shown as hapless wannabes.
Yet the show – once self-described as the "Most Important Television Show, Ever" – represents the sharpest media criticism available on the tube. There are the fake stories themselves – the day's highs and lows, whether political dramas, celebrity troubles or corporate scandals. Then there's the playful mimicking of the conventions of the media horde – the cliches, the artifices, the feigned empathy, the empty talking head.