Hasan minhaj transforms news intake


Laura Hennawi, Staff Writer

New comedic talk show, “Patriot Act”, revolving around politics and current events, was released Oct. 28 by Netflix with host Hasan Minhaj, a renowned comedian and a previous correspondent for “The Daily Show.” Right from the get-go, Minhaj demonstrates his awareness of the US political climate through the title of the show: The Patriot Act was a bill passed by Congress on Oct. 26, 2001 with aims to increase security against terrorism.

Each episode of the show is released on a weekly basis, allowing for relevant and important news pieces to get covered. One episode is about 20 minutes, which is convenient for people who solely want to catch up on current events but don’t have the time to get their information from lengthier news shows. Minhaj covers a specific topic in each episode; from affirmative action to free speech, he covers all different aspects of modern culture.

The idea of the show is for it to seem, as put in Minhaj’s words, like a “woke TED Talk”. All episodes consist of Minhaj standing on a stage with big screens behind him that present images, videos, and data relevant to what he’s talking about. The set-up is ingenious; it makes it feel like you’re watching a comedy special, but you’re actually learning. His ability to display data and visuals enhances his arguments and facts, and overall pulls the show into a unique presentation of news.

Minhaj also does a tremendous job with including an extensive amount of research in each episode. For example, in an episode highlighting the United States’ toxic relationship with Saudi Arabia, Minhaj brought up an official American document that contained racist remarks about the Saudi Arabian people, and according to The Huffington Post, that document wasn’t edited until it was brought into the spotlight by Minhaj. The deep research that goes into the show ensures credible information.

All that said, the most special aspect of the show is the man himself: Hasan Minhaj. As the son of Muslim, Indian immigrants, he’s appealing to and representing an entire demographic of people that can relate to his cultural humor.

Overall, “Patriot Act” is a complete success on Netflix’s part. In a very media-oriented and fast-paced era, a consistent yet educative show on a platform that is easily accessible is a stellar way of presenting news and current events.