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Around 39 minutes into his interview with Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart has begun to utterly annoy me.

Another edit:

This diary is a perfect case of premature publication. I was previewing it and accidentally hit publish. After barely even getting my shoddy attempt at a quick transcript of an exchange. So I had to rush to even come remotely close to making a point once I saw someone had already commented!

Talk about a headache :(

So, basically, I was wanting to do a diary about the entire interview but after carelessly posting this before it was even remotely finished, I didn't even finish watching the interview!

Also- I hope I never volunteer to live blog haha

Oh, torture. Amazing how Jon Stewart couldn't even bear to acknowledge that because torture is so utterly disgusting, illegal, and immoral that the torture of fellow human beings requires outrage. Especially when the same technique, waterboarding, was a crime that we hung our enemies for. And besides, waterboarding makes it sound like it happened once. 183 times for KSM in one month? And where are those pictures/videos from Abu Ghraib that President Obama will not release. I doubt those contain anything worth being outraged over.

Secondly, his constant interruption of Rachel began to irk me and degrade my perception of him. He couldn't let her finish a point without deflecting or making up a scenario. Such as the wonderful gem that people who criticize the use of torture are doing so in the following way:

Jon: ...But If the place that you start from is he is an evil man who did that to lie to us so that he could take gratuitous pleasure in his own masculinity, like or whatever it is that does....

Rachel: but nobody is saying that, I'm not saying that

Jon: But that's an example of again pushing it to far. But thats what people do, they take things and they go into the next realm

Right Jon. Right. Most people aren't starting with torture is illegal, immoral, and creates more terrorists than it stops. No, they are characterizing GWB as an evil man, or whatever. Oh, and I guess your right, we should all just be passive about the whole war criminal thing. Because FDR put the Japanese into internment camps.

If he wants to dive into the rationale behind everything and deflect assignment of blame because of moral relativism, maybe he should consider the difference between our struggle against the Axis powers and the "GWOT." Nothing justifies putting American citizens into internment camps, but he is comparing apples to oranges. Compare our interment camps with the Soviets, Japanese, and Nazis. What was the greater crime? I'll go with the Holocaust, the execution of card carrying Communists/gays/Roma (and everyone else), the rape of Nanking, Korean Comfort women, the Gulags and Soviet POW camps.

Torture needs to be compared with torture. And by God, if we prosecuted Imperial Japanese soldiers and officers for waterboarding, we damn well better prosecute Americans for waterboaring. And it starts with those who authorized it.

/end rant.

Originally posted to Joshua Finch on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 10:20 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (32+ / 0-)

    To whom it may concern: I am an American citizen. Not an American consumer. I am a human being, not a variable in the capitalist system.

    by FinchJ on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 10:20:37 PM PST

  •  what in the hell are you talking about? (5+ / 0-)

    this diary makes no sense.  Are you seriously arging that Jon Stewart implies that torture is not wrong?

    Will vote for Pie.

    by DawnG on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 10:22:30 PM PST

  •  this diary is odd (17+ / 0-)

    but Jon Stewart made a complete ass out of himself last night. I am now ashamed that he dared to do what he did. He filibustered the interview and made excuses for Bush b/c Bush is not Pol Pot. Excuse me, Bush was worse. Facts. Not opinion.

    371/400- "this makes you extremely progressive" whatever that means.

    by cedar park on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 10:31:03 PM PST

  •  I stopped talking to a beautiful woman... (24+ / 0-)

    ...because she did not think waterboarding was torture.

    I have seen waterboarding, it is.

    I can't tolerate anyone who tolerates this, no matter who they are.; an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action -1.75 -7.23

    by Shockwave on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 10:44:48 PM PST

  •  This is the best part of that interview... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, psilocynic

    And then, when Rachel asked Jon about...

  •  Jon is a junior exec at Goldman Sachs (12+ / 0-)

    At Goldmans Sachs, to the junior executive level, money isn't money. It becomes abstract, something they can package, transform into financial instruments in creative ways until at some point, their financial conceptualization doesn't even make sense to bankers.
    So goes Jon. He's toyed with societal and political theories, the language, the competing ideologies, with such intensity that he's come to the point where he rejects intensity. Rejecting it, the higher plane he thinks he's arrived at is specious.

  •  Here's the video with the section on Bush (0+ / 0-)

    The part where they talk about Bush and waterboarding starts at about the 4:50 mark.

    "When it gets harder to love, love harder" -- Van Jones, NN10, 7/23/10

    by Cali Scribe on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 11:39:42 PM PST

  •  I thought the same thing (16+ / 0-)

    when Jon says "In my world, a war criminal is Pol Pot."

    Well, Jon, the rest of us live in the reality-based community, and in that community, waterboarding is torture, and torture is a war crime.

    It's totally obvious he's defending his own need to believe his own jive about how he doesn't take sides, and so he needs to argue that there is no urgent need to take sides.  He argues that the fight between left and right is not the real fight in this country.  It's between "extremists and regular people".  

    But it's hard to argue that there is no urgent need to take sides when the President is a war criminal.

    "Fighting for us, good. Winning, better. Talking about fighting? Not so good."--Atrios

    by andrewj54 on Fri Nov 12, 2010 at 11:50:21 PM PST

    •  and in his new mission, he has lost what he had (7+ / 0-)

      before-- where indeed he used to go for the comedic truth, come where it may, not trying to be fair to any sides, he now warps himself into his mission to be a sane voice in the middle full of false equivalencies becoming falsehoods. Someone needs to save him from himself, and no one on his staff will. Maybe we'll get lucky and Stephen Colbert will scorch him on that. Probably not.

      The Great Recession is a happy happy joy joy time to drop your obsolete skills and train for new ones.

      by doinaheckuvanutjob on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 01:45:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  its part of how his ego seems to function (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      since he came ill-prepared to his interview with John Yoo, he now thinks that Yoo won that debate because Yoo was 'right', not because he, Jon Stewart, was ill-prepared for the interview. So then, in the name of 'reason' and 'sanity', Stewart says to himself "well I guess Yoo is right, it wasn't torture." and now he thinks any other 'reasonable' and 'sane' person thinks the same.

      problem is, he was just ill-prepared then, and is very, very wrong now.

  •  I told you the rally was BS...I am so glad... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, Philoguy, eglantine, m00finsan

    I didn't go to that "Can't We All Get Along" waste of time.  

  •  Jon Stewart is an Idiot (5+ / 0-)

    Perhaps this a bit gratuitous, and I'm not looking to start an "I Hate Jon Stewart" party, blog, or anything else.

    But when will PEOPLE GROW UP?

    Never is it more true that the MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE than with an effing show THAT'S ON THE COMEDY CHANNEL.

    How thick do you have to be to get the joke?


    it is on YOU!

    There was never a crusade to restore "sanity," no one ever grabbed pitchforks for "reason", no one ever signed up for military service for "neither fish nor foul."

    It is ALL entertainment.

    Get it?

    Now, back to our regularly scheduled program.

    What separates us, divides us, and diminishes the human spirit.

    by equern on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 12:15:22 AM PST

  •  Jon Stewart jumped the shark (12+ / 0-)

    He developed an act when he was able to falsely position himself in the middle on Crossfire and get away with spanking "both sides."

    But he can't do that act any more, because people are no longer awed by seeing it done, and their attention drifts to what actually appears on the Stewart show.

    He's not equally cruel to both sides, because cruelty is much more easily applied to the politically inept which are most often the tea baggers and their friends.

    He can't deliver the very thing he's calling others out for. If he were to start, his show would be as boring as a public access broadcast of a school board meeting.

    If it were true, they couldn't say it on Fox News. -6.62 -5.90

    by PBCliberal on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 12:31:39 AM PST

    •  Exactly. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That's why his position doesn't hold water.

