What I want you to know. Which is everything.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


Fox has come out with a new show that takes the news and puts it into a half hour of comedy, not unlike a Daily Show or Colbert Report type thing. It's called The Fox 1/2 Hour, News Hour, and the biggest difference between it and the Comedy Central shows, as you would imagine, is that they carry a more conservative bent, as a contrast to the other two's liberal leanings. I watched this segment that they have on their website, and I must admit, it was kind of funny. Given my theory that most shows take at least a whole year to reach its full potential, and usually longer, it's got a promising start. My guess is that for whatever reason the show won't last that long. I don't know why. I suppose it's my preconception about conservative viewers or inherit dangers of beginning a show as such an obvious reaction to an earlier, hugely funny and successful show. Not that I think conservative viewers wouldn't like a little funny in their diatribe, but it just seems that there isn't a big enough market for smart, political satir coming from the right POV. I know this may seem unfair, but satir just strikes me as a liberal thing. I guess because it's historically been used more often by progressives and liberals.

Mostly, the reason it bugged me was because I truly believe that most conservatives already like Stewart, and they'll be smart enough to see this show as pathetic knockoff, even if it is a truly funny show, it it's own right. Afterall, Stewart takes shots at all politicians, and welcomes both sides of the aisle on his show and is generally the most brutal to the media, which is, of course, the true enemy of the conservatives, anyway. The Limbaugh crowd and the folks who are always reacting to clever liberal satir by firing back with their own, weaker versions will like this, because it seems that they are the ones who created it. But, most people, conservative and liberals alike, will most likely pass it over with little more than chuckle and a pitiful head shake.

Finally, if Fox is going to keep their comedy show up, they really need to up their integrity factor to the level of The Daily Show. Granted, as John Stewart will say himself, The Daily Show shouldn't be considered the most reliable source for objective journalism, seeing as that most of what he says is false, but, let's face it: if you're adept at reading between the lines and taking a hint, The Daily Show is much better at cutting to the core of a news story than any of the other networks combined and looks at the news from the freshest angle possible: the honest one. The 1/2 Hour News Hour, while they didn't go into a rhelm of out and out lies, one segment was meant to take a jab at the ACLU, a bastion of liberalism if there ever was one. The clip was a fake comercial, showing a guy speaking to the camera about how he helped Neo-Nazis and hate group gain the right to protest and assemble and how he and these groups successfully sued the government for the right to hold rallies, etc. At the end he revealed that he was from the ACLU.

Now, everything that this comercial says was probably true, but what it implies is that hleping out the hate groups was an illeagal thing, or at least a bad thing. But, in true Fox form, they are expecting their viewing audience to be stupider than (let's hope) they are. To me, this validates and plays into the purpose of the ACLU and what they would admittedly do. THey ensure that laws are followed and that people's right's aren't infringed. This is done no matter how much they might disagree with the people who's rights are being protected. In a sense, Fox's faux commercial validates the ACLU more than it insults or discredits them.

I'm sure there are times that The Daily Show, and definitely the Colbert Report does the same thing on the other spectrum, but I haven't noticed. Maybe because of my own POV, I don't see it. But the show just seems doomed if they keep making simple mistakes like this.

1 comment:

Jason said...

I had heard about that on the Slate Political Gabfest Podcast, but I hadn't seen any of it. That clip was bleh. I thought they were at their best when they were actually talking about news stories. The book bit went on WAY too long, and I completely agree with the fake commercial for the ACLU: as much as we may disagree with the ideals of a group of people, they have to have the same rights as the rest of us. The constitution applies to everyone, not just the ones with appropriate belief systems.