Friday, September 03, 2004

The Daily (Kerry) Show Needs a Hiatus ASAP

Jon Stewart took over the Daily Show in 1999 from then host Craig Kilborn. With Kilborn, the show lacked any thread of political edginess. That all changed when Stewart and his crew (Stephen Colbert, Lewis Black, etc.) came aboard. For two years, the show sustained a relatively modest following. After 9/11 the show hit its stride, holding nothing back against the government, criticizing efforts to pull the country into war, and highlighting the usual shortcoming of "real" American news media outlets.

The show, while at times hilarious, was always walking a tight rope. Gradually, the show deteriorated sometime over the last year as the election issues started making their way into the daily news cycle. It became increasingly clear that Stewart, while still applying heat to conservative leaning guests on the show, was content to lob softballs to the Clinton's, Kerry's, and Al Franken's of the world.

Stewart's interviews have always been the weakest part of the program. Eliminating this segment in favor of more tongue in cheek commentary from Black or more 'news' packages from Colbert and company would be a huge boost to the show. That will unfortunately not happen. The show was put on cruise control sometime this summer with a destination set for the November election.

For the next two months it will continue to experience decline. The only hope is that the election will pass and Stewart will snap out of funk. His propensity to reduce himself to a shill for Kerry and the DNC is not surprising. Bill Mahr, a self-described LIBERTARIAN (ha!), has also used his HBO show to pump up the democratic base.

Naturally, the essential element of these shows (comedy) has been compromised to accommodate the campaign messages of the Kerry camp. Unlike Kerry, I still see a glimmer of hope in Stewart. His only real crime is playing the role of government apologist, something that every other liberal or conservative ideologue resorts to when it becomes convenient.

Cheney Puts (Grand Ole') Party before Family

If Robert Stack was still with us, he'd be my first choice in heading up an investigation into one of the Republican convention's biggest unsolved mysteries. Mary Cheney, the now infamous 'gay' daughter of Dick and Lynne Cheney was curiously absent from the stage when it came time for the Vice President to conclude his speech and be joined by his family.

The family patriarch paused for about a minute with the remaining members of his family before hurrying backstage. One can't help but wonder if this relatively short pose for the camera was due in part to feelings of guilt the Vice President was experiencing. Nevertheless, he sent a clear message to the Republican 'base.'

By not insisting on having Mary and her partner Heather join him on stage, Cheney did little to reinforce the message of the Republicans as being the political party of family values. Once again, we see a politician willing to shove his family aside for the benefit of his political cronies.

No one is asking why exactly Mary Cheney was not there on stage with her family. My only guess is that she could possibly be detained (as I type) as a prisoner in Kansas. Only time, or Attorney General Kline, will be able to tell us for sure.

What is for certain is that this campaign (based whole heartedly on the Republican agenda) is creating the circumstances for the utmost amount of torment for her as she tries to maintain a normal life.


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