Suspicious timing

by Henry Farrell on August 28, 2007

So, was Gonzales’ resignation yesterday specifically timed to happen just as the _Daily Show_ started a two week hiatus? Inquiring (and very disappointed) minds would like to know. Not even to mention the revelations about Larry Craig’s bathroom misdemeanours. It’s _very suspicious_ that the court judgment should have been handed down on August 8 – but that _Roll Call_ should only have published the details yesterday. I seem to recall that the last time the _Daily Show_ went on holiday, there was a similar outbreak of political scandals (the Libby case judgement etc). As they say, developing …

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08.28.07 at 1:19 pm | Level One, Nathan Forget's Blog » Blog Archive » Suspicious timing
08.28.07 at 2:22 pm
  Political marginalia — A Progressive on the Prairie
08.29.07 at 5:33 pm



Toast 08.28.07 at 2:50 pm

Wait, two weeks? They just took a two-week vacation back in July! Those two take more vacation time than Bush!


nick s 08.28.07 at 3:04 pm

Certainly, there have been quite a few first-day-back Daily Shows this year that began ‘so, did we miss anything?’

Ultimately, I think it’s a comparable phenomenon to the myth among certain psychologists that the full moon brings out the crazies: you just get into the habit of noticing the stuff that happens during off-weeks. Though ‘Gonzales can’t recall he’s resigned’ would have been a treat.

(Dan Froomkin’s off for a week, too.)


dday 08.28.07 at 3:30 pm

The Daily Show was off during the week of Hurricane Katrina, too. I knew they controlled the weather!


Babylonian 08.28.07 at 3:50 pm

Could it be because the 4,000 dead troop mark was reached this weekend ?


Henry 08.28.07 at 4:13 pm

yep – two weeks. I checked the Comedy Central site this morning in the vain hope that it was just one of those occasional repeats that they sometimes run on Mondays.

My wife independently voiced the same ‘suspicion’ last night – I suspect that a lot of aggrieved DS watchers had the same thoughts …


Seth Finkelstein 08.28.07 at 4:45 pm

This takes the news-cycle gaming of “release news late Friday night to bury it” to a whole new level.


JP Stormcrow 08.28.07 at 4:58 pm

If a political figure falls in Washington and no one is available to mock it on television, did it really happen?


joel turnipseed 08.28.07 at 6:01 pm

That’s too bad: as others have said, the Gonzales resignation would have made great CC “we report, you deride” fake news. One thing that sort of bums me out about the (are they increasingly?) frequent vacations for Stewart and Colbert is: why can’t everyone on shows like this (or the CBS tandem, Late and Late Late Shows) do things the old Carson way: get someone to hold down the fort for a week or two while you’re away? Are brands that tenuous? The performing hosts that jealous? How fun would it be to have, say, John Hodgman hosting for a week?


Uncle Jeffy 08.28.07 at 6:24 pm

As Jon Stewart put it a while ago:

“What’s sad is not that you can’t possibly make this stuff up. It’s that you don’t need to.”

Epitaph for the entire 8 years of Cheney’s administration.,,


P O'Neill 08.28.07 at 6:48 pm

The political reporters did like to mention that the main cost of Cheney declaring himself to be a 4th branch of government was the lampooning on the late night talk shows, so who knows, maybe the White House handlers have internalized this logic.


Dismayed Liberal 08.28.07 at 6:48 pm

(Dan Froomkin’s off for a week, too.)

Kudos for this comment. Froomkin’s my number 1 read online. His work is great. I wonder if he’s been twitching at all on vacation the past couple of days.


prairiedawg 08.28.07 at 6:55 pm

The thought about the Daily Show/Colbert hiatus occurred to me last night also. At least Bill Maher’s show is back on after his summer break.


bob 08.28.07 at 6:57 pm

The timing was – as noted on Juan Cole’s blog – that Gonzo resigned on Constitution Day, thus making his resignation the only thing he has ever in his life done to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States”.


SGEW 08.28.07 at 8:13 pm

I’ve wondered about this as well . . . I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Mr. Rove (in his last hoorah?) specifically timed the announcement of the resignation for when Mssrs. Stewart, Colbert, Froomkin, and Sullivan are all on vacation (and the timing of Roll Call’s publication is very, very suspicious as well). Who can put anything past these guys, nowadays?

Also: A.G. A.G. (never get tired of that) will resign on Constitution Day (which is Sept. 17th). One might even think that someone in the DoJ (whoever schedules official hand-overs) specifically planned it this way, knowing that Mssrs. Bush, Gonzales, et. al. would never have even heard of Constitution Day. Or this is simply another signal of the End of the Age of Irony I’ve heard so much about.


nick s 08.28.07 at 8:53 pm


I think the ‘correspondents’ need a certain amount of time to do their fake out-of-studio reports, and I also suspect that the staff has been stretched a little by the double-duty of Colbert, the departure of Helms and Corddry, and the maternity/paternity duties of Jason Jones and Samantha Bee. My guess is that working on TDS or TCR, whether as a writer or performer, makes you prone to burn-out.

But I also remember there being a two-week vacation around Labor Day last year, because Stewart did a few shows in London to promote America: The Book.


Warren Terra 08.28.07 at 11:01 pm

I think Stormcrow’s #9 wins the thread.

Still, comedy is hard. The daily show is, according to some random comment I saw in the Google results, produced 32 weeks a year. If you figure about half of the show is scripted comedy (as opposed to clips and interviews), that’s about 24 hours a year for the Daily show. Colbert doesn’t have a cast of ‘correspondants’ and is in character the whole time, so it may be more for him.

How many shows do dozens of hours of scripted comedy each year, at any sort of decent quality standard? And the Daily Show and Colbert manage to respond humorously within 12 hours of the event being mocked. Frankly, they’re pretty amazing.


Fledermaus 08.28.07 at 11:04 pm

I seem to recall that the last time the Daily Show went on holiday, there was a similar outbreak of political scandals

Occam’s razor, my friend. There are simply just that many GOP scandals that any two week period will be filled with them


praisegod barebones 08.29.07 at 11:36 am

Timed to coincide with Marcy Wheeler’s fishing trip if you ask me.


Elayne Riggs 08.29.07 at 1:37 pm

Your supposition would have merit if only so many scandals didn’t break during the time when Stewart and Colbert AREN’T on vacation. The thing is, this admin reeks of so much wrongdoing that some of it’s bound to break during vaca periods.


Beastboy 08.29.07 at 7:04 pm

Who’s Alberto Gonzales?


SGEW 08.30.07 at 2:52 am

Who was Alberto Gonzales.


MR. Bill 08.31.07 at 10:34 am

My friends, you are Alberto Gonzales. I am Alberto Gonzales; we are all Alberto Gonzales now..

Hey, it’s probably better than being John Galt.


Praisegod Barebones 09.01.07 at 7:17 pm

Even Alberto Gonzales can’t remember who Alberto Gonzales is. Or at least, he’s not aware of being able to recall it.

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