Don’t get your info from fake news

By By Brian Trick

By Brian Trick

CNN announced Oct. 15 that it would sponsor a mock news show much like “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report,” with D. L. Hughley as the host. This is CNN’s latest plot to interest college-age kids into flipping from Comedy Central to a more credible news source.

The market for pseudo news apparently has not dried, as CNN has confidence that Hughley is the man to bring viewers back to a reputable news source. College students should beware, however.

FOX News tried its own brand of satirical news, the “1/2 Hour News Hour,” which only lasted seven months before being cancelled. Even Headline News has its version of fake news with “Not Just Another Cable News Show.” Headline News has yet to see a ratings boost from this show.

Hughley’s show, “D. L. Hughley Breaks The News” follows much the same format as that of its predecessors. Like “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report,” Hughley’s show hosts a live audience and is able to book top political guests. Hughley interviewed Scott McClellan about his tell-all book What Happened, which tells of the secrecy surrounding the Bush administration during McClellan’s time as White House press secretary.

One flaw in Hughley’s show is that he tends to play the race card. Hughley’s stand-up comedy focuses on racial issues and stereotypes. CNN, which prides itself on being a serious news source, should inform Hughley that half his jokes are inappropriate. When appealing to a more educated and sophisticated audience, racist jokes shouldn’t be part of the routine.

CNN is taking a gamble on Hughley, a self-proclaimed unqualified political pundit.

“I’m like, “Come on, man,’ I barely even know how to read. I’ve got a GED,” Hughley said in the Oct. 24 issue of The New York Times.

CNN hopes it will draw the 18-34 demographic, the same market of Comedy Central’s fake news hour. Ever since the conception of “The Daily Show” in 1996, an alarming trend has taken place. Every year, more and more Americans get their news from comedic sources. In 2004, “The Daily Show” was the top rated news show for ages 18 to 34, according to The Pew Research Center for the People and Press.

As much as they can help some understand politics, there are those viewers who don’t understand comedy or satire, like viewers who honestly believe Stephen Colbert is a bastion of conservatism. It’s worrisome to think some viewers believe everything they hear. Getting one’s news from a comedy show is like using Wikipedia as a legitimate source.

College students could benefit from a slightly more mature news program designed to keep the viewer’s attention without all the stoner references on Comedy Central, or the screaming on FOX.

As college-age individuals, we should demand a real news program with higher standards that won’t put us to sleep. We can handle some substance in our news.

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Brian Trick