January 17, 2019

Political Humor Isn’t That Funny

“One-sided politics are killing late-night comedy, but maybe not in the way that you think. It is true that in recent years, with rare exception, late-night comedy talk shows have shifted their content from humor to propaganda for progressive politics.

While politics have always served as fodder for late-night monologues, it wasn’t until Jon Stewart politicized “The Daily Show” in the early 2000s that the idea of proclaiming political opinion as a comedian would be well received. Stewart invented the “Smart Liberal Comedian Host,” and today it seems as though every television network has its own version.

Stewart’s development of this brand, coupled with his confrontational interviews with members of the George W. Bush administration, also coincided with the dawn of the shareable Internet video. Stewart’s interviews and sharp-tongued monologues could be shared in bite-sized clips via email for the first time in history.”

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JJ Editor's Picks

"Kenya has been an al-Shabaab target for years. It seems like that will continue, even with US-backed military efforts to defeat the terrorists."

"The president publicly brags he is getting the best of Democrats as unhappy campaign officials find themselves trying to fire up his base."

"An unnamed senior Israeli lawyer was arrested on suspicion of demanding sexual favors in exchange for judicial appointments. Two more suspects, including a female judge from the center of the country, were also arrested in connection with the case."

"I've always wondered what fans see in her. After debating with a friend about her “merits” for over half a decade now, I thought I had found the one thing that could probably change my opinion of the pop star: the Reputation tour documentary..."

" The lifestyles of Iran’s privileged youths — including expensive holidays, glitzy parties and access to cash and jobs — have sparked public anger in recent months as U.S. sanctions squeeze the economy."

"34 technology companies announced their membership of a Cybersecurity Tech Accord, it was portrayed as proof that the private sector was, at long last, taking responsibility for protecting civilians online... that’s not automatically a good thing."

"Brands feel pressure from Millennial and Gen Z shoppers to step beyond the bounds of straightforward consumer-product marketing. “I think it is important to stand for more than the product’s benefit that you provide..."

"Free self-improvement idea for 2019: become Susan Sontag. Listen, it’s not as hard as it sounds... you might have a very interesting year."

"While on vacation in New Zealand, a family with “approximately 12” but maybe as many as 15 members spent nearly a month terrorizing the nation before the government gave them an official deportation notice."

"Dated was the word one friend used after going to Benno, and if you’ve eaten there, too, you’ll know why. It’s as if the past 15 years in food never happened. "

"Israel is in the midst of an ambitious mass-transit project, a new light-rail network... But the project has drawn the ire of environmentalists, who say it threatens a precious resource: Tel Aviv’s towering, glossy-leafed ficus trees."

"In the 21st century, the criteria for identifying a Jew remains contested. In the United States, Robert Mnookin points out, several critical challenges add a sense of urgency to the age-old debate."