Trevor Noah made his “Daily Show” debut last night. Critics are saying he can fill Jon Stewart’s large shoes, but it’ll take time for him to feel comfortable in them.
Of course I’ll be watching to see how Noah, a millennial, tackles this revered program. It’s too early to make real judgments on his performance, but it isn’t too early to critique something he said in his opening.
He called his mission “The War on Bullshit.” I recently spoke at the Trends Institute about the problems regarding the term “The War on …” Millennials have been surrounded by this trope since birth. We had the War on Drugs, the War on Poverty, the War on Christmas, the War on Terror, and on and on.
“The Daily Show” likes to be “a voice” for those who want to cut through media manipulation. But using a term like “The War on” does them no favors. It puts them squarely in the same camp as a Fox News, who puts “ALERT” on seemingly every trivial story they produce. And no, “The Daily Show” wasn’t being satirical when using “The War on Bullshit”; Noah said it in a monologue of seriousness, and the show itself is using “The War on Bullshit” as the headline for the monologue video.
Now you may think this is small potatoes, but as we know, these things add up. Stop using “The War on.” It’s a lazy trope, but it also helps to further the glorification of war, however small.