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The Modern Court Jesters

John Avlon has a wonderful article over on The Daily Beast about how comedians are taking over the job of what used to be considered “real” journalists.

Stephen Colbert testifying in front of Congress. Bill Maher serving as a one-man opposition research division against Wingnut Queen Christine O’Donnell. Jon Stewart hosting a pre-election “Rally to Restore Sanity” on the Washington Mall.

Naturally, my only complaint is that he somehow overlooked Political Irony.

After all, if a one-fifth of Americans believe that President Obama is secretly a Muslim, one-quarter believe that he wasn’t born in the United States, and over half think he’s a socialist, we’re acting crazy anyway. Might as well add some intentional humor to the funhouse-mirror distortions that pass for political debate. Because the best explanation for belief in the above statistics came from Colbert: “I love the truth; it’s facts I’m not a fan of.”

There’s a reason to take comedians seriously as commentators today. Sometimes it feels like they’re the only ones telling the truth.

I couldn’t agree more.



  1. deciminyan wrote:

    But when you put a real comedian like Al Franken in a real political job like Senator from Minnesota, he does a damn good job.

    Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 10:03 am | Permalink
  2. ebdoug wrote:

    Jon Stewart for Senator instead of Kristen Gillibrand?

    Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 10:06 am | Permalink
  3. John wrote:

    My way of joking is to tell the truth. It’s the funniest joke in the world.
    – GB Shaw

    Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 11:36 am | Permalink
  4. Patricia Andrews wrote:

    I remember when “Laugh-in” changed some minds. It could happen again (we hope!)

    Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Permalink
  5. Bert and/or Ernie wrote:

    Facts are stupid things. – Reagan at the ’88 Republican convention.

    @Deciminyan, I agree about Frankin, one of the best politicians we’ve had in a while. I guess two jokes cancel each other. 🙂

    Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Permalink
  6. ebdoug wrote:

    Reading an approved biography of Warren Buffett – “Snowball” by Alice Schroeder. His blood boils as much as mine about the need to tax the rich. He was furious with Bush’s tax cuts. He cites other very rich people who feel the same

    Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Permalink
  7. Iron Knee wrote:

    Interestingly, I suspect that it is not the truly rich who mind the tax cuts going away, it is rich-wannabes like “Joe the Plumber” who are being manipulated into giving tax cuts to the rich.

    Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Permalink
  8. patriotsgt wrote:

    Perhaps what is needed is to redifine rich. The sticking point I see is Obama keeps saying those making a million dollars or simply referring to millionairs as the wealthy, but then the tax increases are for singles making 200k and couples making 250k. Should there be a bracket for the very wealthy (million $ income +) and those say doctors who make 250k and have 300k in student loans they are also paying back.

    I just think there is a huge difference between a person making 200k yr and Warren Buffet. 200k and even 250k as a couple is well to do, upper middle class, perhaps even lower upper class, but definately not “rich” like a Dupont, Buffet, Vanderbilt, Gates, etc.

    Monday, September 27, 2010 at 6:05 am | Permalink
  9. Iron Knee wrote:

    We have some people in here who do taxes, so they would know for sure, but I suspect that the $250K number is for net income, so someone who is paying back lots of student loans would not enter the higher bracket. Besides, they only pay the higher percentage on marginal income — that income above $250K/year.

    Monday, September 27, 2010 at 10:15 am | Permalink
  10. ebdoug wrote:

    Deductions phase out for those over 1/2 (or less I’m not sure) Unless the rich shelter their income, they pay more tax as IK pointed out, the amount taxed is after deductions.

    Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 5:51 am | Permalink