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Itís Time for Jon Stewart to Stop Hurting America
Pajamas Media ^ | March 19,2009 | Adam Graham

Posted on 03/20/2009 8:03:15 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Like most writers, I dream of writing a bestseller. In recent days, there’s been an added dimension to this dream. I’d like the book to be popular enough to merit an appearance on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show. When he asks me a question, I want to take the opportunity to tell him exactly what I think of his show and tell him to stop hurting America.

This stunt would be the same one that Stewart pulled in 2004, when he was given the opportunity to appear on CNN’s Crossfire to promote his book and instead decided to rip the show and its hosts for “hurting America” with its sharp partisan banter, which Stewart didn’t even view as real debate.

Stewart fans credit this moment with causing the cancellation of Crossfire the following year. In reality, the show had been tanking in the post-Pat Buchanan era and had a declining viewing audience. Contrary to Stewart’s self-righteous rant, the show couldn’t hurt Rhode Island, let alone the whole country. But never mind, it was Stewart’s moment to shine, even if it was the equivalent of dressing down Steve Urkel during the last season of Family Matters.

Stewart is a talented comedian. He skewers politicians and the media with precision. Along with Stephen Colbert, Stewart has raised mocking politicians to a whole new level. However, The Daily Show is not mere comedy. While the show argues that it’s not a significant news source for Americans, studies tell another story. Pew Research found that two percent of Americans — and six percent of young people — identified Stewart as their favorite journalist. While studies also indicate he’s not his viewers’ only source of news, it’s clear many in Stewart’s audience view him as a source of news. This is where the situation gets sticky.

The Daily Show is an exercise in creative editing in the style of Michael Moore. Putting clips together to make a point or a joke doesn’t give an accurate impression of reality. Unlike The Onion or Saturday Night Live’s obviously satirical “Weekend Update,” Stewart gives the impression that he is making fun of what has actually happened rather than embellishing reality to create humor or outrage.

For examples of creative editing, one need look no further than the interview with CNBC stock analyst Jim Cramer. The network aired part of the interview with Stewart and then placed the full, unedited exchange on its website, thus putting The Daily Show’s editing methods on display.

The video shows that The Daily Show heavily cut out information that would have made Cramer a more sympathetic figure to Stewart’s liberal audience, including:

* Cramer did not agree with Rick Santelli and considers people who have stayed in their homes with high mortgage payments by holding down multiple jobs “fighters” not “losers.” The studio audience cheered Cramer’s statement.

* Cramer voted for President Obama. His only concern with Obama’s programs is that the president is moving on his agenda items too quickly. He thinks America needs to “win the war on unemployment” before passing programs that scare CEOs to death.

* Cramer has suggested other earnings vehicles to people, including CDs, rather than stocks during the recent downturn.

These tidbits, plus Cramer’s attempts to logically explain the whys and hows of financial network reporting, didn’t make it on the show.

Stewart, ever the expert on everything, concluded that long-term investing is a scam and that our “wealth is in our work.” Great news if you’re a New York Times best-selling author and host of an Emmy Award-winning show. Not so good if you’re earning $45,000 a year.

Of course, telling people in the midst of an economic downturn that investing is a scam only confirms many people’s feelings. On stocks, as on most other substantive issues, Stewart simply tells his core audience what they want to hear. His core audience is not the independent-minded college student that tunes in for a few laughs now and then. His core audience are liberals who stay glued to the show even when it’s not particularly funny, because they agree with what’s being said.

If you want to see how Stewart plays this, take a look at the issue of gay rights, which is very big in the entertainment community, particularly in New York. How much does Stewart play to the gay community? A gay entertainment blog made a list of Stewart’s “greatest gay moments.” It was a nine-part post. In part nine, we learned the series would have been longer had Comedy Central’s video site been working perfectly.

Stewart will invite politicians on to hawk books that have little or nothing to do with gay marriage, but he will remake the entire interview into a sudden death debate on the topic, as happened with Bill Bennett and Mike Huckabee in recent years. On gay rights, Stewart acts like a man with a quota to fill.