      He's basically proven it's flawed by the content  on his own show.

      And it's why I was fooled into believing that he was "one of us", because his show skews so far toward our POV due to that content.

      "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

      by jkay on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 08:13:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  He's right that Bush is not the same as Pol Pot (7+ / 0-)

    Pol Pot never actually lied to start a war.

  •  I still like Jon Stewart (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv, moira977, eglantine

    and watch his show, just as I have since I was 13.

    But I disagree strongly with the equivalency. He tried to nuance his argument so much in the interview so that no matter what he would be right. It was painfully transparent.

    Plus, I think Mr. Stewart used a strawman argument in the middle of the interview, that Rachel tried hitting on a couple times, but Jon wouldn't give her a word in edge wise: Nobody wants Jon to get out of the stands and put some skin in the game, all we ask is that his equivalencies between what the left and right does be more thoughtful and mindful of the scope of the right wing media machine.

    Its because we know Jon Stewart has been an observer of media for so long and he should know to more carefully word his equivalencies, especially in front of 200,000 people strong. It wasn't that Jon didn't put skin in the game, its that he misrepresented reality in front of so many people.

    Then again, Jon Stewart continues to do good work, despite his mistakes at the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. I can't completely hate him for being wrong. He has entertained me for years.

    You're watching Fox News. OH MY GOD--LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU

    by rexymeteorite on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 02:19:26 AM PST

    •  There are Positives and Negatives to Jon Stewart (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv, moira977

      Jon Stewart's show has been good for media in many ways. He looks at many things in politics more honestly than was the norm in media. His situation also points to the problem of mainstream media. There is an objectiveness to it and a balance criticizing equally the  left and right there is also a lack of personality and individuality in it.  The problem is there is still a failure to get to the truth this way. This model of objectivity combined with  truth and individuality is being used by some of the hosts at MSNBC and it is very important journalism. One wonders how far the MSNBC model will be allowed to go and will be actually allowed to influence main stream media.  

    •  I agree with you on (4+ / 0-)

      It wasn't that Jon didn't put skin in the game, its that he misrepresented reality in front of so many people.

      That really put me off. I don't think you are allowed to misrepresent reality to appear unbiased or to create a feeling of harmony. Then I watched the interview.

      And now I am even more put off.
      I used to like him. Now I still think he's a great comedian, but I don't like him any more.

      I agree with Stewart that "war criminal" is a conversation stopper. But, unfortunately, it is also true as far as I can tell. Is the press supposed not to tell the truth because it is rather disgusting?

      And having good intentions...Does that mean once you want to do something good, you are allowed to do anything? The end justifies the means?

      •  well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I disagree with him about 'conversation stoppers'. his argument that "using the term 'war criminal' stops the conversation" doesn't end a conversation any faster than telling someone they can't use a term you don't like because that will stop you from participating in the conversation.

        in other words, he's doing what he's accusing others of, only worse because he's doing it intentionally to shut down conversations, whereas someone saying "Bush tortured people" is probably not saying that just to end a conversation, but rather because it simply is what happened.

  •  Of course no one in the MSM can (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv, itsbenj, eglantine, Mathazar

    admit that torture is wrong, because we're still supporting it bigtime - for example currently in Uzbekistan:

    Today, Termez is again a staging ground. This time, it is the key node in the Northern Distribution Network, which the Pentagon has built to reduce NATO’s reliance on dangerous supply routes through Pakistan. The United States now ships about 35 percent of its Afghanistan matériel via Termez, and so far not one convoy has been attacked.

    But this new route has its own pitfalls: it brings the United States uncomfortably close to one of the planet’s most brutal dictators, Uzbekistan’s president, Islam Karimov, whose 21-year rule has been marked by massacres of civilian protesters, widespread torture, and the imprisonment of thousands of political prisoners.

