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Thread: Why is one of the best interviewers on Comedy Central?

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    Why is one of the best interviewers on Comedy Central?

    Video: Exclusive - Marc Thiessen Extended Interview Pt. 1 | The Daily Show | Comedy Central

    While the majority of The Daily Show is comedy and satire, John occasionally proves to be an incredible interviewer. He actually is engaging the person he's interviewing, challenging them. In the first part he talks over Thiessen a bit, but apologizes and backs off in the second half. Really well done. He also hit on something a lot of people forget: The two views re: waterboarding are not actually that far apart. "I say we can go this far, you say we can go THIS far."

    In contrast, it seems like the 24-hour news channels mostly just sit there and let their "interviewee" spout off some talking points and then call it a day. I recall Giuliani on CNN, a so-called liberal news channel, say "We did not have any terrorist attacks under the Bush administration, we've now had one under the Obama administration. (referring to the Ft. Hood shooting I think, it was a while back)" What? Blatantly false... and it went entirely unchallenged. A similar incident happened on Fox News, although I can't recall exactly who they were interviewing at the time.

    John breaks out some good facts and shows how the Daily Show crew went and did some research and prepared for this discussion.

    It's so weird to be saying this, but, why can't CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News be more like The Daily Show?

    edit: Thread discusses media interviews and such, for waterboarding/torture discussion I'm sure we have a thread for that somewhere.
    Last edited by Deuce; 03-10-10 at 06:52 PM.
    He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear
    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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    Re: Why is one of the best interviewers on Comedy Central?

    Don't forget, John Stewart only has a 30-minute show every night. Of that half hour, he usually spends about 10 minutes each show on an interview.

    Compare that to other political shows on the 24-hour news channels. Most are at least an hour and the commentators usually interview multiple people each show.

    I'm not saying that John Stewart doesn't deserve credit for being a good interviewer. I'm just saying we need to keep some perspective between what he does and what others do.

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    Re: Why is one of the best interviewers on Comedy Central?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    Video: Exclusive - Marc Thiessen Extended Interview Pt. 1 | The Daily Show | Comedy Central

    While the majority of The Daily Show is comedy and satire, John occasionally proves to be an incredible interviewer. He actually is engaging the person he's interviewing, challenging them. In the first part he talks over Thiessen a bit, but apologizes and backs off in the second half. Really well done. He also hit on something a lot of people forget: The two views re: waterboarding are not actually that far apart. "I say we can go this far, you say we can go THIS far."

    In contrast, it seems like the 24-hour news channels mostly just sit there and let their "interviewee" spout off some talking points and then call it a day. I recall Giuliani on CNN, a so-called liberal news channel, say "We did not have any terrorist attacks under the Bush administration, we've now had one under the Obama administration. (referring to the Ft. Hood shooting I think, it was a while back)" What? Blatantly false... and it went entirely unchallenged. A similar incident happened on Fox News, although I can't recall exactly who they were interviewing at the time.

    John breaks out some good facts and shows how the Daily Show crew went and did some research and prepared for this discussion.

    It's so weird to be saying this, but, why can't CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News be more like The Daily Show?

    edit: Thread discusses media interviews and such, for waterboarding/torture discussion I'm sure we have a thread for that somewhere.
    I think it might have something to do with the fact that other programs are hindered by the institutional structure of their networks. If I'm hosting a show on NBC or CBS, I'm not just representing myself in my interviews, I'm representing my network as a whole. If I do something that pisses off my guest, I'm not just running the risk that they won't appear on my show again, I'm running the risk that they'll refuse to go on the other shows on my network, that their staffers will be less likely to pass on tips to my reporters, that they'll be less likely to give exclusives to my anchor, etc. When my actions can cause serious harm to an institution that is much larger than my show, there may be a fair amount of pressure from above to avoid causing too much trouble.

    In contrast, Stewart doesn't have to worry about that issue. If he pisses someone off, it's not going to cause South Park to miss out on a hot tip about health care. In addition, his popularity with a fairly important demographic means that he will always have enough of a draw that otherwise reluctant people will decide to go there. All of that gives him the breathing room to push further than other hosts might go.

