Friday, June 12, 2009

The Daily Show Reads The New York Times' Obituary -- What Was the Paper Thinking?

PEOPLE!  If there is one rule you can take to the bank, it is this one -- STEER CLEAR FROM JON STEWART'S "THE DAILY SHOW!"  If they ask to interview you or meet with you, it is NOT to do a flattering story, it is to skewer you.  You can't win.  And, they do it brilliantly.  

This does not just make for great comedy, it frequently results in their own brand of investigative journalism that packs a potent punch and delivers real truths.  Remember the knock-down cage match with Jim Cramer of CNBC's "Mad Money?"  No contest -- Stewart won with a humiliating knock-out of Cramer in the first round!  And, he did it by revealing real disturbing truths about Cramer's machinations while purportedly trying to peddle financial advice to middle America.

The latest victim?  The venerable New York Times.  On Wednesday night's show, The New York Times inexplicably opened its doors to one of "The Daily Show's" reporters and made its top brass available to vintage "The Daily Show" Q&A.  The result?  A terribly sad revelation of the terribly sad state of affairs of today's newspapers -- how newspapers are going the way of the dodo bird as a result of free news everywhere on the Internet (click here to watch the segment).  Even the venerable New York Times bleeds so much cash that its Executive Editor answers the pop quiz question, "What's black and white and red all over?" by saying -- in a cringe-inducing way -- "newspapers."  That is beyond an "ouch."  That is downright painful.  But, it is reality -- and it is real "news" (even if delivered in The Daily Show's inimitable style) -- and it comes straight from the old guard that is steering the ship at one of the last of the classic newspapers.  Definitely worth a watch -- click here. 

(Separately -- and in another cautionary tale that shows that history does repeat itself -- Stewart has now taken on Joe Scarborough of MSNBC for Starbuck's over-the-top immersive corporate sponsorship of his "Morning Joe" show.  And, yet again, befuddled and humorless Scarborough failed to learn from the past -- instead he is taking on Stewart and, again, losing!  And, losing big.  This begs the question to all of the above, "What were you thinking by taking on The Daily Show"?)