The problem is Stewart’s messianic streak

MoDo’s gal pal Alessandra Stanley weighs in on the Cramer-Stewart showdown:

Mr. Stewart has always had a messianic streak to his political satire, as when he ripped into Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala on “Crossfire” for “hurting America.” He is now focusing on business news cable networks like CNBC, which not only failed to foresee the credit crisis, but, in his view, sided with the bankers and helped inflate the bubble.

And while it’s never much fun to watch a comedian lose his sense of humor, in an economic crisis, it’s even sadder to see supposed financial clairvoyants acting like clowns.

My two cents on the Cramer thing is this: if we’re going to ever have a meaningful public discourse in this country — and I don’t think we probably will — it will be because of encounters like the Stewart-Cramer one. It’s sad to me that much of the “serious” media describes honest attempts at asking tough questions as something only someone with a Messiah complex would do.

DougJ +5.






134 replies
  1. 1
    jibeaux says:

    Are you +5 before 2 in the afternoon because Carolina appears to be in danger of losing to freakin’ VT?!?

  2. 2
    EdTheRed says:

    Alessandra Stanley probably thought that Colbert "bombed" at the National Press Club Correspondents Dinner.

  3. 3
    smiley says:

    @jibeaux: I believe he’s in London. England, that is.

  4. 4
    Jason Eckelman says:

    Jesus, that’s just un-fucking-believable. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. The problem with modern American journalists, it would seem, is that they wouldn’t know an actual piece of journalism if it bit them in their lazy asses. One of the very, very few times an interview is conducted on cable TV that is both substantive and timely, and this donkey tut-tuts the whole thing and ends by saying that Cramer "might win the war".

    What the fuck is wrong with these people? I can’t tell if it’s actual idiocy or willful deception. Maybe a little of both. Horse-whipping is too good for these assholes.

  5. 5
    jibeaux says:

    @smiley:

    Well, if Eastern Standard Time was good enough for Jesus, by God it’s good enough for us, I don’t care where you are.

  6. 6
    ThresherK says:

    My two cents: "Don’t do anything to rankle Stewart and Colbert" should be the motto of any PR firm worth their two cents.

    They know the first rule of satire: Pick on the deserving targets, rather than the weak and feeble.

  7. 7
    JDM says:

    Well, the Messiah was a pain inna ass, 2.

  8. 8
    jibeaux says:

    Also, NO ONE can afford to buy five drinks in London.

  9. 9
    MH says:

    It’s sad to me that much of the “serious” media describes honest attempts at asking tough questions as something only someone with a Messiah complex would do.

    Because they are the worthless C students who have coasted by their entire lives on wealth and looks. They ARE the cabinet from Idiocracy, alive, chattering, and in your living rooms.

  10. 10
    jbb says:

    My thoughts on this article. I think the rot is even deeper than Doug points to.

  11. 11
    TenguPhule says:

    Also, NO ONE can afford to buy survive five drinks in London.

    If you listen closely, you can hear the distant screams of Dougj’s liver.

  12. 12
    jenniebee says:

    No, Allessandra, it’s just that you’re now in Soviet America, where the Joke cracks you!

  13. 13
    Walker says:

    @MH:

    Because they are the worthless C students who have coasted by their entire lives on wealth and looks.

    Legacies only get C’s because of grade inflation. And because universities need their money.

  14. 14
    Anton Sirius says:

    I wish I could believe a fucking word that came out of Cramer’s mouth in that interview, when he indicated he really wanted reform and to be a crusader for Wall Street justice.

    Instead I think he probably went back into the green room and thought, "Heh heh, fooled ’em again, Jimmy boy!" Then rubbed his hands together in an evil fashion and twirled his moustache.

  15. 15
    DanF says:

    While you are over in London, tune into the BBC and watch a few interviews with the London pols. It’s been a while since I’ve seen one, but my memory is that their interviews are much more hard-hitting and substantive than, oh, say a Katie Couric or Chris Matthews interview. BBC world report certainly continues to do a fine job in this regard.

  16. 16
    camchuck says:

    Stanley correctly notes:

    there’s hardly any accountability on cable news: it’s a 24-hour star system where opinions — and showmanship — matter more than facts.

    and she is just fine with this. Leave the "reporting" to the professionals, Stewart, you selfish bastard!

  17. 17
    Laura W says:

    @jibeaux: I think the greater point is why is he still +5 when he was +5 a couple hours ago? Man Drink up, DougJ!

  18. 18

    […] DougJ hones in on a part of the article that I left out: the idea that Stewart’s interview is due to his […]

  19. 19
    valdivia says:

    She is such a hack. How does the NYT manage to have the worse journalists?

  20. 20
    MikeJ says:

    How long until people start saying things like, "While Jon Stewart always raises important issues, whenever he becomes involved, people start attacking him. Therefore, he shouldn’t talk about anything important because powerful people don’t like him."

    Very, very soon you’ll start hearing, "Shut up and sing" directed at Stewart.

  21. 21
    Violet says:

    She’s only saying "messianic streak" because Jon Stewart scares her. She knows he’s doing her job better than she – or any of the useless so-called journalists – are doing.

  22. 22
    r€nato says:

    the beginning of the end of television journalism can be traced directly back to the early 80s when network news became viewed as a profit center rather than a public service.

    The infiltration of ‘infotainment’ further degraded the profession.

    There really was a time, in my lifetime, where you had to actually have a solid journalism background in order to be a TV reporter and even anchors were expected to be journalists.

    So it’s really no surprise. Even the actual working TV journalists have been poisoned by this culture of news-must-generate-high-ratings mentality.

  23. 23
    Nim, ham hock of liberty says:

    It’s sad to me that much of the “serious” media describes honest attempts at asking tough questions as something only someone with a Messiah complex would do.

    It’s a little more nuanced than that. You have a Messiah complex if you ask tough questions of the powerful or wealthy. Questions that challenge the way things are.

    If you’re asking tough questions of some schlub – like, "Why should you be allowed to restructure your mortgage in bankruptcy court? Isn’t that just rewarding failure?" – then you’re not so messianic. You’re just asking tough questions.

  24. 24
    gussie says:

    @Jason Eckelman: I think the problem–well, one of the problems–is that pundits of this stripe hear honest passion about people and the future of the country as something aberrant.

    They’d just can’t make sense of someone who actually cares about anything other than a very limited set of acceptable concerns. It doesn’t compute. So they must look for other explanations.

