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April 6, 2005

The small world of New York television

It strikes me as both bizarre and hilarious every time it happens. We're watching "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and his guest comes out. They talk, Jon laughs, the guest laughs, we go to commercial, and before you know it, it's time for our "Moment of Zen" and the show ends.

We switch over to "Charlie Rose" on PBS, which starts just as "The Daily Show" finishes. "Tonight," Mr. Rose announces, "I am honored to have him (her) with us again, the always thought-provoking, and my good friend..." The camera pulls back and it's the same guest, in the same clothes, sitting across from Charlie. I always expect them to be out of breath after their imagined dash over from the Daily Show studios to make the Rose interview on time.

It happened again last night. This one I predicted the moment I heard Jon Stewart give his name - it was a classic guest for both shows. I knew we'd get to witness these two disparate New York interview shows appearing together in the same sky like a rare celestial event. The guest was Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist who is a Daily Show favorite and Charlie Rose's good friend.

I really enjoy both shows. I love the mocking political comedy and news buffoonery of "the Daily Show." It's a great comedic counter-weight to so much puffed up media excess. I also love the leisurely, engaging conversational style of "Charlie Rose." It's also a great counter-weight, a counter-weight to the short, frenetic sound bites and disembodied quotes that get shot out to you like so many tracer bullets.

The programs aren't all that different, I guess. They are both news-based, include interviews with people making the news, both have their studios in New York City. But when this celestial event happens, it does seem like worlds are colliding. And I look on in delight.

Posted by rigd0003 at April 6, 2005 9:48 AM | Weird