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Television Media

Daily Show Production Team Nets Creative Freedom 272

Posted by Zonk
from the stephen-colbert-deserves-a-hug dept.
gremlins writes "Jon Stewart, who recently celebrated his sixth anniversary with "The Daily Show" and was a rumored possible replacement to Dan Rathers, has signed a deal which allows his production team, Busboy Productions, to develop televison projects on their own. The deal also allows Busboy Productions to flirt with other networks when looking for a home for the projects. Comedy Central still gets the right of first refusal for any projects created."
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Daily Show Production Team Nets Creative Freedom

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  • That's great (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    But why is it on Slashdot?

    (No, it's not even in the politics section.)
    • by JonStewart (663472) on Friday February 18, 2005 @09:50PM (#11719296)
      What can I say? Geeks love me. I share their love of internet porn.
      • Hahahah!

        How long have you waited for this moment... Anyway, too bad it's not rillly you, you're no Wil Wheaton.

      • You need to calm down.

        Politics is making you nuts.
      • dude, get off your ass and finish up your campaign website [jonstewart2008.com]!!
    • Re:That's great (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LostCluster (625375) * on Friday February 18, 2005 @10:17PM (#11719437)
      But why is it on Slashdot?

      For the same reason that Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek gets covered here... it's what geeks watch.
    • News for Nerds (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Doc Ruby (173196) on Friday February 18, 2005 @10:31PM (#11719514) Homepage Journal
      Last year an interesting story ran amok in the media about how _Daily Show_ watchers were beter informed than Fox News watchers. Geeks are better informed. The _Daily Show_, as a parody of news shows and the news, is for news geeks. We're such geeks that we can't even notice this basic fact without asking one another for clarification. Welcome to the club.
  • by rjamestaylor (117847) <rjamestaylor@gmail.com> on Friday February 18, 2005 @09:46PM (#11719271) Homepage Journal
    A comedian as a replacement for a serious news anchor?

    Oh yeah... Dan Rather. Sorry. I must have mis-read that.
    • Yeah (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Jon Stewart has a lot of experience with fake news.
  • Freedom? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LostCluster (625375) * on Friday February 18, 2005 @09:47PM (#11719279)
    I don't think the article says that the TDS team gets any freedom... they're just getting funding to do spin-offs.
  • Jon Stewart (Score:5, Funny)

    by Scoria (264473) <slashmail AT initialized DOT org> on Friday February 18, 2005 @09:47PM (#11719281) Homepage
    For more on this developing story, we turn to our senior Dan Rather analyst, Mr. Stephen Colbert.
  • by nebaz (453974) on Friday February 18, 2005 @09:48PM (#11719287)
    The Daily Show is often more insightful about the news than the mainstream media. You would probably be better served watching a half hour of the Daily Show than CNN/Fox News, etc.
    • by Koiu Lpoi (632570) <koiulpoi.gmail@com> on Friday February 18, 2005 @09:57PM (#11719333)
      That's true, wasn't there some survey done not too long ago, showing Daily Show watchers more in touch with reality than others?
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Not too surprising when you think about it. People whatching the daily show do so to get an interesting perspective on things, you may not agree with it - but you watch it from another angle. Many people who whatch network news just take whatever is spoon fed to them. Not surprising that they end up out of touch (considering the news itself is sort of out of touch).
      • I remember seeing that survey, or online poll or whatever a few months ago too.

        I think that people (willfully) misinterpret that result. That poll in no way implied that 'Daily Show' viewers (myself included) were more knowledgeable on current events *because* they watched DS. Although there's no way for me to know, I suspect that the opposite is what's really happening. In order to apperciate the humor in the show, the viewer has to be informed of current events. So, the group is self selecting.