  25. 25
    r€nato says:

    Mr. Stewart has always had a messianic streak to his political satire

    how DARE he speak truth to power! Who does he think he is? Why doesn’t he just sit back and count his riches and enjoy hob-nobbing with the power elites like the rest of us?

    …this ‘critique’ of Stewart is nothing more than that high school mentality where all the Kool Kids scoff at the nerds who actually spend their evenings studying rather than drinking beer and fucking cheerleaders.

  26. 26
    Tithonia says:

    She thinks Jon Stewart is messianic?

    Good Lord. Has she ever watched his show?

  27. 27
    John Cole says:

    Shorter Alessandra Stanley- “That party pooper John Stewart! Always so serious! Who does he think he is, God? We’re just funnin’!”

    It’s all just a game to these people. That is why Cramer was able to do what he has done for so long- to him it is just a game, even though he knows better. Everything is just a big game.

    Maybe I never paid attention before, maybe I never cared, maybe this time things are worse so even someone as silly as me notices, but I have never seen a time when our elites were so out of touch with the rest of the country. Alessandra Stanley and NY Times reporters are not in the same world of hurt the people I see every day are in, so she can joke around and see the funny side of Cramer’s act. No one she knows lost their asses on Cramer’s advice. No one on Wall Street or in the know took his advice. They knew what he and the rest of the CNBC hacks were up to.

    To Alessandra Stanley, another Harvard grad whose uncle was a trustee, it is all just a game. Meanwhile, where I live, I overhear kids in the hallway talking about “maybe not coming back in the fall because dad got laid off” or “having to take on more student loans because mom is only working half shifts and money is tight.” I see more and more people at the grocery store using food stamps, and I see more and more “handyman” flyers posted everywhere.

    To Alessandra’s gilded class, though, it is all a big game. And that is because for them, it is.

    And I see the same nonsense with our political talking heads- they keep saying one thing about Obama being in trouble, I keep seeing polling data with him at 60-70% approval. We’re just not functioning in the same reality, and it was that way during the election, too.

  28. 28
    Stooleo says:

    A lot about being a journalist is about access. Without access no story. So its in the best interest of the journalist to fluff their subject to maintain access. Therefore all journalist are full of shit, (with a few exceptions, Murray, Waas and Seymour Hersh).

    Howard Kurtz weighs in proving my point.

  29. 29
    jibeaux says:

    So, on topic since this game is giving me a heart attack, what does this little signoff mean?

    Mr. Stewart kept getting the last word, but Mr. Cramer may yet have the last laugh.

    Howzatnow?

  30. 30
    SpotWeld says:

    I need to start a running list of words editoralists use, but don’t seem to understand.

    "Socialism"
    "Fascism"
    "messianc"
    "criticism"
    "journalism"
    "grass-roots"
    "blog"
    "earmark"

  31. 31
    Incertus says:

    I picked up on the same thing in her piece, along with her cracks on how Stewart wasn’t funny and that Stewart was acting out cathartic indignation. Nothing quite like covering for your journalistic compadres, eh Stanley?

  32. 32
    Violet says:

    From Dan F:

    While you are over in London, tune into the BBC and watch a few interviews with the London pols. It’s been a while since I’ve seen one, but my memory is that their interviews are much more hard-hitting and substantive than, oh, say a Katie Couric or Chris Matthews interview. BBC world report certainly continues to do a fine job in this regard.

    Absolutely. "Question Time" is a great example. The first time I saw it my jaw dropped. I turned to my English hosts and said, "This wouldn’t be allowed in America." You know, actually questioning politicians – with real questions – and expecting answers.

    Watching it highlighted just how bad the state of journalism is here. I guess the drip-drip effect of it getting a little worse each year somehow blunted just how bad it had become.

  33. 33
    passerby says:

    The media have yet to catch up with the awakening public. Like gaffey politicians, they haven’t realized that people are on to their bullshit.

    More and more people are dropping cable and canceling newspaper and mag subscriptions. The ability of the internet to serve up any and all manner of info is fast making the media obsolete.

    Stewart’s ability to use a fool’s license to jab at those who are trying to maintain the old ways makes him a very powerful man. He can fall back on the cap-and-bells defense if push comes to shove.

    Bravo Jon Stewart.

    DougJ +5.

    Good on you Doug. Cheers.

  34. 34
    r€nato says:

    I see more and more people at the grocery store using food stamps

    last night I had the misfortune to be subjected to a bit of JD Hayworth’s radio show.

    He was reading a letter supposedly written to him by a member of his audience and it was full of the usual right-wing canards. Food stamp recipients buying expensive steaks, wantonly throwing away excess food which the food stamps paid for, and taking trips to the Bahamas.

    If you listened to this shit all the time you’d be angry too. Too many of the people who do this, never stop to think that maybe they are being lied to.

  35. 35
    John PM says:

    Slightly off-topic, but yesterday I was reading the Chicago Reader on the train ride home and they had an article on the death of newspapers. Most of the article was spent talking about blogs. Anyway, this paragraph caught my attention:

    Really, ask yourself: how many newspaper columnists have the ethical ferocity of Glenn Greenwald? The mordant wit of John Cole? The nerdy doggedness of Marcy Wheeler? The prose skills of Roy Edroso? The quantitative skills of Nate Silver? (Baseball Prospectus is a slept-on model of journalism you have to pay for.) Precious few. Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone is funny and passionate. Krugman’s analytical talents and enormous knowledge are backed by a fundamental decency. When This American Life decides to tackle a prominent news story, they often do an amazing job, and get a lot of deserved attention, e.g. their explanation of the financial crisis, “The Giant Pool of Money.”

    I do not know how to embed or link to the full story (damn kids, get off my internet), but here is the link: http://www.chicagoreader.com/f.....ournalism/

    Anyway, congratulations to John Cole (and fellows) for being recognzed by a liberal Chicago alternative weekly as one of the best bloggers out there. Now that you have been so recognized, you may commence with the gay sex.

  36. 36
    Zifnab says:

    @jibeaux:

    Howzatnow?

    People will continue to watch his show and take his advice. And Cramer will continue to float in his swimming pool of hedge fund money.

  37. 37
    Napoleon says:

    @ThresherK:

    My two cents: "Don’t do anything to rankle Stewart and Colbert"

    I would add Matt Tiabbi (sp?) to that list.

  38. 38
    Joshua Norton says:

    messianic streak

    I really, really, REALLY think those words do not mean what she thinks they mean.

    Once the "news" channels start doing something other than having two political hacks yell talking points at each other or feature some raving lunatic (I’m looking at you, BO Reilly) crying all sorts of crazy things without anybody calling them on it then, all we have is Jon Stewart.

