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Stewart On Fire
2008-09-04 11:14
by Will Carroll

I, unlike most people in my demographic, don't watch the Daily Show. I like Jon Stewart, but it's just never been something I make an effort to watch. I like it when I do, but ... hey, there's no good explanation.

But when he's on, he's ON:

Fair and balanced? No. Partisan? No. It's just freakin' funny and sad, all at once. That it takes a comedian on a comedy channel doing this is the really sad part. Why couldn't Brian Williams - a funny guy himself - do a segment on the Nightly News where he does the same thing, pointing out the hypocrisy on all sides? Katie Couric is bad for the anchor slot, but this kind of giggling turn might be something she could make a centerpiece for herself. Same for Charlie Gibson, who's experience on GMA would serve to lighten things up.

But no, the network newscasts won't and Jon Stewart will get laughs, but won't get heard outside his demographic. Liars will keep lying, pundits will keep saying whatever is doing well with focus groups, not what is true, and politics will stay politics as usual.


I've also noted that during the RNC -- and with Fox News' tag of "Restoring Honor and Dignity to the White House" -- that the Republicans are trying to throw W under the bus without ever saying his name or acknowledging that he's one of them. Mitt Romney going even harder right in his convention, setting himself up for 2012, was one of the WTF moments of this whole campaign for me. He's just not likeable or believable in the way that Sarah Palin came off or in the way that Mike Huckabee does without trying. With Bush's presidency now an acknowledged failure and pictures of McCain and Bush together used as political tar, isn't this dodge by the Republicans actually adding fuel to the fire?

2008-09-04 11:47:55
1.   underdog
Thanks for posting this, Will. I've also been forwarding the clip to everyone I know this morning. It really is sad that it takes a comic to point out the hypocrisy and blatant mis-truths these people are spouting, that no one challenges them is disturbing and sad. Bless Jon Stewart.
2008-09-04 11:53:20
2.   ToyCannon
Jon Stewart makes my day every night. The complete hypocrisy boggles my mind.
2008-09-04 12:01:44
3.   Scott Long
Great clip. 2 of the biggest scumbags of my lifetime are Dick Morris and Karl Rove.

The Nightly News telecast basically exist now as a vehicle to push the products of prescription drug companies. Look at the ratings for the convention this week. CBS is getting half the viewers to it that Fox News is doing. The American public sees the networks as entertainment only, besides their local news.

2008-09-04 12:29:09
4.   ToyCannon
Watched the "best man" last night. Conventions sure aren't what they used to be. Do they even have a point anymore?
2008-09-04 12:33:10
5.   jgpyke
I'm glad everyone agrees that hypocrisy only happens from the right.

I mean, are we supposed to be surprised by this, or was this just an excuse to show some liberal smugness? (redundant, I know)

Where are the Daily Show clips about the media-created John Edwards narrative about him being a devoted family man, juxtaposed with the baby-daddy truth? (Gasp!) Etc.

One minor quibble: I disagree with the misuse of the word "hypocrite." Watching political spinmeisters being internally inconsistent isn't technically hypocrisy. It's just being a shameless liar. There's a difference. If Sarah Palin spoke out against abortion and then secretly killed her baby in the womb, that would be hypocrisy.

2008-09-04 13:13:09
6.   chris in illinois
5 She could also be a hypocrite if she positioned herself as a staunch opponent of federal pork while all the while enjoying her 'ribs', 'chops', 'bacon' and tender, tender 'smoked pulled pork' that her Uncle Sam sent her way.
2008-09-04 13:31:34
7.   ToyCannon
Always plenty of hypocrisy to go around for both sides. We shall see plenty from the left describing her lack of experience while trying to maintain that Obama's lack is different.

Still the biggest laugh I've ever gotten was when not one but two pundits including McCain's wife suggested that Palin would be good at foreign affairs because Alaska was so close to Russia.

Must be a great time to be a political comic. This stuff just writes itself.

