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August 28, 2008 / chrisisgross

Jon Stewart and Reading Newspapers

Now since I do not have cable I am not a regular or even interested watcher of the Daily Show. What I have seen is funny, but the show is just that a comedy show and the level of awe that the show generates sometimes dumbfounds me. That being said this article that I came across in the Chronicle yesterday really made me smile.

Stewart was at a breakfast for journalists at the convention, in fact some major players in media, when he made mention of the lack of quality reporting in modern media. He points out some of my gripes with the 24 hour news cycle; news is now distilled to sound bites and that now all news is breaking news(the most important thing on tv ever!) with conjecture replacing reporting.

My favorite quote was this:

“We’ve fallen into this false sense of urgency that they create,” Stewart said. “That idea that everything is breaking news and that if you’re not watching us, you’re going to miss this thing.

“But nothing they’re saying is of any import because nobody filters it. (Print reporters) are able to step back for a moment and think. They’re not. They’re just pointing a camera and saying, ‘What do you think that is? I don’t know. Let’s go to ‘The Situation Room.’ “

It is so much easier to read multiple news sources thanks to the web. On any given day I am able to peruse as many newspapers as possible and I usually read anywhere from 5-7 every day. Yet it’s cable news that rules the day. News that is in “The No Spin Zone” or whatever stupid tagline they are using( I no that is Bill O’Reilly but it is the one that annoys me the most) has replaced news that is never spun it is, reported.

That’s right reported by a trained professional who is able to distill all sides of the story and present it clearly, concisely and thoughtfully. The fact that it takes a comedian to point this out to us says something about the state of media and our dying intellect. We are afraid to be elite(another topic touched on in the article) instead we are all trying to be the lowest common denominator. Everyone should strive for what they want, but never lose sight of who they were.

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