  39. 39
    JD Rhoades says:

    Are you +5 before 2 in the afternoon because Carolina appears to be in danger of losing to freakin’ VT?!?

    Heh.

  40. 40
    DougJ says:

    @Nick

    Yeah, you’re right.

  41. 41
    Zifnab says:

    @Incertus:

    I picked up on the same thing in her piece, along with her cracks on how Stewart wasn’t funny and that Stewart was acting out cathartic indignation.

    You hear this a lot from the guy getting poked fun at.

    "Gee, John Stewart is a comedian but when he goes after Iraq War cheerleaders / mocks leaders of Congress I support / speaks ill of political icons / points out serious flaws in the bureaucratic system / stops making smart alec remarks and starts addressing people as adults, I don’t find him funny anymore. If John Stewart is not amusing me, he’s not doing his job. Why doesn’t the stupid monkey dance? What’s all this civics and economics he keeps throwing at me? I wish he’d go back to throwing poop, as I can no longer relate or even keep up."

  42. 42
    jibeaux says:

    @Zifnab:

    I guess so. I still like my model better, where you follow that "Dow 36,000" guy and do the opposite. He literally said the market was going to keep going lower right before it went up every day for the rest of this week. He’s like Bizarro Warren Buffett. I hope he keeps talking.

  43. 43
    trizzlor says:

    Anyone see the Corner response to Cramer v Stewart? It’s a microcosm of what we’ll be seeing from the Villagers in the next few days:

    – Stewart doesn’t make fun of Obama as much as I would like, but regular viewers would see that he does (this is almost a direct quote).
    – Stewart only picks on Republicans, oh yeah, Cramer’s an Obama voting Democrat and deserves all the blame he got.
    – Stewart was way too serious in the interview and needed to be more of a clown – and I thought he was arrogant because I can’t actually refute his points.
    – Stewart needs to be more serious and pick on the real people behind this, like Warren Buffet.

    Conclusion: "Maybe before Jon Stewart starts accusing anyone else of hurting America, he should tell it to the man in the mirror."

    The worst part is that they’re somehow turning this into a referendum on Obama’s policies, and Cramer is winning!?

  44. 44
    jibeaux says:

    @JD Rhoades:

    Thankfully, the overdog pulled it out.
    I guess that answered the question "Just how valuable is Ty Lawson, anyway?" though.

  45. 45
    r€nato says:

    @jibeaux:

    James Glassman. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that he served in the Bush administration.

  46. 46
    Comrade Dread says:

    With a few increasingly rare exceptions, modern journalism seems (from my personal view) to adhere to a "report whatever someone powerful says and assume he’s telling the truth" ethic.

    On occasion, you may get the reporter who seeks to balance their piece by presenting "both sides" again, without comment.

    You will rarely find a reporter who will pick up a damn phone and call people to see if the powerful people are full of shit and have the guts to say that on the air.

    The media are rather indignant at Stewart for pointing out their failings and the fact that they are all really more PR hacks than serious journalists.

  47. 47
    r€nato says:

    The worst part is that they’re somehow turning this into a referendum on Obama’s policies, and Cramer is winning!?

    It’s The Corner. They have as much credibility as a former Bush regime press secretary.

    …seriously, if you can watch that Stewart v. Cramer bout and come away thinking that Stewart was in the wrong, then you are part of the problem a fuckstain who should probably be on the list of People Who Will Be First Against The Wall When The Revolution Comes.

  48. 48
    Trinity says:

    I truly despise the MSM. I get all of my news now via various blogs, TPM, and Rachel Maddow. I just can’t take it. They so obviously hate us all and think us idiots.

  49. 49
    blahblahblah says:

    Yeah, Stewart is their Messiah. Time for assholes like him to follow John all the way to that promised land called: "Journalism".

  50. 50

    Me, FTW!

    @29 jibeaux – because it’s all meta to the Villagers – there’s no substance, only form (ratings, ‘narrative’, etc.), and most of the form is masturbatory hallucination.

  51. 51
    r€nato says:

    You will rarely find a reporter who will pick up a damn phone and call people to see if the powerful people are full of shit and have the guts to say that on the air.

    it’s been said before many times, but one of the more insidious aspects of journalism being turned into a profession, is that it creates a class of people who unconsciously constantly self-edit themselves because they are part of, or aspire to be part of, the same power and money elites class which they are covering.

    It’s the same instinct that keeps people in line in the workplace. There are many things you just *know* should not be done, without the boss having to tell you.

  52. 52
    TenguPhule says:

    Everything is just a big game.

    It’s all fun and games until the gilded class starts getting marched out in the street and mowed down en masse against an ally wall.

    Then its just fun.

  53. 53
    MikeJ says:

    Anyone see the Corner response to Cramer v Stewart?

    They left out how when Stewart took the studio audience to Cuba for health care it was a cheap stunt that lowered the discourse.

  54. 54
    David in NYC says:

    @Tithonia:

    No (obviously). Probably because most (if not all) of it goes right over her precious little head.

  55. 55
    rumpole says:

    Cramer did a world of good for himself yesterday. He came across as humbled, somewhat intelligent, and well-meaning. (Note: he may be a con man nonetheless). He had a thoughtful discussion and remained poised despite the fact that Stewart absolutely savaged him.

  56. 56
    David in NYC says:

    @Napoleon:

    And I think you can add David Letterman to that list (just ask John McCain or Bill O’Reilly).

  57. 57
    Joshua Norton says:

    "He had a thoughtful discussion and remained poised despite the fact that Stewart absolutely savaged him."

    Cramer’s "okays" and "fair enoughs" and "I’m tryings" were more like some slouchy married guy excusing himself to a rightfully angry wife.

    He’s just lucky that Stewart’s a model of reason and calm – and didn’t try to beat him to death his desk chair.

  58. 58
    amorphous says:

    Seriously, you’d all be amazed, I am typing this comment although I have thrown my hands over my head in exasperation. I’m quite the contortionist.

    @r€nato: Imagine if they had ever looked into the actual eligibility requirements for food stamps, and see what they actually can receive, why they’d find out it’s simply impossible! But that would be "facts," and "facts" suck. I would also contend that "facts" hate America. "Facts" are probably socialists, almost certainly Muslims, also.

    I looked into food stamps last year to see if we could get a little help when our daughter is born. We don’t even come close, and we feel like our income/assets make it kind of tight for us month to month. I told my wife that I checked, and she said that even if we qualified she wouldn’t allow us to accept because there are others who need it more, people who struggle day to day. She’s right.

