Jon Stewart's misguided 'arrow of satire'

Posted: August 18th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: journalism | Tags: , , , | View Comments
jon_stewart / CC BY 2.0

I love satire.

I got my first real taste of the genre in high school, when I read Jonathan Swift’s short story, A Modest Proposal. Swift’s ability to deftly argue his point with dark humor made his argument accessible, even to a 16-year-old kid with no real knowledge (or interest) in Ireland’s plight in the 1700s.

This form of social commentary resonates with people. It’s what made Saturday Night Live skits like Weekend Update successful when Chevy Chase debuted the piece in 1975. Tina Fey’s well done satire skewered Sarah Palin during the 2008 election, highlighting the fact that her public comments had been … less than intelligent.

Satire can make complicated topics within the realm of politics entertaining and popular. Jon Stewart is a master at this, which is why a Time magazine online poll named him the most trusted newscaster in America.

As a journalist, that’s a little disappointing. But this isn’t the era of Cronkite. Read the rest of this entry »