Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Jon Stewart Sez: Funk you very much.

Hmm... actually, I think it's George Clinton who says Funk you very much.

Well.

Thanks to all my actual readers who stuck around through the dry spell of blogging -- sadly, I can garuntee it will continue (garuntee is the one word I can never, ever spell) as I continue through my studies here in Brasil. I will try and post as often as possible, but as procrastination is one of my brightest talents, I've been trying not to use the blog towards that end rather than my research (no, no, Slate.com and Warcraft III will do nicely...)

But, I just saw the clip of Jon Stewart laying the smack-down, the funk-bomb, the in-your-face, the slap-with-the-big-swiniging-dick, the kick-in-the-balls on CNN's Crossfire.

Mr. Carlson, who is your daddy?

Ok, sorry for the rude, crude obnoxious lead-in, but WOW. Stewart has been ready to burst for months, and the time apparently came.

I have many thoughts on this (including the theme I very much like of Jon Stewart as a real life The Fool in King Lear; as my beloved erstwhile Shakespeare professor would say "Rubric for the Day: Speaking TRUTH to Power: License and the Fool in the Royal Court".

As follows (comment by J reposted from here. (Link to JS on Crossfire Transcript here, and to video here.)

What Carlson -- and E-boy and others -- all look over is that Stewart is an equal-opportunity soft-baller. True, he has shifted into a MUCH more attackful banter if he thinks his guest is full of shit -- the Sen. from Texas, for example, and the guy who wrote "The Connection" (btw Osama bin Laden and Hussein).

But if you look back, two things:
a) This is only recent, and only sometimes -- he was pretty nice to the Democratic and Republican National Chairpersons both, not questioning their demagogery overmuch, not challenging them, having a nice conversation about life and the election and letting all the little white lies of both go without notice. If you look back further -- he has almost NEVER been hard-hitting before this year, which must represent a new level of frustration to the poor man. I mean, Ann Coulter was on his show, and he treated her like she was as reasonable a person as, I don't know, Sandra Day O'Connor. Which brings us to the second point...
b) Due to either being a suck-up, or, equally likely, a man somewhat intimidated by heights he never thought (or, imho, wanted) to obtain, simply by voicing what he feels is true and funny, he gets SCARED with big names. Watch him & Karen Hughes -- his nose was up her butt as much as Kerry's!

I want to repeat this, because it is very important: STEWART IS OFTEN TIMID IN FRONT OF BIG NAMES, REGARDLESS OF WHAT SIDE -- HE SUCKED UP TO KAREN HUGHES.

He doubtlessly would be scared of Bush, too, were Bush somehow on the show, and would softball him. But Karen Hughes -- the HEIGHT of political hackery, and Ann Coulter, the height of hate-spewing psuedo-intellectual non-sequitirs and controversy, gets a free pass as well.

No, if you look at TDS, Stewart has been equally nice to everyone in the past -- and these days, equally savage to those that come and lie (i.e. untruths in his house).

I'd bet you my last dollar that if Begala had not had the GOOD SENSE to shut up, and instead defended what he did, he would be taken down a peg with Carlson (though Begala is slightly less testy, making a drag-out fight unlikely even he stayed in the fray). But Begala knew he could gain nothing unless he a) prostrated himself before the truth and admitted all the "news" he's ever done has been just this side of an SNL skit of the news, i.e. bullshit, or b) shut the hell up, because while Stewart might be an equal-opportunity challenger, if Begala spoke no words, he could tell no lies for Carlson to debunk.

And whatever you think of JS's comportment, is it not for a moment a shame, or suspicious, or looney, that Carlson didn't challenge Stewart on the FACTS? His form of "debate" was a) stop lecturing b) be funny c) you were a suck up to Kerry on your non-news show d) stop lecturing e) what do you think of an irrelevant sex scandal? f) stop lecturing.

Hey, Carlson -- while you might have brought Stewart on as a "spice of life" segment, WHY IN THE HELL ARE YOU COMPLAINING ABOUT A "LECTURE"-LIKE DISCOURSE ON A SUPPOSEDLY INFORMATIVE SHOW? Fine, it wasn't what you'd planned -- but it isn't like this is The Bozo Show (let fly sarcastic ripostes here), where politics would catch everyone flat footed. He wanted to discuss realpolitik -- is that so foreign that you can't recover?

Oh wait, you did. It was vitally important that the US, in this heated and important election season, know about Bill O'Reilly's sex life.

Thank you for reminding me what fake news looks like.


--J

3 comments:

Plumb said...

Jon Stewart is a True American Hero. Seriously, though, well-said on all points.

(As an aside, I'm guilty of asking people what they think of the O'Reilly sex scandal, and the best answer I received, from a girl who shall remain nameless, was "his fantasies were hot.")

Barry said...

J-

Yes, Stewart was great there, although I think he could have been just a tad less sanctimonious. OTOH, Carlson kind of tweaked him into it.

The point Stewart misses, though, is that CNN runs that programming because people watch it. If more people wanted more high-quality issues programming, every city would have 3 channels of PBS. Unfortunately, the market is like a democracy (voters get what the deserve).

--Barry

BTW, I added you to the HopefulCynic blogroll. Thanks for mentioning your link had disappeared.

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