Friday, March 13, 2009

Jon Stewart's in the Obama Tank

Jon Stewart is a funny guy and he has a funny show. But his recent rage against the CNBC machine is beginning to confirm something I've suspected all along in his show...that while he's happy to lampoon politicians of any party, he's particularly happy to mess with Republicans. A couple of CNBC guys begin to talk about the transfer of wealth and the destruction of wealth underway thus far in the Obama Administration, and Stewart becomes an attack dog for the Administration.

What strikes me as particularly ironic in this is Stewart's criticism of Jim Cramer for putting entertainment ahead of journalism. Funny, I seem to run across a whole lot of people who seem to have formed their opinions about news events and politics from what they see Stewart spouting on his 30 minutes per night--and I don't see Stewart owning up to putting entertainment ahead of journalism.


Anonymous said...

This is not dissimilar to the thoughts you expressed about Tina Fey last fall. Jon Stewart, like Fey, has become incredibly powerful in the role of shaping public opinion. It's pretty pathetic, isn't it.
Isn't it revealing the way the comedians have pivoted not from the logical position from making fun of Bush to making fun of Obama, but from making fun of Bush to making fun of Obama's...foes.

..... said...

I think he does admit to it. In the first of the three segments, he says something to the effect of - we are both snake oil salesmen, but at least we admit it, while you portray yourself as selling vitamin tonic.

Anonymous said...

Ummm.... I hate to ruin a good conspiracy, but he's a comedian/satarist. He's not a jounalist. He's also been a pretty good media critic for, oh, years and years. Obama's name never came up in any of this, nor did any discussion of government policy.

Explain to me how JC or CNBC have been conservative or even anti-liberal. They've been cheerleaders for a lot of people who have been, at best, neglegent in the extreme. Why is anyone rushing to their defense?

Did you watch any of the bits or the interview?

Also, Stewart is only funny if you already watch the news-- it's one big inside joke. Watching without knowing what's going on already is... boring, really. n

Anonymous said...

Okay, this is the most inane post I've seen here. It's enough that -- out of respect for you -- I'm actually going to delete CW from my RSS feeds.

I know you personally, and I like you... which is why it's so painful to read something so shockingly unthoughtful.

JS is a comedian, not a journalist. (It's sad that he's actually the best journalist around now -- you know, actually asking difficult questions and calling lies "lies," never trusting authority, etc -- but that's not the point here.) What does matter: HE'S RIGHT. You immediately went to his motives. Who cares? HE'S RIGHT. CNBC has been a conduit for Big Business for years. They're taking suckers like you and me for a ride, "selling snake oil" and knowing that we're not savvy enough to catch onto it. In a rising market, all is well. When the tide goes out, though, as Buffett says, you see who's been swimming naked.

If you watched the show, you'd have seen that earlier this week JS did a rather funny bit on Hillary's gaffes in Russia and POTUS' absurdly embarrassing DVD gift to Gordon Brown. It's not an isolated incident; he goes after Obama Admin officials regularly. That doesn't fit your narrative, I know, but I thought I'd mention it.


What happened to your ranting and raving about personal responsibility? Did you watch the interview? Did you see Cramer, not more than three years ago, talking about how he broke the law (citing a specific stock, no less) and how "regulators aren't smart enough to catch onto it"? Did your stomach not turn a little when you saw Santelli raving about "losers" who lost their homes -- to a bunch of futures & derivatives traders, no less? (How all 4.5 million Americans who lost their jobs in the last year, a vast majority through no fault of their own, are losers is beyond me.) Did you throw anything at the TV when CNBC's talking heads peppered Roubini and Taleb for stock-picking advice? What about when Kudlow

HOW ARE YOU NOT INFURIATED AT ALL OF THIS?? You attack the messenger's motives -- the one guy who's actually holding people to what they said days, months, and years ago! It's not little soundbites taken out of context, either, or bad guesses at buying or selling a particular stock. (And it's not just Cramer, as JS makes clear in his interview. He was going after CNBC and their complicity in this mess; Cramer is the one that took personal umbrage and counter-attacked.)

CNBC is a business that covets access and seeks ratings. The end. Their time horizon is minutes. That's all fine, and understandable. But what about that is defendable as a journalistic or even policy standard? They guess about stocks & markets, but have no better record than a monkey with a dart board. They bring felons-to-be on the show and ask pointed questions like... "how does it feel to be a billionaire?" (That was a question of "Sir Allen" Stanford, circa 2008.) WHY DO THEY NEED TO BE DEFENDED?

CNBC didn't cause any of this, of course. But they didn't do anything to stop it... and, worse, they they provided cover and legitimacy to those who are most to blame for driving the world economy into a ditch.


I wish you the best with you blog. I look forward to our paths crossing again soon... where I'm happy that none of this will come up!

Anonymous said...

ugh. typo: sentence that started "what about when Kudlow" should have been taken out; I couldn't find the reference I was thinking of.

Really ruins a good rant, doesn't it?

Anyhow, best of luck in your echo chamber. Please venture back to the real world occasionally, though -- we miss you!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous sez - 'I hate to ruin a good conspiracy, but he's a comedian/satarist. He's not a jounalist' - you're missing the point. He may not be a journalist, but people are paying attention to him as though he were, and forming their opinions based on what he says.

Also 'Obama's name never came up in any of this.' Sure, but Cramer and others at CNBC have been guilty of bum info for a while - why was Stewart not offended by that until Cramer described Obama as a wealth-destroying president? Where was his anger two weeks ago? Like the rest of the media, if someone dares to question, or outright attacks, the Obama administration, someone's going to come out and blast the attacker.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Sorry to see you go, Anon--don't have that many folks following me on to the substance of your remarks, I'd be much more willing to accept the your argument if Stewart had been a critic of Cramer and the CNBC crowd all along. But alas, he found his voice--only after THEY went after Obama.

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