Jon Stewart on Fox News, Tells Chris Wallace: "You're Insane."
June 19, 2011 3:56 PM   Subscribe

This morning "The Daily Show's Jon Stewart entered the proverbial lion's den, appearing live [video highlights | 01:43] on Fox News Sunday to debate 'media bias' with host Chris Wallace." "The interview [video | 24:11] got off to a rousing start with Wallace almost immediately calling Stewart out for his criticism of the network and its brand of news coverage and went exactly where you'd expect it to from there."
"When challenged on how he develops his stinging – and persistent – satiric critiques of Fox, Stewart joked, 'It's actually quite easy when you feel it. You got to feel it in your soul, you know?'

But Stewart stood up for his Daily Show antics.

'Here is the difference between you and I,' he said, 'I'm a comedian first. My comedy is informed by an ideological background, there's no question about that.

'The thing that - in some respect - conservative activists will never understand is … I'm not an activist. I'm a comedian,' Stewart said."*
posted by ericb (102 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Memories of Stewart's October 2004 appearance on CNN's Crossfire [video | 14:14] where he slammed conservative Tucker Carlson and liberal Paul Begala [transcript] as being "partisan hacks" and asked them to "stop hurting America."

Previous FPP.
posted by ericb at 3:57 PM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wasn't that impressed. Kind of the same old line from both sides. I'd like to see someone ask Fox:

If you perceive a liberal bias in the media, why is it your reaction to create a conservative biased media instead? (The Conservapedia effect) Why not do it with no bias?

How can we take the idea of fairness and balance seriously from a network who refuses to give even one show in all of the opinion content over to a liberal host? (Like MSNBC does with Morning Joe)

If the CBS evening news is so liberal it needs Glenn Beck as a balance, what does that make Rachel Maddow?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:04 PM on June 19, 2011


like ammonia and bleach
posted by clavdivs at 4:05 PM on June 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


opinion content

...or like the "token" conservative columns at the oh so biased New York Times?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:06 PM on June 19, 2011


OMG, I'm at the drinking segment.
posted by clavdivs at 4:07 PM on June 19, 2011


If you perceive a liberal bias in the media, why is it your reaction to create a conservative biased media instead? (The Conservapedia effect) Why not do it with no bias?

I think they think that's what they're doing, God help us.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:09 PM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you perceive a liberal bias in the media, why is it your reaction to create a conservative biased media instead?

Because that's just a smokescreen? An excuse to propagandize to the utmost of their ability?

That's the real answer. The answer that would be given is "That's exactly what we do!" What use is it to ask a question you already know the response to?
posted by JHarris at 4:09 PM on June 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think they think that's what they're doing, God help us.

There's a difference between thinking you're doing something and telling somebody you're doing something, and I seem to recall Machiavelli wrote that it's better to pretend you're noble than to really be it because it limits your actions much less.
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:12 PM on June 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Stewart is extremely talented at setting the pace of the interview without alienating his interviewer or descending into a shouting match. It's almost like he's done this sort of thing before...
posted by mek at 4:17 PM on June 19, 2011 [9 favorites]


I miss Craig Kilborn.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:17 PM on June 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah, but Kilborn was just a sarcastic ass. I'd watch his show, too, but for a much different reason. I think Stewart has elevated TDS to a sanctified place of being a media court jester; the show still has remnants of just a more or less mean spirited "Hey let's poke fun at the random crazies!" humor that I believe now powers the Tosh.0 show.
posted by cavalier at 4:19 PM on June 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just saw this elsewhere and watched it. Not a powerhouse performance by Stewart, but not bad either. I could tell he was actually getting riled at some bits. The trouble was that Wallace had a little set of clips to make Stewart look ridiculous, and Stewart didn't have the unbelievably apropos clips that make his lampoons of Fox News so sweet.

If Jon could have said "Yeah, we do that. Reminds me of something you did two weeks ago. Can we roll the clip?" this would have been a rather more saucy interchange. Because Fox News relies so much on minimal context and short attention spans, they fear the dredging up of their past excesses more than anything, but only on their own network, since Fox News viewers don't to watch the Daily Show.

