POLITICS
04/10/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Joe Scarborough Doesn't Seem To Understand What the Daily Show Does (VIDEO)

In case you were wondering, CNBC's Jim Cramer -- in addition to his appearance on The Today Show -- brought his damage-control act to the General Electric Morning Joe Infotainment Show Tuesday morning, in accordance with the ancient prophesies of Six Sigma. You can thrill to the exquisite sadness of Jim Cramer in the video below, if you like. I'm more intrigued by the rather powerful assertion made by Joe Scarborough at the top of this clip:

[WATCH.]

SCARBOROUGH: [REFERRING TO CRAMER] As a former supporter of Barack Obama, a lifelong Democrat, one of the biggest Democratic supporters in the national media, and now a man being attacked by the White House, and also Jon Stewart.

CRAMER: Yeah. Wow. he has it in for me, I gotta tell ya.

SCARBOROUGH: The thing is, it used to be that when George Bush was President, Jon Stewart attacked the president every night. But now that George Bush isn't President, instead of speaking truth to power, he's attacking people like you.

In other words, The Daily Show is your source for partisan hackery.

Here's a suggestion for Joe Scarborough. No disrespect, but, uhm...he should maybe watch The Daily Show. Here's Jon Stewart, "attacking the president," LAST NIGHT, for his tone-deaf DVD box set gift to Gordon Brown:

And for turning the White House into a personal wish-fulfillment camp:

And here's John Oliver's rather cutting segment on the White House Press operation ("Which of the questions that your staff insisted be pre-approved would you like to answer first?"):

But beyond this recent proof that The Daily Show has been merrily critical of the new administration, I'd also have to recommend that Scarborough develop an understanding of what The Daily Show is. First and foremost, the show is a critique of the media. It is not "fake news." It is not "funny riffs on the headlines," a la "Weekend Update." It is a lampoon of media excess. As any veteran watcher can tell you, it has ALWAYS been "attacking people like [Cramer]." George W. Bush was just value-added content.

If you think Jon Stewart is merely funny, you're missing the point.

The Comedy Central guy is one of the sharpest media critics around.

I know he feels strongly about the shortcomings of the news business -- and who doesn't? -- because I've interviewed him about it, and the one time I was on the "Daily Show," he carried on at some length, long past the allotted time for our discussion. Only the studio audience got to see that part.

Thanks to his young army of TiVo sleuths, Stewart comes up with tape that either a) makes journalists look slightly ridiculous, or b) shows that they don't know what the hell they're talking about.

He does this to politicians as well, of course. And the show is shaped by his opinions. Jon was no fan of Bush or the war in what he calls Mess O' Potamia.

I argue in my book "Reality Show" that even though Stewart (and Stephen Colbert) do fake news, they are having an undeniable impact on real news.

Anyway, Scarborough then yammers about how it's not fair that Jon Stewart has a team of people scouring the internet looking for mistakes, as if these news bureaus were scrappy, underdog operations that deserve a pass. Oh, but I guess they are! As we learned from this morning's Today Show, wealthy infotainers like Jim Cramer are "the little guy."

So, BOOOO, fatcat researchers of basic cable satire!

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