2008-09-04 13:38:48
8.   kirbyk
jgpyke, really, don't comment on things you don't know anything about. Took me less than five minutes to find the Stewart on Edwards clip:

Nobody ever said that only the right has a bunch of lying scumbags. Those are the voices in your head again.

2008-09-04 15:07:59
9.   chris in illinois
7 There is 'inexperience' and then there is INEXPERIENCE. Is it really hypocrisy to question Saint Palin's qualifications after 19 months of GOP attacks (and Hillary) that 3 years in the Senate and several years as a state rep. in Illinois is nowhere near enough experience to be president?

Hypocrisy is to hammer an opponent on a lack of experience then name a running mate that might as well be a kindergartener in terms of experience.

If McCain had nominated Vlad Putin, the right would be fawning over his ass too. When Jesus is on your side, I guess you don't ever make mistakes.

2008-09-04 15:59:54
10.   jgpyke
8 Pay attention, kirbyk. Reread what I said. QED.
2008-09-04 19:36:02
11.   Johan
Will, you think most overweight white male attention whores watch the Daily Show? Not even close.
2008-09-04 20:38:53
12.   Will Carroll
Johan ... get in the ring.
2008-09-04 21:10:39
13.   fordprefect
Bush's presidency "now" an acknowledged failure?
2008-09-04 22:38:41
14.   George Y
Uh, it's not a "baby" in the womb--it's a fetus.

And if it were only "spinmeisters" who lied (screw the hypocrite tag and let's get down to business). For instance, here's what Reuters says: "In the city Ketchikan, the planned site of the so-called 'Bridge to Nowhere,' political leaders of both parties said the claim was false and a betrayal of their community, because she had supported the bridge and the earmark for it secured by Alaska's Congressional delegation during her run for governor."

2008-09-05 06:48:39
15.   thinkblue88
The people that roam the Baseball Toaster are a bright, intelligent and well informed lot.
I have a serious question that might sound dumb. Okay, in 2000, Gore won the the popular vote, and Bush won the Electoral College vote. I know how the Electoral College system works, I think.
Now, I turned 20 this year, so this will be my first Presidential Election vote. My question is, and it has been asked many times by many others, does my vote honest to goodness, truly count in directly electing the President? Or is it just a "survey" just to make naive people (like myself) into thinking their vote counts?
2008-09-05 07:42:16
16.   jgpyke
14 Um, no, it's a baby. Ask a woman who's had a miscarriage why she's crying b/c she only lost a fetus.

15 Depends. If you were planning on voting for Obama, then yes, your vote doesn't count. Tell your friends not to vote, either.

2008-09-05 07:52:45
17.   jgpyke
15 The serious answer is that yes, your vote counts. Each state's popular total determines to whom those electoral votes will go. And to win the presidency, a candidate must win a majority of electoral votes.

The Electoral College drives some people nuts, especially those who would love to see the will of the coastal metropolises (metropolii?) determine the fate of the republic for everyone else. The electoral method we use is supposed to ensure that campaigns secure the interests of broad coalitions and many states, even small ones. If we went with a straight popular vote, then no one would ever bother to campaign anywhere but big cities.

Also, the framers were also trying to keep from any sort of mob rule by having electors and not just popular acclamation. At least that's how they sold it in the Federalist Papers.

2008-09-05 08:53:10
18.   thinkblue88
Wow, thank you for that explanation, it makes sense now. Thanks for making it a simplistic and clear answer.
2008-09-05 08:56:28
19.   bob gaj
yup, it's terrible that TDS is the only one that points out the hypocrisy. we get junk about flag pins or drug use 25 years before, but not a lot more.

left-leaning, sure. but their main goal is always the joke, and they've killed dems before. of course, repubs have been in complete control for 6 of the last 8 years, so they're the bigger target. if obama wins in november, i'm sure that the next year will be full of pointing out his / senate's / house's hypocrisy.

but the main thing is, no other media outlet points out the hypocrisies. and that's terribly sad.

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