Thursday, October 23, 2008

I want to take my next vacation in Fake America

My favourite moments on The Daily Show are when you can see the absurdity or stupidity of the day's politics get to Jon Stewart, and the facade cracks a little. Sometimes, like on his brilliant appearance on Crossfire, he drops the comedian's mask deliberately; sometimes, like on election night 2004, a certain despair shows through. And then there are those times when you can tell he has been genuinely pissed off, and it adds an extra edge to his satire. Such was the occasion of this past Monday's show, where he reacts to the words of Sarah Palin and some McCain aides when they characterized some parts of America -- especially small towns -- as the "real" America. These they counterpoised to those parts of the country that are "anti" America, or, in Sarah Palin's words: "We believe that the best of America is in the small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call 'real' America, being here with all of you hard-working, very patriotic, very pro-America areas of this great nation."

Now, even in a campaign that has been marked by mendacity and polarizing language, these sort of characterizations reach a new low, and you sort of saw that on Monday night on Jon's face. As he clarifies Palin's comments: "So, if small towns are 'real' America, that would make big cities like Washington D.C. and New York City the capitals of 'fake' America -- like the epicenter of fake America, the -- oh, what's the word I'm looking for? -- the 'Ground Zero' if you will of fake America. I'll bet bin Laden feels like a real asshole now! 'What?! I bombed the wrong America?!"

See the full clip here.

As a rather amusing footnote to Palin's comments, I read in the paper this morning that the Republican National Committee has spent some $150,000 on clothing for her -- now that's a small town wardrobe! Even more amusing than this stratospheric spending is where, apparently, most of these clothes were purchased: at, according to the NY Times, "Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, Barneys New York and Atelier New York."

Fake America: where your discerning small-town Real American shops for clothes while scanning for terrorists.

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