Saturday, July 31, 2004

Since I'm obviously becoming more of a political junkie of late (thanks DNC!), I read some stuff today that I thought was very interesting. The discussion on Fametracker about The Daily Show has been very interesting. Since I recently got cable again, I caught the rerun of Thursday's show, which showcased John Edwards' speech. And they did a frickin' hilarious bio of John Kerry entitled John Kerry: He's Not George W. Bush. (Best description of Kerry: craggy!)

And I can't help but think, this is where people of my generation are getting their news. I mean, I remember the 2000 election -- and I did probably get a lot of my news from the Daily Show. But it seems as though you really have to know a little bit about what is going on in order to appreciate the Daily Show on multiple levels. I mean, I watch ABC News with Peter Jennings ('cuz Petey's the man!) almost every night. Plus reading online newspapers like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Baltimore Sun, as well as online magazines like Slate. Oh, plus I do enjoy the Today Show. Yes, Katie Couric and Matt Lauer are my guilty pleasure in the morning.

But I'm getting a little off topic now. I find it fascinating that the Daily Show has become such a great media critic. The one episode that I saw covering the DNC covered the media reaction to Al Sharpton's speech -- the one that wildly deviated from his written remarks and went over the allotted time. And Brian Williams -- the up and coming young anchor who will soon be taking over for Tom Brokaw -- got Sharpton after his speech and had absolutely no question at all. It's great that someone is doing this -- poking holes into the windbag that the network and cable news have become. And it's darn funny too!

There's also an interesting article in the New York Times Week in Review -- What We Missed in Boston. It covers essentially the same points about the Daily Show and it's media criticism, but also makes a point about why the networks don't cover the conventions more thoroughly. I enjoyed their comparison to the Olympics and how NBC used narrative to make the sports more interesting and compelling.
it could stir up similar mini-dramas around elected officials. An NBC promotional spot highlighting the Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin starts this way: "A lifetime spent alone under water." The story of Dennis Kucinich could be packaged much the same way, though perhaps more succinctly: "A lifetime spent alone."
Wouldn't that be more interesting than just an hour of speeches? Of course, it would take more time and money, but I'm sure they would get some return on the cash.

In other news, I got a book from ILL today -- Van Johnson: MGM's Golden Boy. I am very excited to learn in more detail about the bobby-soxer idol that has intrigued me so much. (Trust me, I don't even know why I have been watching so many of his movies.) Let's hope that the book can come up with an answer -- and you can read about it on my other blog, just in case you don't want to suffer through more about V-Jo.

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