The Truth: Something People Need Today
“If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth” - Stephen Colbert
The Daily Show, starring Jon Stewart, and The Colbert Report, starring Stephen Colbert, have become an important news source in today’s society. Even though their shows are based of off comedy, they display an accurate depiction of US politics through humor and exaggeration. Both Stewart and Colbert’s tactics truthfully inform people about current events as opposed to politicians, special interest groups, and media, which often manipulate people’s understanding. This ability was recently demonstrated in their discussion of Paul Ryan.
This year, the vice presidential candidate for the Republican Party, Paul Ryan, gave a sensational convention speech that stirred up the crowd. However, a clip from The Daily Show, “The Road to Jeb Bush 2016 - Paul Ryan's Speech,” exposes Ryan’s speech, like many other political leaders’, as misleading.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy: The difference with Paul Ryan is that you get the honesty…
Form. Rep. Alan Simpson: … spokesman of hard truth
Steve King: … a man who’s not afraid to tell the truth
Stewart: Paul Ryan is so honest every time he talks his nose shrinks. Paul Ryan is so honest that his pokers tell is I’m staying in but I have terrible cards.
In this clip, Stewart satirically makes his point by using the classic movie Pinocchio as an allusion. He says Ryan’s nose shrinks because when Pinocchio lies, his nose grows. Stewart showed a glimpse of politicians who praise Ryan as truthful in order to mock these supporters. According to “Top 5 Fibs In Paul Ryan’s Convention Speech,” Ryan fabricated many supposed facts in his speech. For instance, he claimed to have run multiple marathons and claimed his best time was “2 hour and 50-something.” It turns out he actually finished the marathon in 4 hours and 1 minute and only ran one marathon. Ryan also said he would protect the poor; however, he plans to cut budget programs that benefit low-income people while cutting taxes for high-income earners. Ryan also claimed there were “seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama,” but, in truth, the money was taken out of overpayments to hospitals and private insurers. In another related article, “Ryan: The lyin’ king,” quoted Ryan as saying “And by the way, under President Clinton, we got welfare reform … which moved people from welfare to work, to get people out of poverty. President Obama is rolling back welfare reform.” However, Obama never eliminated the welfare reform, and instead he actually granted even more flexibility to the existing standards.
Their rampant lying is further demonstrated in another related segment, “Paul Ryan's Misleading GOP Convention Speech,” from The Colbert Report. Colbert plays a clip of Ryan’s speech. In the clip, Ryan argues that Obama’s promises about change in 2008 have not made any positive improvements, because a major factory closed down.
Ryan: When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory. A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: ‘I believe that if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another hundred years.’ That’s what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year.
Colbert: What a disappointment. (Shaking his head) Because if it had lasted another year Obama would’ve been president when it closed instead it was George W. Bush. [Then he showed a zoomed in document saying, “… the plant closed while Bush was still in office… ”] And… thanks a lot Obama.
In doing so, Ryan distorted the facts about a plant closing down and blamed it on Obama, even though it happened under Bush. In other words, Colbert exposes the audience to the...