  59. 59
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    My writing mentor occasionally teaches creative writing at USC. I asked her what it was like to teach writing to people who tended to come from families in the higher income group. She said it was tough; their idea of tragedy was when the mechanic had to keep their BMW for a whole three days.

  60. 60
    jibeaux says:

    I realize no one ever won Miss Congeniality Blog Commenter by complimenting the MSM, but one thing I do credit them for, and worry about, when people talk about newspapers going belly up is the quality of the local investigative journalism. (I really couldn’t care less about most TV news.) My local paper has some good folks, one was our neighbor before she was promoted to D.C., and for the most part they’re the only people actually going through the public records, and the public emails, and doing the digging necessary to learn important things. They have broken some important stories, particularly state government stories, and they have done it by putting experienced salaried journalists on the case for months at a time. They have been nearly single-handedly responsible for driving a lot of important changes in my state. And if the newspapers fail, I do not necessarily see the blogs picking up that slack — it is very expensive and time-consuming. There is a local independent that tries, but their track record as far as actually breaking stories goes is much less. So there’s my valentine to the MSM.

  61. 61
    Brachiator says:

    Mr. Stewart has always had a messianic streak to his political satire….

    Isn’t that the whole point of satire, that is, to have a sting?

    Seems to me that Alessandra Stanley is simply another jaded sophisticate who prefers her comedy to be "edgy" and empty. She wants to be entertained by Stewart and his cohorts, but she also demands that her she be able to dismiss Stewart.

    The problem here is that too many journalists have long given up on being informative or incisive. So, no one in the NYT Business Section had much to say about Cramer and his methods.

    And so it goes.

  62. 62
    amorphous says:

    I’m going to double post because I C1aL1$’d myself:

    Seriously, you’d all be amazed, I am typing this comment although I have thrown my hands over my head in exasperation. I’m quite the contortionist.

    @r€nato: Imagine if they had ever looked into the actual eligibility requirements for food stamps, and see what they actually can receive, why they’d find out it’s simply impossible! But that would be "facts," and "facts" suck. I would also contend that "facts" hate America. "Facts" are probably soci@l i$ts, almost certainly Muslims, also.

    I looked into food stamps last year to see if we could get a little help when our daughter is born. We don’t even come close, and we feel like our income/assets make it kind of tight for us month to month. I told my wife that I checked, and she said that even if we qualified she wouldn’t allow us to accept because there are others who need it more, people who struggle day to day. She’s right.

    Ah, fuck it, I broke Balloon Juice.

  63. 63
    Lesley says:

    If Obama was called a Messiah because he took himself, his job, and the problems seriously, then I guess Stewart could be called one.

  64. 64
    Rook says:

    All it is, is the age old problem of shooting the messenger. Because Stewart made so called "journalists" look bad, they character assassinate him, instead of listening to the message.

  65. 65
    TR says:

    it’s been said before many times, but one of the more insidious aspects of journalism being turned into a profession, is that it creates a class of people who unconsciously constantly self-edit themselves because they are part of, or aspire to be part of, the same power and money elites class which they are covering.

    Precisely. As soon as they started thinking of the powerful as their friends and not their subjects, the game was over.

  66. 66
    Josh Hueco says:

    @John PM:

    Great catch. I love the Reader, in particular Cecil Adams.

  67. 67
    The Populist says:

    When I turn on the Cramer/Stewart discussion, it’s interesting and enlightening to see. Then I flip over and see an asshat like Sean Hannity throwing redmeat to the dumbasses about socialism and elitism that he would know better than anyone.

    FYI – anybody read that Chuck Norris comment about running for president?:

    Quote here: http://www.star-telegram.com/8.....50723.html

  68. 68
    jbb says:

    Wow, this BusinessWeek blog entry is really sad in its total lack of perspective (and complete lack of understanding of Stewart’s arguments). But the comments are amazing! They really reveal the complete disconnect between the financial industry and the rest of us.

  69. 69
    bago says:

    @Incertus: What part of "My Mom is going to be eating cat food" requires cathartic indignation? Personally, I’m split between the "My Mom" part and the "eating cat food" part. Her?

  70. 70
    wolfetone says:

    @SpotWeld:

    I need to start a running list of words editoralists use, but don’t seem to understand.

    "Socialism"
    "Fascism"
    "messianc"
    "criticism"
    "journalism"
    "grass-roots"
    "blog"
    "earmark"

    FTW!!!

  71. 71
    Violet says:

    @jibeaux

    Yeah, you’re right that the MSM still does some good investigative journalism especially of local stories. Although these days I tend to get a lot of my news from blogs, I worry that blogs tend to be done in a more opinion format and discuss (and dissect and criticize) stories that the MSM have written.

    What isn’t in place yet is replacement for the investigative journalism that the MSM does – or should do. Individual blogs don’t have the money to do (or to hire others to do) it, for the most part. In the current structure, blogs still need the MSM to a certain extent. Without MSM reports, as bad as they may be, to comment on, where would most blogs be?

    I think an alternative can develop. Hopefully it’ll be much more accountable than what we’ve got now. But right now I don’t see the alternative in existence – the bloggy version of a stable of investigative reporters – doing the investigating breaking the stories. Maybe I’m just missing something?

  72. 72
    Hob says:

    @jibeaux: Last time I was in a pub in London, as soon as closing time was announced, everyone ordered between two and five drinks. Then they drank them all. Then they all got on public transportation with me.

  73. 73
    JL says:

    Have the GE execs sent out a memo telling employees of GE and it’s holding companies not to appear on TDS?
    Unfortunately, that would not surprise me.

  74. 74
    Llelldorin says:

    It’s incredibly depressing that Stewart has managed the ultimate parody of the entire news media simply by conducting an interview that wouldn’t have even seemed remarkable in the early 1980s. It’s like giving the proverbial frog thirty seconds in the original water temperature, before throwing him back into the cookpot.

  75. 75
    timb says:

    @DanF: Amen, Dan. Never been to England, but just listening to the BBC on my NPR stations proves your point. They are extremely and pointedly "politely adversarial". The do not suffer fools. And, then there’s our press

  76. 76
    Xanthippas says:

    Mr. Stewart has always had a messianic streak to his political satire, as when he ripped into Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala on “Crossfire” for “hurting America.”

    So that’s where we are now, eh? Rip a guy with deservedly tough questions, be applauded for it, and this is a demonstration of a "messianic streak." Maybe his success has more to do with the fact that the bar is set so fucking low.

