Faux News | Sojourners

Faux News

Liberals and conservatives agree-

Liberals and conservatives agree—the media is badly biased," opines The Daily Show’s "senior media analyst" Stephen Colbert. So what’s the cure for news that claims to be fair and balanced but is often distorted? Answer: Fake news that is clearly distorted but which turns the phrase "fair and balanced" on its head with equal-opportunity mockery—denying presidents, candidates, and pundits the dignity usually afforded them by mainstream media.

Jesus humiliated his opponents on occasion (Luke 13:17) and never hesitated to put leaders in their place (Matthew 23). Through his documentary films and short-lived television series, Michael Moore elevated to an art form the ability to take people who think they’re important and make them look dumb. His embarrassment of corporate America, however, left his shows (TV Nation, The Awful Truth) without sponsors—and a satire-shaped vacuum in an America already aching from a declining Saturday Night Live.

Comedy Central’s The Daily Show has stepped into the void. Anchor Jon Stewart was mocking Bush’s war a year before it was popular to do so, with coverage bearing titles such as "Mess O’Potamia" and "Rationalization: Iraqi Freedom," punching precision holes in the administration’s "mission accomplished" and "bring ’em on" bravado. When other networks were still broadcasting cheerleading embeds, the show’s derisive dissent was Prozac for post-protest depression.

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Sojourners Magazine June 2004
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