I expect a nice response to this on the next Daily Show, when I'm guessing Stewart will probably say something to this effect.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 4:21 PM on June 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


I wasn't that impressed. Kind of the same old line from both sides. I'd like to see someone ask Fox:

If you perceive a liberal bias in the media, why is it your reaction to create a conservative biased media instead? (The Conservapedia effect) Why not do it with no bias?


They claim that FOX is "Fair and Balanced".

Here's the question I'd ask them:

Why does the media have a liberal bias? Are liberals just better at reporting the news than conservatives? To Americans just want to hear the liberal side of it? The right dominates talk radio - no question. Why are they unable to do it for the rest of the media? You've been whining about liberal bias for years, why not start wondering why conservatives suck at reporting the news?
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 4:26 PM on June 19, 2011 [18 favorites]


Why does the media have a liberal bias?

Liberals dominate the news because liberals dominate the Universities that "educate" the journalists.

Liberals dominate the Universities because the professors spend their lives trying to get government grants, and one way to do this is to make sure you get progressives in power (more student aid = more money for them).

My view or not, that's the appropriate response.
posted by unknownmosquito at 4:31 PM on June 19, 2011


Jon Stewarts done hit and runs on Fox so many times now - I see all of this as not getting anything done other than boost both Fox and TDS ratings when something happens like this.

The TDS faithful can go "Jon Stewart cleaned their clocks!" and the Fox faithful can say, "We took that dumbshit comedian out at the knees!" and then that's all.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 4:34 PM on June 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Liberals dominate the Universities because the professors spend their lives trying to get government grants, and one way to do this is to make sure you get progressives in power (more student aid = more money for them).


This is idiotic.
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 4:35 PM on June 19, 2011 [31 favorites]


Why?
posted by unknownmosquito at 4:36 PM on June 19, 2011


I am impressed. Stewart came to a gunfight with no tie and a grin. He is the personification of moderation - bringing down the rhetoric, holding the line for civility. He walks his talk.

I think Wallace might have learned a thing or two ... or not. It really doesn't matter; this is not going to be good for ratings -- it was not a FOX 'sensationalizes-the-fight' show. Well done, Jon.
posted by Surfurrus at 4:40 PM on June 19, 2011


The missing link is between academia and politics. The notion that academics can in any way 'get progressives in power' is pretty laughable. Sure, they vote, but on the other hand, there are vanishingly few of them.
posted by kaibutsu at 4:40 PM on June 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Not having kept up with Stewart in the last year or so, I was happy to see him again here. I thought he was in better form than ever, insightful and much more confident going down alleys of discourse that strayed from his pre-written, like, zingers. Still feel totally lucky to have him as a player in the media/political discourse. Thanks for the post!
posted by churl at 4:41 PM on June 19, 2011


Tosh.0 = [("America's Funniest Home Videos" + puking) - (the dubious charms of Tom Bergeron/Bob Saget)]*(sneering frat boy + Peter Funt's anus)

/derail
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:43 PM on June 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


Liberals dominate the news because liberals dominate the Universities that "educate" the journalists.

Liberals dominate the Universities because the professors spend their lives trying to get government grants, and one way to do this is to make sure you get progressives in power (more student aid = more money for them).

My view or not, that's the appropriate response.


So why do conservatives own talk radio? Why are there conservative magazines that do pretty well? Do these not count as journalism? The owners of big media are not generally viewed as being particularly left wing (Ted Turner being an exception, of course).

Sometimes it seems as if conservatives want a little affirmative action to help them make their way in the big, bad world of media. Man up, guys.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 4:45 PM on June 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


I personally subscribe to Jon Stewart's pretty-obvious theory on the media
posted by palidor at 4:45 PM on June 19, 2011


The point is that Fox is a lot more partisan than anyone else and Stewart is arguing that point very effectively (for independents and moderates who may be watching fox) whenever he appears there. He won't convince ultra far right but he knows it and it's not why he's there.
posted by rainy at 4:46 PM on June 19, 2011 [3 favorites]



Liberals dominate the Universities because the professors spend their lives trying to get government grants, and one way to do this is to make sure you get progressives in power (more student aid = more money for them).


a) Cite

b) Considering government grants are not "student aid", it might indicate that you haven't the slightest idea what you are talking about.
posted by lalochezia at 4:53 PM on June 19, 2011 [11 favorites]


As much time as I have for Jon Stewart (and, over the years, it's added up to quite a bit), I'm always a bit rankled "I'm just a comedian" line he's been using since he was arguing with Tucker Carlson on Crossfire. It seems so disingenuous you wonder if he can believe it.

