Monthly Archives: February 2014





The football player we see being interviewed is actually President Barack Obama (evident in his protruding pinnas and nose mole) dressed up as Seattle Seahawk cornerback, Richard Sherman. In a post game interview, Sherman goes off in a rant saying, “I’m the best corner in the game…don’t you ever talk about the best” directing his words towards 49er Michael Crabtree. This interview quickly spread across the internet and gained a lot of attention, much more than President Obama’s very own rant in regards to al-Qaeda. Even I was not aware of the President’s quote. This goes to show that some Americans are more inclined to watching a sport than being aware of al-Qaeda’s intentions.

In his speech, Obama talks about the expansion of jihadists groups and that we should not worry about them gaining the level of al-Qaeda. His comparison of al-Qaeda to a junior varsity team shows that he doesn’t see them as a threat now that they no longer have Osama bin Laden as leader. However, Obama’s National Intelligence Director James Clapper insists that al-Qaeda’s threat remains the same, if not higher compared to a decade ago. The militant group controls more territory now than ever before. Although they haven’t attacked the United States recently, they have attacked places including Beirut, Fallujah and Syria to name a few. It can be interpreted that because Osama bin Laden was killed under Obama’s administration, al-Qaeda died along with it and anyone who will try to reach that status will fail.

Michael Ramirez’s reference to football may suggest that Obama’s rant be incorporated in the Superbowl as means to gain the attention of the American people. It is a bit ironic that he says, “ If a JV team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant.” Yet, here he is dressed up as a football player who’s youtube views reaches more than those of the President himself. The reader can see the grandiose audience in the cartoon with the thousands of football fans looking onward in the background.

I am not offended by this cartoon, nor do I think it is offensive (unless you’re Obama). The artist effectively points out the priorities of the American people by bringing together two current events in one illustration.


Cartoonist Herblock draws upon the issue of deforestation in the United States. All the trees have been chopped off for manufacturer purposes – books, furniture, firewood, etc. – without any regard to nature preservation. Once a tree is chopped down, all that is left is a stump that is not capable of growing back. This is unfortunate because all the trees uses such as shelter, food, flowers, and oxygen  will no longer be available.

If the chopping of the trees were to continue, it could lead to drastic consequences towards the American people. Without any of the aforementioned sources, living in a treeless world could be fatal. The cartoon foreshadows this fate with it’s cemetery like depiction and stumps that look like tombstones.

This cartoon serves as a warning, which I don’t think is offensive at all. The artist should definitely do this to help stop unnecessary tree cutting and make way for a better environment. His exaggeration of an entire forest depletion effectively gets his message across and serves as a shadow of forthcoming events.


The Daily Show

As host of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart’s job is to provide fast and fun entertainment for his audience, similar to that of a jester. He achieves this through his short segments, video snippets and short acts with fellow comedians and actors all of whom have attracted a young audience. Does this make him a comedian? Not necessarily. Jon Stewart is a satirist that balances humor with truth. He considers himself a comedian, not an anchorman or a journalist. Gilbert Highet defines satire as “a blend of amusement and contempt.” Whereas a satirist takes more precaution with their material, making sure the facts are provided along with playful comedy, a comedian does not hold any limits in hopes of getting a few laughs.
The informality of satire comedy is able to put the audience at ease. This is why shows such as the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report and Saturday Night Live have gained so much popularity. Satirist “makes them realize the truth and then moves them to feelings of protest.” The way Stewart and his team go about presenting the clips makes the show move in a fast and direct matter without any unnecessary “gerrymeandering.” This is different from the approach of news shows such as FOX news, CNN and MSNNBC where there is constant bickering between the guests and hosts (in boring monotone voices).
When Stewart “attacks,” he makes sure to cover all the points of the issues. He goes after both Republicans and Democrats which results in a balance between left and right in the show. Throughout all this, he remains mindful of sensitive biographical information such as religion. Unless the politician uses their religious background to support their actions, Stewart won’t incorporate it into the discussion at hand.
It is amazing how his work can have an effect on other media and laws. His appearance on Crossfire had such an impact that his arguments were able to cancel the show. He comes on the show to confront them and yet the hosts are doing exactly what Jon Stewart is asking them to stop doing – putting on a show rather than have an actual serious conversation. Both hosts, Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala, keep dodging Stewart’s accusations with empty replies.

