Thank you…you and the little army of writers and television gypsies that came together for good, at a time when your country, and I, needed you. When we were lost, trying to rescue truth from the clutches of the radical political conservatives, and the evangelical Christian extremists, and the political organizations they controlled, you went to the front of the column and screamed, “Seriously?”
Journalism was little help in those dark times. The major outlets were swamped by calls that blamed the “liberal media” for always taking sides against good honest conservatives, so they fell back to reporting controversial stories as little more than “he said/she said” exchanges and refused to identify blatant falsity as such. They were outmaneuvered by the opposition; they were (and are) cowards, willing victims to what David Shaw of the Los Angeles Times beautifully referred to as “the four horsemen of the journalistic apocalypse: superficiality, sensationalism, preoccupation with celebrity, and obsession with the bottom line.” So it was left to comedy, satire, to ride to our rescue.
The objection to Puritans is not that they try to make us think as they do, but that they try to make us do as they think. – H. L. Mencken
Almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so. – Robert A. Heinlein
It didn’t help that the barbarians at the gate, intent on replacing the tolerant democratic civil society we were aspiring to with a theocracy of their own religious beliefs, decided to unlevel the playing field and refuse to acknowledge any truths that didn’t support their worldview. The “reality-based community” stood dumbfounded, scrambling for the proper reply to “No, the sky is not blue, and you can’t prove that it is.” But you found a way.
You like to say that you were just a comedian; true enough, but on The Daily Show you were more than just jokes. You aimed a most potent weapon—sunshine; the light of day; their own words; common sense—at people who were full of shit and assured us all that the smell was coming from somewhere else. They deserved what they got from you, and we got to laugh. And in the process—in pointing out that the emperor indeed did not have on any clothes, that what politicians said quite often was at odds with demonstrable truth, that the 24-hour news channels weren’t worth the paper they were printed on—you reassured a lot of us that there was still hope. For that, thank you.
Fact is, you did a great job of it just this week and I grabbed the link. So for old time’s sake, just once more, let me suggest—click the pic, ya maroons.