Monday, December 27, 2010

The Murrow Effect

Remember Jon Stewart's show-long appeal two weeks ago for congress to pass the 9/11 responders' healthcare bill?  Well, one of the more welcome bits of news to emerge from the lame duck legislative session is that it passed (albeit with a substantially lower ticket price than was initially proposed) -- and its success is largely being laid at the feet of Stewart and The Daily Show, with many comparing the late night laugher to the late, legendary newsman Edward R. Murrow, who famously used his broadcast perch to turn public opinion against Senator Joseph McCarthy's anti-Communist witch hunts.  In an article for The New York Times, Bill Carter (whose tome The War For Late Night I just finished, and which I highly recommend) and Brian Stelter examine Stewart's transformative role on this issue, as well as the comedian's own delicate tightrope act between social critic and circus clown.

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