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Upshot:
"Imagine that you were sitting down with a journalist and could ask any question about the news.

Which parts of Obamacare are working, and which parts are not? Is Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate leader, really in danger of losing his seat this year? Is it better to buy a home or rent one in your metro area right now?"

Why would I want to ask a journalist any of these questions?

Right, some crank commenter at MR can give you much faster and more absolute answers on all of these.

(The Fairness Doctrine, as an aspirational rule, was quite good.)

Why would I ask any commenter at MR, crank or otherwise, any of these questions? I wouldn't.

5) genuine, wood fired, pizza was at one time rare in Southern California. Now there is a really nice place that burns oak less than a mile from me. Of course, there is also a $5/large joint within a mile of me as well. Caught between those two ... a tough road for Sbarro.

> Why isn’t there a conservative Daily Show?

1 - Because Hollywood is soul-crushingly liberal. Such a show would never be produced, and would never have movie stars showing up to be interviewed. And comedians are just a subset of Hollywood.

2 - Because comedy news shows appeal mostly to people under 25, who think the events of the world are fundamentally unserious. Politics is just a football game to them. When Russia invades its neighbors, they want the punch line. People under 25 are overwhelmingly liberal.

3 - Because The Daily Show is just a liberal circle-jerk that accomplishes nothing. Democrats and journalists (yes, I repeat myself) love to talk about how great it was to see Stewart mock someone last night, as if this were some stunning victory and accomplishment. But it's just liberals amusing each other. There is no critical need for conservatives to have a counterpart to this.

I think such a show could get produced, but the real problem would be finding a comedy channel that would air it. I can't think of but one channel on my DirectTV that might even consider airing it, and that one is a news/news commentary channel, not comedy.

The notion that the media establishment is "soul-crushingly liberal" is silly and infantile. 20th Century Fox is a major film producer, last I checked, and lots of people take the WSJ seriously and by gosh all these bible biopics keep coming out.

I would place it more along the lines of The Daily Show is a new media format, aimed at the young - hence the political bent. And that the current conservative political environment doesn't tolerate public dissent.

These days, if you say anything to the left of Ayn Rand you will be immediately hounded to the ends of the earth and you'll be accused of being a RINO and Sarah Palin will put out a pithy statement questioning whether you truly love America. That kind of environment really disincentivizes a show based on media critiques.

You're confusing 20th Century Fox, the film and TV producer, with Fox News.

In the hive, they are not even allowed to watch Jaimie Fox movies.

Murduch isn't confused about what he owns, though.

Regardless of ownership, I'd like to see a slate of right-wing propaganda produced by 20th Century Fox. Most its movies are typical apolitical fare. The company does have a deal with Walden Media, but that's just a common distribution deal. TV shows aired on Fox TV include very liberal offerings such as Glee and The Family Guy.

I'm sorry but if we're moaning on ceaselessly about the structural liberal bias of the media industry it's a fat farce if we pretend the guy who owns the WSJ and Fox News - relentlessly conservative agenda mouth pieces - has somehow zero influence on what his production company does.

OK, give some examples then. I gave two from TV. Otherwise, your comment is a farce.

Far as I recall, it was Fox News Channel that produced The 1/2 Hour News Hour as a conservative alternative to Daily Show. It lasted roughly 10 episodes.

Hounded to the ends of the earth you say? What a Stalinist nightmare it must be wherever you live, which I assume is within the confines of your own imagination.

Maybe because so many conservatives have senses of humor like this guy. Get Jim on Comedy Central asap!

I do have a friend who gets 100% of his news from the Daily Show and basically accepts it as gospel. It is amazing how biased it is, but it's biased in a very peculiar way -- not that conservatives are *wrong*, necessarily, although that does come along with the territory. But the real bias is that conservatives are *stupid.* I think one reason it's so popular is that its indirect message is that you, as a watcher of the Daily Show, are by contrast so incredibly smart.

Bingo...there's a whole vein of comedy that aims 'smart' and half the pleasure of it is knowing that you're smart enough to get the joke. And frankly what's wrong with that? What's wrong with being smart? It's not just 'lefty' comedy like the Daily Show that aims smart, Dennis Miller and South Park and other humorists come at it. from a smart direction.
Personally I like lowbrow stuff too, but I do like the smart-funny.

