Wednesday night on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," host Jon Stewart eviscerated one of the day's non-stories, the supposed chilly body language between Russia's President Vladimir Putin and President Barack Obama at the G20 summit in Mexico.
"Really?" Stewart asked, "Body language? Are we really going to try and divine the status of international policy relations the same way 'Mystery' on 'The Pick-Up Artist' lets nerds know if girls are into them? Are we doing that?"
But that was apparently the order of the day, with news hosts spending a significant chunk of the day's programing parsing out what appears to be a literal "nothing" story, in that they were trying to derive something (a story about the chilly state of U.S. and Russian relations) out of nothing (an absence of discernable signals of fondness between two presidents).
"Obama looked nervous and Vladimir drank only water," Stewart simpered, "Is this couple on the outs or are they expecting a baby?"
Stewart conceded that this "a fun game," reading big meanings into small things, but, as he pointed out, have you ever seen Vladimir Putin not look icy?
"That's your lamestream, liberal media for you, though" said the host, "Wall-to-wall coverage of something, but they're not sure what it is, or if it really matters."
Fox News, on the other hand, knows exactly what to do with any story at all, no matter how insubstantial. They just fold it into their overall anti-Obama, anti-liberal agenda and go from there. For them, there are no other conclusions to draw from the G20 images than the notion that President Obama is "a weak child slouching America toward a nuclear holocaust!" And of course, what better time to roll old news footage of Ronald Reagan saying, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"?
But that's how Fox does what it does. Stewart said, "That's how you take a few seconds of Obama video, turn it into a rich soup of decontextualized imagery designed to bypass the frontal cortex and go straight to the amygdalae of old people, triggering cascades of dopamine and giving them all a giant Reagan-boner."
Watch the clip, embedded via Comedy Central, below: