Monday, February 16, 2015

How Jon Stewart [ne Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz] Turned Lies Into Comedy and Brainwashed a Generation

February 15, 2015 - The New York Post [lightly edited by FT for emphasis and syntax] 

So Brian Williams goes out (for six months) humiliated and derided. Jon Stewart [ne Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz] goes out (permanently, one hopes) the same day, but on a giant Comedy Homecoming King float, with a 21-gun salute from the media, his path strewn with roses and teardrops.


Brian Williams lied about his personal exploits a few times. Jon Stewart [has been] unabashedly and habitually dishonest [during his entire career].

Though Stewart has often claimed he does a “fake news show,” “The Daily Show” isn’t that. It’s a real news show punctuated with puns, jokes, asides and the occasional moment of staged sanctimony.

It contains real, unstaged sound bites about the days’ events and interviews about important policy matters.

Stewart [as a journalist is both irresponsible and unprofessional].

He is especially beloved by others in the journo game. (For every 100 viewers, he generated about 10 fawning profiles in the slicks, all of them saying the same thing: The jester tells the truth!).

Any standard liberal publication was as likely to contain an unflattering thought about Stewart as L’Osservatore Romano is to run a hit piece on the pope.

The hacks have a special love for Stewart because he’s their [alter ego]. They don’t just think he’s funny, they thrill to his every sarcastic quip. They wish they could get away with being so one-sided, snarky and dismissive.

They wish they could skip over all the boring phone calls and the due diligence and the [pretense at] fairness and just blurt out to their ideological enemies in Stewart style, “What the f–k is wrong with you?”

Most other journalists aren’t allowed to swear or to slam powerful figures (lest they be denied chances to interview them in future). Their editors make them tone down their opinions and cloak them behind weasel words like “critics say.” Journalists have to dress up in neutrality drag every day, and it’s a bore.

Yet Stewart uses his funnyman status as a license to dispense with even the most minimal journalistic standards. Get both sides of the story?

Hey, I’m just a comedian, man. Try to be responsible about what the real issues are? Dude, that’s too heavy, we just want to set up the next d- -k joke.

Stewart is often derided by the right as having minimal impact and low ratings. That’s not true. He and Stephen Colbert ruled the late-night ratings among 18-to 34-year-olds for most of the last five years, though Jimmy Fallon has lately surpassed both.

About 522,000 Americans in that age range watch “The Daily Show” on an average night, but that means many millions of occasional viewers, with millions more watching clips online.

To a key audience, he was a strong influence. Longtime Cooper Union history professor Fred Siegel says his students constantly came to him repeating Stewart’s talking points.

College students, of course, are both little acquainted with realities of adult existence and walled off from conservative views, so they’re the perfect audience for Stewart’s shtick, which depends on assumptions that are as unquestioned as they are false.

This week’s “Daily Show” segment in which Stewart defended Williams was distilled, Everclear-strength Stewart. It was as amazing as watching Barbra Streisand run through a medley of her greatest hits in only seven minutes: In this little chunk of error, cliche, preening and deception Stewart managed to pack an example of just about everything that is unbearable about his style. It bears close study. 

Stewart made some mild jokes at the anchordude’s expense, interrupted with insufferable Jerry Lewis-style mugging, baby talk, high-pitched silly voices and the inevitable reference to whether Williams was “high” (authority figures getting high: always comedy gold to the campus audience).

Stewart slipped in a line of blatant editorializing: “Being caught is punishment enough, no?” Really? Why? If so, argue it, don’t just point the sheep in the direction you want.

Williams is a news anchor. A guy whose three main skills are being good-looking, an ability to read the English language out loud and seeming credible. To put his case in Stewart-ese: “If you want to be considered a trustworthy source of facts, maybe try NOT LYING!!!”

Declaring that media coverage of Williams’ lies was “overkill,” Stewart then built a wedding cake of bullcrap, layer after layer of untruth.

His first move was to change the subject. He used a variant of the rhetorical fallacy known as the “tu quoque” argument, or calling out alleged hypocrisy. Taken to its endpoint, tu quoque (“you, too”) reasoning means no one would ever slam anyone for anything because, hey, we’re all imperfect.

Tu quoque-ism is a generally meaningless gotcha game that can, of course, be turned right around on Stewart: Hey, Jon, you really think you’re the guy to call foul on nuking media personalities who have made misstatements?

In high dudgeon, as though the thought weren’t already a cliche we’d all seen many times on Twitter and Facebook, Stewart declared sarcastically, “Finally, someone is being held to account for misleading America about the Iraq War.”

Then came the inevitable gotcha sound bites: News figures discussing intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s WMD program. Why such a bizarre tangent into an unrelated matter? Because in Stewart’s mind, and those of his viewers, everything has to be the fault of an evil Republican, preferably George W. Bush.

