Friday, January 18, 2013

Most shameful moment on The Daily Show

By Frank Moraes 

The Daily Show annoyed me again Wednesday night with the most shameful deception I have ever seen on the show. My friend Andrea tells me I'm just angry at Jon Stewart over his treatment of the platinum coin idea. This is not true. I am often bothered by how The Daily Show deals with issues and bends over backwards to seem "balanced" when it is anything but. Last night, the show took on Hurricane Sandy relief. I figured they would do a good job of this, but they blew it completely.

They started by noting Republican obstruction in the House. Then they showed a clip that made Chris Christie look good. That's fine, when it comes to this issue, Christie has been okay (although not nearly as good as his press would indicate). Then they showed Representative Mick Mulvaney complaining about pork in the bill. In particular, there is money to help the fishery industry in Alaska and the Gulf Coast. Stewart followed up with a typical, "Can't we all just get along?"

There are two problems here. First, putting pork in a bill is part of getting along. In fact, a lot of the Congressional dysfunction these last few years comes from the fact that Congress has made it much harder to do this kind of horse trading. Second, Congressmen always have some very good reason for not voting for any particular bill. Oh yes, Mulvaney would love to vote for the bill, if only it weren't for this one thing! Stewart is showing himself to be extremely naive about the way politics works.

Then, when the House removes some of this pork and passes the bill, Stewart is thrilled. They got along! See how easy it is guys?! But note: after it was taken out, Mulvaney still voted against it. As did 178 other Republicans. So this wasn't even the House agreeing to "all get along"!

But it gets worse. Because the bill has to go back to the Senate. Why? Because the House delayed so long on the vote that there is a new Congress. Stewart makes no mention of this. But it gets even worse. He shows video of Kerry saying that the bill will not pass without the fisheries money. Kerry looks really bad.

The reason Kerry looks really bad is that The Daily Show was as deceptive as I have ever seen. Kerry was talking about "desperately-needed aid for the Northeast fisheries disaster." You know, in places like Gloucester and New Bedford -- places effected by Hurricane Sandy!

(Cross-posted at Frankly Curious.)

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