Last weekend two news clips caught my eye. One reported that former “SNL” comedy writer Al Franken (D) pulled ahead of Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman (R) in that state’s senatorial contest (40-34, according to one poll). The front page of The Washington Post advised, “Comedian Becomes Serious Contender.” Franken’s campaign has been stimulated by appearances by Hillary Clinton and Al Gore, and $6 million of ads paid for by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
In a second news item, CNN announced the premiere of a new comedy-news show, starring D.L. Hughley, a stand-up comic and former L.A. gang member. Hughley commented, “I’m, like, ‘Come on, man. I barely even know how to read. I’ve got a GED.’ ” CNN stated it was entering “into the well-established genre of news delivered with a satirical smile,” according to The New York Times, which highlighted the new program in its Arts section.