    Termez’s dusty freight yards show little evidence of a U.S. presence, which is exactly Washington’s intention. The Pentagon is using, as much as possible, local freight companies to ship goods. This subcontracting dovetails neatly with what Uzbekistan wants. While some countries, like Georgia and Azerbaijan, see the distribution network as a way to strengthen their security ties, Uzbekistan has made clear that its primary interest is in making money, says Andrew Kuchins, a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. Uzbek officials "want to see much more happening on local procurement and us being more flexible on that," he says.

    "Business and state power are basically the same thing here," says one journalist based in the capital of Tashkent who is well connected within the government and also friendly with the country’s beleaguered opposition. He talked freely with me about various internal intrigues, but when I asked about who might be profiting from the freight business, he clammed up. "You have to ask the Americans," he said. "All I can tell you is, it’s impossible to do business clean here. And this transit is filling the budget of Uzbekistan."


    In other words we're financing this:

    Uzbekistan’s president, Islam Karimov, whose 21-year rule has been marked by massacres of civilian protesters, widespread torture, and the imprisonment of thousands of political prisoners.

    •  yeah, my brother lived in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy

      Uzbekistan for 2 years in the late 90s, and had many frightening and surreal stories about the decisions that Mr. Karimov tends to make. he is a horrible person we should be very hesitant to do any business with.

      •  Yeah, sounds like how Saddam was our (0+ / 0-)

        guy in the 80s, then had to be taken out a decade or two later . . .

        The way things are going (and not just with Saddam, Manuel Noriega is another example), Karimov will be a target of our MIC in a few years hence.

        From their POV, why don't dictators wise up and realize that dealing with Uncle Sam ain't all it's cracked up to be at first . . . .  ??????

  •  I have to admit..... (10+ / 0-)

    I may be done with Jon Stewart after this interview.  

    I realized that he said exactly what he meant at the rally, that he sees the left and right as the same.  To him, they are equivalent.  The only reason he has appeared to understand and support the left is because the right is so egregiously stupid as to give him more comedic material.  

    Very disappointed.  I thought more of him.  I didn't expect him to be a cheerleader, but when he steadfastly argued precisely for equivalency, then he has lost all of my respect.  Because the left went so far as to think George Bush was a 'bad man' instead of just issuing bad policy?  Seriously, Jon?  What then makes George W. Bush a 'good' man that the left should have acknowledged while killing tens of thousands of people in a useless war and being proud of torture?  How is that equivalent to the hate and lies hurled at our current President?  

    Done with Jon Stewart.  

    •  He seems to think the (5+ / 0-)

      whole problem in this country is tone and not a ferocious class war where one party and segment of the population is trying to divest the rest of their wealth and security through ideology, propoganda, stoking of racial hatreds, religion, and yes, war.  I guess it's easy for someone to think it's all the same and there aren't real stakes or conflicts when their rich and famous.

      •  It's easy to forget.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        where you come from when you start living a life like his.

        Things seem much simpler, the possibilites limitless.

        You get seduced by the idea that "hey, I did it, why can't everybody else make good"?

        That's the most important fallacy that drives the republican party. They believe that if everybody just "bootstraps", that they can be a success too.

        Not everybody has the skill set to be an entrepreneur, or a famous comedian, most people, unfortunately, need jobs.

        "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

        by jkay on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 09:15:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not even just a matter (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sylv, jkay

          of skill.  A hell of a lot of it is about sheer luck.  I know this as a fairly successful person in my area of expertise.  So much of it was just about encountering the right people at the right time.

          The thing that makes this interview so disgusting though is that Stewert seems to think tthese are just intellectual or philosophical differences and not fundamentally conflicting INTERESTS.

          •  I just read. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            your recent diary about "McFly". That was great stuff.

            We've been unable to find a "muscular" democrat who can pierce that authoritarian veil that keeps the right wing subjugated to their lies.

            Obama was able to skim off the "cream" but we need somebody as smart as him, who can think like him but also has an authentic, discernable toughness that some of the other side can identify with.

