Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Daily News

I work for a transit agency.  I know it’s not sexy and may not be applicable to many of us with cars, but the for folks who ride the buses in my town, buses are lifelines for their daily lives.  In other words, the people who use mass transit in my town are going to work, medical appointments, school and grocery stores.  This entry is not about my job, but one important point is I oversee marketing and communications (and some other stuff).  Since I work for a quasi-government agency and help “control” messaging, you would think I wake up each day reading the major newspaper and blogs as well as local news reports. 

Uhmmm, no.  I don’t read any newspapers and basically watch local television news reports for traffic and weather.  Even then I fixate on how they speak and what they are wearing.  Since I oversee a Communications Manager, it’s her job to read the articles and send links to news reports.  I tend to read the headlines and think I have the gist of the story.

NPR premium
So, where do I get my news?  Well, I do listen to NPR exclusively in my car and on the weekends.  This way, I get snipits of local stories, a lot of national coverage and some artsy-fartsy factoids along the way.  If I want to see, buy or attend something, it’s usually from a story from my public radio friends.  In addition to NPR, my second source for news is Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. 

I have not always been a loyal fan of the show.  I think when TiVo entered the house, we must have programmed the show as a “season pass.”  It records the five shows each week and I watch them in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep or when I am killing a little time on my couch.  Sadly, I watch most of them.

Cute photo of Jon
George W. Bush was the president when I started watching.  I think I caught Jon when he was extra jaded and probably was over his show and politics in general.  I almost gave up on him as he was distracted and borderline rude in his interviews and would interrupt his guests (something I really dislike).  Then I noticed a change.  It started with the 2008 elections and the wonderful primary coverage, particularly between Obama and Clinton.  I really think these shows helped me be engaged.  I thought the battle between Obama and Clinton was like a romantic drama – akin to Moonlighting.  Who knew there could be so much sexual tension in politics?

I don’t know if it was the election or a phase, but Jon Stewart seemed rejuvenated by it all and the show became funny and relevant again.  I most enjoy his interviews with authors.  Even when TiVo tells me there’s a famous actor as a guest, it’s the authors who have the most to share.  Even if he doesn’t read the books (who knows), he acts like he has and Stewart seems so academic.

The first two segments of the show are about current news, usually with one of his correspondents doing a piece.  The third segment is the interview.  Certainly there have been great pop culture guests and I enjoy it when he interviews his friends. 

In other words, I get my news from The Daily Show.  I get to see “real” news coverage mixed in with Stewart’s commentary.  I most often agree with the coverage and understand the slants.

Louis Black pointing
Side note.  While I say I like the authors, I do enjoy some of the celebrity guests.  Lewis Black has a pretty regular segment called Back in Black and his appearances made me a fan.  I was most intrigued by Louis C.K.  Not because he was such a great guest, because Stewart likes him so much.  Stewart will often rib fellow comic guests, but with C.K., he really gushes.  When I saw him the show, the only recollection I had of C.K. was his small part on Parks and Recreation.  Fast forward to TiVo, it recorded C.K.’s show for me and I’m hooked.  A future entry.

Another Louis, but CK
In summary, I’m a little dim when it comes to current news affairs, but when it all boils down, I’m in the loop.  Yes, I may not be up on the latest abduction of a child or war stats, but I know about political candidates, world happenings and the economy from my two main sources…NPR and The Daily Show.  I did watch a piece on The New York Times this morning (CBS Sunday Morning) and I know it’s a good paper…but the correspondents from NPR and the writers of The Daily Show are already reading the paper, so I’m good.

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