The real winners in the election

Whoever the candidates and parties are, in US elections there is always one certain winner.

(This clip aired on November 4, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)

Attacking your own advertisers

For some reason, the businesses run by the Koch brothers started advertising on The Daily Show and this gave Jon Stewart the opportunity to launch an attack on them and the way they are using their money to buy politicians. That is an interesting thing to see. Usually broadcasters tend to give the sponsors of their show kid glove treatment, something that businesses know and take advantage of to buy the silence of news organizations, as media watcher Jeff Cohen noted some time ago.
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The stupidest person in Congress

Stephen Colbert makes the case for congressman Louie Gohmert who wins it even in the face of stiff competition from the likes of Michele Bachmann. I sometimes wonder whether he could be as stupid as he really seems to be and whether he is really quite savvy and has figured out that by saying deliberately stupid things, he gets a lot of media attention. But that would require him to be a really good actor, worthy of an award.
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The Daily Show on the Ebola panic

Jon Stewart looks at how easily Americans are made fearful about everything and asks wonderingly, “What’s wrong with us? I thought we were the home of the brave.” While that sentiment may provide a rousing end to the national anthem, it is just another case of pandering to the self-image of people that they and their nation are possessed of some virtue not held by others. Such self-aggrandizing conceits are hard to erase. The hardest thing for people to accept is that they (as individuals and collectively as nations or ethnic groups) are pretty much just like everyone else in their basic human qualities.
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Against patriotism

I despise the entire concept of patriotism. I agree with Leo Tolstoy who wrote the following:

Patriotism in its simplest, clearest, and most indubitable signification is nothing else but a means of obtaining for the rulers their ambitions and covetous desires, and for the ruled the abdication of human dignity, reason, and conscience, and a slavish enthrallment to those in power. And as such it is recommended wherever it is preached. Patriotism is slavery.”

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