The news cycle is generous to politically astute comics like Jon Stewart. What a shame Stewart and co. ignore half the good stuff.
Stewart’s “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central leans decidedly left even if mainstream media outlets refuse to label the series as such. That means Stewart’s staff often ignores material that paints Democrats in an unfavorable light.
The last few days have been particularly brutal to the Democratic brand. Consider the following six political stories careening across the web this week. Will Stewart reach across the aisle when he returns from vacation tonight?
- Joe Biden: ‘The Middle Class Has Been Left Behind’ Under Our Watch – Vice President Joe Biden served up this gaffe during Monday’s speech on behalf of Senatorial hopeful Bruce Baley. “But you know the truth – the middle class is still in trouble, the middle class is still in trouble. You don’t have to know the numbers, you can feel it. You can feel it in your bones …you don’t have to know the number, but you know – the middle class has been left behind.”
- Hillary Clinton: ‘Businesses, Corporations Don’t Create Jobs’ – The former Secretary of State let loose with the following statement just last week, one sure to appear in an avalanche of GOP ads during the 2016 presidential campaign: ““Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.”
- Colorado Stumbles – Colo. Sen. Mark Udall, caught in a political fight that could decide the Senate’s balance, is struggling. Not only is the Democrat trailing in the polls to Rep. challenger Cory Gardner, Udalls’ campaign has been plagued by blunders. First, Udall botched a famous line from Martin Luther King, Jr., saying people should be judged “by the content of their color.” Then, First Lady Michelle Obama referred to Udall as a fifth generation Coloradan. That description fits Gardner, not Udall.
- The First Gaffer: Michelle Obama continues to be seen as a boon to the Democratic party despite her husband’s cratering approval numbers. Yet on the campaign trail this month she’s made Vice President Biden look error free. She has mispronounced her preferred candidate’s name and gotten basic biographical details wrong (see above), the latter born from a prepared statement crafted ahead of the event. Colorado Democratic party tried to spin the latter mistake, the kind of stuff a political humorist might pounce on.
- Watergate 2.0? – Sharyl Attkinson, the celebrated journalist who left CBS after complaining of the network’s preferential treatment toward President Obama, makes an alarming claim in her new book. She says a government entity planted classified documents on her computer. Is it true? Are other media outlets investigating to find out? If not, why not? There’s so much to hammer here, and Attkinson isn’t a far-right pundit eager to score partisan points or suspicious character. She’s a highly regarded journalist who kept both the Bush and Obama White Houses honest during her days at CBS. If Attkinson’s computer story can’t be confirmed, how about her allegation that the press routinely covers for President Obama. Isn’t that worth pursuing?
- The Ferguson Truth – This one might be the toughest of all for Stewart to tackle. The comic himself bought into the media narrative behind the death of a black teen in the Missouri town, and later mocked Fox News for its coverage. Now, with the facts finally seeping into the story, it appears the police officer in question likely didn’t shoot a gentle, unarmed teen with his hands in the air. Could Stewart target Democrats who used Ferguson as a political cudgel without waiting for all the facts? How about the Rev. Al Sharpton of MSNBC fame who personally fanned the flames of outrage? Of all the items on this list, the Ferguson Truth is the least likely to make it into Stewart’s nightly “newscast.”