In a pretty funny segment from Thursday’s Daily Show, John Oliver attempts to help the G20 activists in Pittsburgh get the same “warm reception” Tea Party protesters have received from the government and media. So he talks to some Tea Partiers to seek their advice. Naturally, their suggestions are filled with irony: “They need to stay on message” and “They’re scaring everyone away”. While most of the joking is done at the expense of the Tea Partiers, the G20 activists aren’t exactly let off easy. They’re shown to have a bunch of crazies in their midst, as well as a disorganized conglomeration of competing interests. Plus, Oliver seems to paint them as somewhat weak and pathetic. But that may have more to do with the joke he seems to be making about the unnecesarily large police presence. Ultimately, I get the sense that the Daily Show sympathizes with the G20 activists, but, as is always the case when pop culture attempts to explain protests, stereotypes take over.
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