Why the UK needs its full Daily Show quota
January 9, 2011
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I’ve made reference before to my American TV boyfriend, the wonderful Jon Stewart. I fracking love The Daily Show and have watched it religiously since More4 first started airing it. I’ve found it the best way to keep in touch with what’s happening in America (what? Read American papers online? Are you insane? I don’t want to have to go looking for stuff that’s important, I want it bringing to me. I am
busy lazy). And now More4 are ditching the full series and only showing the weekly Global Edition compilation – and dumping it at 11pm on Monday nights, for fuck’s sake – so not only can I not spend four nights a week gazing at the righteous liberal brain of Mr Stewart, I lose my immediate connection to the US zeitgeist because it’s impossible to watch The Daily Show in the UK (without shelling out a fortune on iTunes. Or doing some bizarre workaround with your IP address which I’m clearly going to have to look up).
I pondered The Daily Show’s importance while watching this clip earlier. It’s the end of MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann’s show and it talks about the violent rhetoric surrounding US politics at the moment, in the wake of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’s shooting.
Six people died yesterday. As Keith Olbermann points out, it’s currently too early to know whether the gunman pulled the trigger for any specific political reason, but the culture of violence and revenge in popular politics and media can’t help but create an arena that encourages acts like this. Part of me watched that speech thinking ‘hang on, this all sounds a little unlikely’, but because I watch The Daily Show daily, I’ve seen what he’s talking about so I know to quash that sceptical little voice. The Daily Show is the only place I know of where I can quickly absorb that kind of information, and now it’s gone. Where the buggery am I going to find that context now?
Add to this the discovery that my British TV boyfriend is now doing adverts for Direct Line, and adverts that any old actor with a good line in patronising facial expressions could do, and I admit to you, reader, that I am somewhat at a loose end.