  77. 77

    if we’re going to ever have a meaningful public discourse in this country

    I am not sure that such a thing is even desirable, at least not in the way that I take you to mean it. Of course, I am only making assumptions about that since we haven’t discussed what you mean, in detail. What would this discourse-friendly America look like? How would it work?
    Etc.

    But more importantly, as I used to say to my rightie religious brother when we were still talking, and when he was on his high horse about "morality" and "values" …. If you are really concerned about people living more moral lives with better values, then the place is to start is with your own life and your own values, and stop focussing on mine.

    So, let the great public discourse begin. Are we at the starting line? Does it start here at BJ? Or are we waiting for someone else to start it?

  78. 78
    MikeJ says:

    So that’s where we are now, eh? Rip a guy with deservedly tough questions, be applauded for it, and this is a demonstration of a "messianic streak."

    That other feller got called messianic because he was so uppity he ran for public office.

  79. 79
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    @bago:
    The wingers would reply that your mom is going to be eating cat food because she is lazy, irresponsible and just wants a government handout. The fundies would add that she’s a sinner as well.

  80. 80
    BDeevDad says:

    @John PM: Cool article and you can tell he reads the site as his top pick for a paper to do would be hire Larrison.

  81. 81
    Incertus says:

    @Xanthippas: And it’s clear that that’s what frustrates Stewart most of all. This isn’t supposed to be his gig–his gig is dick and fart jokes, not exposing the rancid nature of our economic system. But nobody else seems willing to do it, so he’s stepping in.

  82. 82
    Zifnab says:

    What would this discourse-friendly America look like? How would it work?

    Ideally, you’d have more educated people in positions of journalistic authority. Then you addressed issues as "factual" or "not factual" rather than left or right wing – which is to say, you actually discussed the factual merits rather than announcing "DON’T QUESTION THE GOVERNMENT!" or "How can you believe what he says when Michael Moore is clearly fat?" If you wanted to really go the extra mile, this discourse-friendly America would have a wider pool of talking heads than the same six out-of-work pundits who get dragged up on screen when they don’t have their own shows.

    If you are really concerned about people living more moral lives with better values, then the place is to start is with your own life and your own values, and stop focussing on mine.

    When I own my own network news broadcasting company, I will keep that in mind. As it stands, I think Cole and Co.’s done a damn good job administering the blog, and that’s all anyone can really ask of them.

  83. 83
    BDeevDad says:

    @JL: Considering Brian Williams is a frequent guest that would probably be tough.

  84. 84
    itsbenj says:

    more hilarious projection from some rich, useless media whore. surprise, surprise! really, it would be cute, how these people have no idea when they’re projecting, but they’re so wrong too that it makes it not at all cute.

    seriously, in comparing Jon Stewart, a diminutive Jew who’s nearly every other word is self-deprecatory, against "In Cramer We Trust" megalomania personified – and Stewart is the one with the ‘messiah complex’.

    well, this is the best they’ve got, folks. Stewart is uppity. doesn’t know his place. that’s all they’ve got. I hope he turns it on MoDo and some of our other incredibly shallow and ignorant journalists as well. let them feel his messianic wrath!

  85. 85
    r€nato says:

    Rip a guy with deservedly tough questions, be applauded for it, and this is a demonstration of a "messianic streak."

    On the other hand, if Katie Couric asks Sarah Palin which periodicals she reads, that’s a ‘gotcha’ question.

    What was that about the bar being set so low?

  86. 86
    MikeJ says:

    seriously, in comparing Jon Stewart, a diminutive Jew who’s nearly every other word is self-deprecatory, against "In Cramer We Trust" megalomania personified – and Stewart is the one with the ‘messiah complex’.

    To be fair, those short jews have a history of this:

    And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;

  87. 87
    anonevent says:

    @John Cole: My third grader has had to deal with the fact that some of his friends are having to leave school because their parents can no longer afford the house they are in. Mom or Dad gets laid off and now they’re having to move in with Grandma, in some other town. Since Christmas it’s happened about three times, and my middle child has the hardest time with change. In addition to the kids whose lives have sadly been uprooted, having his friends leave in this way has been hard on him.

  88. 88
    Xanthippas says:

    God help me…I tried to read that article on Dowd that DougJ links to and I couldn’t take it. I could only make it through a page and a half. I used to just think that Dowd was one of the worst journalists in the world. A mere page and a half and now I think she’s one of the worst people in the world.

    And also, everytime I read stuff like that it just reminds me that there’s an entire culture of celebrity journalism that most of us would never know about just reading these columns. It’s like…well, it’s like listening to Gen. Barry McCaffrey on NBC shill for war without knowing that he’s also getting paid by defense contractors. How can you judge anything these people write, without the context?

  89. 89
    Martin says:

    @Anton Sirius:

    I wish I could believe a fucking word that came out of Cramer’s mouth in that interview, when he indicated he really wanted reform and to be a crusader for Wall Street justice.

    Actually, I do believe him. The problem is that CNBC doesn’t want that. Neither does any other network – including PBS which is now dependent on Wall Street along with everyone else. But Cramer started out as a reporter and I think if he was given that show he’d probably do exactly that, but that show doesn’t exist and likely won’t exist.

    His interview confession suggests to me that he really does think the little guy is fucked. CNBCs audience isn’t the little guy though, and Cramer knows who pays the bills.

    I don’t think that gives him a pass by any means. The guy doesn’t need the money and he keeps doing his schtick, so if it really offended him he’d walk away, but I think he wishes the larger plot here was different.

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:

    As soon as they started thinking of the powerful as their friends and not their subjects, the game was over.

    Too bad they didn’t have Lester Bangs to explain things to them.

    (No, seriously, this was exactly what they needed to hear before they started their first newspaper/local TV job.)

  91. 91
    timb says:

    @r€nato: The other day was Doug’s birthday (according to Garrison Keilor’s voice on my radio) and I mourned the loss of Adams….HGG has NEVER been as funny or as insightful as it has been in the last year. I mean, seriously, could George W. Bush be Zaphod Beeblebrox, sansthird arm and inner sense of integrity?

  92. 92
    Tony J says:

    Regarding the BBC, and its ability, relative to American political coverage, to seem hard-hitting and confrontational.

    Bear in mind, it is only relative.

    Now, I genuinely – cannot – watch American news programs. There’s a physical and emotional reaction to its stratospheric level of BS on show that drives me to look away while frantically stabbing at the remote. It’s the same reaction I get when I come across showings of Highlander 2, that shit just isn’t what it says it is, and I can’t handle the pain.

