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For me, one of the iconic moments of television in the last decade was Jon Stewart's appearance on CNN's Crossfire.  A link to it on Youtube is here:

Jon (and we're not actually on a first name basis) points out that Crossfire is not really a debate show.  He wished that it were.  There was a host from the (corporate) "left" and one from the (corporate) "right".  They brought on guests in pairs for "debates" which amounted to the host from one side asking the guest from the other to defend his or her talking point.  In the clip above, Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala both defended the show as holding their guests feet to the fire, as if the mere act of asking the question was sufficient.

There may indeed be two sides to every story, but that doesn't mean they are equally true.  There are facts that are undeniable which politicians routinely deny.  Holding their feet to the fire would be pointing out when their statements conflicted with verifiable facts, something the show never did.  Daily Show alum Stephen Colbert pointed out that reality has a liberal bias.  It should not be the province of the news media to adjust reality for balance.

After the Market Meltdown in 2008, Jon showed clip after clip of CNBC hosts talking up companies that tanked days afterwards.  Jim Cramer whined that he was being targeted in these segments (he wasn't).  Some moments of his visit to the principal's office can be seen here:

Not in the clip, but during the segment he asked Jon if he thought that media should be asking tough questions and exposing shenanigans in the market.  Jon's response, just like he did with CNN was, yes, if indeed that's what you did, but you're not.

Jon devoted several segments of his show to shaming  Congress for their failure to pass the Zadroga bill which funded health care for people who got sick responding to the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.  It finally became law.

His latest crusade is about the long time it takes for veterans to receive health benefits.  He showed a picture of an Iphone using its "level" app to demonstrate how the weight of all the paperwork is stressing the floor and commented, don't put the phone on the paperwork, put the paperwork on the phone.  In a follow up segment, he pointed out how the Obama campaign for re-election demonstrated the precise skills that are lacking in the VA' efforts to fix the problem.

The Daily Show's segments are available on-line.  If there is an issue that needs fixing, find the segment where he deals with it, e-mail it to your Congressmen and Senators.  Post it on Facebook.  Tweet the link.  If he hasn't gotten to your issue yet, e-mail his show.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Stewart doesn't so much (5+ / 0-)

    "Save America", as chronicle it.  It's great that he shines a light on these issues that are routinely not showcased, or dropped by our corporate media and our politicians.  In fact he does a better job of bringing us the news than the "news" does.  I applaud him all the way on that.  But Jon's "solutions" to these big issues often amount to " Yeah, don't do that."  We absolutely should not be looking to a comedian to be figuring out and telling us solutions to these problems.  I'm not criticizing Jon, I'm agreeing with him.  That time he went on crossfire and called them dicks was brilliant, but he was calling them out for NOT doing their jobs, he wasn't suggesting that he should be doing it instead.
    Jon Stewart may be the mark twain of our times.

  •  Hooray! for Jon Stewart! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  The comics are the only ones telling the truth. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kaliope, NancyWH

    Letterman is doing more "reporting" than the "press." His Stooge of the Night deserves mention, too.

    He shows a picture of a congressmen. Then the percentage of his state's citizenry who supports background checks. Go get'em, Dave!

    What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

    by Cpqemp on Wed May 22, 2013 at 08:21:25 PM PDT

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