      • by Zotnix (844035) on Friday February 18, 2005 @11:08PM (#11719728) Homepage
        Yes, CNN [cnn.com] has the information. You can also take the quiz if you want to.
    • This isn't completely true. You have to at least know what is going on to understand The Daily Show. Fox/CNN are a prerequisite of sorts for many of The Daily Show's jokes.
  • John Stewart, while very funny, definatly wears his politics on his shoulder. Stewart speaks his mind and has openly supported one political party over the other. The CBS anchor job requires a neutral position, so that the newscast is not agenda driven like Foxnews or CNN. Dan Rather was actually good at hiding his political beliefs, I doubt Stewart could be as successful.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Dan Rather? Good at hiding his beliefs? When?
    • by gl4ss (559668) on Friday February 18, 2005 @10:01PM (#11719357) Homepage Journal
      actually it's better if he's transparent about his political beliefs, that way you know that it's his opinion about things. if it was just hidden, but the stories chosen still with certain bias, you wouldn't figure it out so easily.

      and all that doesn't really matter.. it's not like the anchor could go against his employer(and the team behind the news, after all the anchor just reads them..).
    • by Quantum Fizz (860218) on Friday February 18, 2005 @10:09PM (#11719392)
      You mean the Daily Show line "Where more Americans get their news than any other nationality" didn't clue you in that they're just making fun of the system as a whole?

      Have you only watched the Daily Show during the last four years? Stewart has basically been cleverly mocking the hypocrisy of the country's political leaders since the show started. It's been a Republican administration for the past 4 years (and a fully-dominated Republican Senate/House for the past 2 years), so that's where most of his focus goes.

      During the Clinton years there was definitely a slew of anti-Clinton, anti-Lewinski, anti-Gore jokes, etc. But when you have a president like Bush who gives comedians enough material without even trying (along with an administration with policies just dripping with potential for satire), you cannot expect them not to pounce on it.

      For example, I remember back during the Clinton years they basically showed a bunch of clips tacked together of Clinton saying "I did not have relations with that woman ... I did have a relationship with Monica Lewinsky", etc, showing his hypocrisy. Guess what? It was funny then, and his take on the Bush administration is funny now.

      And finally, as Stewart said on Crossfire - he didn't realize that CNN takes it's queues on integrity from Comedy Central. It's COMEDY CENTRAL, a COMEDY channel, not a NEWS channel.

    • Dan Rather was actually good at hiding his political beliefs, I doubt Stewart could be as successful.

      Just because it's viciously slanted is no reason not to trust him -- after all, you know how far to trust him. What's to worry about?

      Even someone pretending to be neutral has agendas you can't see, can't know, and can barely even guess at. Pressure from corporate owners? Pressure from sources for favorable reports to ensure future access to the source?

      Stewart's /fake/ news show is quite literally the only
      • I would agree with you, but listening to her part in "America, The Book: The Audiobook" I almost have to disagree. She's really hilariously deadpan, but she doesn't seem to have the believeability that Steven Colbert did/does when he interviews famous people who had never heard of him, and that's really the part that she plays on the show. Ed Helms doesn't do much better, in my opionion.
        Any way, The Daily Show is as funny four days a week as Saturday Night Live was once a week, only back in ~1995. I love
    • Dan Rather was actually good at hiding his political beliefs

      Have you ever actually watched Dan Rather? Especially in the last 5 or so years, he couldn't have been more overtly partisan in both his delivery of the news, and in his editorial/production decisions. I'll leave the pre-election phony document shenanigans out of it - there's plenty of his older material to make my point.

      The difference between him and Stewart is that Stewart is much more direct about his preferences, whereas Rather plays coy
      • I wonder whether you think it is possible to report news critical of the Bush administration's policies without becoming "partisan." Or do you suppose that "the facts have an agenda"?
        • I wonder whether you think it is possible to report news critical of the Bush administration's policies without becoming "partisan." Or do you suppose that "the facts have an agenda"?

