June 26, 2008

The Daily Show: As the World Turns

If you are in outer space above the North Pole and you look down at Earth, you see the planet spinning counter-clockwise. When a globe of Earth spins correctly, the continents move from West to East. But the globes on the Daily Show spin the wrong way. Take a look:

There are three globes in this sequence. The first one is being twisted apart, so the North and South hemispheres spin in opposite directions, as you’d expect from a planet that’s being twisted apart. So I’ll forgive that one. But that globe opens to reveal another, smaller version of Earth. This one is definitely spinning in the wrong direction. And then we travel through the equator of that one where we see another Earth. And this one spins the wrong way, too.

When they go to or come back from commercial, the Daily Show logo appears at the bottom of the screen with a globe behind it that sometimes spins correctly, and sometimes spins incorrectly. Why the different versions? I don’t know. But here it is spinning incorrectly:

I guess it could be creative license. Or it could be that we’re meant to be in orbit. But I think it might be another NBC News Digest debacle.

And don’t even get me started on the scientifically inaccurate axis tilt.

Update: Here’s everything in one handy YouTube video:


If you look closely, you’ll see that there is a fourth Earth inside the third Earth which is spinning the correct way. Weird.

Yeah, I see that. Actually I think it’s spinning the wrong way to begin with, but then it stops and restarts in the opposite direction. -David

Don’t forget that the Daily Show is parody, the direction and inconsistency could be intentional.

Another mistake: at the rate they are spinning it would take much less than 24 hours to complete a revolution!

You know you can’t see the HULA videos outside of the US- not even here in Canada- poooo!

My personal guess? It’s all you silly Americans writing in the wrong direction, confusing the poor animator! This would have never happen to us here is Israel :-)

Yes You Tube is fine.

So you’re telling me that you think the world is round? You’re crazy!

So you’re telling me that you think the world is round? You’re crazy!

…and there are lots of moons and Saturn rings.
more: it opens and there are more globes inside!

these guys just don’t care…

To be honest, all of those are fairly innocuous errors to me… short-lived graphics on the screen.

When I was growing up in Minneapolis/St. Paul (far too many years ago), one of the news stations had the same problem; the globe rotated the wrong way. The worst part about it is that it was on-screen FOR THE ENTIRE “World News” segment, in the corner of the screen.

Some friends actually called the station to complain. When they had a booth at the Minnesota State Fair (a BIG event to this day in MN), the station reps said “we’ve been getting some comments about it” but that it was too expensive to change!


as long as they get the news right, who cares?

Maybe the globe is spinning correctly, but the camera is moving in the opposite direction—and faster than the globe?

It’s a global conspiracy.

It spins that way so that words like “DAILY SHOW” on the globe can appear on the right hand side like an electronic bllboard and then scroll naturally right to left.

If you put words on a globe spinning the “correct” way you’d see the end of the word first as it rotated into view.


How do you know that Earth isn’t flat?

It was even worse before… they used to have a globe that spun upside down. I mean instead of west to east or east to west it would spin south to north.

Vindicated! Guest and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson brought this up to Jon on the show on Monday, Feb 27, 2012.