The 2012 US presidential election has been going on for what seems like forever, and will thankfully and mercifully come to an end this Tuesday. The process by which the president is elected has become so absurdly long and drawn out, that even four year old girls are being reduced to tears at the mere mention of either candidate. The assault of political ads, 24 hour news channels, pompous pundits, and over abundant debates have made the election process a three ring circus that is as baffling as it is ridiculous. The insanity of it all is staggering, and I for one can’t wait for it all to be over. Thankfully sane minds still exist, and I am grateful that these minds have decided to produce a television show dedicated to pointing out the crazy in politics today.
Jon Stewart and his team at The Daily Show have been having a field day with the current election, and given the abundance of material available to them it is easy to see why. First there was the endless parade of Republican candidates, both those who actually ran and those the party wished had run, then the overproduced national conventions, the overanalyzed presidential debates, and finally the seemingly unending amount of pandering to Ohio voters. It’s never been a better time to be a political comedian or satirist, and thankfully The Daily Show is taking full advantage of the situation. From pointing out the hypocrisy of Mitt Romney’s political positions, to calling out President Obama’s woeful performance in the first presidential debate, to marvelling at how Fox News still has the balls to call themselves a news channel, no political gaffe is off limits.
The writers of The Daily Show have really outdone themselves this election year, because week in and week out, the material has been both hilarious and entertaining, and is delivered with impeccable comic timing and deadpan quips by the brilliant Jon Stewart. The show clearly has it’s own political leanings, but they lampoon both sides of the political spectrum, and more importantly, often take aim at those in the media responsible for reporting the news, but who often just use their positions as a platform to further their own career. Some personal favourite bits over the past year include the piece covering the Oklahoma Senate’s hypocritical stance on reproductive rights, the report detailing the finger pointing and blame laying employed by both parties, and the recent commentary on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s sudden reversal of opinion of President Obama’s leadership skills in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. All three are pointed, insightful, and hilarious; everything that makes The Daily Show worth watching.
However, as much as I enjoy The Daily Show, there is a part of me that is sad that a show like it can exist. We would all be much better off if government leaders actually worked together, the media just reported the news, and elections didn’t distract elected officials from their jobs for years at a time. Nearly $6 billion has been spent on the 2012 elections. That is insanity. So much so, that as much as I look forward to my nightly date with The Daily Show, I yearn for a time when it is no longer needed.