Near the end of the segment, Stewart declares, with the prototypical combination of blustering self-righteousness and sarcasm that crystallizes his appeal to the college mentality, wonders whether the news shows will now start examining the “media malfeasance that led our country into the most catastrophic foreign policy decision in decades.”

Then (using comic bathos) Stewart cuts to more newscasters making apparently trivial points about Williams’ lying. Stewart’s logic is this: The media can’t report negatively on anything anymore, because they dropped the ball on Iraq.

Stewart doesn’t actually believe that: It’s just a cheap gambit meant to get his buddy Williams off the hook by minimizing his serial lying. If Stewart were a public defender, he’d be even funnier than he is as a comic.

What judge or jury could fail to burst out laughing if a defense attorney said, “I have no rebuttal of any of the charges against my client, but lots of other people not in this courtroom are guilty of stuff, too!”

I look forward to the next time a Republican assistant municipal treasurer in Dirt Falls, Idaho, says something awkward about race and Stewart says “I forgive this guy given that the actual vice president of the United States once said of Barack Obama, ‘I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.’”

Let’s look at the media reports on Iraq that Stewart is arguing make Williams’ untruths pale in comparison. Problem: Those reports were not lies. Journalists trying to figure out whether the war was justified called up credible experts with experience in the field and passed along what they said. As a more honest version of Stewart might say, “Dude. That’s not malfeasance. That’s Re. Por. Ting.”

Stewart added that “it’s like the Bush administration hired Temple Grandin to build a machine that kills the truth.” Even the audience of devotees seemed to find this simile baffling.

The idea that “Bush lied” is itself a lazy, ill-informed and false statement.

As Judge Laurence Silberman, co-chairman of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, wrote in The Wall Street Journal last week, essentially no one in the Washington intelligence community doubted the major report that Iraq had an active WMD program in 2002.

The National Intelligence Estimate delivered to the Senate and President Bush said there was a 90 percent certainty of WMDs. Democrat George Tenet, the Clinton CIA director who continued to serve under Bush, said the case for WMDs was a “slam dunk.”

John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid and Joe Biden all looked at the intelligence and voted to authorize force. Sen. Jay Rockefeller argued strongly for the war. Then, years later, when it wasn’t going so well, he published a highly politicized report ripping Bush.

There is a serious case to be made against the Iraq War, but it’s a lot more complicated than the playground taunt, “Bush lied about WMDs.” (“Hey, I’m a comic, you expect me to do serious? Please welcome our next guest, Henry Kissinger!”)

Yet another lie on top of that is the absurd implication that the news media were too soft on Bush. The only way you could possibly consider the media to be too conservative would be if you were an extremist well to their left, which Stewart [most certainly] is.

During the Iraq War buildup, even as overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress authorized the use of force, 59 percent of the sound bites aired by the evening newscasts were antiwar, 29 percent pro-war.

To take another of innumerable examples, in 2006 Bush had about the same approval ratings that Obama suffered in 2014. The network news both commissioned far more polls when Bush stood to suffer, and reported on the Bush results far more.

Again, this isn’t close: The score was 52 to 2, as in 52 mentions of low Bush approval ratings versus two mentions of (even lower, at times) Obama approval ratings.

In every Gallup poll this century, more Americans called the media “too liberal” than “too conservative.” The numbers were 45 to 15 in 2003, the year of the Iraq invasion. In 2008, as Obama was being elected, it was 47 to 13. Last fall it was 44 to 19.

Thanks to polemicists and clowns, the myth that “Bush lied” has caught on, and now a majority of Americans believe it. Stewart-ism won the day.

Liberal comics make things up, liberal journalists chortle and praise and internalize the lies.

Before you know it, if you point out that Bill O’Reilly’s audience is just as well informed as NPR’s (as a Pew poll found), or that Sarah Palin never said, “I can see Russia from my house” (that was “Saturday Night Live”), you’re just a buzzkill.

Brian Williams has become a joke for telling lies, but Jon Stewart is a liar for the way he told jokes.


  1. I contend that Mr. Stewart has been nothing but honest, presenting the news as viewed through the filter of the 'fantasy' of progressive ideology.

    What does it mean, more precisely, to say that ideological fantasy structures reality itself? Let us explain by starting from the fundamental Lacanian thesis that in the opposition between dream and reality, fantasy is on the side of reality: it is, as Lacan once said, the support that gives consistency to what we call 'reality'.


    Herein lies the difference from Marxism: in the predominant Marxist perspective the ideological gaze is a partial gaze overlooking the totality of social relations, whereas in the Lacanian perspective ideology rather designates a totality set on effacing the traces of its own impossibility. This difference corresponds to the one which distinguishes the Freudian from the Marxian notion of fetishism: in Marxism a fetish conceals the positive network of social relations, whereas in Freud - Slavoj Zizek, "The Sublime Object of Ideology"

    In other words, the "lies" (confabulation) represents the gap-filling from his desires that constitute his ideology.

