Apparently, "Heartland with John Kasich" Wasn't Supposed To Be Satire

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File this under "ideas destined to be killed off quicker than a migrant worker on Bill O'Reilly's lawn."

Fox News Channel might air two episodes of a "Daily Show"-like program with a decidedly nonliberal bent on Saturday nights in late January, with the possibility that it could become a weekly show for the channel.

The half-hour show is executive produced by "24's" Joel Surnow and Manny Cota and creator Ned Rice, who previously wrote for "Politically Incorrect" and "Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson" through This Just In Prods. It would take aim at what Surnow calls "the sacred cows of the left" that don't get made as much fun of by other comedy shows.

"It's a satirical news format that would play more to the Fox News audience than the Michael Moore channel," Surnow said. "It would tip more right as 'The Daily Show' tips left."

Since Laura Ingraham's name isn't mentioned, it sounds like the network passed on "Watch This Right Now" while fishing around for a show along the same lines. It also sounds like the brains don't watch "The Daily Show" or "The Colbert Report," or read The Onion. The Left may have sacred cows, but lefty comedians don't. The Democrats in power are doubtlessly going to provide more opportunity for humor than the Democrats out of power, but if Dennis Miller's abysmal, bitch-bashing screed against Nancy Pelosi is any guide, it's going to take a major attitude shift for Fox News-style righties to find that humor.

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  1. Come on, David. THIS and not a bit about the latest shenanigans of your boys on the Hill…?

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/11/19/rangel.draft.ap/index.html

  2. Imagine…Fox News stealing a page out of the Air America playbook…because it’s worked so well for Al Franken…

  3. i get tired of simplistic, easy, pandering “bush sucks” material from lefty comedians but rightwing comedians seem a worse prospect to me. trey parker and matt stone seem to be the only good humor that isn’t entirely left but better writers haven’t written about that before. social conservatives hold too many things sacred to be comics.

  4. But Franken is a funny guy. His stuff on SNL included. The right is very unfunny, with the exception of P.J. O’Rourke. But notice that even he would not be allowed in the current right *remember his comments about fundamentalists being like lizards*. How can one be a member of the religious right(now synonymous with the GOP which sadly is now synonymous with the right) and push a comedy based on sarcasm, irony, etc? “How about those crazy people that think life begins when a fetus has a fully functionint brain. I geuss SOMEONE hasn’t read Psalms!”

  5. Ken…Franken is a funny guy…sometimes.

    But Air America is not. And more importantly, Air America’s naked attempt to counter conservative talk radio – a force that built up gradually over 15 plus years – has been a decided failure.

    The Daily Show has grown up in similar climes over the past 10 years from a small, late night slug to a very good satire show.

    Yes it leans to the left…but it also skewers the left mercilously. It’s got center, cross over and even right-wing appeal because it’s genuinely funny and even makes fun of itself.

    And that’s what the Fox execs don’t get. It’s not about who’s sacred cows you going after. It’s how funny and entertaining you are. Fox is overplaying it’s hand on this one.

  6. My only problem with the idea is that the dimwits who get all of their news from the Daily Show will now be able to counter that Fox news isn’t really news either.

  7. the dimwits who get all of their news from the Daily Show will now be able to counter that Fox news isn’t really news either.

    James…we already do.

  8. The fact that this is being considered indicates to me that the “fake news” concept has an approaching shark jump.

    For me, the left is equally as absurd and humor-laden as the right, but the right doesn’t do “snarky” very well, or at least the target audience doesn’t.

  9. the left is equally as absurd and humor-laden as the right, but the right doesn’t do “snarky” very well,

    That’s ’cause the left is usually willing to make fun of itself also…something the right has a hard time getting.

    The left seems to get that funny means being witty while the right (Ann Coulter is a good example) tends towards rants. Even Dennis Miller doesn’t do rant well anymore.

  10. The right does snark very well. The problem is that snark isn’t humor. And I fear the right is still in “speak no evil about the Party” way too deep to ever be legitimate comics. The result is that the audience is limited to current Limbaugh and O’Reilly listeners.