When he appeared on Crossfire in 2004, he bragged about The Daily Show’s “civilized discourse.” Yet the record shows something else. Per Stewart, Robert Novak is a “heartless vampire demon, a terrible person, and an enemy of democracy.” Ari Fleischer is an ugly serial killer. The name calling, combined with Stewart’s bleeped f-bombs, is the laziest form of shock comedy out there. However, Stewart fans love this stuff, as evidenced by the deluge of vicious hate mail sent to conservative blogger LaShawn Barber after her 2007 appearance.

Stewart’s defenders will say I’m taking this far too seriously. After all, this is a comedy show. However, to say “it’s just a comedy show” is disingenuous when the Cramer interview has been given prominent play in every major media outlet in America. When Editor and Publisher magazine is asking how much of a role Stewart played in the election of the president of the United States, is it reasonable to argue that Stewart is cable’s Jay Leno?

In truth, Stewart uses comedy to shield himself from criticism. It’s perplexing to his on-air conservative targets, who often don’t know how to respond. Stewart uses the comedy defense as if to say, “What? Are you going to hit a clown?”

No conservative analog will ever get Stewart’s exemption from criticism. After watching Ann Coulter’s stand-up routine at CPAC, I think a good case could be made that Jon Stewart is the liberal Coulter, except Stewart has less intellectual substance and a far nastier edge.

The man who declared in late 2004 that Crossfire had a responsibility to its audience should own up to his own “responsibility” to the public discourse — not simply pretend, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that he has no responsibility to maintain civility and decency in his own public forum.

In short, it’s time for Jon Stewart to stop hurting America.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: comedycentral; dailyshow; jimcramer; jonstewart

1 posted on 03/20/2009 8:03:15 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

jonstewart is an fool


2 posted on 03/20/2009 8:07:40 AM PDT by barbarianbabs (obey)
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To: SeekAndFind

Amen and amen.

He uses humor and emotion to cover up reality. Standard liberal tactics when the facts aren’t in their favor.


3 posted on 03/20/2009 8:07:59 AM PDT by TheNewPundit
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To: SeekAndFind

He has no audience. No damage done.


4 posted on 03/20/2009 8:11:32 AM PDT by edpc (01010111 01010100 01000110 00111111)
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To: SeekAndFind

I can’t watch him...my TV’d be flying out the window after 5 min.

Is it just me, or does Stewart look like how Bill Maher would after some plastic surgery?....


5 posted on 03/20/2009 8:12:25 AM PDT by Mac from Cleveland (How to make a small fortune in the Obama era--first, start off with a big fortune....)
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To: barbarianbabs

Leibowitz is sometimes funny and clever, but the smarmy twirp doesn’t know half of what he thinks he does.


6 posted on 03/20/2009 8:14:07 AM PDT by jpl (Help us Obambi Wan Kenobi, you're our only dope.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Who is John Stewart?


7 posted on 03/20/2009 8:15:38 AM PDT by lesko
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To: edpc

Uuum, he’s pretty popular.


8 posted on 03/20/2009 8:20:33 AM PDT by Borges
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To: SeekAndFind
What is a point in paying any attention to a fake anchor of fake news?

He has his moronic audience let us leave them alone, these people are complete loss for society.

9 posted on 03/20/2009 8:21:30 AM PDT by alex
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To: lesko
Who is John Stewart?

He's the nobody they hired to replace some other nobody on some Comedy Channel show.

10 posted on 03/20/2009 8:23:25 AM PDT by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll)
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To: alex

Morons are Hussein Obama’s constituency. Jon Leibowitz is a valuable propaganda tool for Hussein Obama and his gang of Stalinists. He speaks to the morons in a way they can understand and helps promote the myth of the Messiah while tearing down everything conservative.


11 posted on 03/20/2009 8:24:20 AM PDT by Astronaut
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To: SeekAndFind
These tidbits, plus Cramer’s attempts to logically explain the whys and hows of financial network reporting, didn’t make it on the show..."

Not to defend a reprehensible turd (and a tiny one at that)like Stewart, but maybe it's because every time Cramer talks about how he made all of his money, he's essentially confessing to years of repeated criminal activity.

12 posted on 03/20/2009 8:25:01 AM PDT by conservativeharleyguy (Apparently, Obama would rather fight Limbaugh on the airwaves than Bin Laden in the sand!!!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Cramer actually begged people to take their money out of the market on Oct. 6 if they could not afford to wait for recovery. The clip is on the internet, but of course whatever Jon Stewart says overrides that.