    But bear in mind, Tony Blair served as Prime Minister over here from 1997 to 2007. If the BBC’s journalistic standards were really that much higher than in the US, don’t you think those dates should be different?

  93. 93
    Napoleon says:

    @Martin:

    His interview confession suggests to me that he really does think the little guy is fucked.

    I’ll repeat something I posted in an earlier thread this morning. I read in the last couple of days that Cramer was an actual communist while in college. I am not talking accused of or someone mischaracterized his beliefs, but an actual communist.

    I didn’t mention this in the earlier thread but when I read that there was a reference in the piece to him having an on campus office, or something like that, and that he has a picture of Lenin or Marx in it. Since this morning I noticed James Fallows talking about the Cramer/Stewart dust up, and in passing he mentions that Cramer edited the same student newspaper that Fallows did, but not at the same time. If memory serves, Fallows was the editor in chief of the Harvard Crimson.

  94. 94
    Graeme says:

    I have to think a lot of it is jealousy. I mean, this is the kind of thing journalists ostensibly went into journalism to do.

    Here’s Stewart getting all the attention for doing their job, after he has already lit into them on Crossfire for not doing their jobs.

    I do think this is going to be a big moment: hell, it’s all over the place. Everyone is talking about it. It’s got to be the biggest thing that’s happened to Comedy Central.

    Imagine if he keeps it up throughout the crisis? Imagine if one of a select few hard-hitting news shows is basically a satire show? What if it becomes a rite of passage that anyone who screws up royally in public has to come on The Daily Show and explain themselves?

    Could happen. Thus, the MSM is going to try to downplay Stewart as much as possible.

    It’s a new world, even though we’re the same petty creatures we always have been.

  95. 95
    jenniebee says:

    @John Cole:

    Maybe I never paid attention before, maybe I never cared, maybe this time things are worse so even someone as silly as me notices, but I have never seen a time when our elites were so out of touch with the rest of the country.

    Twenty years ago, they were more careful. Twenty years ago the Berlin Wall was still up and they feared revolution from the left. And twenty years ago, there wasn’t this big, hyper-visible group of arriviste talking heads who don’t know how to behave themselves. Lucianne Goldberg didn’t flap her mouth in a nationally available column, but dollars to pantloads there’s not much in her son’s head that mommy didn’t put there.

    Coulter knows enough to side with the hoi polloi when she bashes traitors to her own class as "elites;" McArdle, on the other hand, earnestly explains on the fucking world wide web that when rich people don’t do their own yardwork they are, in fact, doing the rest of society a favor because a strict division of labor is more "efficient." And I’m sure that if questioned she’d say that not only is the rich guy more efficient at choosing $1,000 wastebaskets, but Luis and Jorge are more efficient at mowing lawns – she is, if nothing else, an equal opportunity anti-egalitarian. But listen, Meghan, "you’re so much better at that chore than I am" doesn’t work when my husband tries to rationalize leaving all the housework to me, and it doesn’t work when you try it either.

  96. 96
    Maus says:

    Well, it WOULD take Jesus Christ descending from the heavens to fix what’s wrong with the newsmedia without totally destroying the current system.

  97. 97
    Graeme says:

    One more thing: CNBC is just financial porn. That’s all it is. Endless money moneyshots. Useless.

    That’s always been true.

    I can’t watch that stuff, and the only ‘serious’ news shows I can stand are FZ’s GPS and 60 Minutes.

    I watch 60 Minutes with my good eye open, however. Keep in mind that 60 Minutes already did a segment blowing the dude from B of A for not making Citi’s mistakes. Looks like they were a little early with that one.

  98. 98

    the same six out-of-work pundits

    What do pundits have to do with discourse? They are the guys selling the tips sheets at the racetrack, not the guys teaching you about the inner secrets of the Racing Form.

    You are never going to have discourse by starting with pundits.

    Discourse is about people talking and listening to each other. Pundits just talk, they don’t listen to anyone but other pundits and the pols with whom they schmooze and go to the ballgames.

  99. 99
    Napoleon says:

    @Napoleon:

    A PS to my original post. Here is what I was refering to:

    http://www.prospect.org/csnc/b.....er_pun_her

    By the way, I just looked at Cramer’s bio on Wiki. Actually he has taken a pretty interesting path to where he is today, including working at a Florida newspaper during the Bundy murders which he covered.

    A PS to my PS, it is interesting that it was a Lenin portrait he alledgedly had in his office since he keeps his beard and mustashe in the same style as Lenin.

  100. 100
    Maus says:

    So it’s really no surprise. Even the actual working TV journalists have been poisoned by this culture of news-must-generate-high-ratings mentality.

    So, in other words the entry of CNN didn’t so much shake up the networks as put the final nail in the coffin of journalism.

  101. 101
    Xanthippas says:

    Gah…I forgot I already didn’t like Stanley. I really shouldn’t have been surprised by her snarky tone, or the fact that she thinks that somehow Cramer wins in all this.

  102. 102
    Maus says:

    What do pundits have to do with discourse? They are the guys selling the tips sheets at the racetrack, not the guys teaching you about the inner secrets of the Racing Form.

    You are never going to have discourse by starting with pundits.

    Discourse is about people talking and listening to each other. Pundits just talk, they don’t listen to anyone but other pundits and the pols with whom they schmooze and go to the ballgames.

    Pundits are the agents of modern public discourse, they define public opinion, horrifying as that may be.

    Imagine if he keeps it up throughout the crisis? Imagine if one of a select few hard-hitting news shows is basically a satire show?

    Most every "hard-hitting news" show is a satire.

  103. 103
    crustaceanette says:

    And while it’s never much fun to watch a comedian lose his sense of humor,

    I beg to differ. I had a blast watching that interview. Guess what, it’s kinda fun when you have absolutely no voice and somebody in a position of power speaks for you, which is what Stewart did. Yes, my dear, speak for yourself. The only thing missing for me was a dancing Conga line.

  104. 104
    Zifnab says:

    @ThymeZoneThePlumber:

    Discourse is about people talking and listening to each other. Pundits just talk, they don’t listen to anyone but other pundits and the pols with whom they schmooze and go to the ballgames.

    At a certain point, you reach political irreconcilable differences. Guy A says we need universal health care, Guy B says we do not, and should instead stay with some form of private coverage. There can be a case made for both these views. But the medium of TV isn’t particularly useful for back-and-forth conversations, so the best you can do is put on multiple opposing views and have them debate amongst themselves.

    In that case, you’re never going to have the people listening to each other with an open mind. The guys you put on TV have to be confident. And they should be familiar enough with their opponents’ opinions that they won’t change their mind in the 30 minute TV spot (because if they were going to waver, they’d have done it already).