  11. The right already has this; it is called the Rush Limbaugh Show. Rush is actually pretty damn funny and most of what he says is half tongue and cheek. I suppose there are a good number of his hardcore listeners who think he is completely serious and don’t get the irony, but then again neither do the uptight lefty assholes who think he is the devil and want him effectively banned through bringing back the fairness doctrine.

    I don’t get the obsession with comedians. Stewart and Colbert both have their moments and can be funny guys, but they are not of any political significance and if you honestly get your news from them you are an idiot. I can’t loose any sleep over Jon Stewart or sleeping any better knowing there is a guy one the right out doing the same thing.

  12. Since Laura Ingraham’s name isn’t mentioned…

    Ingraham, like Jerry Lewis, only makes me laugh when she’s trying to be serious…

  13. …then again neither do the uptight lefty assholes who think he is the devil

    What about uptight Righties who think Daily Show watchers get all their news from the Daily Show?

    You’re right that Limbaugh can be damn funny. But having listened to both, I think it takes more brains and awareness to enjoy the Daily Show than it takes to enjoy Rush Limbaugh.

    But then there’s idiots in any given population who’ll laugh at anything.

  14. “Righties who think Daily Show watchers get all their news from the Daily Show?”

    I don’t think many people believe that? Moreover, a lot of people who watch the Daily Show are not liberals and think Stewart is a moron, but damn funny nonetheless. I suppose some of Stewart’s hardcore supporters who lionize the guy and try to make him into something that he isn’t, probably are asking to be insulted an accused of getting all of their news from the Daily Show. But, that is only a small minority of the show’s viewers. The vast majority of people who watch the Daily Show have some sense of perspective and take the show for what it is, a comedy show. I would like to believe that anyway.

  15. Wait,Wait,Wait,Wait,Wait,Wait…Wait a second.

    I thought that The O’Reilly Factor was a news satire show.

    Now I’m all confused.

  16. John,

    Maybe you talk to James Ard who said, “the dimwits who get all of their news from the Daily Show”.

    In fact, a large part of Stewart’s audience is college students, hardly dimwits.

  17. The right does snark very well. The problem is that snark isn’t humor.

    So you think that Stewart and Colbert aren’t funny? They are all about the snark.

    And no, I don’t think that Republicans do snark very well. Part of the problem is the “golf-playing demographic” factor. But part might be that the Pubbies are afraid of PC-bashing.

    Few call out leftist humor that gets back at Ann Coulter by portraying her being anally penetrated, or calls Limbaugh a “big fat idiot” on the cover of a mainstream book. Are those things funny? Oh yeah. Could Republicans get away with similar? Coulter seems to, but look at the grief she takes for it (including right here).

    Personally, I think there is little that is funnier than making fun of the personal appearance and peccadillos of politicians, whatever their ideological stripe. They put themselves out there for display, and I choose to make fun of their display.

  18. But Franken is a funny guy
    Funny in what way? Queer, unstable, or just plain strange? Certainly not humorous in my humble opinion. He is as dry as toast and acts as if he is just off his meds.

  19. Moreover, a lot of people who watch the Daily Show are not liberals and think Stewart is a moron, but damn funny nonetheless.

    Probably right about that, John. ‘Liberal’ & ‘Conservative’ are just labels that don’t have much to do with average folks. And they don’t have much to do with whether or not something’s funny either.

  20. Rush is actually pretty damn funny and most of what he says is half tongue and cheek.

    You’re right on the cusp of a Yogi Berra-ism here , John.

  21. Few call out leftist humor that gets back at Ann Coulter by portraying her being anally penetrated, or calls Limbaugh a “big fat idiot” on the cover of a mainstream book.

    It should be pointed out that both of those bits were – in fact pretty damn funny.

    Ann Coulter is not funny to most folks and never has been. Her rants rely on stuff most people can’t identify with or know isn’t true. And going after grieving widows and Matt Lauer only make one look like a vicious pinhead. Getting nailed for plagiarism and vote fraud weren’t good moves either.

