We Depend on Comedians  to Ask the Questions Newscasters Won't

When the news media don’t do their job, comedians step in to ask the tough questions.

Truth slips through the cracks. Could anyone have imagined that when we had 24-hour news broadcasting, we’d actually be getting less news? Well, we are. With fatuous, reactionary, and pandering coverage from news media, they’re no longer reliable sources. Corporate ownership, competition, and their fear of losing access to newsworthy politicians make today’s journalists barely journalists at all.

Fortunately, we have comedians like Lizz Winstead, comedian and co-creator and former head writer of the Daily Show.

So we’ve learned to turn to the “fake news” of Last Week Tonight, The Daily Show, and The Nightly Show. Reality is so much more complex and challenging than what we see on the news that it helps if it’s at least funny. It's also important, Winstead notes, that sharing a laugh makes you feel less alone and crazy. So just watch how Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver is sure to slip in a broad, goofy joke just after each disturbing chunk of information.

No joke: Comics have stepped in before when media has failed at critical moments in the nation’s history. This may well be one of them.


Headline image: D Dipasupil

Compelling speakers do these 4 things every single time

The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think

Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rally at the Anaheim Convention Center on September 8, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Barbara Davidson/Getty Images)
Personal Growth

The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.

Keep reading Show less

Scientists invent method to extract gold from liquid waste

The next gold rush might take place in our sewers.

Surprising Science
  • Even though we think of it as exceedingly rare, gold can be found all around us.
  • The trouble is, most of the gold is hard to get at; its too diluted in our waste or ocean waters to effectively extract.
  • This new technique quickly, easily, and reliably extracts gold from most liquids.
Keep reading Show less

How 'dark horses' flip the script of success and happiness

What defines a dark horse? The all-important decision to pursue fulfillment and excellence.

Big Think Books

When we first set the Dark Horse Project in motion, fulfillment was the last thing on our minds. We were hoping to uncover specific and possibly idiosyncratic study methods, learning techniques, and rehearsal regimes that dark horses used to attain excellence. Our training made us resistant to ambiguous variables that were difficult to quantify, and personal fulfillment seemed downright foggy. But our training also taught us never to ignore the evidence, no matter how much it violated our expectations.

Keep reading Show less