of a presidential election cycle has begun, and that has the folks
at Comedy Central's The Daily Show salivating.
they salivate over any hypocrisy, pomposity or idiocy. The
Daily Show cast of characters - along with Ben Stein - will
form the core of "Indecision 2000," its twisted take
on presidential politics to air during the party conventions and
randomly throughout the campaign.
going to have to really pull out every conceivable stop, and take
every conceivable drug, to top what Bill Clinton and Monica (Lewinsky)
were doing at the White House," said Stein.
Show host Jon Stewart will anchor political coverage from
the Republican convention in Philadelphia, July 29-Aug. 4, 2000,
while Stein - who once worked in the Nixon White House and remains
a staunch Republican - will front the Democratic convention in
Los Angeles, Aug. 14-17, 2000.
the coverage will be aggressive and offensive to politicians of
idea of Al Gore, an actually psychopathically delusional person,
running against George W. Bush, a person with no experience whatsoever
that qualifies him for the presidency, promises a great deal of
amusement," Stein said.
isn't worried about trying to think up new things to say about
those two people.
feeling I have right now is there's a power vacuum for the first
time in eight years. There's gonna be something interesting that
comes out of that mad rush to the top," he said. "Yeah,
Gore might not be that charismatic, but there will be levels of
intrigue to this battle that we haven't seen in eight years. The
last nonincumbent election was 1988. I think those are always
more interesting because you introduce a whole new cast of characters.
The soap opera begins again."
the most extraordinary thing is that a man in this country can
lead the polls and nobody knows who he is. How staggering is that?"
asked Daily Show contributor Lewis Black. "If that's
the way we're going to go, why don't we just go to another country
and get somebody we really don't know?"
his own opinion about Bush, though it's typically tempered by
his opinion of President Clinton.
it kind of funny that (Bush) has had such a questionable business
background. It's really hard to see how many honest dollars he's
ever made in his life, and yet he seems to poll incredibly high
in ethics and integrity. I guess that's a reflection of how people
feel about the present incumbent. I guess what's funny is it takes
so little to outpoll the present incumbent on ethics and integrity,"
It looks as
though neither Al Franken nor Chris Rock, mainstays of Comedy
Central's 1996 election coverage, will have a role. Comedy Central
has decided to let The Daily Show crew do the dirty work.
But it's work
that needs to be done. Not to get too philosophical here, but
someone has to say the emperor has no clothes. Laughing at power
is incredibly important if we want to keep power in check. Nobody
openly laughed at Stalin or Hitler and lived long enough to laugh
The Daily Show skewers a variety of people. Sometimes it
can run a joke into the ground. And it sometimes can cross a line.
lose our perspective. We do certain jokes that, in retrospect,
we don't feel good about and people would have a right to feel
bad about, but no one ever died from an errant joke," Stewart
the show does isn't as offensive as what the news media can do
in certain situations, swamping innocent people in time of crisis,
trampling all over people in pursuit of that one great visual
of a shell-shocked Columbine High School kid crying.
what we do is relatively well thought out," Stewart said.
"And while there are times you step over a line when you're
in the mix, and things are happening fast and furious, I think
the truth is we, as fake journalists, exercise far more restraint
than the journalists that I see.
the coverage of Columbine, and when those kids, scared as they
were, got off that bus coming out of that school, I thought they
were being reunited with their friends and camera crews. I've
never seen anything like that, and we didn't make one joke about