A ‘The Daily Show’ Fail

Normally Jon Stewart and his writers are reasonably good at lampooning current events and especially the media that covers them, but occasionally they fail.

Now normally it’s something stupid and petty like his inside comic interviews that make no sense at all, or more seriously his letting big ‘gets’ weasel away from the tough questions, especially his pet beltway ‘friends of the show’.

His blessedly rare independent editorializing is dreadful because he’s always going for the false equivalence of liberals and conservatives, a meme he constantly lambastes in others.

Thursday he displayed his and his writers’ mind boggling ignorance of Economics 101-

Herr Doktor Professor

Stewart seems weirdly unaware that there’s more to fiscal policy than balancing the budget. But in this case he also seems unaware that the president can’t just decide unilaterally to spend 40 percent less; he’s constitutionally obliged to spend what the law tells him to spend. True, he’s also constitutionally prohibited from borrowing more if Congress says he can’t – which is a contradiction. But that’s the whole point of the discussion.

And it makes no sense at all to talk about any of this without the context of extortion and confrontation.

Above all, however, what went wrong here is a lack of professionalism on the part of Stewart and his staff. Yes, it’s a comedy show – but the jokes are supposed to be (and usually are) knowing jokes, which are funny and powerful precisely because the Daily Show people have done their homework and understand the real issues better than the alleged leaders spouting nonsense. In this case, however, it’s obvious that nobody at TDS spent even a few minutes researching the topic. It was just yuk-yuk-yuk they’re talking about a trillion-dollar con hahaha.

Hey, if we want this kind of intellectual laziness, we can just tune in to Fox.

Just because I like you most of the time doesn’t mean you get a pass.  Which goes for Krugman too.

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