He's right to suggest that the news networks have a different mandate and a different set of responsibilities to both their employers and their viewers. But it's also clear that Stewart has given himself and his staff a mandate that transcends comedy. I don't think the show would have flourished as it has if it didn't manifestly take itself so goddamned seriously. I watch the Daily Show for the sanctimony, for the moral judgement, for the righteous condemnation of institutions, ideas, and people who aren't getting it elsewhere.

So when Stewart trots out his, I'm just a simple tailor comedian line, I can only imagine that it's a posture he takes for PR purposes; that if he tried legitimizing himself as a pundit in the press, that his status as mere gadfly would be compromised. It might be a necessary act, but that status was compromised a long time ago.
posted by bicyclefish at 4:56 PM on June 19, 2011 [12 favorites]


Showing the Lisa Lampanelli clip was so absurd and pointless. That is totally like Fox taking things out of context and comparing apples to oranges. Plus, Chris Wallace doesn't like South Park? Screw him...
posted by GavinR at 4:58 PM on June 19, 2011


Jon Stewart has never said that he's just a comedian.

He routinely says that The Daily Show is just a comedy show.

If you go to TDS looking for news coverage, you're an idiot.

If you turn to Jon Stewart only for Tracy Morgan style stand-up, you're an idiot.

These two things overlap but are not incongruous as they do so.
posted by hippybear at 5:00 PM on June 19, 2011


... if he tried legitimizing himself as a pundit in the press, that his status as mere gadfly would be compromised.

And we desperately need him as gadfly, so I, for one, hope he keeps up this pretense. And yes, I agree it is a pretense.
posted by marsha56 at 5:01 PM on June 19, 2011


I'm always a bit rankled "I'm just a comedian" line he's been using since he was arguing with Tucker Carlson on Crossfire.

Why don't you watch this video? He explicitely says he is not just a comedian and he never claimed to be. He's saying he's primarily a comedian and that his ideology informs his comedy. That's been my impression, too.
posted by rainy at 5:01 PM on June 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


No kidding. Wonder how conservatives felt about that Hurricane Katrina/global warming episode. 'Cause that was some effing brilliant satire and I don't particularly like South Park.
posted by maryr at 5:02 PM on June 19, 2011


No, someone who illustrates, decorates and even celebrates the WTF factor of the everyday news cycle is not "just a comedian" nor "a mere gadfly". He said that himself. He knows he doesn't belong in 'punditville' ... he is too smart to wrestle in the mud with the rest of the pigs.
posted by Surfurrus at 5:03 PM on June 19, 2011


This is idiotic.

Cool counterpoint bro.
posted by windbox at 5:04 PM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think it is far from obvious that the media is ever so liberally biased. It does tend to have a pro-establishment bent however, because it is simply so much easier for reporters to let those in charge set what the discussion will be about than to do so themselves. Some reporters even believe that reporters should not be setting the agenda because this makes the news about themselves.

Whatever the reason though, official sources dominate the news making process and media outlets are dependence on official sources for a huge amount of their information. According to one take:

70 to 90 percent of all news stories, were drawn from situations over which the newsmakers had substantial control: press conferences (24.5 percent), interviews (24.7 percent), press releases (17.5 percent), and official proceedings (13 percent).
posted by Winnemac at 5:11 PM on June 19, 2011 [51 favorites]


Winnemac - I wish I could favorite your comment a hundred times. Rest assured I am doing just that on the Metafilter in my head.

The problem isn't so much that there's bias in the media, it's that the media are lazy, or at best pressed for time. I've been there - you don't always have time to suss out every aspect of a story, or you aren't getting paid enough to do it, or you have other responsibilities (especially in smaller media outlets). So it's easier just to rewrite a press release, or summarize a press conference, or make a quick phone call to make sure a fact is accurate. The ability to scrounge up leads and pore over documents is unfortunately becoming a luxury most outlets do not have.