    1. Thersites,
      How close is confabulation to pathological lying?

    2. It is pathological... it's inter-hemispheric gap-filling.

    3. It creates the "consistency" of the "whole" that structures their "reality"... and includes their "desires" as to how things "should be".

    4. ...the contextual "frame" in which the "painting" is drawn.

    5. ...which locates, assigns import to, and "arranges" the "facts" presented in Stewart's "news" stories for the viewer... and allows him to see the "invisible man".

  2. Yes, Jon Stewart brainwashed a generation. More than a generation!

    I have former homeschool students who relied on Jon Stewart (and Michael Moore) for the news. And their parents said, "Fine by me." Go figure!

    1. This in a HOME SCHOOL environment, AOW?

      Then it's all much worse than I had thought.

      Once again, I'll happily quote that great sage Oscar Wilde out of context:

      "Whatever is popular, is wrong."

    2. Does that go for Faux Snooze, FT?
      Now if Stewart and O'Really are both "wrong" does that mean
      we "triangulate"?

    3. Not if the problem is quadratic...

    4. If you want to now the ruth, Ducky, it all depends on which set of prejudices, lies, distortions and "confabulations" you WANT to believe.

      I do take it ALL with a grain of salt, but when it comes to leftist talking points, an entire CASE LOT of Morton's iodized best would not be enough to make it palatable to me.

      You see, I got MY ideas from long OBSERVATION. I saw what was happening for MYSELF. Nothing ideological was drummed into my dear little ear from the cradle, or spoon fed into my tiny mouth as I sat in my high chair, as i was with you Red Diaper babies.

      When I went to school, we were sill being EDUCATED. Marxian indoctrination of the sort you were obviously steeped in became noticeably established not long after I graduated from college, although the elite Ivy League was already well into it before I entered junior high school.

      The curse of Marxian-Fabian-Communist-Socialist-Progressive-Liberal-Statist tyranny, Alas! has been with us for well over a hundred years.

  3. Oooops. left out a piece of that last quote:

    "whereas in Freud a fetish conceals the lack ("castration") around which the symbolic network is articulated"

  4. Sad, really: combination of blustering self-righteousness and sarcasm that crystallizes his appeal to the college mentality.

    1. Jon Stewart, Michael Moore, Stephen Colbert and all their wretched ilk PERSONIFY everything that is WRONG with Popular culture. Influences of their sort -- a vivid extension of what Marxist Professors have been "teaching" for decades -- have perverted millions of young minds and turned our thought processes and the very nature of political-philosophical-religious discourse into a TRAVESTY.

      "Don't you love farce?
      I do, I fear,
      Losing my timing this late
      In my career.

      So send in the clowns.
      Quick! Send in the clowns.
      Don't bother they're here ..."

    2. It's the "smug" absence of any self-doubts that makes them so dangerous, IMO.

    3. They don't acknowledge the "lack" (gaps) around which their narrative is constructed.

    4. We feel compelled to add: That is true of ANY fanatical, agenda-driven attitude, whether it be from the Left, the Right, the Clergy, the Laity, or the the community of arrogant, conceited intellectuals who have a great knack for obscuring simple, self-evident truths in a welter of elaborate, quasi-erudite, often bombastic rhetoric designed to leave their hearers with the impression that THEY, the elite intellectuals, possess superior moral and intellectual capacities to any who have not been initiated into their august fraternity.

    5. I need to repeat that last statement for emphasis. It's an important admission:

      We feel compelled to add: That is true of ANY fanatical, agenda-driven attitude, whether it be from the Left, the Right, the Clergy, the Laity, or the the community of arrogant, conceited intellectuals who have a great knack for obscuring simple, self-evident truths in a welter of elaborate, quasi-erudite, often bombastic rhetoric designed to leave their hearers with the impression that THEY, the elite intellectuals, possess superior moral and intellectual capacities to any who have not been initiated into their august fraternity.

  5. The "blustering" is what makes Marxism so much more dangerous than Freudianism. Freud knew his "ideology" was a lie. Marx, like Stewart, thought he "knew" the "truth".

    1. ____ CAPSULE HISTORY ____

      Plato and Socrates, also Hippocrates
      Really gave Civilization a boost,
      Then, the cruel Romans,
      The Church, and the Germans
      Marx, Freud and Split Atoms
      It's prospects reduced!

      ~ FreeThinke - (c. 1972)

    2. Stewart conflated with Marx?

      You make it impossible to do anything but laugh, Farmer.

