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Truer than strange 

Forget that old saw about truth being stranger than fiction. These days, it should be comedy is more truthful than the mainstream press. As proof, we offer two versions of an event that occurred last week involving our Buffoon in Chief, George W. Bush. As pointed out on one of our favorite Web sites, www.buzzflash.com, the Associated Press — considered the gold standard of mainstream reporting — matter-of-factly reported on Bush swearing in a group of newly naturalized citizens without incident. As the BuzzFlashers observed, the straightforward account left the impression that the leader of the free world is at least competent enough to pull of a minor bit of PR fluff without bumbling. But viewers of cable TV’s “The Daily Show” got to see what really happened, with the prez first instructing the new Americans to raise their right hands as they recited the Pledge of Allegiance. It took several beats for our man Bush to process the bewildered looks on the faces of all those sharing the platform with him. After finally realizing his blunder, he casually unleashed that trademark smirk and drawled to the obviously confused participants what every American schoolchild knows: “Actually, right hand on your heart.”

As gaffes go, it doesn’t register in the same realm as, say, pursuing a missile defense program that has succeeded in forging an alliance of Russia and China against us, but it is telling of our times that a satire program on cable’s Comedy Central channel reflects reality more accurately than the venerable AP. If you aren’t watching “The Daily Show,” you should be. It’s no accident that the crew headed by Jon Stewart won a prestigious Peabody Award for its coverage of the 2000 presidential election.

We kid you not.

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette, the Metro Times news editor. Call 313-202-8004 or e-mail cguyette@metrotimes.com

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