The print media's had a tough decade. Craigslist is eating their classifieds lunch. Liars are lying on page one. And they're getting bought, consolidated, and downsized.
And now they have a comedian reminding them that they suck.
Thank you, Jon Stewart. Everything you say is right.
Before "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" aired the first of its four shows produced from the city where Democratic National Convention is being held, Stewart gathered a couple of dozen national political print reporters for breakfast, riffed a few funny lines, then read them the media riot act...
His message: Stop letting the 24-hour cable networks set the nation's political agenda.
"We've fallen into this false sense of urgency that they create," Stewart said. "That idea that everything is breaking news and that if you're not watching us, you're going to miss this thing.
"But nothing they're saying is of any import because nobody filters it. (Print reporters) are able to step back for a moment and think. They're not. They're just pointing a camera and saying, 'What do you think that is? I don't know. Let's go to 'The Situation Room.' "
Have you ever watched CNN or Fox "News" in the middle of the day? Put it on for five minutes next time you're playing hooky, and you'll see how correct that is.
As Stewart watched the campaigns trade attack ads... he said he thought of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a patrician New Yorker who led the nation through the Great Depression and is considered one of its greatest presidents.
"That guy's not a regular American," Stewart said. "Nobody wanted to have a beer with him. He would have been a terrible president. He's an elitist. Can he bowl? Somebody could have bowled him. I just find it stunning as to where this election is going to be decided. Or where we allow it to be decided."
He railed on the political media's poll-based coverage.
"What do you mean, polls are out?" Stewart, unshaven and wearing a gray T-shirt, said to the room full of suit-wearers. "You call 20,000 people, 900 were home. You ask them some ridiculous questions. And this is the core of your coverage? 'Is Obama arrogant?' Is that a question you can answer? That's not even a metric you can measure. 'Is McCain too old?' "