Jon Stewart on Crossfire
October 25, 2004
I had read about it, I had heard about it, and tonight I finally watched it: Jon Stewart on CNN's Crossfire (Courtesy of ifilm.com). I'm sure its been all over the blogosphere and I'm probably the last blogger in the world to notice it, but that's okay. I'm sure opinions range, but I probably rank in the majority of bloggers in saying "right on, Jon."
Not having cable, I rarely have occasion to watch Jon Stewart. I did manage to catch some of his election coverage in 2000 and was thoroughly impressed then (as were the Peabody awards). I pay a good deal of attention to what is happening in the world, with most of my news being filtered through NPR and the New York Times, two media that I feel do a better job of stepping above the partisan sniping and hacking (though the Times' editorialist, particularly Paul Krugman and Maureen down, sometimes get a bit over the top for my tastes. If they would present solutions like most of the other editorialists too, I would have much more respect for them).
Why do I restrict myself to these sources? Well, Stewart pretty much summed it up. I've tried watching some of the Sunday morning shows. I've watched guys come on the Newshour with Jim Lehrer. I've watched CNN, though not recently. While I usually respect the hosts, I find the guests to be blathering idiots who regurgitate the same thing over and over. That's why I not only laughed, but appreciated and respected Stewart's criticisms.
Tucker Carlson scored some valid points back at Stewart — that is, if you are scoring from the Crossfire / Hardball / O'Reilly Factor camps. I've read the criticism elsewhere too (excellent article in the Times). I don't know if he's still a comedian in the traditional sense. And I don't know that it matters. Perhaps he is the new court jester… playing nice to the politicians when he has too, but then poking holes in the system's stupidities when he has the opportunity. And what's so wrong with treating guests like human beings periodically? I cannot see anything wrong with asking John Kerry if the attacks get to him sometimes.
Anyway, I enjoyed the little debate, which surely is amongst the most original and thought-provoking ever aired on Crossfire, and I highly recommend it to any and all stopping through here.