Trevor Noah Says He’s Not a Political Progressive. He’d Be Funnier If He Were.

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States on 2015-10-12 00:44Z by Steven

Trevor Noah Says He’s Not a Political Progressive. He’d Be Funnier If He Were.

The Nation

Katie Halper

(The Daily Show with Trevor Noah / Brad Barket)

The new Daily Show host doesn’t have much to say, which leaves him making jokes about tramp stamps and body weight.

Unlike Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah doesn’t ground his comedy in a political ideology. This is of course politically disappointing to people who saw Jon Stewart as someone who not only raised awareness but influenced politics and sometimes even policy. But what’s less obvious is that the lack of political perspective makes the show less funny.

Like millions of viewers in the United States and across the globe, I depended upon Jon Stewart, night after night, to excoriate people in high places who had messed with ordinary people during the day. When Comedy Central announced that Trevor Noah would replace Stewart, I knew that the odds of someone doing as good a job were slim. But I defended Noah when he came under attack for a handful of tweets that ranged from offensive to not at all offensive (just critical of Israeli policy), and from unfunny to really, really unfunny. It seemed an unfair point of focus. I was hopeful that his background, so different from Stewart’s, would bring a fresh perspective. And I thought it went without saying that Noah would continue the show’s political focus and insight…

… In contrast, correspondents Roy Wood and Jordan Keppler brought an angle and some character to the show, which made them funnier. It wasn’t earth-shattering (no pun intended), but Roy Wood Jr.’s report on NASA’s discovery of liquid on Mars was the first time I laughed during the debut episode. It was also the first time racism (and not just race) was addressed on the show. When Noah asks Wood what he can tell us about the story, Wood responds, “I can tell you I don’t give a shit.” When an optimistic Noah says, “Doesn’t this raise the possibility that one day people can live on Mars?” Wood responds, “People like who? Me and you? How am I going to get there? Brother can’t catch a cab, you think we can catch a spaceship?… Black people ain’t going to Mars! And that includes you, Trevor.”…

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Trevor Noah to Succeed Jon Stewart on ‘The Daily Show’

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States on 2015-03-30 15:12Z by Steven

Trevor Noah to Succeed Jon Stewart on ‘The Daily Show’

The New York Times

Dave Itzkoff, Culture Reporter

In December, Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old comedian, made his debut as an on-air contributor on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” offering his outsider’s perspective, as a biracial South African, on the United States.

“I never thought I’d be more afraid of police in America than in South Africa,” he said with a smile. “It kind of makes me a little nostalgic for the old days, back home.”

Now, after only three appearances on that Comedy Central show, Mr. Noah has gotten a huge and unexpected promotion. On Monday, Comedy Central will announce that Mr. Noah has been chosen as the new host of “The Daily Show,” succeeding Mr. Stewart after he steps down later this year.

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Sleeping with the enemy

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-12-26 02:08Z by Steven

Sleeping with the enemy

Sick Chickens: A blog for enthusiasts of American history and politics

James Owen Heath, PhD Candidate
University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom

I have never been struck by the intelligence of Jon Stewart’s remarks in the past but I have to agree with him that it is indeed possible to be outraged by the execution of two NYPD officers and also deeply concerned by police treatment of black Americans, simply because the two are not mutually exclusive. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio may have committed political suicide by making remarks which suggest sympathy or even solidarity with black Americans as a result of insensitive policing, but this does not suggest that he has betrayed his city’s police force. The very idea that his remarks incited a deeply disturbed man to go out and execute two police officers before taking his own life is just absurd.

This debate is simply illustrative of the dogmatic attitudes which exist at each end of the political spectrum, and how these continue to dominate US politics without any sensible middle ground being in view. But the real reason for the appalling manner in which de Blasio has been scapegoated is quite evident in the photo above…

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