    Big Fat Idiot was a clever book and downright funny. Franken’s have not been anywhere near as good.

    Personally, I think there is little that is funnier than making fun of the personal appearance and peccadillos of politicians, whatever their ideological stripe.

    Amen, ChrisO…Amen.

  22. The Daily Show calls itself “fake news” but it’s obvious to anybody watching which part of a report is real (the setup) and which part is fake (the joke).

    Of course, when you consider that humor is simply a way of telling an unpleasant truth, the Daily Show is every bit as “real” as the serious news shows.

  23. Could Republicans get away with similar?

    They certainly try…they try alot. There a whole culture built around it.

    The problem is it’s based around a sub-culture not just of Conservatives but of Conservatives who despise Liberals. There’s only so mainstream that stuff’s gonna get.

    Conservatives took on the mantle of sanctimony and morality themselves…every piece of satire going back to Gulliver’s Travels and before will tell you that makes you a well-deserved target.

  24. “In fact, a large part of Stewart’s audience is college students, hardly dimwits.”

    Now that is a funny statement.

  25. For what it’s worth, I just think that Republicans tend to be bad at comedy for the same reason there are few right-wingers who push any sort of artistic or performance boundaries. They’re just take everything far too literally. Without a sense of irony or the ability to step away from yourself and look at a situation through some kind of metafilter, you’re just kind of stuck.

  26. Ann Coulter is not funny to most folks and never has been. Her rants rely on stuff most people can’t identify with or know isn’t true. And going after grieving widows and Matt Lauer only make one look like a vicious pinhead.

    I actually think that her stuff is pretty funny, albeit often carelessly vicious. But that is my point. Both sides are not given the same treatment for being carelessly vicious.

    I do understand that presenting one’s side as exclusively sanctified and moral is a perfect setup for being the butt of jokes. The GOP retort would be that making fun of Democrats for corruption and sexual pecadillos doesn’t work precisely because such things are expected of Democrats. It’s like making fun of the sunrise.

    Personally, I think that our increasing oversensitivity is killing off humor of all stripes in this country. My attitude–if you take offense to my joke, go tell it to someone who cares.

  27. As usual, the crybaby culture of rightwing victimization rears its head again. Of we control everything, but we’re so oppressed!

    What rightwing nutjobs never seem to get is that the daily show isn’t a satire of politicians, it’s a satire of THE NEWS. Politicians happen to be in the news a lot, and currently right-wing politicians happen to be in the news a lot. But the bottom line is that its making fun of the things the news media blithely brushes over, the absurdity of their coverage, and so forth.

  28. Back when Bob Dole was running for President, I can remember several lefty commedians making fun of his bad hand, which was the result of a horrible wound he suffered in Italy during World War II. Now, imagine if Rush Limbaugh made some joke about Max Cleland’s legs. I am thinking that those same lefties who thought making fun of Bob Dole was funny, wouldn’t be laughing anymore. There is no shortage of bad jokes and humorless, hypocritical people on either side.

  29. Plunge, I think you overstate your case. Rightwingers definitely harbor a false sense of ‘oppression’ about the mainstream media, but to deny the existence of a liberal bias in the media, or even in the “fake media,” is inaccurate. Polls have shown that the media is overwhelmingly dominated by Democrats. They aren’t trying to slant the news, but what they cover and how they cover it will inevitably be colored by their personal beliefs. The same is true of the conservatives at Fox News.

    Ultimately, it would be nice if our “professional” media harbored more skepticism of government in all its forms. They used to.

  30. How serious can Fox News be about reporting real news when it wants to compete with the Comedy Channel?

  31. Chris O,

    Before the election in 1992, mainstream media coverage of the economy was somthing like 92% negative. After the election, it dropped to about 13% and the media magically discovered the recovery that had been going on since the summer. You can find a million examples like that. The media covered the hell out of the trade deficit during the Reagan and Bush I administrations but magically stopped mentioning it during the Clinton Administration even though it was larger during the Clinton Administration. The list is endless.