    So asking for true "discourse" on TV is pointless. But you can ask for an intelligent conversation, even if you know ahead of time no one in the conversation is going to be changing their minds. Because they’re not talking to each other. They’re talking to you.

    For clarity, I use "pundit" to mean anyone giving an opinion in public.

  105. 105
    dog's eye view says:

    someone probably said this better upstream, but

    didn’t somebody else recently ride a "messianic streak" all the way to the White House?

    OK, two presidents in immediate succession, but I am talking about the smart one.

  106. 106
    The Cat Who Would Be Tunch says:

    @DanF: I heartily concur. Tim Sebastian on HARDTalk was great to watch mostly because of the adversarial approach he took to interviewing all of his guests, regardless of their positions. Dunno too much about the new host who has since replaced Tim as the host of HARDTalk.

  107. 107
    AnneLaurie says:

    The problem with modern American journalists, it would seem, is that they wouldn’t know an actual piece of journalism if it bit them in their lazy asses.

    No, Renato’s right — Stanley *does* know what "an actual piece of journalism" looks like. She just loudly resents its existence, not to mention the fact that it’s being committed by one of her fellow mediadroids who, in her opinion, should stick to Authority-approved material like fart jokes and Obama’s birth certificate.

  108. 108
    JenJen says:

    I thought it odd that today, the Morning Zoo Crew on Scarborough’s show had nary a mention of Cramer on The Daily Show last night, after a full week of egging him on. How bizarre.

    Apparently, TVNewser has the scoop… the family of NBC networks is circling the wagons.

  109. 109

    I haven’t seen the interview yet, I’m too cheap to pay for cable so I have to wait and watch it on the TDS website, but it must have been awesome because McMegan McArdle is piling on too.

    On the other hand, the Jon Stewart video that touched this off was clearly misleading. I do watch these channels, not for the interview but for the tickers and the breaking financial news. And it was obvious from the clips that half of them were anchors and reporters simply quoting someone else–it’s the equivalent of dinging someone for using a racial epithet in the context of discussing racial epithets.

    Ultimately, I find Stewart disturbing because in some sense he’s doing exactly what Cramer is–making powerful statements, and then when he gets called on him, retreating into the claim that well, you can’t really expect him to act as if he were being taken seriously. Jim Cramer, whose stockpicking acumen seems slightly worse than your average monkey with a dartboard, frequently issues recommendations that people act on, then brushes off the failures with a shrug.

    Jon Stewart also shapes peoples’ decisions. Video is a medium with powerful claims to reality–people tend to think that if they saw it, it must be true. This makes it uniquely good at manipulating its audience with skillful editing. I’m very sympathetic to Stewart’s deep critique of financial shows, but I don’t think the way to go about it was to string together a bunch of very misleading clips. Nor to imply that Santelli, who has been vocally against all bailouts from the beginning, was merely frothing on the forclosure sic program because ordinary taxpayers were finally getting a taste of federal largesse. But Stewart carefully claims he’s just an entertainer, so he has no obligation to hew to journalistic standards on things like quoting out of context.

    Does anyone else think that McMegan is angling for a slot at the NYT by joining in on the journalistic pigpile on Stewart?

  110. 110
    passerby says:

    @crustaceanette:

    it’s kinda fun when you have absolutely no voice and somebody in a position of power speaks for you, which is what Stewart did.

    Yes! The most gratifying aspect of what Stewart did was to call out the whole emperor has no clothes aspect of the snake oil salesman and his ilk.

    I don’t play the market and often wonder how they can get away with the game in such a widespread manner.

    This was personal for Jon, evidently his mother lost big. Good for him he has the chutzpa and means to get it said.

    p.s.: Come to think of it, characterizing his performance as messiah-nistic may be rather accurate (haplessly so).

  111. 111
    MikeJ says:

    Jon Stewart is fat.

  112. 112
    Xanthippas says:

    Does anyone else think that McMegan is angling for a slot at the NYT by joining in on the journalistic pigpile on Stewart?

    You know every now and then I make the mistake of defending her (on this blog and elsewhere) but she seems to determined to make a fool out of me.

  113. 113
    Xanthippas says:

    You know every now and then I make the mistake of defending her (on this blog and elsewhere) but she seems to determined to make a fool out of me.

    And she does it again.

  114. 114
    JL says:

    Has MSNBC reported on the Stewart/Cramer match? It has been reported in a ton of papers and I saw a report on CNN.

  115. 115

    Xanthippas

    And she does it again.

    After reading that I want to fall to my knees and thank Jebus, or the FSM or whoever for the fact that my Randroid tendencies (I read Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead when I was all of 14 years old and had no ideological immune system) were nipped in the bud by being introduced to Hunter S. Thompson and the fact that my Dad called me on my Randroid bullshit as a teenager and told me to shut up and get a job.

  116. 116
    JL says:

    @Wile E. Quixote: If all the whackos go Galt, will that mean more jobs will be available for those who want to work? Of course, they are probably getting paid for producing little so my theory could be flawed.

  117. 117
    JenJen says:

    @JL:

    Has MSNBC reported on the Stewart/Cramer match? It has been reported in a ton of papers and I saw a report on CNN.

    No, they have not. I linked to it above… the entire NBC family of networks is circling the wagons, according to TVNewser:

    MSNBC Producers Asked Not To Highlight Cramer/Stewart

    No word on "Today" this morning either, and I’ve had MSNBC on in the background most of the day… not so much as a peep.

    Joe Scarborough tweeted that Cramer didn’t show up as expected on Morning Zoo this morning, which was news to the viewers, as it was never mentioned that Cramer was scheduled. The Zoo Crew spent most of the week egging Cramer on, and then today? It was as if all of that never happened.

  118. 118
    CMcC says:

    You quote: "Mr. Stewart has always had a messianic streak to his political satire, as when he ripped into Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala on “Crossfire” for “hurting America.”

    So. Anything above not "hurting America" is "messianic"? I guess the word "messianic" doesn’t mean as much as I thought it did.

  119. 119
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @amorphous, I hope you tried the food banks. Those of us not living hand to mouth (or with two incomes and zero kids) have been pulling all our silly subscriptions and donations to alma maters and sending a lot more money to the food bank. I know it’s hard to ask for help if you think others need it more, but at the non-gov charity level, increasing demand does let them go out and demand more in turn from their grant givers and donors.