          Facts don't have an agenda, but you can sure forward an agenda by choosing to dedicate network news time only to some information (or doing so in only a certain way), or by fabricating material that you represent as if it were fact. That's editorial spin, and what you do with it generally exposes your politics. Every editor
    • I think you could have picked a better example. It seems you have forgotten the scandal surrounding Dan Rather during the 2004 election, which I thought pretty clearly showed his bias. Either that or you are laying on a sarcastic joke and no one got it, which I am leaning toward this.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    To imply that Jon Stewart is a journalist and a replacement for Dan Rather is a gross mischaracterization and sad commentary on the state of news media.

    Jon Stewart is a comedian! The Daily Show is a comedy show! He is far from objective although he is hilarious.
  • Daily Show Rocks! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Quantum Fizz (860218) on Friday February 18, 2005 @10:00PM (#11719350)
    The Daily Show is one of the greatest programs currently on American television. Perhaps part of the reason for it's success is that since it's obviously a satirical show, it can press questions many of the other "so-called liberal media" outlets feel intimidated to represent. For example, the Daily Show was one of the first national 'news' programs to publically acknowledge the whole Jeff Gannon [dailykos.com] controversy in the White House that most other media outlets are surprisingly quiet about (basically the White House repeatedly gave a press clearance to a mole, under a fake name, who planted easy questions for Bush to answer, after the heightened 9/11 White House security. This guy w/ the fake name also had access to 'classified' information before it was revealed by either Bush or other staff. Meanwhile actual journalists, like Maureen Dowd [nytimes.com] were consistently refused press passes to White House briefings. This has all been unraveled in the past 2 weeks, like Watergate, with the mainstream press just starting to hesitatingly picking up on it.)

    And of course there's this brilliant tidbit [ifilm.com] where he blasts CNN's crossfire for being theater instead of actual news. The best part is when conservative crossfire host Tucker Carlson tries to ask Jon Stewart why he gave Kerry softball questions when he was on the Daily Show, Stewart responded (paraphrased from memory) "What I didn't realize, and maybe this explains alot, is that CNN takes its queues on integrity from Comedy Central. The show that leads into mine is puppets making crank phone calls."

    Jon Stewart is brilliant, and since the Daily Show has the satirical factor embedded in it, it allows him more freedom than most other media outlets. And ironically in many cases he does a better job at explaining the news. For example, Daily Show viewers tend to be more informed [cnn.com] than viewers of many other programs.

    • by Surye (580125)
      And it's the only show I regularly watch on tv. I think you summed it up nicely.

      (by the way, I do get "real" news, mostly in the form of reading newspapers. However, daily show provides true insight where one many not expect from Comedy Central).
    • The Study... (Score:3, Informative)

      by Caseyscrib (728790)
      The actual study can be found here [annenbergp...center.org]. There was also a slashdot discussion here [slashdot.org].
    • by edremy (36408)
      There's a long history of using satire to speak unpleasant truths to people who won't otherwise listen. Read up on your Shakespeare (Lear, for example) and you'll see numerous fools who are the only people who can get away with it.

      Jon is our court jester. It's truly sad that you'll see more incisive commentary on TDS than on the major news networks. I've given up on all TV news except TDS- there's no point left to the major news programs anymore.

      The most telling comment I ever saw on TDS was a short

    • by demachina (71715) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @01:02AM (#11720351)
      I love the Daily show but.... I unfortunately I understand why I love it, and all the rest of the Blue state'ers probably do too. Its the only American news show, or even fake news show, that people who aren't right wing wackos can watch since Bush assumed his throne, since 9/11 and especially since Bush got reelected. The Daily Show's popularity is almost directly corellated to the rise of Fox News and George W. We all fled to it to escape reality. Some people maybe fled to CNN or ABC but they all turned in to pale echos of Fox News, shameless flag waving after 9/11, their insane rush to war in Iraq, so we had to flee them too so we all landed on the Daily Show. When I tune in CNN I can barely tell it from Fox lately, except maybe Fox has more hard news.

