Tag Archives: Jon Stewart

Daily Show gets it wrong, Birther issue is racist

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In covering the news last week that President Obama had the State of Hawaii release his “long form” birth certificate, Jon Stewart and the Daily Show took some shots at several talking heads on MSNBC saying the whole birther issue was racist. I love Jon and the show but this time his quest for equivalency led to a false conclusion.

The tag line for the video clip says it all:

Larry Wilmore claims that the birther controversy isn’t racist — it’s just an opportunity for Republicans to scare old people. (05:11)

The problem is that Stewart and Wilmore ignore the 800 lb gorilla in the room. The questions about Obama’s citizenship would have NEVER come up if he was a WHITE MAN named Steve.

If that isn’t pointing out the racism I don’t know what else would. The whole birther farce is as disgusting as the Willie Horton ad used in the 1988 elections or what Karl Rove did to John McCain in 2000 in South Carolina.

Daily Show: Wilmore – Longformers – Scared Old People

Couple of false assumptions about the “Rally to Restore Sanity”

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I spent Saturday afternoon watching the “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” and enjoyed it for the most part. But reading some of the tweets from the pundit class showed some of them missed the point. The only problem I had with it, is the idea that the political insanity comes from both sides equally. That’s a false equivalency.

People like David Corn and Talking Point Memo’s Brian Beutler seemed under the wrong impression that the rally was a GOTV rally and complained throughout that no one on stage mentioned voting. Mainstream media outlets also assumed it was a partisan political rally because they tripped over themselves to ban their employees from attending or participating in it.

Jon Stewart made clear that it was a comedy show to point out the problem of our current rancid political debate in the country not a GOTV show. It was definitely not partisan.

While I do agree that we need more civility, the rancid aggressiveness is one sided and the side that is most aggressive is the Tea Party/GOP side. They need to tone down thousands of percent more than those on the left side.

That is where Stewart is naive. There are two (or more) points of view but NOT all are equally valid. Most from the right are based on complete lies.

I agree we should work on toning down the rhetoric but progressives and others on the left side should NEVER drop our guard and hope and pray the right joins us in working together. That’s why the President and the Democrats are going to take a hit on election day.

How many times do we need to be beat up before people like Stewart get it?

Jon Stewart falls for “lone wolf” ruse

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On the Tuesday edition of the Daily Show, host Jon Stewart had a segment about the cable channels reaction to the shooting at the US Holocaust Museum. He attempted to ridicule MSNBC’s blaming the right and the pundits Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Rielly blaming the left for setting off the alleged shooter. Unfortunately, Stewart and his writers missed the point of those reports and bought into the mainstream reporting that the shooter was a “lone wolf” crazy person.

There have been several killings by people later linked to right wing extremism. I know their extreme views didn’t kill the people – the people who pulled the trigger did – but think what it is like to listen the recent increase in Doomsday talk by the stars of right wing talk shows like Limbaugh and O’Reilly.

Everyday your warped view of the world is validated by the people you listen to on the TV and radio and you get to the point where you HAVE to do something. So while people like Limbaugh and O’Reilly didn’t kill anyone – their rhetoric – which has been more shrill since Obama took office – creates the powder keg and match that sets off people like the museum shooter who are not very rational in the first place.

The whole time Bush Jr. was in office I can’t think of any domestic terrorist killings happening because he was in office or from people irrationally afraid of his policies.

Here is the clip of the Daily Show:

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Why Cramer vs Stewart matters?

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The recent spat between Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show, and Jim Cramer, host of Mad Money on CNBC has been entertaining. It started with a scathing 8 minute video clip of the incestuous relationship between the talking heads on CNBC and the CEOs and climaxed with a face to face discussion between Stewart and Cramer on The Daily Show Thursday night. But why should we care about two TV hosts bantering back and forth like enemies on the junior high play ground? It’s because it shows a light on the problems we have in our so called free press.

As I’ve written before, the classic idea of the press is to be advocate of the people who are suppose to be objective and ask our leaders the tough questions, we, the public either would like to ask ourselves or need an answer. When the press fails to do that, as all too often happens in the corporate media of today, their reporting becomes more like propaganda than journalism.

Jon Stewart and his Daily Show staff – which by the way is a comedy show – showed in their 8 minute clip that CNBC missed the recent financial melt down even as the red flags marched down Wall Street and instead they continued to have a parade of CEOs on claiming “don’t panic”. CNBC was so caught up in having the access to all these rich guys they failed to report about the storm clouds and problems that started in the housing market in 2007.

Financial news shows are not the place to be passing off press releases from CEOs as reporting. People who trusted the network got hurt if they didn’t take action before the market melt down. As Stewart told Cramer last night on his show “This is not a game…”

As James Moore wrote on Huffington Post:

Nonetheless, reporters at the big TV networks and the major publications have no excuse. Minute by minute people like Jim Cramer are feeding crap into our culture and public perceptions and it has nothing to do with reality and everything to do with their egos. How is it that a comedian is the first person to hold accountable these cheerleaders who are promoting a team that has no chance to win and, in some cases, isn’t even in the damned game?

Analysts doing the autopsy on newspaper reporting and the corpse of mainstream journalism are constantly lamenting the fact that so many young people and an increasing number of others are getting their news from Jon Stewart and Comedy Central. Where else is there left to look for thoughtful, analytical, and insightful analysis of the issues of our day? The yuks are just a bonus. Cable news shows can proclaim “no bias, no bull” all they want but every story is framed for a purpose, which is drama and conflict. The viewers and the readers aren’t there without the dramatic tension. You might as well be watching Law and Order: Special News Unit.

And a Comic Shall Lead Them

Yes, negative press can hurt a business but journalists have a responsibility to report the truth even if that means negative reports about a business or market. An uninformed public is a powerless public and they get hurt far worse than these CEOs who stole our money. As Stewart pointed out our 401k’s capitalized their adventures.

Here is part 3 of the Stewart vs Cramer interview on the Thursday Daily Show


Saw this bit in a column by Glenn Greenwald on Salon’s website and thought it makes the same point I was making but includes the entire press establishment:

That’s the heart of the (completely justifiable) attack on Cramer and CNBC by Stewart. They would continuously put scheming CEOs on their shows, conduct completely uncritical “interviews” and allow them to spout wholesale falsehoods. And now that they’re being called upon to explain why they did this, their excuse is: Well, we were lied to. What could we have done? And the obvious answer, which Stewart repeatedly expressed, is that people who claim to be “reporters” are obligated not only to provide a forum for powerful people to make claims, but also to then investigate those claims and then to inform the public if the claims are true. That’s about as basic as it gets.

Today, everyone — including media stars everywhere — is going to take Stewart’s side and all join in the easy mockery of Cramer and CNBC, as though what Stewart is saying is so self-evidently true and what Cramer/CNBC did is so self-evidently wrong. But there’s absolutely nothing about Cramer that is unique when it comes to our press corps. The behavior that Jon Stewart so expertly dissected last night is exactly what our press corps in general does — and, when compelled to do so, they say so and are proud of it.

There’s nothing unique about Jim Cramer