Why The Daily Show Tells the Truth
Posted by Michael Dickens on August 10, 2009
(Unfortunately, embedding does not work in this case, so you’ll have to click the link to watch the video.)
In this clip, you will see a reporter from The Daily Show ridiculing other news stations for blowing the whole LHC end of the world thing out of proportion. But this raises an interesting question: why is The Daily Show being intellectually honest while so many other news sources are not? After all, The Daily Show is a comedy show with a heavy liberal bias. They have no obligation to honesty.
The key here is in profitability. For most news stations, it is profitable to skew the truth and over-emphasize the doomsday scenarios. People want to watch that kind of stuff. The more viewers they get, the more the advertisers are willing to pay.
But The Daily Show works very differently. It gets viewership by being funny and entertaining; the news is almost just a sideshow. So when they point out the skewed views of other news stations, they are not reducing their profitability. They can be unbiased (or at least less biased) because their popularity does not rely on overblown end-of-the-world scenarios and instead relies on their comedy. And pointing out in a silly sort of way that other news stations are biased? Now that’s comedy.