      So we were all happily watching Jon Stewart, havin' a good laugh, and figuring the nightmare would be over in November. America would come to its senses and put a pathetic excuse for a Democrat in the White House, lesser of two evils ya know. He would suck but nothing could be as bad as George W.

      Two problems developed:

      - While were off escaping from reality, the Christian fundamentalists, the neocons, the hawks, Karl Rove and the rest played a deadly serious game to stay in power at all costs, they played hard ball and they won, while we were all off pretending Jon could just poke fun at them, everyone would see he was right and there was no way they could win. BUSHES REELECTION IS ALL JON'S FAULT....WAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH.

      - Somehow the Democratic party nominated the absolute most pathetic candidate they could find, if you went looking for the absolute most pathetic candidate to nominate for President you couldn't have found anybody worse.

      So at this point we are trapped, we have only three options:

      A. Stop watching television or at least the news
      B. Watch the Daily show and have a half hour respite from the insanity that has siezed hold of America. Unfortunately its just escapism, pretending that if Jon makes a joke out of something horrible the White House did today that its must not be so bad, well unfortunately it still is.
      C. Watch the network news and just lose it, and start yelling at the TV,

      "How can you people be so stupid"
      "How did you all fall for that"
      "He is lieing, can't you tell he is lieing, he is really obviously lieing, how did you fall for that"
      "When did CNN U.S. get bought out by Fox News?

      That's pretty much all I did during the run up to the Iraq war. It was driving the family nuts everytime the news came on and I started yelling they are lieing about the WMD's and about the ties to Al Qaida, the RPV's spraying American cities with Anthrax and Saring, and about the "mushroom cloud", just so they can sucker Congress, the networks and the American people in to backing a war no one in their right mind would have backed otherwise.

      Its what I do lately when I see John Negroponte getting appointed head of this new monster of a national intelligence agency and all these politicians drooling as they praise him as a great diplomat and statesman, and all these 9/11 families and 9/11 commission, god bless them, naively giving the right wing the cover they needed to create this monster that makes the KGB look puny, the right wing all the while acting reluctant about it as they salivate about going back to the good old day of the '50's and '60's when the CIA was an out of control rogue agency toppling elected government after elected government.

      This is John "Death Squads are Us" Negroponte [democracynow.org] who was ambassador to Honduras during the Contra part of Iran Contra and the reign of terror of the CIA trained Battalion 3-16 whose specialty was torture and summary executions.

      He has numerous times, under oath said he was unaware of any human rights abuses in Honduras while he was there though death squads tortured hundreds, if not thousands of people, he was briefed on it, he knew about, he
  • Jon Stewart rocks... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GillBates0 (664202) on Friday February 18, 2005 @10:05PM (#11719371) Homepage Journal
    First and foremost, I should link to the last story [slashdot.org] Slashdot ran about Jon, slamming the media's coverage of the election on CNN's Crossfire.

    That out of the way, I would like to encourage people to watch The Daily Show [comedycentral.com] even though it comes on at 11pm EST (it also reruns at 7pm EST the following evening). Even those of you who reject it outright as Left Wing BS.

    Pause for a moment and try to listen to what the man has to say in as unbiased a way as possible...thinking of him as a standup comedian might help in this regard.

    Over time, you'll realize, that he indeed makes a lot of sense. Atleast when compared to the lameass corporate-owned media which the populace considers as mainstream (and factual) news. In his own, sarcastic and comedic way, he puts forth "politically incorrect" news items, which the popular media outlets are unwilling to touch, or willing to slant to suit their ends.

    Give it a try. Thank you.

    • by otis wildflower (4889) on Friday February 18, 2005 @10:29PM (#11719504) Homepage
      I think it works best when he's got a writing crew to keep him 'honest' when it comes to covering all sides of an issue. He's not quite so 'fair and balanced' solo. That is to say, he doesn't let his personal sympathies get in the way of a good joke.