Here is a 2007 survey: Daily Show/Colbert Viewers Most Knowledgable, Fox News Viewers Rank Lowest I agree that Daily Show/Colbert humor is heaped with snark, and while they attempt some balance, most snark tilts right.

(Kind of disappointing that ThinkProgress could not spell Knowledgeable.)

I certainly believe that, on average, viewers of the Daily Show are more educated & have higher IQs than viewers of Fox News. Totally different target audiences. That being said, that survey is gibberish.

Its results also don't make sense- also says that viewers of the O Reilly Factor are more informed than viewers of NPR, which seems impossible to square with the Fox News/Daily Show thing. And isn't O Reilly on Fox news? Why the disaggregation? Are viewers who watch Fox News, but specifically not the O Reilly factor, just so incredibly dumb that they drag the entire group down?

I assume that O Reilly listeners, like those of daily show, want snark on top of their news. So it makes sense, right?

(The Pew study was based on "23 questions about politics and world affairs." No idea how good they were, or if anyone could do better.)

Doesn't Fox News completely swamp The Daily Show in number of viewers? Oh sure, the average IQ may be higher for The Daily Show, but total IQ is what counts. Not even close, is it?

total IQ, lol

1) Conservatives are stupid (and have not the content to work with, except their own tawdry display of self-absurdity)

2) Efforts at humor are only attainable by those who are intelligent (unless those efforts result in that kind of humor of the unintentional self-ridiculing kind.**).

3) Conservatives are not capable of of the kind of humor that is not, otherwise, unintentionally self-ridiculing.

** Quite apt here R. Newman's lyrics on his Redneck (first verse shown)

Last night I saw Lester Maddox on a TV show
With some smart-ass New York Jew
And the Jew laughed at Lester Maddox
And the audience laughed at Lester Maddox too
Well, he may be a fool but he's our fool
If they think they're better than him they're wrong
So I went to the park and I took some paper along
And that's where I made this song

As "The Other Jim" demonstrates - conservatives take themselves and their identities as "conservatives" far too seriously. They can't laugh at themselves which makes it impossible to be funny about others. Maybe it is because ideologues tend to be doctrinaire and exclusionary. You want to laugh at people like "The Other Jim", not with them. There will never be a Marxist or a feminist Daily Show for the same reason. Ideologues are never funny. Colbert is funnier than the Daily Show because the Daily Show has tended to get a little preachy lately on issues like gay marriage or "racism."

5. The Daily Show offers it's audience two things

(A) Making fun of grown-ups, which is inherently less appealing to conservatives

and

(B) Reassurance, which progressives expect to get a lot more of from the media than conservatives.

re (B) The Daily Show offers nowhere near as much reassurance to a liberal as Rush Limbaugh does to a conservative.

Agreed. However, Limbaugh's TV show failed. Perhaps the reassurance that conservative crave doesn't transfer to the TV format without the making fun of grown-ups element. Which, if true, would go a long way to answerng Tyler's question.

3. One element missing from the article that I believe will have a bigger impact than expected - the decline in quality. The rise of Marvel films entailed, in part, using strong directors. Not auteurs, like Ang Lee, but dependable journeymen like Jon Favreau and Joe Johnston. Now they're handing the franchises over to directors who are a notch below because they will produce work that fits in the assembly line process. Meanwhile, TV is attracting people like Frank Darabont to handle comic book adaptations. At some point, the choice between staying home to watch TV and going to a movie will weigh more heavily to staying put.

Yes, that's why I couldn't get myself to read past this sentence:

"Star Wars has six films (a new trilogy and trio of spinoff films focusing on individual characters) and a TV series all on the way, and section of Disneyland green-lit for construction."

At least Star Wars had an auteur director at one time.

The Daily Show is just a mirror that claps for the people who watch religiously. I use the word "religiously" on purpose. The show functions much like a typical revival you used to see in the South. The preach calls and the audience responds. I forget who said it, but the Stewart's shtick is just flatire, that's flattery dressed up as satire. Kevin Williamson did a nice piece on it last week: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/372901/destroyer-cometh-kevin-d-williamson

The article Tyler links to here has a familiar bit of liberal myopia. The use of "Republican" and "conservative" as synonyms is common on the Left. To the hive mind, those outside are just an undifferentiated other. Bees could be stinging a man or a pterodactyl. To them it is all the same. For the liberal, all non-liberals are the same. They see no problem with tossing Rand Paul and Pat Buchanan in the same bucket.