    It's really a shame, because as good as he is on some issues, he doesn't really have the range to cover all possible topics. If you watch the John Yoo interview, that's a good example of what I'm talking about. What should have been an incredibly interesting debate about an important topic turned into Yoo running circles around Stewart. It's not Stewart's fault, because he's neither a lawyer nor a "journalist," but because he's the only one who has really even tried to ask those questions, that's the best we've gotten.

    I could be completely wrong, but that's just my initial impression.
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    Re: Why is one of the best interviewers on Comedy Central?

    I saw the interview with Yoo. He was "running circles around John" in the sense that he was repeating himself over and over
    He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear
    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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    Re: Why is one of the best interviewers on Comedy Central?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    I saw the interview with Yoo. He was "running circles around John" in the sense that he was repeating himself over and over
    How so?
    Lincoln Madison: John Yoo on The Daily Show (transcript)

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    Re: Why is one of the best interviewers on Comedy Central?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    I saw the interview with Yoo. He was "running circles around John" in the sense that he was repeating himself over and over
    I don't really understand how you came away with that impression. The pretty solid consensus is that it was embarrassing for Stewart - he's even said so himself.

    How did he do it? It's a question John Yoo has been getting a lot lately. How did he manage to outwit Jon Stewart? ("He slipped through my fingers," Stewart recalled after Yoo's recent appearance on The Daily Show. "It was like interviewing sand.") Easy, says Yoo. "I've spent my whole career learning to settle down unruly college students who have not done the reading."
    Why Jon Stewart failed to make John Yoo squirm. - By Christopher Beam - Slate Magazine

    "There is an unexpected silence in the liberal blogosphere," says Adam Serwer, "after last night's highly anticipated Daily Show episode, in which Jon Stewart hosted John Yoo, the author of many of the Bush adminstration's torture memos and one of the people most responsible for giving legal sanction to the practice of torture. That's probably because Stewart found himself completely outmatched by a charming, tactful Yoo."

    I think Stewart's problem was twofold. (Video here.) First, he was woefully unprepared. Yoo's argument was, plainly, about what counts as torture. Stewart didn't get that — or pretended not to get that, I'm not sure which — and that led him to continually act surprised by perfectly ordinary statements from Yoo. "You're saying we'd never before considered whether torture was OK?" Stewart would ask, and Yoo would respond, "No, we were trying to figure out for the first time which interrogation techniques were torture and which ones weren't." That's really not hard to understand, but Stewart continually misunderstood it and wasted the entire first segment of the interview.
    Stewart and Yoo | Mother Jones
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    Re: Why is one of the best interviewers on Comedy Central?

    I'm not saying Stewart "won" the debate. I'm just saying Yoo didn't put forth any talking points I hadn't heard a thousand times before.
    He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear
    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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    Re: Why is one of the best interviewers on Comedy Central?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    I'm not saying Stewart "won" the debate. I'm just saying Yoo didn't put forth any talking points I hadn't heard a thousand times before.
    Wow it is almost as if you paid not a whit of attention to the Mother Jones article or anything else, and instead just dashed out a quick dodge as you find it difficult to abandon your entrenched position that is at odds with the interview, the facts and discussion that took place on it, and all the views and comments that contradict your own.

    Ya just never see that on the internet!

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    Re: Why is one of the best interviewers on Comedy Central?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Loin View Post
    Wow it is almost as if you paid not a whit of attention to the Mother Jones article or anything else, and instead just dashed out a quick dodge as you find it difficult to abandon your entrenched position that is at odds with the interview, the facts and discussion that took place on it, and all the views and comments that contradict your own.

    Ya just never see that on the internet!
    No, maybe it's because I've had this debate a thousand times and don't see a reason to repeat the exact arguments 1001 times?
    He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear
    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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    Re: Why is one of the best interviewers on Comedy Central?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    No, maybe it's because I've had this debate a thousand times and don't see a reason to repeat the exact arguments 1001 times?
    You mean you have debated but not debated the so called excellent interview skills of a comedian on a 22 minute program before? Let me guess, you convinced just as many people then as well?

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