Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Maddow/Stewart Interview

I'm part of young(ish), liberal America that is Jon Stewart's bread and butter; however, I'm becoming less and less enchanted with the man, the show, and The Daily Show brand in general. And I agree with the "real media's" criticisms leveled at his Rally To Restore Sanity: if you're going to rally, rally about something (Maher), and not pretend that the left and the right are equal in terms of its radical fringe (pretty much everyone on MSNBC). In an hour-long interview on Rachel Maddow  Thursday night Jon Stewart answered some of those claims, and this exchange in particular highlighted a big part of the problem I've been having with The Daily Show lately. While he insists on hiding behind a curtain of satire, Jon Stewart is, for all practical purposes, a pundit. He is, in his words, in the game. It's disingenuous to deny that.

Related Reading:
Rachel Maddow's must-see Jon Stewart interview (Salon)
So, Jon Stewart Was on the Rachel Maddow Show (Shakesville)
Radical Hot Off Notes (Champagne Candy)

1 comment:

  1. I think Jon conceded that the left and the right aren't equal in the level of hysterical language that they use. ("Fox news holds a special place in our hearts at the show" - is more or less what he said in the interview) Instead, I think he was pointing out that the left also uses language that polarizes people, even if they don't do it as much as the right. Besides, the entire point is that polarizing language is really damaging to society. We focus more on beating each other in a screaming match than proposing solutions to common problems that everyone can live with. Obviously partisan politics will continue to live on in America, but I think it's a fair assessment that the media and commentators do have an effect on the level of rancor.

    Do you remember when Jon went on crossfire a couple years back? I think his current stand is an extension of the principle he espoused back then. I think it's somewhat refreshing that, as a pundit, he's decided to come out and take a stand on that issue. I think people are criticizing him because they wish that he would take a stand on what matters to them, not him.