It’s difficult to gauge the performance of news media during a Trump administration.
On the one hand, you’d be hard pressed to find a president whose missteps and contradictions are so quickly and clearly pointed out. Americans know more about health care, tax reform and immigration policy than any American public before it. Quick: you know the name Betsy Devos, right? Now name another education secretary, of any administration, in American history.
So it’s hard to argue the press has not made us a more informed populous. The question is what do we do with all that information.
Certainly, television news does not know. This week, MSNBC aired a story on how new polls suggest that Donald Trump would have beaten Hillary Clinton if the presidential election were held today.
When you get into hypothetical journalism to fill a 24-hour news cycle, you’re screwed. Why not a piece on who could milk a goat faster? And interesting that the network would tout another election poll, which proved about as accurate as Miss Cleo after a bender. I’m surprised the network didn’t hawk the story with a teaser that said: “Remember those inaccurate home-phone polls of last year? Well there’s a new study out…”
Instead, and thankfully, late night TV has taken on the role as participatory journalist. And while Stephen Colbert may live to regret saying that Trump’s mouth as a “cock holster for Vladimir Putin,” other outlets are scoring with political coverage that is more observational than offensive.
Take The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, a show that has improved by leaps and bounds over last year’s rocky debut. Earlier in the year, as Sean Spicer brought a stack of files to a press conference to show all the work his boss was putting into the job, it a Daily Show clip demonstrated there was nary a label on a single file.
And this week, Noah scored with a smart look at the Congressional response to United Airlines forcibly removing an overbooked passenger. He played clip after clip of lawmakers complaining about the discomfort of air travel. One compared it to riding on a “civil rights bus.”
Noah rightfully lost his shit, noting that over the same weekend, three black motorists were shot. But no Congressional hearing. So he an anchor Roy Wood Jr. introduced a genius idea to protect black pedestrians: A sandwich board shaped like a 747.
But it was Seth Meyers (the heir apparent to Jon Stewart) who got off the best shot: “The House of Representatives narrowly passed the repeal of Obamacare Thursday. Also narrowly passing: Grandma.”
Journalism isn’t dead. It’s just practicing its stand-up.
And now, that:
- Iran has the highest rate of nose surgery in the world per capita, since the mandatory hijab tend to highlight the female face.
- Cinco de Mayo is not that important in Mexico and is mainly celebrated only in the state of Puebla.
- An anonymous serial killer was arrested in 2005 after sending a floppy disk with his name and church stored on it. He asked police if they could trace a floppy disk and they said “no.”
- Wasp used to be “waps,” while bird used to be “brid” and horse used to be “hros.” Pronunciation errors made the English language what it is today.
- The English language has 3,000 words for “drunk.”
- 70% of people will live in cities by 2050.
- There are 1,459 people in Peru named after Star Wars characters.