  32. Back when Bob Dole was running for President, I can remember several lefty commedians making fun of his bad hand, which was the result of a horrible wound he suffered in Italy during World War II.

    John…so far I’m enjoying your posts but I gotta call bullshit on this one. I don’t remember (nor can I think of any audience who would find funny) comedians making fun of Dole’s war wound.

    But maybe you missed that bit where Rush made fun of Michael J. Fox.

  33. “But maybe you missed that bit where Rush made fun of Michael J. Fox.”

    No I didn’t and nor did I miss the faiting fit the left had over it. What would like to bet that if Fox had done an ad against gay-marriage, someone on the left would have been making fun of his disease over it?

  34. yes john, the world is filled with assholes.

    so now that we’ve established that neither side is morally superior – and actually appear to be shitted up with idiots – what now?

  35. In fact, a large part of Stewart’s audience is college students, hardly dimwits.

    Where did you go to college? A cave, perhaps?

  36. well, jon stewert claims the daily show isn’t liberal but it is. the same as bill maher who says he’s a libertarian (sometimes) but at the end of the day he’s a liberal democrat with a few un-pc opinions that democrats wouldn’t like. whenever john mccain or bob dole come on the daily show, jon totally kisses their asses, i think in some way to prove that the show isn’t liberal biased.
    there is a big difference between al franken and jon stewert though. while i’m sure stewert has probably always voted democrat, he makes fun of them pretty well, a lot better then republicans do. or al franken for that matter. al franken is too “democrats- good. republicans- bad” to be taken seriously or be funny.
    by the way, don’t get me started on margret cho or janeane garofelo.

  37. John, I do remember much ado about the trade defict when Clinton was in office from the media. It was mostly focused on China, but the critizisms were there.

    Your claim that they magically stopped when Clinton was in office, is false.

  38. What would like to bet that if Fox had done an ad against gay-marriage, someone on the left would have been making fun of his disease over it?

    You’re probably right on that account. I think the point of this thread is, were that the case, the left would have been funnier.

    By the same token, I can’t imagine the right giving a pass to anyone who might have made fun of Dole’s war wound which is why I’m doubting you on that one.

    You saw how Kerry got jumped on with a quickness over his various missteps, including the Lynn Cheney flap back during the 2004 election.

  39. The daily show does most definitely make fun of both sides. Not only that, but of everything. Plunge was right: “What rightwing nutjobs never seem to get is that the daily show isn’t a satire of politicians, it’s a satire of THE NEWS.” Colbert, however tends to be very leftist, often targeting libertarians.

  40. Frankly, I don’t have a problem with Rush making fun of Fox’s disease. What I do have a problem with is that Rush’s comments were factually incorrect, and in a way that would have been easy to check if Rush had even a passing interest in accuracy. He claimed, without any evidence whatsoever, that Fox had stopped taking his medicine in order to accentuate his symptoms, when in fact the symptoms in question are *caused* by his medicine. Then after the backlash, he had the temerity to issue his “apology” using the words “IF I was wrong,” implying that even at that point he had still not bothered to check on the medical facts.

  41. Now, imagine if Rush Limbaugh made some joke about Max Cleland’s legs.

    Rush didn’t make fun of his legs, but Ann Coulter did accuse him of inflicting the wounds on himself. At least any supposed comments about Bob Dole’s hand didn’t cast aspersions on how he got the wounds.

    I’ll bet anything this show will be like the Colbert Report, only without the irony that makes it funny.

  42. I suspect any jokes about Dole weren’t so much about his arm, or his wound, but about the pen he always holds in that hand.

    And I further suspect that the jokes were actually made when he started doing ads for Viagra, or when he did the Pepsi commercial that involved Britney Spears.

    Such jokes would involve the pen as a phallic symbol, but would not be mocking the *injury*.

  43. Not that Coulter should be saying it, but Cleland did blow his own legs off with an unpinned hand grenade.

  44. I hear they’ve just inked Michael Richards to anchor the show.

  45. …but Cleland did blow his own legs off with an unpinned hand grenade.

