This video below answers the question a bit. Several Newsweek staff members got together to watch scenes from important moments on the show and tried to figure out what it all means. Some of the comments range from goofy ("Why would that guy make the engine blow up?") to the typical line you hear from a non-fan ("It's heaven!").
In June, Newsweek's Maziar Bahari, who has covered Iran for over a decade, participated in a 'Daily Show' skit in the aftermath of Iran's controversial election. Bahari was interviewed by tongue-in-cheek 'Daily Show' correspondent Jason Jones. "He dressed like some character out of a B movie about mercenaries in the Middle East -- with a checkered Palestinian kaffiyeh around his neck and dark sunglasses," wrote Bahari afterwards.
Evidently the Iranian regime didn't get the joke. On June 21, four days after the skit aired, the writer was detained without cause. Maziar Bahari was held, in his own words, for "118 days, 12 Hours, 54 Minutes."
The stories themselves will be treated seriously, as they would in any other issue, but Colbert gets to play in the margins, editing contributor bios, writing an essay, and annotating different stories. Which should make next week's issue look something like the magazine version of The Daily Show's faux text book America.
The Observer quotes Colbert as saying, "I'm confident we'll have mixed results! I want to be apart [sic] of that proud tradition!" and cites a few other guest editor ventures gone wrong. I wonder about the timing of it. Newsweek launched a complete redesign three issues ago, trying to re-conceptualize the newsweekly's place in the age of instant news.
One of the reasons Marc Peyser didn't think the show held up was because, after watching the show's reruns for the first time in years, he found that "The pacing - no show had ever packed in so many scenes, some of them lasting a few seconds - now seems formulaic and forced." Well, duh, of course it seems formulaic now, since almost every sitcom that has come since has adopted that method of storytelling.
In an interview with Newsweek.com, Izzard feels that he might want to participate in European Union politics. What's his big issue? "People are very worried about sovereignty and the loss of sovereignty. I think the stakes are if we don't make the European Union work, then the world is screwed. End of story."
"Indecision 2008": The Democrats took on Nevada and the media took on the world's most cliche Las Vegas metaphors to cover Hillary Clinton's win. However, Jon had them all beat with his "bet on black" comment. Of course, Hillary's win was met with criticism and Bill Clinton defended her like he's already the First Laddie. And then that drew even more criticism. So it goes.
In fact, she told Newsweek as much in this week's issue. "I think it's the best decision for the show," she told the magazine. "One of the things Alexis and I wished could be different was the schedule, and it really can't be." (Update: Graham also spoke to TVGuide.com's Mike Ausiello about the show's end.)
It's the issue that will not die.
Torture and 24.
Newsweek is the latest to weigh in on the never-ending controversy about 24's portrayal of torture and its impact on real-life interrogators in the field. Even though the show's producers have said they're going to scale back on such scenes (you could've fooled me with the promos for next week with Jack Bauer threatening to remove a Russian official's fingers) the issue continues to be hotly debated.
Modern TV, according to Newsweek, has lost its edge. "The most popular shows are still crime procedurals (CSI) or soaps (Grey's Anatomy) - slick and sexy, but not about much. The reality shows American Idol and Dancing with the Stars are so retro, they're practically The Lawrence Welk Show. When The Unit or 24 does dare to focus on something like the war on terror, their take is uncritically gung-ho - no network today would risk satire on the level of M*A*S*H."
Others on the list include Brad Pitt, for luring the paparazzi to Africa and other wordly locations that attention; Target, for giving back to communities, and a handful of people you've never heard of who have inspiring stories.
I kind-of feel like we already know what happens when the button isn't pushed: NOTHING. Last week, we learned that the button-pushing is just an experiment. But, we've never actually seen anything past the hieroglyphics.
With all those big questions answered, what do you think next season will be all about?
Said Murdoch, "We're not knocked out by iPod so far. We've talked to them, to Google and others. But how many people really want to get video on a tiny screen when they already have TiVo or a similar service from their cable company or DirecTV?"
O'Reilly basically laughs off The Colbert Report a rip-off of his own show, saying, "This formula of his program is they match The Factor and they seize upon themes that work for them. He ought to be sending me a check every week, 'cause we're basically the research for the writers." Do you think Bill understands the word 'satire'?
O'Reilly is only one tiny part of a much larger article on The Colbert Report. You can read it here.
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