  120. 120
    ksmiami says:

    Hmm – Seems the villagers are in DEEP denial that the system is broken as in humpty dumpty and will not be fixed so easily. For YEARS, they have rejected reality, rejected reporting on the great out migration of American jobs and now they are freaking out and don’t have a freaking clue that the ultimate health of America, and the ultimate health of our constutional Republic is a secure middle class…

    They have 2-3 months to figure it out otherwise I pick Sntelli to one of the first against the wall.

    BTW, as someone pretty connected to the finance world, please understand that most of the market is a ponzi scheme and most CEOs are really not worth the sums they are paid. Plus, it is like craps in Vegas. You aren’t going to outsmart the house, or the markets

  121. 121
    bwaage says:

    Wow, those mediabistro links have insane comment sections. Apparently there are people convinced that Stewart’s attack on Cramer was a hit put out by the White House in order to silence his criticism, and this makes Obama just like Hitler.

  122. 122
    Xanthippas says:

    After reading that I want to fall to my knees and thank Jebus, or the FSM or whoever for the fact that my Randroid tendencies (I read Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead when I was all of 14 years old and had no ideological immune system) were nipped in the bud by being introduced to Hunter S. Thompson and the fact that my Dad called me on my Randroid bullshit as a teenager and told me to shut up and get a job.

    Given Rand’s preaching of individuality, that high schoolers dabble in her books should come as no surprise. But after that, well:

    "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." – 1 Corinthians 13:11.

  123. 123
    Don says:

    I can’t think about the state of journalism in our country and not flash back to this article by David Simon of ‘The Wire.’ It covers a lot of ground, but the part that constantly gets to me is what he describes as the current media’s failure to cover the last W: WHY.

    I understand why (ha ha) it gets short shrift. It’s hard to cover the why in most things and keep clear of a value judgment. But it’s critical in some things or else you’re just parroting press releases.

    Case in point – a week or so ago I read some talk in the Washington Post about the state of journalism and what the impact would be of papers declining. The same day I got the regular Arlington County crime report in my email, a regular thing the Arlington cops out put and that you can sign up for. It had information on some crimes that happened in the area.

    Two days later I read about those same crimes in the WaPo local section, with no substantively added information. If that’s all my newspaper is, why do I need it? I understand that they need to fill some space, just as cable news needs to fill some time, because otherwise they won’t have the structure to put the ads into. But if you don’t add any value – like, say, the WHY – you’re just a reprinting service that sends me the same information, at cost, 48 hours later. And you stopped to kill a tree on your way to my house.

  124. 124
    bill says:

    The promos for Jim Cramer’s show is "In Cramer We Trust."

    Who is the one with the messonic delusions?

  125. 125
    DrDave says:

    When was the last episode of "Crossfire"?

    I sat there last night watching Stewart skewer Cramer wondering if Jon wasn’t throwing Cramer over the shark. Time will tell.

    And Stanley’s article is the work of a talentless hack, IMHO.

  126. 126

    This all makes sense, anybody knows that a real Messiah would first go after Crossfire, where the demon Frank Zappa once held court.

    Zappa’s clear argument is obviously the work of Satan.

    And then, having polished off Crossfire, the Messiah would go after Jim Cramer. I mean, if Cramer is not Satan, who the hell is?

    Yes, Stewart is Satan.

  127. 127
    JL says:

    @JenJen: Thanks. Somehow, I doubt that Keith and Rachel got that memo.

  128. 128

    @TheHatOnMyCat: Stewart is the Messiah. Sorry, my keyboard was seized by Satan.

  129. 129
    Anastasius says:

    I love HotAir’s conspiracy theory that Stewart only took Cramer down because he got sekrit marching orders from The One. Obama probably also sent a bottle of his messiah juice when he gave the instructions.

  130. 130
    gil mann says:

    "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." – 1 Corinthians 13:11.

    And now I’m kicking myself, thinking about all the money I could’ve made selling that shit on eBay.

  131. 131
    The Populist says:

    My third grader has had to deal with the fact that some of his friends are having to leave school because their parents can no longer afford the house they are in. Mom or Dad gets laid off and now they’re having to move in with Grandma, in some other town. Since Christmas it’s happened about three times, and my middle child has the hardest time with change. In addition to the kids whose lives have sadly been uprooted, having his friends leave in this way has been hard on him.

    And as much as I do feel for anybody losing a house, the right have forced me to ask one simple question:

    If the foreclosed voted the party line GOP stance all those years, thinking bankruptcy, foreclosure and bad things could NEVER happen to them – I can’t feel too sorry.

    Sorry but the far right are making my emotions more rigid.

  132. 132
    The Populist says:

    Hmm – Seems the villagers are in DEEP denial that the system is broken as in humpty dumpty and will not be fixed so easily. For YEARS, they have rejected reality, rejected reporting on the great out migration of American jobs and now they are freaking out and don’t have a freaking clue that the ultimate health of America, and the ultimate health of our constutional Republic is a secure middle class…

    Back in the day many people in the midwest states that are now solid red voted Democrat. They were rational people who allowed these asshats on the right to convince them to vote GOP while they rape the system. All this in the name of the lie that is pro-life.

  133. 133

    Wow, I’m watching the uncensored videos on TDS right now. Man, what a brutal takedown. The thing that gets me, and I know that everyone else has said this, is that Stewart, as a comedian asks harder questions than most journalists do. I mean why aren’t they showing this in J-schools around the country and saying "this is how you do an interview". I love it when Stewart says "I know you want to make finance entertaining, but it’s not a fucking game." and then "These guys at these companies were on Sherman’s march through their companies, financed by our 401ks. And all of the incentives at their companies were for short term profit and they burned the fucking house down with our money and walked away rich as hell".

  134. 134
    slightly_peeved says:

    But bear in mind, Tony Blair served as Prime Minister over here from 1997 to 2007. If the BBC’s journalistic standards were really that much higher than in the US, don’t you think those dates should be different?

    Nope.

    Look at the choices the British people had.

    If you were going to vote against Blair because of, say, the Iraq war, were you going to trust the Tories any more than Labour?

    If you were going to vote against Blair just because you considered him a prat, is Michael "Creature of the Night" Howard any more attractive at the ballot box?

    Let’s not even get into some of the people running the LibDem party in recent years.

    The Tories are looking better now because (a) Gordon Brown, (b) well, let’s say Gordon Brown again, and (c) because they hired a professional Tony Blair impersonator to run their party.

    I just like the British journalism tradition when an interviewee evades a question; repeat the damn question. Google ‘paxman interview’ (or follow my link in the original TDS thread) to see some examples.

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