  6. SO, Thersites, here is my simplistic view of most of what you have quoted, which I admit I have only scanned:

    A prevarication is not a prevarication if the prevaricator is SINCERE in believing his self-deluded fantasy, wishful thinking, or agenda-driven polemic serves the BEST INTERESTS of the WHOLE of society.

    OR - "A lie is not lie if it promotes a "Higher Truth."

    In other words using out-and-out LIES to get rid of a self-perceived "evil" and promote ideas you sincerely believe will achieve good results is AOK.

    A bottom it always comes down to this with the convicted ideologue, doesn't it?


  7. It's his "moral duty" as his "brother's keeper"... :P

    ...only he doesn't know he's lying... filling in certain "small gaps" with his own "distorted" world view.

  8. ...aka -Spreading the "narrative" that lends "consistency" to the distortions.

  9. I don't see Jon Stewart as something "evil". We all have a world view. Only some lack the humility of trying to forcefully impose it upon others.

    1. I do, because I think he has known all along EXACTLY what he's been doing, and has been promoting garbage as truth, because A) it makes MONEY, B) it elevates him in the Public Mind to quasi-god-like status. Remember A FACE in the CROWD? Now there is a fairly accurate portrait of Jon Stewart -- or what he REPRESENTS rather -- that came along before ugly Jon was even born.

      The enemedia's limitless potential for EVIL has been noted for many decades before it became self-evident to all but the Great Gray Brotherhood.

    2. Then we need to change the "culture" which "elevates" and makes a Jon Stewart, or a Lonesome Rhodes, possible.

    3. That, of course, is Egg-ZACK-Lee what I've been driving at and trying to inculcate and support my entire career as a journalist (I edited a newspaper and two periodicals, remember) and as a blogger and longtime contributor to other blogs and interactive websites.

  10. The "reply" function appears to be paralyzed -- hopefully a temporary condition -- so I'll have to resort to answering diffuse points made above in this awkward, unsatisfactory format.

    To the extent that one's mind has been seduced and conscripted by the most regrettable aspects of "modernity" and the "pop culture" it has spawned, one will be blinded to the absolute EVIL in the innately corrupt, depraved, aggressively insolent, coarse, viciously iconoclastic nature of a despicable demagogic figure like Jon Stewart.

    1. Then please apply similar epithets to Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and all of Talk Radio, and the Editorial AND OpEd pages of all MSM outlets.

    2. In other words, its not "evil". It's "human".

      And in our market-driven commodity saturated fever pitched economy....


    3. A "symptom" of a deeper, underlying "social" problem... ;)

    4. That's an excellent point, Thersites. I was wondering when someone from the LEFT was going to make it, and held my fire till they did, but you beat everyone to it. ;-)

      Of course, I LIKE Rush, because in the recent past he has been successful poked holes in a corrupt, depraved Establishment while brilliantly articulating a point of view that had been successfully SUPPRESSED for DECADES by the enemedia, but latterly -- as all media "heroes" usually do -- he has lapsed into predictable, formulaic, cliché ridden rhetoric that verges too often on self-parody. Such degeneration is inevitable, I fear, it seems to come with the territory.

      I dislike Glenn Beck's STYLE intensely, because his persistent, strident clownishness defeats his ostensible purpose, but at the same time he brought to light a great many FACTS that had been deliberately, systematically obscured and swept under the rug by the avowedly left-oriented, Oligarch-controlled ENEMEDIA since before FDR took office.

      I don't see Rush and Glenn as "evil," but Jon Stewart is DECIDEDLY that. Apparently you don't see he level of cynicism in what he does that appears obvious to me.

      The most TRULY "evil" aspect of the whole scene has been the militant ONE-SIDEDNESS and fervent belief in ONE-WAY RUDENESS and vicious INTOLERANCE that has characterized the the Liberal Establishment since it BECAME the Establisnment.

    5. As Sigmund Freud has was purported to have said, "We are our desires".

      And the "reason" you see them as "evil" instead of merely "bad" or "human" as I do is because they possess the Establishment social power and capital not readily available to those currently on the Right.

    6. As George Orwell lamented, the "death" of laissez-faire classical liberalism... as replaced with "missionary progressive liberalism".

    7. By throwing 'pure art' overboard they have freed themselves
      from the fear of being laughed at and vastly enlarged their scope.
      The prophetic side of Marxism, for example, is new material for poetry
      and has great possibilities.

      We are nothing
      We have fallen
      Into the dark and shall be destroyed.
      Think though, that in this darkness
      We hold the secret hub of an idea
      Whose living sunlit wheel revolves in future years outside.

