The Daily Show online and the writers’ strike

Playing around on the Daily Show site, I saw for the first time how the Web might really change TV — not by streaming a promotional teaser here and there or allowing users to post random screen grabs on YouTube, but by providing searchable online databases of years’ worth of content that are updated to include current episodes. When The Daily Show does come back (please Lord, let it be before Super Tuesday), I may well start watching even new episodes this way: at my desk in the morning, instead of on the couch at 11 o’clock at night. Multiply that defection by the size of the show’s fan base and the subsequent migration of advertising dollars from screen to Web, and the writers’ demand for a piece of the online action starts to make plenty of sense.