Rallying Against the Conflictinator

In The Ultimate Daily Show and Philosophy. Oxford: Wiley. pp. 5–22 (2013)
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Abstract

While The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is certainly entertaining, it can also deliver a deeper analysis of our contemporary media environment. Stewart's analysis echoes that of the celebrated New York University media theorist Neil Postman, whose discerning insights seem to ground some of The Daily Show's sharpest comic bits. Much of The Daily Show's sharpest comedy requires its audience to grasp a Postman‐like criticism of television news. In addition, Stewart himself seems to offer a more general critique of today's televised public discourse that is reminiscent of Postman's in several significant ways. This isn't to say, however, that Postman and Stewart are in perfect agreement. For one thing, Postman argues that the transformation of serious discussion into entertainment is all but inevitable when this discussion takes place on television. Stewart, on the other hand, seems to believe that television can do better.

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Gerald J. Erion
Medaille College

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