Analysis of The Good, The Bad, and The Daily Show In Jason Zinser’s “The Good, the Bad, and The Daily Show” his purpose was to formulate a response to the uncertainty regarding the legitimacy and ethics of ‘fake’ news sources. Zinser begins by discussing if it is acceptable to obtain information from a humorous and often satirical news source (in this example, The Daily Show), he points out that “the question isn’t whether Jon Stewart or the show’s producers and writers are morally corrupt people, but whether or not fake news is, on the whole, beneficial or damaging to society” (Zinser 363-364).
In other words, he begs the question, can we really be an informed public that can contribute, comprehend, and function as a democracy through the projections of a ‘fake’ news source? Zinser then makes the claim that ‘fake’ news causes two vices, the first being deception due to the lack of valuing objectivity in their reports. The second is dilution, both in the quality of media from the variance of online sources as well as adding excessive news reports attracting more viewers to what is typically a hard news source.
Zinser also reminds us of the beneficial aspects in ‘fake’ news. Empirical data suggests a trend that either viewers of The Daily Show are better informed than those watching hard news because of its effectiveness, or, on the other hand that it attracts viewers who already know about the current events being discussed, evidence of its success.
The ideal solution, he concludes, would be to merge the two, retaining the power and persuasion of The Daily Show as well as including “depth and insight” more apparent in hard news reports, helping viewers understand different sides of the arguments present (Zinser 371). When diving into Zinser’s writing, some similar aspects from George Orwell’s, Politics in the English Language came to mind. Orwell states, “foolish thoughts, being a result of language, language has become a result of foolish thoughts.
Vagueness is the most evident characteristic of the English prose. There is a lack of imagery and the figurative language no longer gives a connection to images and concrete thoughts. ” When comparing this to the satirical writing and language that Zinser speaks of in The Good, The Bad, and ‘The Daily Show’ it creates a perfect picture of how by exemplifying the two vices, (deception and dilution) misconceptions can easily happen, especially when your only news source is a satirical ‘fake’ ews source. When thinking about some of the other ‘fake’ news sources, one example that might be overlooked is The Onion: a very popular source from which the stories are based on fact but written in a humorous and satirical way. Being that The Onion makes fun of all different types of news events from health issues to sports, The Onion actually delves into multiple aspects of our culture in a comical way but still delivering facts and informing people about what is going on in the world.
In this case it can be just as influential as real news. In fact an example of The Onions influential satirical news was captured when they published the world’s sexiest man and posted Kim Jong Un (the North Korean Dictator) as the sexiest man alive. North Korea took it serious and published it in their local paper and made a big deal out of it (news. yahoo. com). It is in this same sense that is described in Zinser’s analysis of this so called ‘fake’ news that you can get an idea of the actual influence this has on our culture.