If I were to get on his show, I’m afraid I just could not resist the temptation to reach over and slap the little bitch.


13 posted on 03/20/2009 8:27:53 AM PDT by bigbob
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To: SeekAndFind

Excellent synopsis by this author. I honestly can’t stand even one minute of Stewart - he’s a condescending know-it-all.


14 posted on 03/20/2009 8:31:20 AM PDT by Joann37
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To: theDentist

..who is J.S. ? = smarmy twirp . .


15 posted on 03/20/2009 8:33:16 AM PDT by norraad ("What light!">Blues Brothers)
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To: alex

Probably none, if you were expecting news or a real anchor.


16 posted on 03/20/2009 8:44:52 AM PDT by stuartcr (If the end doesn't justify the means...why have different means?)
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To: SeekAndFind

Jon Stewart(His PHONY name) is an ASSHOLE. OOOOOOOPS...forgive me....Jon Stewart is an A**HOLE.


17 posted on 03/20/2009 8:51:31 AM PDT by LeonardFMason
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To: LeonardFMason

More proof of the American idiots that get news from the court jester. My in-laws watch him constantly and are so happy to be in the cool hip Obama crowd. I wish they would be on the ‘uncool’ side of their grandchildren instead.


18 posted on 03/20/2009 8:56:21 AM PDT by USA means Freedom
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To: Joann37
I honestly can’t stand even one minute of Stewart

Ditto

I find him simultaneously boring and annoying. I can't watch the show for a minute, either.

19 posted on 03/20/2009 9:15:01 AM PDT by Hardastarboard (The Fairness Doctrine isn't about "Fairness" - it's about Doctrine.)
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To: SeekAndFind

What’s more insufferable than a former sportscaster pretending he’s Edward Murrow?

A former MTV clown pretending to be a serious newsman.


20 posted on 03/20/2009 9:21:25 AM PDT by RichInOC (No! BAD Rich! (What'd I say?))
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To: SeekAndFind
"Putting clips together to make a point or a joke doesn’t give an accurate impression of reality. Unlike The Onion or Saturday Night Live’s obviously satirical “Weekend Update,” Stewart gives the impression that he is making fun of what has actually happened rather than embellishing reality to create humor or outrage."

BINGO!

21 posted on 03/20/2009 2:39:51 PM PDT by BenLurkin (Mornie` utulie`. Mornie` alantie`.)
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To: SeekAndFind

His show was funny for about the first month when he went after left and right equally. Then he swerved off the road and went into the ditch pretty quick. haven’t watched in quite a long time. Even Micheal Moore is funnier and more entertaining.


22 posted on 03/20/2009 3:04:31 PM PDT by PsyOp (Put government in charge of tire pressure, and we'll soon have a shortage of air. - PsyOp.)
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To: conservativeharleyguy
These tidbits, plus Cramer’s attempts to logically explain the whys and hows of financial network reporting, didn’t make it on the show..."

Well, Stewart was right about one thing, when he said that promising 30% gains every year was like an infomercial with no base in reality. And that is true. Over a, say, 20 year period 6-10% per year is great.

What Cramer was trying to convey is the idea that within a bubble, insane behaviour can be sane. If you invest at the start of the bubble, quadruple your investment and get out, that IS economically sane behaviour as it maximizes your profits (of course, if you get in shortly before the bubble is about to burst, that's a whole different story).

No bubble will ever undo fundamentals, namely that there is no such thing as a free lunch. The problem was that everybody was behaving insane. The interest rate policies of the last half dozen years was insane. The housing bubble was insane. Of course it's no big feat to point out the insanity afterwards as e.g. Stewart does. But those who did it before like e.g. Ron Paul were also ridiculed, because everyone was in on it and thought the party would never stop and who likes a party-pooper?

In short:

1. The market wins. Always.
2. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
3. Profits / gains must be based on the real economy (e.g. technological innovation and / or better productivity).
23 posted on 03/21/2009 6:30:58 AM PDT by wolf78 (Cranky Libertarian - equal opportunity offender)
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