Daily Show 7/13/05

Man, as weird and plasticky as the new studio feels, it certainly seems to have galvanized the hard-hitting interviewer side of Jon Stewart. I haven’t seen him tear someone apart the way he did Bernard Goldberg (author of “100 People Who Are Screwing Up America”) tonight in a long, long time. Goldberg’s book essentially blames the degradation of modern culture on Hollywood celebrities and every prominent liberal firebrand of the past ten years, and Stewart quite correctly pointed out that he’s attacking people with little or no actual power, and that people have been moaning about the destruction of cultural values forever without said destruction ever coming to pass. Definitely one of the best Daily Show episodes I’ve seen.

Plus, Stephen Colbert’s report on the hurricane media coverage was priceless.

I dunno.

I hope (and expect) that they’re just taking a while to get used to the new digs and the logistical problems of the move, but this installment left me a little flat. I may have missed a couple of minutes – I tuned in at 11:00 and it seemed like the show was in full swing – it wasn’t long before the Colbert bit. I don’t remember anything from before that, except for Jon ripping the hurricane coverage, which was good. I couldn’t wait for Colbert to be done with his bit – I believe that’s the first time that’s ever happened. I don’t yet have a sense of the studio. Did they show the audience at all? I kind of expected a reverse angle when Golberg gestured to “that guy” who probably didn’t sense that American culture was becoming more crass.

The interview portion made me uncomfortable. I don’t know squat about Bernard Goldberg and his book, and still don’t, really. Jon savaged the guy, and I often found myself wishing he’d let him finish a sentence. There were a couple of good jokes in there, yeah. It didn’t help that it was easily the longest interview I can remember seeing on The Daily Show. It was like watching a trainwreck, or a bar-fight where one guy is too drunk to stand. It seemed to go on forever.

Not sure if I like the new studio. The interview was good; I just wish Stewart had been that relentless with Colin Powell.

I’m not gonna buy that book, but curiosity may lead me to take a peek and find out why he’s got Jimmy Carter on the list (at #6).

Don’t you remember? He’s history’s greatest monster.

I thought it was pretty great. I especially liked how Jon Stewart turned the tables on Goldberg’s use of outspoken liberal celebrities. He pointed out that someone with an equal lack of power, Charlie Daniels, could just as easily be included from the conservative spectrum of celebrities.

As to the new set. On Monday night it really grated on my nerves. For about half the show I was distracted by the constantly moving “Daily Show” graphics behind Jon’s head. The little ones that looked like they were actually coming out of his head were particularly distracting. I was relieved on Tuesday when the moving words were gone.

I was surprised when Bernard Goldberg came out so early and then realized that they were going to bump Ed Helms’ “fountain of youth/vaginal cream” piece. This was a piece that they promo’ed the night before and again right before the show started. I figured something good was going to happen.

What I took away from the interview was that Goldberg came out thinking he had written a hard-hitting expose on the decline of morals in American society and Stewart pointed him out as the partisan foot soldier in the culture wars that he is.

Regarding the new set: Meh. I didn’t like it at first, but I’ll get used to it.

He probably challanged Goldberg to a duel.

Yes, it was like watching a train wreck, but who doesn’t like a good train wreck now and then? My favorite part:

Goldberg: I have many conversatives in my book.
Stewart: You have three… and one of them shot an abortion doctor.

Getting used to the new set here too. And yeah, Goldberg is a tool. Did he write that book for the sole purpose of putting Al Franken’s name on the cover?

Franken, for those of you who didn’t read Lying Liars, humiliated Goldberg during an appearance on the Donahue show a while back by pointing out a quote in Goldberg’s book Bias that was completely misrepresented.

And who knew Babs was hurting America? I literally read lefty blogs and listen to righty radio about 24/7 and I had no idea Streisand posted her thoughts on her website. Until now, that is…

OMG Goldberg let me know about Babs, and now her thoughts are in my brain. Surely he is hurting America.

I thought Stewart was very civil to him. He just didn’t roll over for the guest.

