The ‘A’ Daily Show Shines

Tonight The ‘A’ Daily Show [16 January 2008] really outdid itself. First, Stewart mercilessly skewers the media frenzy around Clinton, Obama, and the race card. Then the Wisconsin Republican primary gets its due. Stewart prefaces the final segment, one of the best WTF interviews since Chris Matthews, because it’s six minutes edited down from eighteen. I hope they post the whole eighteen minutes on the website.

Frankly, I was getting tired of the produced segments that populate the middle act of a typical episode. I like how things are a bit rougher, less produced with the writers on strike. It has more of a live TV feel, like vlogs and podcasts that keep stealing my time away from television. Stewart’s ad-lib tonight about those “quiet…lonely…uncomfortable” moments is exactly what makes the episode great. It’s always been about “a bunch of people staring at you”, Mr. Stewart.

Another shining moment was last night’s interview with John Bolton. It’s the polar opposite of their first encounter back in March 2007. Both are classics, and don’t miss Stewart’s fact checking epilogue to the first interview. Bolton is more engaged, even likable in his second performance. Maybe he wrote Stewart off the first time as just another late night host, or maybe ten more months away from the Bush-Cheney-Rove bubble restored his sense of reality. Did he shore up his diplomatic facade and come prepared, or was this the real John Bolton?

Last but not least, kudos to the website team. Besides looking great, the site’s a pleasure to navigate. Content is well organized, tagged, segmented, and complete. It’s is embarrassingly friendly to linking and embedding from other sites. Somebody gets it. Now I may even catch up on all those lost [like tears in rain] Moments of Zen that TiVo cut off.

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