            If Obama had been that guy, we could have made some real progress in the last two years, we had them on the ropes and let them get away. He let those corporate shills in the senate poop around forever with healthcare and squandered almost all his political capital for an incredibly flawed bill.

            Anybody can point out why it's silly that people making under 50,000 should vote for republican. We keep doing it, and they keep ignoring us election after election.

            Why? I think they view us as wimpy, and that is not as simplistic as it sounds. Racism is a part of the reason, too, but somebody with that mindset is virtually unreachable, anyway. They're part of the hard 20% that you're never going to get.

            The trick is finding somebody on our side to make them believe it. I think that person is out there, somewhere.

            "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

            by jkay on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 10:47:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I am sad to say (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eglantine, evangeline135

    you are right, and Stewart is wrong!

  •  I didn't make it this far (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv, gleniris, evangeline135

    I was well too annoyed before this, so I didn't hear this part. I meant to watch the whole thing, but I thought, "What's the point?" and erased it fom my DVR.

    This was fallacious on many, many levels, and what's most offensive to me is, I've written emails to Jon about this. In one incident I recall, he mischaracterized KO in the same way. He was showing clips of FOX News pundits being hyperbolic and then showed a very short clip of KO, edited just so Jon could make it fit the running joke (ahem, one of those examples of "false equivalency" that people get so uppity about). But I had seen that clip just the night before or so, and I knew it was not at all what Jon was saying it was. Beyond the false equivalency, Jon basically claimed KO had said things he flat out did not, and appeared to be taking advantage (or falling for) the way some critics of KO portray him as someone who gets as hysterical and hyberbolic.

    God, I really wish I could remember the segment. It was something shortly after the 2008 elections, if I recall correctly, around when Jon started to try to make it seem like he wasn't favoring the left.

    Even though I know Jon's done this is the past, I'm very astonished he did this to Rachel's face, clearly thinking he could get away with it. Either he didn't bother to do his homework, and thus would have known Rachel has a PhD in poli-sci and is well above that level of discourse, or he is cynical enough to simply not respect that about her right out of the box.

    I think I'll have write TDS another email, and perhaps, take an indefnite break from watching it as well. Derpessing as i've been a TDS viewer since the Kilborn days. I can't support garbage like this. Nothing offends me more than people who so arrogantly contradict reality to promote themselves.

    (-8.50, -7.64) Virtue cannot separate itself from reality without becoming a principle of evil. - Albert Camus

    by croyal on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 07:16:58 AM PST

  •  "After 12 years, I've earned the right" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv, Brooke In Seattle

    He said something like that towards the end.  I was getting more and more disgusted through the interview at his obfuscation and his smugness, searching for his thesis - to no avail - when he said he'd "earned the right" to have the rally and make his p.o.v. heard.  I want to ask -- WHAT Point of View?  Your supposed 'Non-Point-of-View?'.  he feels he's "earned the right'  oh it made me want to barf.  what a douche.   l love the Daily Show, but i really think a shark may have been jumped, ridden and exploded by oxygen tanks here.  too too sad.

  •  I believe that maybe Jon was taken prisoner (0+ / 0-)

    in the class war. Apparently money really does change people.

    Debaggers Unite! Jon Stewart seems to believe that calling Obama a muslim terrorist is equal to calling Bush a bad President.

    by reddbierd on Sat Nov 13, 2010 at 07:59:40 AM PST

  •  Ego consumes reason. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I thought Jon was using a lot of BS trying to sound "above it all."  It's not about reason, or truth, or humor or sanity. It's about Jon.  To me he seemed very defensive and threatened by the increased popularity of MSNBC.  

  •  only foreigners are war criminals (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    at least according to jon stewart... George Bush doesn't "feel" like a war criminal.. that term he reserves for the likes of Pol Pot and Nazis.  Classic bullshit American exceptionalism.  

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