      (Spender, TRIAL OF A JUDGE)

      George Orwell, "Inside the Whale"

    8. What you quote and appear to espouse makes some sense, of course, Thersites, but I have spent my entire life waging an internal battle to encourage Christian faith in myself, a process that naturally involves daily mental exercise in curbing any tendency to accept these militantly cynical views. I have read enough Freud to realize what a devilishly clever, potently destructive little fiend he really was.

      Many years ago when I first wrote

      Plato and Socrates
      Also Hippocrates
      Really gave Civilization a boost
      Then the cruel Romans,
      The Church and the Germans
      Marx, Freud and Split Atoms
      Its prospects reduced.

      I wasn't just trying to be clever. I meant it.

    9. One man's devil is another man's saint. He saved me, that's for certain. And I didn't read his books in attempt to be clever. I read them for "salvation" from insanity.

    10. Well, even if I can't see i for dust, I'm glad you got something you needed out of it, Thersites.

      It reminds me of a favorite anecdote reportedly told about the great violinist Jascha Heifetz, who was noted for giving superlative performances of the Bach CHACONNE -- a lengthy, powerful, fiendishly difficult set of variations for unaccompanied violin.

      "To those predisposed to love the music," he is said to have said, " listening to the Chaconne is like being transported directly to Heaven. To those not so predisposed it probably seems like having a root canal without anesthesia."

  11. Both Rush and Beck, in their earliest beginnings, offered fresh new intellectually stimulating viewpoints. Long gone are those days for both of them.

    As for Stewart, occasionally there was truth to be found in his comedy.

    1. Truth is constant, Gandolf, but after a while restating it gets to be a bore. In general people want to hear anything BUT the truth, because it so rarely flatters them. That, of course, is why myths generated by the enemedia quickly take flight and become "popular."

  12. Gotta love those grandkids …I was eating breakfast with my 10-year-old granddaughter and I asked her, "What day is tomorrow?"Without skipping a beat she said, "It's Presidents Day!" She's smart, so I asked her "What does Presidents Day mean?" I was waiting for something about Obama, Bush, or Clinton, etc.She replied, "Presidents Day is when the President steps out of the White House, and if he sees his shadow, we have another year of Bullshit." You know, it hurts when hot coffee spurts out of your nose.

    Sometimes the answer is right in front of you and yet you don’t see it.

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  14. Now why would Jon Stuart ditch the moniker "Leibowitz"?

    Is he trying to hide something?

    Pretending he's not promoting the agenda of "the Chosen"—Apple of God's eye?

    1. Impossible to hide, Waylon. It's written all over him in big RED letters. Besides it's become very chic to be a member of The Chosen these days all the propaganda from Europe notwithstanding. What they used to make every effort to hide or a least soften, they now flaunt.

    2. Sounds like all a good goy can do anymore is just accept his lot as cannon fodder for The Chosen and pay through the nose.

    3. Doing everything possible to engender and exacerbate such conditions as "White Guilt" and then exploit the results to the hilt by playing to the innate Cultural-Christian Conscience which still guides most Caucasians of Christian heritage internally, even if they profess to be atheists or agnostics, has proven enormously profitable. Emotional Blackmail may be ignoble, but its disingenuous, destructive power has proved itself immense -- a powerful tool in gaining ascendancy for a small, highly vocal minority to jockey themselves into positions of dominance.

      When you are not burdened by qualm or conscience, but only driven to promote self-interest by any means fair or foul -- and regard this as a VIRTUE in your own community -- the advantages you gain may be astonishing, BUT you cannot escape forever the BACKLASH bound to result from your crafty, manipulative, unprincipled machinations, hence the persistence through millennia of regrettable campaigns of persecution.

      I mean how many times can you tell a person he's a dirty, no good son-of-a-bitch before he finally starts ACTING like one?

  15. Brian Williams I'd have been prepared to cut him some slack for a misstatement. Bot after seeing him "misstate" on so many topics on so many occasions I think there's a more serious problem lurking beneath the surface here.

    Came across this little parody He's Been Everywhere that nails it well.

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  17. Stewart is popular because he's funny, he tells it like it is, and he's right. Oh, and anyone who thought we had to go to war with Iraq is a liar or a moron. Most of the world knew it. But the right wing doesn't have a clue about anything. Ever. That's why they're not funny. Without any truth to them, jokes just aren't funny.


    1. That is strictly a matter of opinion, Jersey. Jon Stewart to me is about as funny as having one of the kids bringing big gobs of dog dirt in on his shoes and trekking it all over the living room carpet just before guests are due to arrive for a party.

      My opinion of Jon stewart is that he is a loud, boorish, deeply cynical, desperately unattractive vulgarian who appeals to the basest instincts of childish, ill-informed, intellectually lazy individuals easily addicted to his foul brand of GroupThink who prefer to mock, scorn, ridicule, deride indulge in name calling, and nose thumbing to any kind of meaningful constructive endeavor.

