Best comedy usually rooted in truth

By Kevin Wilson: Freedom New Mexico

I complain a lot. But recently, I’ve felt blessed.

It’s blissful that the worst thing that’s happened to me on recent
shifts is getting home just in time to miss “The Daily Show,” and
having to wait for reruns on the latest tit-for-tat.

In one corner is “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, who mocked MSNBC’s
“Morning Joe” news program for its uncomfortable tie-ins to the
Starbucks coffee franchise. They landed the first show, with video
edited together of in-show praising of Starbucks beverages.

Scarborough punched back a few days later, of course, saying the
product placement was “sarcasm” and intimated Stewart and his writing
staff were too dumb to pick it up.

So I guess that means Scarborough sarcastically drank coffee. I should
have also picked up that he sarcastically interviewed Starbucks CEO
Howard Schultz by not asking about the company’s financial troubles.
And for the next few years, parent company GE will sarcastically cash
$10 million in endorsement checks.

In Scarborough’s honor, I think I’ll go to a restaurant I don’t really
like, eat their food and pay my bill — but I’ll later say I chewed
sarcastically. Stewart wins in a knockout.

“Daily Show” broadcasts are best when Stewart calls out 24-hour news
networks, like Monday night when it hammered Fox News for deceptively
editing Obama speeches, MSNBC for aligning Congressional Republicans
with Rush Limbaugh and CNN for desperately seeking Twitter followers.

Or there’s the final clip, which Stewart calls, “Your moment of Zen.”
My favorite of the past month was former sitcom star Craig T. Nelson on
Fox News’ “Glenn Beck Program.” Nelson said some businesses are doomed
to fail and we shouldn’t throw taxpayer money at them to delay the
inevitable. Fair enough … until he followed with, “I’ve been on food
stamps and welfare. Did anybody help me out? No.” Or maybe the comedy
was that Beck sat there and listened, instead of telling Nelson
government helped him out by temporarily paying his bills and buying
him groceries.

But one of the show’s best qualities is it proves no one side is right
about everything. The free market, for instance, is mostly a Republican
ideal, and the viewship of the “The Daily Show” is mostly a Democratic
audience.

Yet, “The Daily Show” thrives because of the free market, through a
voting block that doesn’t endorse the concept. It’s through the free
exchange of ideas and values that viewers decided Jon Stewart’s show is
at least as capable of intelligent news comment as shows with sponsored
news segments who scream “sarcasm” when backed into a corner.

Just this morning, I read about possibly inappropriate financial ties
between former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Roland Burris, who
Blagojevich appointed to the Senate. And I saw an interview where South
Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford said a “federal takeover” forced him to take
stimulus dollars— except he was ordered by his state’s Legislature and
his state’s Supreme Court.

Don’t be surprised if these things are best reported on Comedy Central. Because after all, the best comedy is rooted in truth.

Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Freedom New Mexico. He can be contacted at 763-3431, ext. 313, or by e-mail:
kevin_wilson@link.freedom.com