    Insamuch as he saw a hand grenade, walked toward it and bent down to pick it up before realizing it was unpinned, I’m not sure I’d interperet that as blowing “his own legs off.”

  46. While the permanent injury to the arm that took him out of the war was caused by hostile fire Dole himself joked that the wounds that got him his first Purple Heart were self inflicted.

    A grenade he threw apparently bounced off a tree and some of the shrapnel hit him an one or two of his buddies resulting in relatively minor wounds. He also joked that had there not been a doctor nearby he would have just been cleaned up and bandaged by a medic and would have thus not gotten that Purple Heart.

  47. The story I read claimed the grenade was his, and he purposely kept it unpinned, against regulations, for quicker access. And when jumping out of a helicopter it came off his vest inflicting the injuries. I apoligize for “blow his own legs off” it was insensitive and a poor choice of phrasing.

  48. Stewart has a closet full of sacred cows. When he makes a joke about a liberal (even Kerry) it’s like some sort of equal time placeholder. He’s just not enthusiastic.

    The Daily Show is dead to me.

    The Colbert Report is very, very funny. Yes, it’s clearly a satire of the Right, but it’s done in a way that shows Colbert understands the Right point of view. He’s making points that the Right would make, and he’s forcing his Lefty guests to answer difficult questions, even if he laughs while he does it. It really catches some of his guests off guard to be faced with Bill O’Reilly’s clone in a “friendly” environment.

    So, to that extent, I think the Colbert Report is both brilliant and interesting, all while “targeting” the right.

    More importantly, I don’t think Colbert takes himself seriously. Stewart went way down hill immediately after Connie Chung et al started making noise about him being a “real” news guy. Stewart takes himself too seriously. That’s bad in a comedian.

  49. He’s making points that the Right would make, and he’s forcing his Lefty guests to answer difficult questions, even if he laughs while he does it.

    Considering the fact that his favorite question is “George Bush; Great President, or best President ever?” and his other questions don’t tend to be much deeper, I sort of doubt both points. Although that may be what passes for a difficult question among the right-wing punditry.

  50. Stewart has a closet full of sacred cows…Stewart takes himself too seriously.

    bubba…the only thing substantial I can make from your post is that it suggest you’ve never actually watched the Daily Show.

    Though I do agree with much of your appreciation of the Colbert Report…except that he also forces his Righty guests to answer difficult questions too.

  51. i don’t think stewert has sacred cows as much as the al franken types do but he is a lefty more or less so he just isn’t going to be as mad at the left but he doesn’t hold people like the clintons sacred like others will. agree with previous points about the colbert report.

  52. Uh- you dont carry “unpinned grenades”- Cleland volunteered to go out, get off the chopper , saw a grenade on the ground, and, thinking it was secure, went to pick it up- you know, not leave it for the Viets to find. It went off, theory being someone who got off before him had the grenade secured BY the pin to his gear (BIG no-no), it slipped/got pulled off while deassing the chopper.
    Coultergiest insisted he was drinking beer & playing with it back at base. Which is why she’s such a Chickenhawk pin up.

    In my long & checkered career, I was once a talk radio host: “Citizen Nick Velvet- the Red Redneck, 1/8 of a TON of radio romeo, with two fisted political commentary, straight from the shoulder social analysis, & advice to the lovelorn”- Cue theme, Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back. And for decades, either painting houses or wrenching, I listened to talk radio, exclusivly. Back to when Id listen to Long John Nebel fishin the incoming tide all night.
    So I know a little bit about it . Just a bit. Al “I-I-I-I-I” Franken SUCKS, big time. Unlistenable asshole. BUT, his regular roster of guests prove interesting, when they elbow the gasbag out of the way. So, Im stuck listening to him,. Big Ed, a Dim shill, & the occaisionally funny, often wrong ah, what the hells her name.
    Cant listen to the chickenhawks any more. No good national talk radio I can pick up here. Theres been some, thru the years, but now its just pimps & shills. Too bad- radio is a very powerful medium….

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