Comedian Lewis Black appeared on Meet the Press Sunday morning and said American news and politics is living on the corner “where satire and reality intersect” and as the years pass, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to distinguish between the two.
MTP host Chuck Todd asked Black for his thoughts on political satire “dumbing down regular politics.” Black explained that it would be “beyond belief” if politics could be dumbed down any further than it already has been. What’s worse, he said, is that over the last 20 years, “we’ve moved closer and closer to where we are living on the corner where satire and reality intersect.”
Todd agreed but wanted to know how it got here. Black opined:
I think in part it was social media. It’s in part cable, which exploded everything. It’s in part the fact that we have four or five 24-hour news — probably six — 24 hours of news a day, on six different channels. You guys do the nightly news, everybody does the nightly news, PBS does the nightly — you have all of that pounding away on a consistent basis. And that really broke things open, too, because then all of a sudden you watch these people over and over and over again saying the same thing. And eventually by the third time you hear somebody — initially you go, what? — and the third time the politician says something, you’re laughing at them.
Also weighing in on the panel was comedian W. Kamau Bell, who said that viewers have been drawn to political satire shows like The Daily Show because they were hearing Jon Stewart’s actual viewpoint as opposed to a corporate viewpoint from Fox, CNN, or NBC.
The bigger question Todd might have asked is if the American public is even aware of the difference between reality and satire when they are inside the voting booth.