Daily Show Is Serious About Media Criticism
With Joe Biden Tuesday, Lou Dobbs last night, and Hannity caught faking the news last week*, The Daily Show continues on it’s long hot roll. Here’s a Poytner look inside the most effective media criticism shop in America:
“I feel like there are lot of critics of the government but there are very few critics of the media who have an audience and are credible and keep a watch on things,” said “Daily Show” writer Elliott Kalan. “That’s a role that we provide that we take very seriously.”
Kalan said the biggest mistakes he sees the mainstream media make involve overreaction and early reaction to the news. On television especially, he said, everything is “a scoop” or “breaking news” even when it’s not. He noted that presenting the coverage in such a way leads networks to give news a level of speed and intensity that can sometimes get in the way of facts. […]
One of the show’s rules is to not trust any source too much until it’s been confirmed by another source. The show’s 11 writers and eight producers — who range in age from their early 20s to mid 40s and four of whom are women — say they often check The New York Times and other newspapers to verify the facts and figures they hear on TV or read about on blogs. They also have a researcher and fact-checker, Adam Chodikoff, who makes sure any information that’s used has been verified by multiple sources.
“We work very hard to make sure that we don’t take anything out of context,” King explained, “just because we like to think at the end of the day that what we’re doing is right and correct, but also because while the networks don’t respond to us all that much, people attack us and criticize us and we don’t want to give them ammunition than they need.”
* Here’s Hannity’s faux apology. Joe noted earlier another, similar, Fox faus pax this week. Some of the fun in the clip above, btw, highlights a similar error by MSNBC.