Comedy is the Real News

Stephen Colbert’s speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner has been getting some well-deserved attention (in blogs only, though). This reminds me of an observation I made last year when watching TV in the U.S.

I went to the WWDC last year with the guys from (my then) work. In the evenings we had the TV on (when we weren’t out in a bar).

That week on CNN, Nancy Grace went on and on discussing particular instances violent crime, which I guess is no different from any other week. On Fox News, they filled screen time with speculation about the Michael Jackson trial and with totally uninformative speculation about a murder in Aruba. The Mark Felt story was already old news, but they had talking heads trying to make the viewers believe that it was wrong and unpatriotic of Felt to talk about Watergate to reporters.

During the same week on Comedy Central, The Daily Show ran segments about the French and the Dutch voting against the EU constitution, about global warming, and about the approval rating of Bush’s key ally going down due to the war. Also, Jon Stewart interviewed Newt Gingrich and Colin Powell.

And these are called “the fake news”.

Update 2006-10-11: MSNBC story about the Daily Show as a trusted news source.