Friday, October 15, 2004

Live Blogging: Jon Stewart on Crossfire

Since I don't have the ambition to "Live Blog" a debate (unlike Wonkette or I figured I'd live blog Jon Stewart on Crossfire.

2:36 - He's going after Begala and Carlson, says they're bad for the country. Accuses them of partisan hackery, intellectual dishonesty, and generally lacking spine.

2:37 - Carlson tries to fight back. Accuses Jon of kissing Kerry's ass. Jon responds that it's not his job to ask tough questions, he's paid to be funny.

2:39 - Jon's not letting up, says he refuses to be funny on Crossfire: "I'm not going to be your monkey." Carlson looks crestfallen, he was hoping Jon would entertain him. Fuck you, Tucker, Jon isn't going to bring any light into the dark hell that has replaced your soul.

2:41 - Jon accuses Crossfire of being "theatre" and both Paul and Tucker take umbrage. They're oblivious to the fact that their show, amongst the other talking head specatacles, are the reason our media sucks so bad and that the Daily Show is a satirical reaction to that. For whatever reason, Paul and Tucker just aren't smart enough to realize that news is supposed to mean "information" and not "opinion".

2:45 - Commercial break... wondering if Stewart will still be there when they return.

2:51 - 6 FUCKING MINUTES OF COMMERCIALS?!?! Can CNN be any shittier?!?

2:52 - Carlson asks if Stewart will be as hard on Kerry as he's been with Bush if Kerry wins. Stewart says it will be tougher only if a Kerry administration will be less absurd than the Bush administration has been. Carlson can't argue against that.

2:53 - Another commercial. Wolf Blitzer needs 50 minutes worth of commercials to make his little show almost watchable.

2:55 - Two questions from the audience, one which he doesn't answer (he was unaware of the "bulge"), answers that politicans won't give a "straight answer" (it has nothing to do with the Mary Cheney non-controversy) because "some shows don't hold politician's feet to the fire".

Good for Jon. The Crossfire boys thought he was going to perform for their Dog-and-Pony show and he not only refused, he went on and spoke his mind, called them the party hacks they are. Asked them if they'd come to work for his show, Carlson asks, "How does it pay?" and Stewart replies, "Not nearly as much as this show but you get to sleep at night." I'm not the only person in the universe thinking this.

--- UPDATE ---

I was (heh) the only blogger doing "Live Blogging" on this -- TA DAH!!! Not that it's some kind of accomplishment and just to spell out the irony of this, it was my own "Daily Show"-like take on blogging. Anyway, Digby was obviously watching the same show I saw.


This story is getting some play around the internet; Salon has their review up and I'm beginning to wonder if Stewart's "performance" on Crossfire wasn't one of the best television moments of the year:

From the moment Stewart sat down he made no secret of how repugnant he found the show. In fact, he said to Carlson and co-host Paul Begala that he had been so hard on the show he felt it was his duty to come on and say to their faces what he has said to friends and in interviews. What he said was that their show was "hurting America," and he was being only slightly hyperbolic. Stewart told them that when America needed journalists to be journalists they had instead chosen to present theater.

Carlson, trying to affect an air of dry amusement that a comedian would presume to lecture him, important pundit that he is, but looking as if his bow-tie were about to start spinning, could barely contain his outrage. In an absolutely mind-boggling moment, Carlson tried to counter Stewart's criticism by pointing out that during John Kerry's recent appearance on "The Daily Show," Stewart asked the candidate softball questions. "If you want to measure yourself against a comedy show," Stewart said, "be my guest."
I've heard people talk about "The Daily Show" as an oasis of sanity, a public service. I couldn't agree more. Stewart's appearance on "Crossfire" was another public service. He went on and acted as if the show's purpose really was to confront tough issues, instead of being the political equivalent of pro wrestling. Given a chance to say absolutely what he thought, Stewart took it. He accomplished what almost never happens on television anymore: He made the dots come alive.

It's time to hold the electronic media accountable for their venal obsession with non-issues and obviously picking the candidate that suits their petty agenda (i.e. "journalists" on CNN, MSNBC, et al stand to benefit from Bush tax cuts along with their corporate bosses, the media companies benefit from the spineless, unprincipled selling of our media to the highest bidder by a hack like Michael Powell) and Jon Stewart did us all a favor by not playing nice with the maggots.


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