Sociologist Herbert Gans has a good idea. “What if the news media reported the best of the monologue material as well as the currently circulating political jokes and connected them with the news stories that inspired them?”
After all, as Gans reminds us in his new book Democracy and the News, many people, particularly those between eighteen and thiry-five, get much of their news from late-night comedy hosts like Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and Jon Stewart, of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show (recently described by Susan Douglas in The Nation as “the medically prescribed antidote to CNN and Fox.”)
Here’s a joke I’d like to see connected to the news stories that inspired it. It’s from one of my favorite comedians–Chris Rock:
“You know the world is going crazy when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the tallest guy in the NBA is Chinese, the Swiss hold the America’s Cup, France is accusing the US of arrogance, Germany doesn’t want to go to war, and the three most powerful men in America are named ‘Bush’, ‘Dick’ and ‘Colon’. Need I say more?”
Need I say more?