Chuck Todd debated the value of political comedy shows like “The Daily Show” and “Last Week Tonight” with a panel of comedians on Sunday’s edition of “Meet The Press.”
“When people watch Jon Stewart or John Oliver, they at least feel like they’re getting that person’s perspective,” said comedian W. Kamau Bell. “I don’t think people believe with the news—I think they feel you’re getting a corporation’s perspective.”
“You feel like you trust a comedian more than you would trust someone who’s a member of the media who’s being fed information for different reasons, from different political groups,” writer Laura Krafft added.
The roundtable was a response to a critique of Jon Stewart’s approach to satire by Salon’s Elias Isquith last Monday, which quoted former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) criticizing the comedian’s program.
“You could say we’re somehow dumbing down something that’s been dumbed down over the course of my life,” said Lewis Black, comedian and contributor to “The Daily Show.”
The Salon article argued that Comedy Central’s approach to satire was shallow and cynical rather than genuinely informative or biting.
“More than ‘The Colbert Report’ or Maher’s stand-up and HBO series, ‘The Daily Show’ tends to inspire glib cynicism more than outrage or understanding,” Isquith wrote.
Bell disagreed: “Have you been on Twitter, on Facebook? The cynicism is there,” he said on “Meet The Press.” “If anything, the Daily Show gives you hope.”
Watch the clip, courtesy of NBC: