Have AIG bailouts and bonuses been making you really angry? They certainly are putting a bee in my bonnet. I have been shouting out at work and at home about the audacity and selfishness of these probably already over-paid executives and their failures, the first time around, to do their jobs. The reporting of these tax payer-funded bonuses have been overriding all other news items the last two days and it has made me so angry that I forgot to laugh. Time to turn on Comedy Central.
A brilliant professor at the University of Florida was once aghast about the fact that so many of her students were getting their news from satirical half hour comedy shows like ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’ and that was over 10 years ago. Nowadays, it feels like if you’re not laughing while you deliver the news, you’re probably not really reporting it. Finding the truth on the major networks can seem futile.
Jon Stewart has really grown some balls over the last 12 years on air. Last week, he took ‘Mad Money’ host Jim Cramer to the mat about his awful Bear Stearns advice and it turned out to be the second most watched episode for this season and one of the top 10 watched episodes in the show’s history. 2.3 million folks tuned in to find out what the hell Cramer has been thinking and they knew Stewart would deliver some hard punches.
Jon Stewart’s ‘The Daily Show’ has also spawned the tongue-in-cheek conservative spin-off show ‘The Colbert Report.’ I am more apt to watch Stewart and Colbert’s shows back to back on Comedy Central than to tune in to ‘NBC Nightly News’ because I feel, even through the schtick and sketch madness, I might be able to find the truth there.
Then there is Rachel Maddow’s show on MSNBC which is undoubtedly written by cheeky and politically hip 20-somethings. Fine by me. She’s quick, she’s biting, and she’s bringing spunk to the 9 o’clock news slot. She even admits when she is wrong.
Kudos to Saturday Night Live who have been politically adept in the recent few years. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, hardly a household name, was portrayed by Saturday Night Live actor Will Forte last weekend for their cold open. The first two minutes of his monologue were factual and even direct. Then, Forte’s Geithner admits he needs helps and offers 420 billion dollars to the first caller to help clean up the banking financial crisis–and for clarification: that’s the joke, folks. The week before last we saw Fred Armisen’s Barack Obama getting angry on SNL and turning in to The Rock Obama in one of the most fulfilling sketches I’ve seen on that show in a long time. Speaking straight to the frustrations of the public, Andy Samberg’s Rahm Emanuel encourages Obama to ‘get angry’ about a group of Republican senators bullying him about his spending bill. One tells him he’s leaning towards socialism and another says he might not be up for the job. This gets him quite angry and Barack Obama becomes THE ROCK OBAMA! In incredible ‘Incredible the Hulk’ fashion, The Rock appears and isn’t gonna take any guff. He throws a few Senators out the window and when AIG calls asking for more money he smashes the phone. God, if only!
The news is pretty hard to swallow these days–the bailouts, the recession, failing schools, closing hospitals–so taking it with a spoonful of sugar can’t hurt. As always, there is a time to weep and a time to laugh.
Posted by: Autumn.