When will we know that the “Daily Show” has entered a new age of comedic vigor? When it dumps its rote slams on the cable nets’ primary-night coverage. The clip above features host Jon Stewart taking a mallet to CNN for its Tuesday night broadcast. He mocks a strange moment when a CNN reporter fails to get “fresher numbers” from a polling station in Mississippi; he mocks CNN for boasting about how many people it has covering the races; and he mocks CNN for not being first to report the Mississippi winner.
Each time I watch this shtick, I giggle less. Live election coverage, after all, is a fluid and difficult thing, prone to yielding miscues and awkwardness. As comedic raw material, it’s cheap. Especially the slam on CNN being “late” to the Mississippi call. After the Florida 2000 thing, waiting to call a state is no longer a sign of weakness.