It's not for nothing that many Americans cite Comedy Central's The Daily Show as the "most trusted name in news." Jon Stewart and his crackerjack staff of writers and researchers have evolved into regular and reliable wielders of analytical skewers, deftly eviscerating the tidy talking points of politicians and the tiresome conventional wisdom of the media.
Now, The Daily Show is on hiatus, for three long weeks.
Around the office, I often joke that the most dangerous time in America is when the show is taking a break. Again, this is meant as a joke! And so, despite the fact that after a summer of delays, the much anticipated torture documents were finally released on the first Monday of the show's hiatus, I think it would be unwise to suggest anything nefarious behind the timing. Right? I mean, to suggest that the torture documents were released to avoid the commentary of one of the media's few, reliable, anti-torture voices...this would be pure paranoia!
Why, to believe that, there would have to be some sort of extant example of a government spokesperson or agency citing The Daily Show as a reason to keep from disclosing information:
A federal judge said Thursday that he wants to look at notes from the FBI's interview with former Vice President Dick Cheney during the investigation into who leaked the identity of a CIA operative.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan's decision to review the documents followed arguments by Obama administration lawyers that sounded much like the reasons the Bush administration provided for keeping Cheney's interview from the public.
Justice Department lawyers told the judge that future presidents and vice presidents may not cooperate with criminal investigations if they know what they say could become available to their political opponents and late-night comics who would ridicule them.
"If we become a fact-finder for political enemies, they aren't going to cooperate," Justice Department attorney Jeffrey Smith said during a 90-minute hearing. "I don't want a future vice president to say, 'I'm not going to cooperate with you because I don't want to be fodder for 'The Daily Show.'"
Hmmmm. People speak of the "Colbert bump." Should we start monitoring for a "Daily Show document dump?"
UPDATE: Huffington Post Comedy editor Alex Leo reminds me: "Sarah Palin resigned the first day of his last hiatus." COINCIDENCE?
PREVIOUSLY, on THE HUFFINGTON POST:
DOJ: We Can't Release Cheney Records Because Of Late Night Comedy