Saturday, 28 August 2010

Jewslim - Jon Stewart as the New Fourth Estate

If you are reading this by email please go to the post on TheGeopolitico.com to view the video clips. 

In 2008 the New York Times ran a piece asking the question, "Is Jon Stewart the Most Trusted Man in America?" In the article, like he did when he appeared on the O'Reilly Factor in a memorable episode, insisted that his role is to "entertain rather than inform." Yet, time and time again, Stewart has been able to distill the nefarious and idiosyncratic world of American politics and hammer home grains of truth. His coverage is of course colored by eccentric humor, but behind the curtain of laughs is often a message that the proverbial 'mainstream' media has missed or simply ignored.

It was in my college years when Jon Stewart broke into the political arena, particularly during what the Daily Show termed "InDecision 2000" when Gore and Bush were locked into a recount marathon to determine the Presidency. If there was one 'newscast' that all of us would turn on at night, it was Jon Stewart's The Daily Show. After 9/11 and during the Iraq War and through the rest of the Bush years, the show's coverage was in sharp contrast to the meek and too often weak coverage by major television stations in the US. It is no wonder that all presidential candidates (as did Obama and McCain) consider a stop on his program a must. When I met him in 2004 (he was our Class Day speaker at Princeton) I saw him as a comedian, political critic, and part-time journalist. Today, however, if I met him again, I would thank him for being much more then that. He is now - and it is no overstatement - the most incisive person on American television, and no one is even close.

The Daily Show's ongoing and biting coverage of the so-called Ground Zero Islamic Center (for more information see: Mosque Wars in America and Don't Build it and They Won't Come) has raised the program to another level. Stewart has held nothing back in not only defending the right of Muslims under the first amendment to build a place of religious worship, but also in dissecting the duplicity of critics. One prominent example is how Fox News has lambasted Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf for possibly having links with Al-Waleed bin Talal, a Saudi Prince who also has a huge financial and media empire; Stewart retorted that Fox News itself is in fact part owned by Prince Al-Waleed.

In a land of misguided populists and fleeting journalism, Stewart takes the patience to analyze the debate and expose the hypocrisies and contradictions of the political players. Moreover, Jon Stewart has been especially poignant in his coverage of the 'Ground Zero' Islamic Center. If the controversy is about the location of the Center, why is another mosque facing opposition in Murfreesboro, Tennessee? When Glenn Beck criticized the Imam for expressing critical views of American policy, Stewart showed a clip of Glenn Beck saying nearly the exactly same thing.

On this issue, Stewart is leading the story, and setting the bar for the Fourth Estate. In the American media, where falsehoods too frequently are presented as facts, Jon Stewart is keeping everyone honest, and we're all better for it.

(I've pasted below his clips starting with the latest on the 'mosque' issue). 

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Tennessee No Evil
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Parent Company Trap
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party


The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Extremist Makeover - Homeland Edition
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party


The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Extremist Makeover - Team Mohammed vs. Team Jesus
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party


The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Mosque-Erade
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party


The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Pork or Parents
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Municipal Land-Use Hearing Update
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Municipal Land-Use Update - Ground Zero Mosque
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Wish You Weren't Here
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

3 comments:

  1. Fantastic article!!

    Jon Stewart is (frankly) the only media I trust.

    ReplyDelete
  2. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rally-To-Restore-Sanity/158432927516102 Say Yes To Sanity Not Hannity. Suggest to all your friends!

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  3. Jon Stewart is a left-wing character assassin disguised as a satirist. Because he disguises himself as a comedian, Stewart can pretty much say whatever he wants without having to worry about any kind of accountability. This is extremely useful to the left-wing media’s darkly twisted and craven need to personally destroy Republican women, for example. What Stewart does is allow them to wash their hands of the dishonesty they’re about to unleash, and Stewart is careful never to bother presenting any other side of the argument.

    It’s all about 2012. This is all about how a dishonest left-wing media is gearing up to use the likes of SNL, Colbert, Stewart, Maher, and the rest to dehumanize opponents into punchlines and, most importantly, to keep the focus off of Obama and his failed record. It’s not an accident that after the State of the Union, MSNBC and the rest only wanted to talk about which camera Michele Bachmann looked into and launch willfully dishonest attacks on her speech about the Founding Fathers. Five days bent on destroying Bachmann means no one’s talking about Obama.

    In “1984,” Orwell appropriately called this political tactic “Two Minutes Hate”, the idea being to artificially stoke the rage of the populace against the opposition in order to take the focus off of those currently in power. Stewart, Colbert, Mediaite, MSNBC and the rest serve in that capacity. The fact that their targets are almost consistently attractive, independent-minded women is for students of Freud to figure out, but the game-plan is as obvious as it is perverse.

    Stewart plays for keeps and because of the power he holds and his willingness to wield it ruthlessly, our political class finds him as intimidating as any member of the Thought Police. What Stewart does is so devious and well thought out that you sometimes have to watch it a couple of times before the Matrix becomes visible.

    Noteworthy is how the so-called MSM too often takes what Stewart and Colbert do as some kind of gospel. Because Stewart is a “comedian,” the liberal media uses that as an excuse to blow up what he does on the air without bothering to fact-check, even when the stakes involve reputations. Sort of like Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin impression. With a smirk, and as though it didn’t matter, the left-wing media let Tina Fey do their dirty work on Palin with the endless looping of those SNL clips all in the name of “fun.” Well, it’s not fun, it’s an attempt to dehumanize someone into a national punchline and the media knew it. It’s about isolating and targeting a political opponent

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