Show Us the Funny
Over at his new blog, Reason alumnus Ryan Sager complains that Jon Stewart, who kissed John Kerry's ass on The Daily Show last night, is becoming less funny as he becomes more openly partisan. I agree. The problem is not the attacks on Bush and the Republicans. Lord knows they deserve it, and even when The Daily Show goes after them for the wrong reasons, it's often funny. The problem is the lack of attacks on Kerry and the Democrats, who are equally ripe for mocking. On the increasingly rare occasions when the show does make fun of Democrats, it tends to be a gentle ribbing (e.g., references to Kerry's lack of charisma or his wife's money) rather than the ridicule they deserve. I fear that Stewart, despite his frequent protestations to the contrary ("As a fake journalist…"), bas begun to take himself seriously.
When it comes to political satire, I prefer an attitude similar to that of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, as described in Sunday's New York Times:
Mr. Parker and Mr. Stone seem bent on offending as many people as possible. In "Team America" [their new puppet action movie], they take aim at sanctimonious right-wing nut-jobs and smug Hollywood liberals alike.
Alec Baldwin, for example, emerges as a villain almost as evil as Kim Jong Il. Sean Penn and Danny Glover take up arms to fight beside Mr. Kim, with Mr. Penn crying "Die, conservative!" before blowing away a Team America member….
[Parker and Stone] think President Bush is stupid, but they can't stand John Kerry either. "We hate both of them," Mr. Parker confirmed. "They're both retards. We have to choose between a" ? four-letter word ? "sandwich and a" ? same four-letter word ? "sandwich."