      And your assertions about conservatives are just that -- ASSERTIONS. You offer no evidence whatsoever to back them up.

    2. Evidence? How many popular conservative comedians can you name?

      Conservatives just lack a sense of humor.


    3. So all those European nations who backed us in Iraq... Were they liars or morons? France? German? UK?

      There are some very funny comedians of the past who were not flaming liberals. Nowadays, comedy is more about snark and nasty bashing of people and things the hooting slobberers hate.

      Also, most conservatives dedicate themselves to more useful pursuits, like extracting oil and minerals out of the ground, building things, and performing maintenance on our infrastructure so you can lounge in comfort on your fat ass and bash them at every turn, you pampered latte leftist lummox.

    4. The multinational companies who also supported the war thank you for your support, Silver. You are a true sheep among sheep.


    5. SF,
      Nowadays, comedy is more about snark and nasty bashing of people and things the hooting slobberers hate.

      Well said!

    6. Ever since the arrival of Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Shelley Berman, Don Rickles, et al. "COMEDY" has been transformed into TRAVESTY.

    7. I think the case for Blair lying is stronger than the case for Bush lying.

      In the UK there is a shortage of right leaning comedians, to the point that the few conservative humorists working the circuit benefit from a kind of positive discrimination from promoters and radio / TV commissioners trying to put on balanced bills -- a situation which I'm sure they detest.
      On the other hand there's a good mix of comedic voices out there, snark is available but so is whimsy and all sorts of other stuff.
      I'm not an artist, but I do think it's valuable. Kings have always had jesters, and we still need people to say the unsayable and flag up the absurd and the hypocrite. Like a canary in a mine, they can be an early warning system. Can the rise of national socialism be considered a failure of satire?

    8. Jersey:

      You dodged the question, Jughead.

      I didn't say the invasion was a good idea. I'm on record as saying the opposite, but you called France, Germany and UK liars or morons, so I was looking for some clarification from you on that. They all sent contingents, you know.

      As for your "multinational companies" boogeyman, they also support the "Green Energy" scam and squishy one-world feel-good globalism and they enjoy the support of tens of millions of progressive softheads like you, so enjoy the sheering.

    9. This thread was supposed to be about the obnoxious Jon Stewart and the deleterious influence he and his ilk have had on society. You gentlemen (AHEM!) seem to have gotten awfully far afield.

      too bad blogger doesn't permit direct responses to each of the responses! Thoughts get all tangled up and hopelessly confused when we don't stick to the topic. ALSO, it would help a great deal if each of us made it clear precisely WHOM we were addressing.

      I'm talking to Jersey, SilverFiddle and Jez right now.

    10. Jez,

      I don't think ANY of our elected leaders was "lying," I think, instead, they were ALL misinformed. I can't be bothered digging it up now, but there has been ENDLESS documentation that the ENTIRE WORLD COMMUNITY thought it knew for certain that Saddam Hussein was in full possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction. EVERY Intelligence source we relied on at the time affirmed that. Even OUR dirtiest DEMOCRATS believed it and virtually ALL of them voted FOR the attack on Iraq designed to depose Saddam Hussein.

      What galls Conservatives like me is the blatant HYPOCRISY of the Left on this matter today. Their selective memory, their bald-faced denials of DOCUMENTED facts, their fierce, unabashed determination to favor self-serving LIES over anything faintly resembling the Truth is frankly despicable.

      If we must blame "Someone" or "Something" responsible for the tragic blunders and disastrous consequences of Western Intervention in the Middle East, we must go back a great deal farther than the leadership of EITHER of the Bushes. Your own country with its support of Zionism and certainly the pursuit of oil had a great deal to do with laying the groundwork for our present misery. I'm not trying to deny the the US piled on. We did more than our fair share of meddling, that's for sure.

      But for the present day mess in IRAQ I would blame the ineptitude and possible wickedness of our Intelligence-Gathering organizations -- ours AND yours, and not our generally deficient leadership. I have long held a deep distrust of both the CIA and our State Department -- particularly the latter whose motives never seem clear. Those mysterious entities never seem to be solidly on "my" side or have any particular interest in protecting "me"-- or any of the hundreds of millions like me.

    11. FT,
      there has been ENDLESS documentation that the ENTIRE WORLD COMMUNITY thought it knew for certain that Saddam Hussein was in full possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

      That's right. I remember it well!

      Is all the casting of blame about the West's invasion of Iraq for the present situation dealing with the present situation?

      It seems to me that there are two positions right now regarding how the West should react to ISIS: (1) ISIS poses an existential threat to the West or (2) ISIS does not pose an existential threat to the West.

