Punchlines for Progress

2010, Politics, Media  -  46 min Leave a Comment
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Jon Stewart is the host of a comedic news program called the Daily Show. If you're familiar with his comedy you may or may not be surprised to hear that this fake news anchor is rated one of the most trusted men in America tied with the real news anchors Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams, Dan Rather, and Anderson Cooper. So how did this guy become one of the most trusted men in America?

Why have the younger generations turned away from traditional news agencies just to replace them with the court jester? How did trusted news agencies turn into complete chaos? Before Jon Stewart could openly mock the US government, scream profanities at live audiences, and make bizarre jokes there were many people who pushed the boundaries of acceptable social commentary.

During the "red scare" of the 1950s, Edward R. Murrow proved himself to be one of these people by refusing to be silenced. Seven years after McCarthy's fall from power America was forced to engage in another fight for freedom. This time the heroes of the uprising were not media insiders but average citizens that were sick of waiting for freedom to come to them.

During these times one might wonder if it was possible to joke. But there were people who needed a laugh if only to help them understand their own absurdity... and for them there was Lenny. In burlesque joints, clean jokes could get you thrown off stage. Far away from mainstream morality, Lenny learned to speak his mind.

Behind closed doors, people are allowed to laugh at things they would never even admit to being a party to in other situations. The cheesier the dive the freer Lenny became as he learned to revel in the hypocrisy of many social taboos. There, his racy social commentary became a litmus test for what people can relate to if only they're allowed to laugh.