Sunday, March 22, 2009

Outrage at Jon Stewart's Outrage

I watched the various Daily Show segments where he blasted CNBC, including Kramer, about their cheerleading (and total lack of investigative reporting) leading up to the financial crisis.

I've read plenty on the subject, and heard also about Morning Joe (on MSNBC) criticising Stewart, but this post by McCardle really just annoyed me, and almost makes me not want to read anything she has to say, not that I generally agreed with her to begin with.

She blasts Stewart for making serious claims and then retreating into "I'm a comedian" if he "gets called on them." I call bullshit on McCardle. That's not what he does at all. He never has claimed to be anything but a comedian. They pretty obviously take quotes out of context at times just for a laugh. But what is truly sad is that often, they don't need to take quotes out of context to get a laugh. They just do the straight reporting and get the laugh - which is sad because the real MSM does not do this. Never. It was so infuriating, for instance, to see Dick Cheney lying his ass off on TV, and it just being shown without context and with no reporting or investigation to see if what he said was true. Hell, when he lied about things he said himself, when there was actual video of him saying it, the MSM still didn't point this out. It went to the Daily Show to do this.

Stewart's basic complaint is that he should not be the only one on TV actually doing that. He just does it for laughs, he's not really trying to be a reporter. He doesn't want to be a reporter, he wants to be a comedian. But he's also a citizen, and so when he sees this thing happening now again and again, this time with the financial reporting, and the people it hurts, he got mad. And so he expressed that in his interview with Kramer. Which is an example of yet another thing the MSM simply doesn't do - tough interviews, where actual, meaningful questions are asked. Real MSM people seem afraid to upset anyone in power or else they'd not get another interview or access or whatever, so they ask softballs or "hard" questions that are anything but.

And again, Stewart has said he really doesn't want to be the only person doing this. And it is sad that he pretty much is. Of course, the MSM doesn't like to have this pointed out, so it bites back, on Morning Joe, and elsewhere. I do wonder what McCardle's real beef is with Stewart. And something in the back of my mind says it simply demonstrates something about her own character or thought processes that makes me disgusted with her to the point where I'd not want to read her. That's not exactly a logical argument, but that was the feeling I had after reading it. Maybe it came in combination with some of the other things she's written. She seems to pretend to be a neutral observer, above it all, skeptical, and yet I can't help thinking she's drunk a bit of the supply-side cool aide or something with what she's written at times.

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