January 16, 2014
This episode opens with the promotion of women to top positions including CEOs, admiral and even head of extremist group Hamas. Correspondent Kristen Schaal role plays an abusive, sexist and racist boss while Stewart plays a lady seeking employment. Schaal really exaggerates the character using terms such as “sugar tits” and offers Stewart an alcoholic beverage. She ends scene and admits to liking the feeling of abusing power. She brings up a point that some of the audience members may not have thought of – women are capable of being just as (allegedly) abusive as men.
Being that this was the first entire episode of the daily show I’ve ever seen, I was immediately entranced by the show. Not only because the first topic discussed was embracing the progressiveness of women, but because Kristen Schaal was on the episode. I know her from shows such as Flight of the Conchords and Bob’s Burgers. I’m a fan. Seeing a familiar face can definitely help with the show’s ratings. You instantly connect with the show knowing that it shares the same or similar sense of humor.

February 3, 2014
In this episode, Stewart’s correspondents go out to different parts of NYC to see how the newly appointed Mayor de Blasio is handling the snow. According to Aasif Mandiv, snow plows didn’t get to the Upper East Side as is obvious from the snow up to his head. Samantha Bee seems to be fine in Times Square where not one flake of snow was seen. Jessica Williams was in Brooklyn where it’s 82 degrees. I loved how they went about sensationalizing the situation. Although it was exaggerated, there was some truth in it.

February 6, 2014
This past weekend, I tuned into America’s greatest past time that is football. One of the Superbowl commercials featured Americans of different ethnicities with America, the Beautiful playing in the background but in different languages. As I was watching this, I thought it was a beautiful commercial representing what America is all about – diversity. However, Coca Cola received much criticism for this commercial, with Facebook comments like, “Totally disgusted. American football game, American TV, American company and you slap us in the face in our own country…. Shame! Shame on you!” This issue was discussed on The Daily Show and they too were disgusted by the remarks. Once again, Jon Stewart acts as “surrogate of the people” expressing his feelings that are reminiscent of the zeitgeist.

Greenwald v. Keller

In the argument between Bill Keller and Glenn Greenwald, Keller initiates with the notion that current journalism has become too opinionated. He says that this more partisan kind of journalism leads to “episodes of credulousness, false equivalency, sensationalism and inattention.” I disagree with Keller. The point of journalism is to share news, the facts of a current situation or issue and there is nothing wrong with sharing one’s opinion along with them. This can bring to surface certain points that the reader may not have taken into consideration.

Keller goes on to say that adversarial journalism sets “aside opinions to follow the facts and often produce results that are more substantial and more credible.” Any article will be substantial and credible as long as the facts are stated as means to provide accuracy and reliability. When this is done, the author or reporter is free to share whatever opinion she or he may have on the issue.

One question that came to mind when reading the article was is there a difference between journalists and bloggers. In an article by veteran journalist, Terry Boyd, he says, “The true critical difference between blogging and journalism, or at least journalism as we understand it (institutionalized, done by professionals, etc.), is that traditional media is produced for consumption. Today’s media is produced for engagement.” Any story should be able to spark a thought and engage the reader so that they are inspired to have conversations with other opinionated and well-informed audiences. The type of journalism that Greenwald is defending is similar to blogging. He has repeatedly made it clear that as long as the facts are stated, the author has laid out a fair playing field in which she or he can express their own reaction to the evidence. However, whereas partisan journalists provide the evidence, bloggers focus on their own point of view.

Every writer, journalist, reporter, blogger has their own style, own personality, and own opinion. So why not share these aspects as opposed to letting the facts be the only thing disclosed. Of course, it is the reader’s responsibility to take precaution when engaged in such media. It is suggested that they diversify their media consumption in order to have an amalgam of opinions to help formulate their own.