There was a time when the Daily Show with Jon Stewart was funny; that era was called the Bush Presidency. The moment Barack Obama stepped into the White House, however, the Daily Show went from hilarity to political hackery.
George W. Bush – hardly our greatest President – was mercilessly bullied by the mainstream media and the Left-leaning entertainment industry for every minor verbal fumble; he would merely have to use a word in an incorrect context or mispronounce “nuclear” – his own version of the word seemed to be “nucular” – for Liberals across the nation to fall about laughing and spend the next month discussing how much of an idiot he was. The irony here, of course, is that Left-wing elitists consider academia to be the beginning and the end of human achievement and Bush achieved much more in this field than the current occupier of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, who managed to emerge from several ivy league educational institutions with practically nothing to show for it, other than a love of Marxist theory and an appreciation for good weed.
Barack Obama, along with the people with whom he has surrounded himself – not least his Vice President – has provided comedians with countless hours of rich material. Mr. Stewart, however, clearly made a decision to put politics before entertainment and has declined to ridicule the current President, even in the face of many outrageous statements. If, for example, George Bush had ever claimed to have visited 57 states – with one more to go – the Daily show would certainly have devoted an entire show to exploring the President’s mind-numbing ignorance of geography. When Obama made this statement, during his 2008 campaign, however, we heard not a peep out of either Stewart or any other Left-leaning comic. When Obama said “I had an uncle who was part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz and liberate the concentration camps.” Jon Stewart chose to ignore it, despite the fact that the infamous death camp was never within reach of American forces and was, in fact, liberated by Soviet troops.
Countless other verbal gaffes, committed by the current President, Vice President Joe Biden and numerous other top Democrats and White House operatives have been left untouched by the Daily Show; any one of their amusing stumbles would have been seized upon, had they been uttered by a Republican. Jon Stewart, however, has steadfastly refused to see the funny side of anything that has happened since Obama was first elected.
In 2010, Obama referred to “Navy Corpse-men”; a mispronunciation that would have drawn merriment, had it been uttered by Bush. In 2011, whilst speaking in Hawaii, the President said “When I meet with world leaders, what’s striking, whether it’s in Europe or here in Asia…”; not a mention from Stewart.
There are so many more outrageously inaccurate, obviously deceptive or flat-out comical statements made by this President but Stewart has stayed away from all of them. It could be argued that the talented Daily Show host suffers the widespread affliction of PC-induced cowardice that prevents Liberals from making fun of black people. On the other hand, however, Stewart refuses to make fun of Democratic politicians in general; when Nancy Pelosi told us that 500 million Americans lose their jobs every month that we do not have an economic stimulus package, or that we have to pass healthcare legislation to see what is in it, there were no howls of derision from the likes of Stewart.
To provide some balance, it is true that Stewart has, from time to time, directed a few subtle digs in the President’s direction, but he has never indulged in the kind of highly personal attacks that were the hallmark of his show during the entire Bush presidency.
Amusingly, Stewart now finds himself in the position of simply no longer being able to spare the White House his often withering commentary; the rollout of Obamacare has become a circus of truly monumental proportions and is now, regularly, the butt of late-night talk show humor; this was a bandwagon that the Daily Show simply cannot afford not to jump on.
The Daily Show is deserving of its success; the scripts are clever and Stewart and his band of “correspondents” deliver them with admirable expressiveness and comedic timing. It is a great shame that, in his eagerness not to anger or disappoint his beloved President, however, Stewart has taken the show from hilarity to hackery. If there were no other reason to hope that the next President is a Republican, at least the Daily Show will become funny again, instead of being merely the slightly more humorous version of MSNBC that it is at present.
An editorial by Graham J Noble