      We live in the Digital Age. Therefore, both born Muslim and those not born Muslim and living in the West are joining ISIS and the like -- if not physically, then ideologically. If those who have sided with Islamic terrorist ideologically get the call, then a jihad attack of some sort (current terminology = "lone wolf," which is somewhat inaccurate in the Digital Age) is perpetrated.

    12. FT,
      This thread was supposed to be about the obnoxious Jon Stewart and the deleterious influence he and his ilk have had on society. You gentlemen (AHEM!) seem to have gotten awfully far afield.

      Yes, it has -- in a way.

      But I think that the matters being discussed are related to the topic in the body of the blog post. Know what I mean?

    13. The problem today is not recognizing that the justifications for invading Iraq—by those that knew better—have been shown to be fabrications. To accept today for one to remain to remain consistent politically, what has proven to be a false assertion, is a recipe for disaster and can't lead to better results in the future.

      Personally I supported this idea of replacing Saddam Hussein because I accepted as true what was asserted by those that "knew better". However today I hold those who pushed this idea forward back then in as low esteem as any political liar seeing to advance some particular agenda.

      Ergo IMO, Bush equals Obama.

    14. The place where Blair may have lied is in the dossiers he presented to parliament as he sought their permission to deploy troops, which arguably exaggerated the evidence behind the belief that Saddam had WMD. We're still (can you believe it?) waiting for the outcome of an inquiry into that question!

      I object to Blair's disrespect towards parliament which, it seems to me, he treated as a mob to be persuaded and manipulated by whatever means necessary rather than elected colleagues with their own mandate whose judgement he should respect.and trust.

    15. @ FreeThinke: "This thread was supposed to be about the obnoxious Jon Stewart and the deleterious influence he and his ilk have had on society. You gentlemen (AHEM!) seem to have gotten awfully far afield."


      As usual, the obnoxious and noxious Jersey Girl McJackass hijacks the thread and make it about the obnoxious and noxious Jersey Girl Mc Jackass...

    16. Oh NO, Jack. The fault lies the people who rise to the bait and insist on trying to REASON with unreasonable people who hijack the thread. Unless and until we in the blogging community understand that, conversation will continue to get duller, stupider and more acrimonious.

      It happened first crack out of the barrel on the next thread. Canardo (Ducky) made one of his usual barbed insults and RIGHT AWAY a whole bunch of people I normally like and respect simply FOLLOWED HIS LEAD and destroyed the thread before it began.

      If I eradicate the entire string of irrelevant remarks, worthless insults and restatements of the obvious, my friends will think I'm insulting them.

      In exactly this way do the leftist predators take control and bend us to their will. It's disgusting.

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  19. The multinational companies who also supported the war thank you for your support, Silver. You are a true sheep among sheep.


    1. Jersey:

      And you're not, Jughead?

      Your "multinational companies" boogeymen also support pet leftwing causes like the "Green Energy" scam and squishy one-world feel-good globalism, so enjoy the sheering, you baaing boob.

    2. If you consider yourself one of my friends, please stop adding fuel to the fires lit by antagonists. This could easily be accomplished if we stopped responding in kind to their taunts, insults, and irrational statements.

      In other words STOP TAKING LEFTIST BAIT

    3. Then, seriously, FreeThinke, you should delete Jersey's posts that personally insult someone.

      I won't shut up and take it when someone calls me a name, especially when it comes from the progressive hive.

  20. Bottom line on the "obnoxious Jon Stuart": He's made a fantastic living of fame and fortune by following a simple formula that has worked extremely well for him.

    He takes the offered talking points of today's main stream media and simply gargles and regurgitates them to his identified audience. He know his audience well. And of course this audience takes his regurgitations and garglings and and recycles them pretending they themselves are so unique and hip at understanding the complex workings of the world because it comes straight from the lips of Jon Stuart HIMSELF.

    He's about as funny as Tucker Carlson.

    1. Why pick on ol' Tucker; he's a good guy? I rather wish you'd said "the late Betty Friedan," or "Dan Rather" instead. ;-)

    2. I thought Jon Stuart's rise to fame and glory began when he tore of Tucker's bow tie on CNN and kicked his ass (circa 2004)

    3. You mean LITERALLY? I hadn't heard about that, but if so, it certainly shows what a vicious brutal bastard Stewart is at heart. It makes me sick to my stomach to think that such a despicable figure could command so much favorable attention. but again it's not STEWART'S fault, it's his AUDIENCE that disturbs me much more.

      What kind of people have we become that we could even tolerate let alone adulate so odious a person?


    5. I watched part of the clip, Jez, just to get the flavor of it. I take it you accept Stewart's demeanor on that stupid show as "sincere," am I right?

      If I am wrong, please forgive me, but I see nothing there but obnoxious condescension and subtle bullying through mockery, sarcasm and utterly disingenuous, quasi-didactic pious rhetoric.