      I form opinions issue by issue, rather than subsuming my opinion to one particular groupthink tribal mass or another. Finding the absurdity in any situation where it appears appeals greatly to me, and good satire works when it's honest, telling the truth with humor. For the most part TDS is honest and smart satire, whether it's targeting Bush (I mean, I don't love or hate the man, but it's objectively honest that he can barely string two words together in public speaking.. ) or anyone else.

      Besides, he'll have rightists on as guests often enough, and he's pretty fair. He won't usually go for the easy jabs, as a recent interview with Mike Mills demonstrated.. His interviews tend to be more thought-provoking, given that he'll engage his guests in some serious questioning, and I'd call it 2/3rds BookNotes with only 10% of the dryness.

      I consider TDS mandatory viewing, and I only wish there were more of it.

      I don't think Stewart would be a smart replacement for a network anchor like Rather though, I think he needs a guest to discuss things with, I think he'd do better as a George Stephanopoulous replacement.
    • Comedy Central is owned by Viacom who is CBS, UPN, Spike, MTV, BET, VH1, CMT, Nickelodean, Showtime, Sundance, and Paramount Pictures that I am aware of (I'm sure there are more). Fortunately, at this point, Viacom recongnises that the freedom to be different and offensive is what gets the ratings on Comedy Central and they allow and encourage it.

      But don't think for a minute that it's not big corporate owned media.

      That does not, however, mean that their content is not excellent and well worth watching. Ch
  • Uh huh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 18, 2005 @10:37PM (#11719550)
    Like, has anyone else noticed that when The Daily Show's correspondents report "from the field," it looks like in-studio video effects? Yeah. Bad in-studio video effects.

    This guy's a little slow

    • No kidding (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770)
      I mean that one comes as a huge "duh". On his interview on C-span Stewart joked about that how you get a green screen and one shot of Baghdad and wham, you have a reporter in the Middle East. I even recall an episode where two reporters that were supposed to be in different parts of the world started areuging and eventually went after each other, back and forth between the two boxes that were supposed to be the different camera angles, it was hilarious.

      However, I'll give the guy some credit. The Daily Show
      • They start to think the funny is just a hook, and it's a new[s] program.


        No, actually, it's a talkshow, just like Letterman or Leno.

        Well, to be fair, it is more of a legitimate news program than the early morning "News" shows like "The Early Show" "Good Day Live", etc.
  • by uhlume (597871)
    Is Dan Rathers?
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday February 18, 2005 @11:21PM (#11719795)
    where is a reliable source of Daily Show torrents?
  • Rather not. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Capt_Troy (60831) <`tfandango' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Friday February 18, 2005 @11:37PM (#11719872) Homepage Journal
    I'd rather not see Stewart dishing out real news. He's perfect where he is. I doubt CBS would allow him to do the satire that comedy central does, and that's the strength of the Daily Show.
  • Interview (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @12:51AM (#11720292) Homepage
    The one Slashdot interview I'd LOVE to see would be a John Stewart one.

  • by johnnywheeze (792148) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @01:29AM (#11720473)
    vis-a-vis Jon Stewart not being a serious journalist. The Daily Show has an International Edition that actually plays on CNN on weekends (if you live in asia). Which at last look was accepted as a serious news channel.

    Political satire has always been just as, or indeed more effective in changing opinion on policies and governments than the regular news media.

    Dismiss this man at your peril.

  • by Sloppy (14984) * on Saturday February 19, 2005 @06:51AM (#11721412) Homepage Journal
    There's one thing the Daily Show should do, to turn it from a good show into a great one: get rid of the interviews with entertainers, who are just trying to promote their new movie or something like that.

    It just doesn't fit, and I almost always fast-forward through it (and when I don't fast forward through it, I always regret it, because it turns out to be incredibly boring, even if it's Eric Idle). It's never funny or entertaining. Lose it, and the show will improve. Interview authors and politicians instead.

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.

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