Laughing At The News, Fox-style
Fox News Channel says it's going comedy. Too late -- I've already been laughing for some time.
I chuckle and appreciate those strong news opinions. Watching Bill O'Reilly, I can't help but laugh -- and continue to watch. Isn't that why it works?
So Fox News is starting up a comedy-political show with the thought-provoking title "The ½ Hour News Hour," its version of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report."
Conservative laughs at the expense of those crazy, two-faced Democrat and liberal technocrats. Go get 'em.
What these producers don't understand is that even "The Daily Show" and "Colbert Report" riff on both sides of the aisle -- Bush and Clinton, Gore and Cheney. Even "Saturday Night Live" takes swipes in all directions.
Why? It's supply-side economics -- the more you supply, the more your viewers demand. If the "The ½ hour News Hour" show only rips into Democrats and liberals, it's going to be pretty boring. And then there's the comedy factor: Political humor only really works when you can satirize everyone.
The main reason for the need for the show seems to be this: The dearth of conservative comics -- or so says producer Joel Surnow. Daily Variety TV columnist Brian Lowry says it best about this comic myth: "In truth, the term is practically an oxymoron, inasmuch as the most provocative political humorists (George Carlin, Mort Sahl) have always thumbed their noses at authority and expressed distrust in government..."
Yeah. Those comedians are probably liberal at the end of the day. But any good conservative comic would have to find something wrong with power and influence. It's the American comedic way.
Of course, this comedy program on a regular cable news channel may seem out of place to some. But with so much prime-time commentary and opinion on Fox News, it's really just an extension.
Performance-wise, it better be funny. So if you are going to make fun of Barack Obama -- "his magazine titled BO" --you'd better be good.
Death is easy. TV is easy. News is easy. Comedy is hard.