The Daily Show Might Promote Cynicism, But There Are the Rare Moments Where it Also Holds Those in Power Accountable

As I've blogged before, research shows that The Daily Show is likely to cultivate cynicism among its younger audience while threatening to displace more traditional sources of news that might be better at providing context and understanding.

But there are moments when The Daily Show rises above just humor and cynicism and provides a strong dose of counter-framing, laying bare the spin and the subterfuge of various political elites. When picked up by the mainstream press and the blogosphere, the comedy program morphs into a form of public accountability journalism.

The clip above is a golden example. On the promotion and defense of Sarah Palin, Jon Stewart splices together clips showing the extreme contradictions in statements by Karl Rove, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Dick Morris, and even Sarah Palin herself.

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(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
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