The Daily Show vs. Fox News: Why Won’t Fox Fight Back?

By Steve Heisler

Aug 25, 2010

During this whole “Ground Zero mosque” scandal, it’s not surprising that The Daily Show is by far the most insightful media commenter—that’s not new information. It’s also not surprising that The Daily Show, in the wake of Fox News going bat-shit crazy, has shifted its content to almost daily takedowns of what Rupert Murdoch’s “news” organization is up to. Because Fox News is, in fact, bat-shit crazy.

But the other night, The Daily Show presented a segment that blew me away. Fox News hasn’t let up on the proposed mosque’s financiers and their questionable ties. But when The Daily Show discovered that not only are those financiers the same ones behind Fox News itself, Fox News didn’t even report on the matter at hand. Here’s the brilliance:

In the face of all this information, you’d think the folks at Fox News would want to defend themselves against Stewart’s segment. After all, they’ve taken pot shots at the man before over far less important things. And though the attacks have been mostly about, well, pot—and the amount Bill O’Reilly perceives Stewart’s fan base to smoke—at least they've spoken up. And this mosque business is some pretty serious stuff The Daily Show is bringing up.

So why the radio silence? There are four possible scenarios I can figure out:

1) Fox News doesn’t consider The Daily Show to be a legitimate source of anything. After all, Stewart and all his correspondents have repeatedly said they’re not journalists and that it’s simply a comedy show. BUT… Why would Fox acknowledge the show at all, then? It’s been brought up before.

2) Jon Stewart was exactly right. Fox News didn’t reveal the financiers because they deliberately wanted to peddle a guttural narrative to lure people down a rabbit hole of misinformation and fear-mongering. BUT… The radio silence is deafening. It's sad that not more people will see that Daily Show clip. I mean, it’s almost at a million hits, but that’s super small potatoes.

3) Fox News doesn’t want to get into a tete-a-tete with The Daily Show because they’re going to get smacked down. BUT… This little ol’ comedy show has Fox News scared? Geez, whatever happened to media outlets making sure their facts are air-tight? If things were in order, then they’d have nothing to fear.

4) Fox News was the comedy show all along. BUT… I’m still going to punch a wall.

What do you think?

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  • osdawaya16 Aug 30, 2010

    SluggyWB, I think that's why xixamdeira put news in quotes.

  • SluggyWB Aug 30, 2010

    xixamadeira said: Fox news = "news", daily show = comedy.

    Half true, the daily show is comedy. No one will argue with that but Fox news = news ?


  • CursedShadow Aug 30, 2010

    There is nothing "news" about fox News. It is pretty much all right wing commentary and deserved to be called what it really is. The fact that Murdoch's organization contributed so much money to the Republican Governor's fund shows exactly where their alliance stands. Fox "News" should be sued for false advertising. Go get 'em, John!

  • xixamadeira Aug 29, 2010

    OMG the daily show is NOT REAL NEWS!!!!!!!!!! People keep comparing daily show with fox news and how they do things different. They have nothing to with each other. Fox news "report" the news with their own narrative, the daily show does comedy around current news and how its reported. Get it? Fox news = "news", daily show = comedy. It just happens that it's easier to make fun if fox news with them saying one thing one moment and another the next. The daily show is mostly a liberal show but that hasn't stopped them from making fun of democrats and liberal news shows. If any fox news zombies watched daily show regularly they notice that. Some people show really look up the meaning of "editing".

  • fatfreeoreos Aug 29, 2010

    To what's his name who called me a republican and laughed, I actually watch about three hours of news programs a day, only one of which is on FoxNews. Glenn Beck, ABC World News, my local news, and stories I find online. If it's a big story, they all cover it, and they all have different view points. But I like to get a well rounded idea of what's going on. But to defend FoxNews, or at least Glenn Beck, he backs his opinions up with tons of facts, unedited video, experts, and common sense. What does Jon Stewart have?

  • FeldmanSkitzoid Aug 29, 2010

    Well, at least we're pretty safe from seeing Murdoch buy up Comedy Central and change its opinions manually, like he's done so many times in the past. We're not going to see a News Corp/Viacom merger any time soon, at least until Murdoch gets our anti-trust laws repealed.

  • Ludvico01 Aug 29, 2010

    I used to be a big fan of the Daily Show. However, I refuse to watch it any longer because I grew tired of Stewart's harping on the same subject night after night. It's one thing to poke fun at something, but Stewart has crossed the line on what he terms "comedy." He should give it a rest.

  • bkto Aug 29, 2010

    you can skew facts, you can stretch them, masage them, and out right lie about them. You must get your facts first, then you're welcome to distort them as you please.
    Fox doesn't need to respond to the daily show. the daily show is just the liberal representation of the conservative fox, the difference is they present themselves as a joke, while fox presents itself as a reputable news service. Which it is. Opinion has been added into journalistic fact since forever. Go check out edward r murrow or walter cronkite. neither of whom would be conservatives, both mainstays in their fields, and both continuously brought their feelings or opinions into otherwise hard, solid fact. Nobody in news wants bullet form points of what happened. Opinion and fact go hand in hand, for you build your opinion around facts... facts serve a use, this is to fuel opinion. This said, are people still standing around watching jon stewart berate conservatives, while not doing anything constructive to remedy any of the situation? Pointing and laughing does nothing but draw lines in the sand. Fox might have their opinion, and it might differ from yours, but they don't resort to name calling or childish editing of video or quotes... when you don't need to. They edit things to fit their own narrative better, while insulting fox's narrative. I have been watching fox news, and then later that week the daily show has berated what I watched live, and that is SO not what the intended meaning or interpretation was. Democrates, liberals, even worse than conversatives or republicans.
    (canadian politics are no where near this fun :P)

  • alcalde Aug 29, 2010

    So many people confuse fact and opinion nowadays, like Nikku76. If I present something that's true, with documentation, it's not "my opinion". It's fact. The segment Stewart aired is an objective fact regarding the link between the mosque and FOX, not an opinion. This relates to Colbert's "truthy". A percentage of the population are quite happy today believing they get to define their own reality and we have to respect it. Just because your "reality" isn't factual, please don't label all descriptions of reality as "opinion". The scenario that explains the silence is evidenced by SciFiGroupie. A group of people have been brainwashed into believing that every entity other than FOX news is part of some conspiracy... MSNBC, the President, the dictionary... it's all out to get them. That which isn't part of the conspiracy is, by definition, those that tell that what they want to hear. These people don't watch the Daily Show or anything else that might expose them to alternate interpretations. If FOX addressed this issue, it would bring the issue to the attention of the 99.5% of their viewers who watch nothing else. They can't have that.

    Perhaps the solution is for people to refer to them as Foxque news (FOX + Mosque) and when those with blinders on ask why, they'll be exposed to the details behind Stewart's report.

  • Jimmyboyt Aug 28, 2010

    Oh god Am i the only that just read SciFiGroupie's comment in Louis' voice

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