The cult!....moonbats everywhere...CML...unlike Rand Paul and Pat Buchanan, all of The Left is in the same bucket....moonbats I tell ya!

Very good point on the "revival" aspect. Liberals get their cues from Stewart or Krugman or NPR, and then need to repeat them and share them and identify everyone who is Part Of The Group. It accomplishes nothing, but Lord does it make them feel wonderful.

I got a good laugh when I first heard "If you like Crimea, you can keep Crimea." But it didn't make me feel any better about having a dangerously unqualified dope in the White House. I didn't need it written on a bumper sticker on my car, as if that would change the world.

Call and response -- that's exactly what the Daily Show is.

I agree, but isn't it fair to say that the other side of the ideological spectrum has their own 'call and response' outlets? They aren't comedy shows per se, but the ideas are identical (mostly talk radio).
Without taking sides, I wonder why liberal 'call-and-response' skews comic, and conservative 'call-and response' skews 'serious'

In other words, take your second sentence in the post I'm replying to, and change it to 'Conservatives get their cues from Limbaugh or Hannity or Fox News, and then...."

Again, not taking sides, but the equivalence seems pretty obvious.

Do people really think that Limbaugh/The Daily Show are roughly equivalent ideological extremes?! From what I can tell, Limbaugh is completely crazy and deserves the mockery he gets from all sides, while The Daily Show is slightly more liberal than Obama, who I would describe as a pretty centrist version of a liberal.

Well here's an interesting question. Do you listen to Limbaugh? Or is your impression of Limbaugh based on what the Daily Show tells you about Limbaugh - which is that he's completely crazy and deserves mockery.

Because my friend, referenced above, does that all the time. "OMG did you hear this COMPLETELY INSANE thing Fox News said yesterday?" No, because I never watch Fox News, and neither do you, you just watched an edited ten second clip the Daily Show used to make their ideological opponents look as crazy as possible.

What Urso said. Also, I was speaking more about the 'revival/call and response' discussion. To me the Daily Show on the left and Limbaugh/Hannity etc on the right are pretty equivalent in what they aim to do, reassure their base, make them feel smart, demonize the other guys, etc. What's interesting is the left does it more with humor, the right is more 'serious'. The lefty shows say 'oh my god look how dumb these right wingers are, how funny is that hypocrisy?' The righty ones say 'oh my god look how dumb these left wingers are, they are destroying the nation!'

I think the art of the Daily Show, which "right wing comedy" fails at, is letting the jokes tell themselves. There isn't any need to extend someone's comment, to call a progressive a communist, or a healthy young woman a slut. The Daily Show just sets it up, and plays the clip. It is actually restraint which makes the best bits work for them.

Urso OWNING this thread!

Pro Tip: If you want to make a good response to 5a and the Daily Show ... be funny, not bitter or crazy.

I'm pretty sure Mr. Leonhardt will never actually finish assembling his "Team." Try as He might, He just won't be able to assemble the perfect mix of individual talent that could produce for us what could reasonably be called "The Upshot." The upshot of that failure will be Mr. Leonhardt disbanding "The Upshot" and switching to the Lifestyle Section where he will begin assembling a team for a feature that will be called "The Upsurge." Stay tuned.

I like Sbarro's pizza better than almost any other chain. However, they have very high price points. I can believe the part about the real estate, however, as I remember a long time ago a local McDonald's owner told my mother McDonald's is a real estate firm - they like to make sure there stores are in locations where, if the business were to not work out, they could always sell the land for enough money to make up any loss.

A good point...and it helps explain why sometimes there's multiple McDonald's so close together, land is valuable in some places, why not own 2 pieces instead of 1?

/1: I haven't seen how the question in TRIP's snap poll was worded; from the write-up it sounds like the experts were able to say "yes", "no", or "don't know" when asked if they thought Russia would intervene militarily into Crimea. Good predictions about the future should not be in a black and white yes/no format, instead they should be in the form of probabilities.