When Goldberg’s jokes fell flat Stewart chimed in with his “Comedy is very hard” to let him know that John felt for him as only a bombing comedian could.
And John offered to go onto Goldberg’s show where the audience wouldn’t be stacked in his favor.

Stewart also offered to go on Goldberg’s show “where the audience won’t be clapping for me”, and as they went to commercial mouthed “I’m completely serious about that”. I thought that was gentlemanly.

An irritation: the book gets miserable reviews on Amazon.com, but largely from people who’ve NEVER READ THE DAMNED THING (many of them Daily Show viewers). This annoys the hell out of me when it’s a bunch of Fundies slamming a book on atheism they haven’t read and annoys me no less when it’s people I’m more in line with politically slashing a right wing book they haven’t read.

Must admit I was irked at Stewart’s comment on Alabama, but… he’s Jon Stewart. I’ll overlook it if it doesn’t become a habit.

This is the reason he can go beyond silly sarcastic humor, he actually reads the book. It is funny seeing interviews on more “respectable” after this because it is painfully obvious when those hosts have not.

This was on Wikipedia literally within an hour of the interview. Almost scary.

I thought Colbert’s bit was painful–perhaps the unfunniest thing I’ve seen him do (and I love the guy).

But Goldberg had it coming–so phenomenally lacking in self-awareness, he genuinely didn’t see how anyone could disagree with him. He didn’t answer Jon’s questions, and brought up incredibly foolish examples as evidence. Pathetic. Stewart was incredibly civil but gave the guy more than enough rope to hang himself.

My favorite exchange (which I’m quoting from memory rather than a transcript so it may be off) was when Goldberg was talking about how bad language is destroying our culture.
Goldberg: There was a time in this country when you a drunk sitting in a bar wouldn’t use the ‘F’ word, but today you hear it on TV and in music all the time.
Stewart: There was a time before that when Thomas Jefferson used to f*ck slaves.

(I’d have pointed out that you could also here the F word in the Senate from Dick Cheney talking to Patrick Leahy.)

I missed this episode, but I did see the set the night before. I though it was pretty hideous. The graphics over Jon’s right shoulder looked huge and imposing, as they also did in the shots of Jon & the guest. And maybe my local Comcast was being weird, but even the film looked like public access.

Just once I wish he could do this to some of his liberal guest, like Michael Moore maybe. Or any Hollywood actor who thinks that he or she is a political analysis. I still love it when he does this to conservatives, but his show loses credibility every time he lets a liberal guest roll over him

My impression of the new set (and I could be wrong here) is that it’s a parody of the CNN/FoxNews/et al sets, with the flashing graphics, huge screens, and melodramatic staging. In that respect, it cracked me up.

I LOVED watching Stewart make Goldberg look like a crackpot righty tool. That list is pretty damn ridiculous and Stewart was right to point out that most of the people on this list do not set policy in this country. The alleged “degradation of culture” is a symptom, not the cause, of the problems in America, and people in government would be more correctly taken to task for it, not Hollywood personalities and gangsta rappers. I applaud Stewart for offering the rebuttal that America in many ways has improved since 1776, right down to the fact that no one is fucking their slaves anymore.

If you’re interested in seeing the whole list, here it is. If this link is a copyright violation, I hope a Mod will remove it ASAP.

Can anyone tell me why Jimmy Carter is #6? I really want to know but I don’t want to buy the book to find out.

The set is disgusting, and the film quality also looks like public access to me (Comcast in Chicago.)

The set feels like something from the 1980’s.

I agree totally. When he was having Michael Moore on, I was just praying Stewart would go after him a bit, so I wouldn’t have to be so disappointed in him.

I agree with the sentiment. I also agree with Stewart that as a comedian he doesn’t have a respnsibility to be fair & balanced™ and it’s easy to forget he’s not a journalist. In his defense, I have seen him go after Democratic politicans several times. As an example, last night Goldberg complained about the comparison of the Bush Admin/Gitmo officers to Nazis made by Democratic Congressmen recently and evidently wasn’t aware that Stewart had done at least two segments crying “foul!” on this.

Still, any chance to see Michael Moore’s fat lying arse torn a new one is a good one and it’s a minor sin to pass it up.