Why are comedians the only people who can honestly report the news?

For example, consider the following truthful and accurate report. You won't see mainstream media doing this. Mainstream media would give a false "balanced" view, where the Republican attack on democracy is given the same positive spin as the Democratic attempt to save it. Why is this?

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Bread and circuses, eyeballs to advertisers. And heaven forfend that you offend the scarier segments of society.

TV, it's all just infotainment anyway...

Nevertheless, it is argued that Shakespeare's clowning goes beyond just comic relief, instead making the horrific or deeply complex scenes more understandable and "true to the realities of living, then and now."Shifting the focus from the fictional world to the audience's reality helps convey "more effectively the theme of the dramas".

By Obstreperous A… (not verified) on 10 Apr 2017 #permalink

The companies that produce news content are expected to make a profit, and that means catering to their advertisers, who pay the bills. As well as attracting eyeballs to see those ads. If a bit of actual news reporting happens to be compatible with those two goals, then it is allowed to go forward. But frequently actual reporting is in opposition to those goals.

Comedians are in the business of entertainment. They are expected to make the audience laugh at things. This tradition dates back to at least the days of medieval court jesters, who were the only people allowed to criticize the boss in public. John Oliver et al. are worthy heirs to that tradition.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 10 Apr 2017 #permalink

I don't think the reason for inaccurate news reporting is due to just one thing but I'm old enough to remember when Republicans and Democrats were much more alike in truthfulness (& lack of same on occasion), scandals, rationality of policies, etc. Those days have been gone since Ronald Reagan but perhaps an institutional memory lingers on in the minds of older reporters and their bosses.

Of course, now that news reporting has to fill time 24/7 there is also the lure for news organizations that contrasting views and debate draws public attention so if one side is mostly wrong &/or lying, let's not mention it.

By Tyvor Winn (not verified) on 10 Apr 2017 #permalink

I suspect one part of the problem is a sense that most people really know better. The regular media can debunk all day, but they can't make people care using conventional means, so they don't bother. Comedians can mock. They can use sarcasm. They can punish folks for lying, so they get a bigger pay-off in terms of the impact on their audience.

By northierthanthou (not verified) on 10 Apr 2017 #permalink

I've been wondering this for quite some time now.

This should not be a part of our system. What a joke.

By Marge Cullen (not verified) on 10 Apr 2017 #permalink

Marge: Or, part of the system.

If I was in charge of a major network, I'd put the half hour comedy news show on just before the national news show. That way people could see it side by side.

Liberals have been whining about gerrymandering for 15 years. Yet thru this bubble of talking points, perhaps John Oliver will give them a glimpse of the truth. For all his theatrics, which point out the ridiculous gerrymanders, the reality is gerrymandering has not given Republicans control of Congress. You can't gerrymander Senate seats. The House districts he discusses are balanced by other states where the Democrats have done the same(incl Calif with its ostensibly neutral process). People who have looked at it, puts the Republican advantage from gerrymandering under ten seats, and perhaps less than 5.

"Liberals have been whining about gerrymandering for 15 years."

This doesn't say they are wrong to do so , though.

"a glimpse of the truth"

Which is what and how do you know?

" the reality is gerrymandering has not given Republicans control of Congress"

The reality is that is a claim you're making so you can whine about liberals. The reality is that if gerrymandering didn't work you wouldn't be doing it. And its ability to change the system based on it being the vote of a region rather than a count of people is patently clear and obvious.

" Democrats have done the same"

So either it doesn't have an effect, or this is an empty whine.

Moreover, tu quoque means you accept the charge against you, of gerrymandering to manipulate the outcome of voting.. BTW you disefranchise the voters against you too, then make up a fiction of millions of Cali illegal immigrants voting to make you lose the popular vote (while whining that it doesn't matter too...).

And lastly on the subject, please, a complete list of both sides' gerymanderimg with dates and results please, so we can see what your whine is about and how valid. Motes in anothers' eye and all that...

" You can’t gerrymander Senate seats."

So there's one seat per ten thousand state population? Because if you have uneven representation, the state is a gerrymander itself.

"People who have looked at it"

Would include those who you say whined at it. Yet you only accept the word of those who aren't liberal. Even they say it happens. Yet you still claim reality is different?