Skip to comments.Itís Time for Jon Stewart to Stop Hurting America
Posted on 03/20/2009 8:03:15 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Like most writers, I dream of writing a bestseller. In recent days, theres been an added dimension to this dream. Id like the book to be popular enough to merit an appearance on Jon Stewarts 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 CNNs 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 didnt 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 Stewarts self-righteous rant, the show couldnt hurt Rhode Island, let alone the whole country. But never mind, it was Stewarts 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 its 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 hes not his viewers only source of news, its clear many in Stewarts 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 doesnt give an accurate impression of reality. Unlike The Onion or Saturday Night Lives 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 Shows 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 Stewarts 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 Cramers statement.
* Cramer voted for President Obama. His only concern with Obamas 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 Cramers attempts to logically explain the whys and hows of financial network reporting, didnt 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 youre a New York Times best-selling author and host of an Emmy Award-winning show. Not so good if youre earning $45,000 a year.
Of course, telling people in the midst of an economic downturn that investing is a scam only confirms many peoples 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 its not particularly funny, because they agree with whats 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 Stewarts greatest gay moments. It was a nine-part post. In part nine, we learned the series would have been longer had Comedy Centrals 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 Shows 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 Stewarts 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.
Stewarts defenders will say Im taking this far too seriously. After all, this is a comedy show. However, to say its 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 cables Jay Leno?
In truth, Stewart uses comedy to shield himself from criticism. Its perplexing to his on-air conservative targets, who often dont 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 Stewarts exemption from criticism. After watching Ann Coulters 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, its time for Jon Stewart to stop hurting America.
jonstewart is an fool
Amen and amen.
He uses humor and emotion to cover up reality. Standard liberal tactics when the facts aren’t in their favor.
He has no audience. No damage done.
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?....
Leibowitz is sometimes funny and clever, but the smarmy twirp doesn’t know half of what he thinks he does.
Who is John Stewart?
Uuum, he’s pretty popular.
He has his moronic audience let us leave them alone, these people are complete loss for society.
He's the nobody they hired to replace some other nobody on some Comedy Channel show.
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.
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.
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.
Excellent synopsis by this author. I honestly can’t stand even one minute of Stewart - he’s a condescending know-it-all.
..who is J.S. ? = smarmy twirp . .
Probably none, if you were expecting news or a real anchor.
Jon Stewart(His PHONY name) is an ASSHOLE. OOOOOOOPS...forgive me....Jon Stewart is an A**HOLE.
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.
I find him simultaneously boring and annoying. I can't watch the show for a minute, either.
What’s more insufferable than a former sportscaster pretending he’s Edward Murrow?
A former MTV clown pretending to be a serious newsman.