      There is a reason The Chosen have long been called "mockies" in familiar tavern talk. That is because they MOCK, SCORN, DERIDE and UPBRAID just about everything and everybody while regarding themselves as all-wise, all-knowing, righteous, and worthy.

      Stewart without the faintest show of deference or gratitude towards his hosts takes charge of the room as if he owned the place -- on someone ELSE'S show.

      If that isn't obnoxious, I can't imagine what would be.

    6. I posted the link just so you'd know what Waylon was talking about. No, I don't think his demeanor is sincere, I think that in "refusing" to entertain, he's using a very old, at least music-hall era, comedian's gambit. I think it's obvious he hasn't fully surrendered his entertainer's prerogative, he clearly speaks in his comedic voice, which I already know you hate. But I think the content of his act here (a plea for a less partisan press) is sincere. I agree with his complaint that the press colludes (I'm not sure whether it's intentional or not) with the political class in putting on a lot of distracting theater. See journalism in Russia for a more extreme (and definitely intentional) version of this condition.

    7. What I hate, Jez, is arrogance, cheeky insolence and a patently obvious posture of bigotry masquerading as moral superiority.

      For the record I detest Bill O'Reilly for many of the same reasons I can't abide Stewart. He's a loud-mouthed bully, and insufferably rude to his guests -- and he's NOT one of The Chosen.

      Detestable personalities abound in all sectors of society, I suppose, but few make highly successful careers of parading their insolence as though it were a virtue.

      But AGAIN, I don't blame Stewart or O'Reilly so much as I do those who seem to want to venerate their obscene demagoguery.

  21. I did see this episode of Crossfire when it originally aired, so it's been a while. I was reminded of it recently when it was mentioned in something I read regarding Jon Stuart leaving his show.

    I watched the clip Jez posted above and it's the show all right. But in the clip the bow tie thing is FIGURATIVELY removed. So I won't argue the point, but I thought Stuart actually did reach across the desk and remove it LITERALLY.

    Guess I was wrong.

    1. As defense lawyers would doubtless tell you, Waylon, the testimony of eyewitnesses is notoriously unreliable. ;-)

      Not to worry. I admit to having enough prejudice against Stewart to have hoped the incident cited happened exactly as you described it.

      There's been a whole bevy of so-called "comedians" I've found spectacularly unfunny. I mentioned Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Shelley Berman and Don Rickles above. Please add to that list Chevy Chase, Al Franken and Jon Stewart.

      Every one of these cheeky bastards seem as "amusing" to me as cole slaw at a restaurant salad bar crawling with little brown bugs, or being hit with the contents of a piss pot thrown from an upstairs window as you pass by on the street below.

    2. What do you think of Louis CK?
      fom a while ago (don't think he's broke any more)::

    3. Never heard of him till you provided the link. Listened to a bit. Thought he might be all right at first, but a persistent use of the F-Word -- to me -- shows markedly poor style and a lamentable paucity of wit -- Not that I haven't used it myself on more than one occasion. ;-)

      Vulgarity long ago lost any shock value it might once have had when used more sparingly at -- rare -- appropriate intervals.

      Now, it's only an indication of a "dumbed down," infantilized culture overtaken by a veritable tidal wave of vulgarity.

      By today's abysmal standards even what-we-used-to-look down upon-as "KITSCH" seems lofty and high toned by comparison.

      HOWEVER, putting all that aside, my initial impression of your friend LouisKC tells me he's a more amiable and basically benign force than the malignantly incisive Smart Alec, Jon Stewart -- a diabolical demagogue if ever there was one.

      That's only my fleeting first impression. Should I investigate further?

    4. He is vulgar, no denying it, but I think it's almost as hard to deny his abundance of wit. It's not meant to shock, it's just his voice. This clip is old, he's got less vulgar in recent years. He's done a few seasons of a TV show which I can't get in this country so only seen the odd episode on flights etc., but it looks amazing.

    5. Also, I have to say I find Louis' politics far more interesting than Stewart's. He's not overtly a "satirist," so it probably helps that he doesn't go on about it all the time.

      By the way, it recently became clear to me why I prefer my "British" identity to my "English" one: war films. Whenever I think of stirring war film dialogue, the heroes are always British rather than English. Churchill talked about being "proud to be British" etc. I think that's probably at the bottom of it.

  22. Here's something from Jon Stuart that's not using his bullying tactic but instead makes Stuart the victim of the bully. This is different.

    Stuart Criticizes Israel

    1. I won't look at him, if I can possibly help it, Waylon, but the idea of a Jew denigrating Israel strike me as comically ironic. THEY practice their OWN brand of "Takeeya" all the time, you know. Shameless to a fault, they'll do ANYTHING to stay ahead of the game. Being "ON TOP" is all they care about, and they have no qualms about how they get there.



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