So either the poll was badly worded, or if they did find plentiful pundits who were willing to give a yes or no answer, then those pundits were giving overly self-confident answers (even the ones who correctly predicted and said yes -- someone who is so willing to give a black and white answer about an unknowable future is someone who's going to be certain, and wrong, all too frequently).

The day before TRIP conducted that poll, just after the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, I wrote this on facebook: "The next bit of headline news could be Yanukovych returning to Kiev riding atop a Russian tank." But I didn't say that that's what would happen (and of course, literally speaking it hasn't although figuratively we can say Sebastopol instead of Kiev). But to be able to flat out predict what will happen? Pundits do it all the time -- and as the article pointed out, all wrong at least half the time.

/5: For years, indeed decades now, defenders of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, etc. have said that their shows are meant to be entertainment, not news nor serious analysis of the news. And that's why there's no conservative Daily Show. The conservatives are getting their entertainment watching or listening to conservative TV and talk radio.

Very good point. The old man always has Limbaugh, Hannity, etc on, so I can't afford it when I visit. They have plenty of humor. Not saying it's all funny, but there is a lot of mockery.

*avoid, not afford

Pretty much what we were saying above. Bill O'Reilly is essentially the conservative analog to Jon Stewart. They have a good rivalry going, I think each has appeared as a guest on the other's show at least once.

"For years, indeed decades now, defenders of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, etc. have said that their shows are meant to be entertainment, not news nor serious analysis of the news."

No, you got it backwards. For years defenders of Jon Stewart have said it's comedy as a defense against it's bias. O'Reilly doesn't claim to be entertainment, nor straight news. He's always said his show is editorial commentary.

#4 The best part of that story is how they lost the sound clip, had no idea how to re-create it, but then fortuitously found the sound clip.

There is a "conservative" alternative to the Daily Show.

It's called Red Eye. It's on Fox News.

That's in the link...Red Eye is on at 3AM

I think Bill O'Reilly is a pretty close analog to Jon Stewart

Sure, but many people watch it online at a more convenient time. At least, I've never watched it on TV itself.

#5 / Sbarro - Why can't the NYT provide a business analysis of the bankruptcy without the constant elitist snark over the company's product? This seems to relate to the comments above re Daily Show; it allows the NYT readers to feel superior because they read the NYT. Have I broken the code as why both links are under the same number?

The Daily Show occasionally has segments arguing that the Obama administration is corrupt and incompetent. Hard to imagine a conservative comedy show during the Bush admin doing that, even with his low approval ratings. And though there is plenty of snarkiness, lack of logic, and out of context referencing on the Daily Show, they also have plenty of clear arguments for the points they make. They periodically demolish the talking points repeated by Republican politicians. I've watched The O'Reilly Factor at times and most arguments are made in such a way that I find it hard to believe that O'Reilly really believes what he's saying. I'm not the only one who wonders if he sees himself partly as just an entertainer, not really believing his own arguments at times.

..."demolish"...

Yep. The typical liberal view is that you need to "demolish" or "destroy" your opponents, not argue with them. And The daily Show caters to that sort of audience.

Fox News show are very critical of GWB as well. As far as "impartiality" goes, the Daily Show ain't it.

I said "demolish the talking points", not "demolish the politicians".

5. There kind of sort of is, anyone here watch Red Eye on Fox News at 3:00? Greg is a libertarian and, though the style is much more informal and the humor is very different from the Daily Show, it is a comedy news show hosted by someone who's right-leaning.

"There, restaurateurs can afford to experiment and take risks."

And I thought good food was the result of good quality ingredients and good quality food prep workers...

But according to Tyler, the guy who dumpster dives and experiments with garbage, taking the risk of killing customers, can deliver the best food??

How about, low rents means most of the money goes to buying ingredients and paying workers? Very little goes to pay the monopolist rent seekers. Simple economics.

Someone like Adam Carolla might be able to pull off a more conservative Daily Show - but of course, like South Park, it would end up being more libertarian than straight conservative.

Daily show is liberal? Seriously?

I think they are only about skewering the biggest dingbat of the day.

5. Fewer conservatives smoke marijuana. (Obvious.)

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