On the Nov. 29 episode of 'The Daily Show', Jon Stewart dedicated a segment to various newscasters using the most deadly of segues to introduce their stories -- the pun. It was a glorious thrashing of cheap writing -- some of which outlined serious subject matter -- designed to make its mouthpieces appear clever. Except nobody looks clever delivering a pun without the wink-wink of its ridiculousness.
The film criticism side of journalism just waved goodbye to "The King of the Pun", Gene Shalit, who left 'The Today Show' just a few weeks before the above episode aired. Where would the medium be today without films like 'Blood Diamond' being referred to as "a gem of a movie," or that 'Bee Movie' "is an A"? Probably better off. Especially since Shalit's brand of criticism is not dead yet, since we can see in 2010 that it's flourishing all too often.