Fake journalist, real questions

August 2, 2004

According to Slate.com's Dana Stevens, Ted Koppel is concerned that "A lot of television viewers—more, quite frankly, than I am comfortable with—get their news from […] The Daily Show." Battle of the Network Anchors

While the Daily Show does not serve the same role as hard news reporting, it is very difficult to find hard news on television. "Stewart, on the other hand, finds it 'dispiriting' that broadcast news has become complicit with the prespun narratives coming from both left and right: 'It's Coke and Pepsi talking about beverage truth.'"

Tonight on the Daily Show, Jon Stewart once again demonstrated why he deserves actual journalism awards with his interview of Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-TX).

Bonilla discussed his work as part of the Republican rapid response team spinning the media at the Democratic convention last week. Stewart asked Bonilla about the source of "Kerry and Edwards are the first and fourth most liberal Senators" talking point:

Stewart: how do they figure that?

Bonilla: They, they have, we have votes and, uh, bills that we sponsor...

JS: I'm not retarded, I mean, how do they compile...?

HB: They list them

JS: Who's 'they'?

HB: These groups that I told you about.

JS: But which one is the one that said that they were the first and the fourth?

HB: Well, well, you take the trial lawyers, or the people that follow the union votes, and the people who follow the small business votes, or the corporate votes, and they all go: you're either with us one hundred percent of the time or none, zero percent of the time and they kind of average them all together

JS: Who?

HB: These groups do!

JS: But which one? how-- when you say first most liberal and fourth most liberal-- what is the group and how is it--

HB: No, I hope I'm explaining this okay...

JS: I don't think so. I just want to know what is the group?

HB: These groups have lists of votes..

JS: But which group says they're the most liberal? Whi-- You know, because that is a point that you guys make

HB: The liberal groups do and the conservative groups do. Both of them do.

JS: No no no, I know that. You know how like when you guys go on the show and say that he's the first most and the fourth most, which group is that? the one you guys are quoting?

HB: It's a group that does that, it's a group on each side. It's not one individual-- um, it's not just the trial lawyers, it's not just the small business group, it's not just the corporate people.

JS: You're making this up.

HB: No, I'm not! I'm not, and they take these...

JS: I'll tell you who it is. It's actually called the National Journal, and what they do is...

HB: But that's a magazine!

JS: But they're the ones that put it together

HB: They actually compile a list.

JS: But, is that over their career, or just...?

HB: Over their career

JS: But see, no

HB: But they'll do it every year

JS: The first and fourth... You know that Edwards over his career is more to the right than the median Democrat and actually Kerry is more to the right of Kennedy. You just want people to have an honest discussion, and that's all I want. I'm not Democrat or Republican, but my head, with the spinning and the responses and the things... I'm a sad little man....

Both The Daily Howler and Spinsanity explain the actual data in greater detail.

Posted by Andrew Raff at August 2, 2004 11:55 PM
Trackback URL for this entry: http://www.andrewraff.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/2679

I was watching this Daily Show, when the phone rang.. I picked up and said, "one sec, I'm watching Jon Stuart school someone."

Posted by: darlyn on August 4, 2004 02:41 PM