Part of this is because the economic interests have shifted to a degree where journalism is not terribly prized - it's more about filling the hours and getting people to focus their attention on what you're selling. If that's a story about Anthony Weiner's genitals, so be it. Better to outrage and interest than inform and bore. And of course, nobody wants to challenge anyone on anything for fear of being declared as "biased", so most reporters just find sound bites from both sides and pass that off as objective reporting. It isn't, of course, but it's what they do to protect themselves and the outlet.

This is by no means a defense of the media, just a view of the unfortunate reality in which we find ourselves. And that's what makes TDS and shows like it so valuable - they may be comedy shows, but they do a degree of fact-checking and analysis that other outlets just don't. So while I understand Stewart's defense of "just being a comedian", unfortunately the media climate has forced him into being something more.
posted by HostBryan at 5:25 PM on June 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


"'Here is the difference between you and I,' he said, 'I'm a comedian first. My comedy is informed by an ideological background, there's no question about that.

'The thing that - in some respect - conservative activists will never understand is … I'm not an activist. I'm a comedian,' Stewart said."
"

It's like that awful 1/2 Hour News Hour that Fox News attempted a few years ago. It was supposed to be the conservative version of the Daily Show (made by the creator of 24!), but because it was conceived in ideology rather than comedy, it failed to be funny and thus flopped as a show.

Stewart is successful because he's a comedian first and foremost.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:28 PM on June 19, 2011 [11 favorites]


Cool counterpoint bro

Counterpoint can reasonably be reserved for when a point is made. A point is made when a viewpoint is expressed based on shared facts.

Just saying something with no factual support is not making a point. It's making shit up. It can be dismissed as idiotic without having to be refuted. What is there to refute? No facts have been presented.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:45 PM on June 19, 2011 [12 favorites]


The biggest lie Wallace told: FOX is not part of the mainstream media.
posted by readyfreddy at 5:56 PM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you want to puzzle out the reason behind the 'liberal' bias in the media, examine your labels. Liberal now means progressive in most instances, someone who relies on rational thought and knowledge. Conservative no longer means conservative in the traditional sense, it means regressive, it falls upon those who rely more on belief than anything that can be learned.

What is journalism? Taking the world you observe (or whatever small part of it) and relating it in a rational way to your viewers. Some beliefs dog reporting, but the good journalists and reporters avoid it as much as possible. So you've got an entire profession that is dedicated to truth seeking (however mundane the truth), what else are they going to look like to regressives but progressives, liberals?
posted by Slackermagee at 5:57 PM on June 19, 2011 [22 favorites]


I'd like to see someone ask Fox:

If you perceive a liberal bias in the media, why is it your reaction to create a conservative biased media instead? (The Conservapedia effect) Why not do it with no bias?


Stewart will never ask this, because if FOX News ever does clean up its act, he'll be out of a job.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:01 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like the way he kept on trying to cram in more random clips rather than let Jon Stewart respond.
posted by neuromodulator at 6:02 PM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Slackermagee, that is a fascinating theory.
posted by theredpen at 6:05 PM on June 19, 2011


official sources dominate the news making process and media outlets are dependence on official sources for a huge amount of their information. According to one take:

70 to 90 percent of all news stories, were drawn from situations over which the newsmakers had substantial control: press conferences (24.5 percent), interviews (24.7 percent), press releases (17.5 percent), and official proceedings (13 percent).


News is comprised of the things that someone doesn't want you to hear. Everything else is just promotion or propaganda.

paraphrase of quote that is certainly not mine
posted by flarbuse at 6:07 PM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Chris Wallace is a crap interviewer. His clips were ridiculous, he never let Jon Stewart talk much, and he didn't ever get back to points he had made. The whole piece wasn't necessary to begin with except for hype.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:09 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Chris Wallace is a crap interviewer.

My take-away of Chris Wallace is that he must have said "This is MY show." a half dozen times. (with a pout?)
posted by Surfurrus at 6:20 PM on June 19, 2011


Stewart will never ask this, because if FOX News ever does clean up its act, he'll be out of a job.

This is a wildly offensive thing to say about a person--that they'd rather have someone or something polluting the world with hate and lies just to make a dollar. You should be ashamed.
posted by TypographicalError at 6:27 PM on June 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


The biggest lie Wallace told: FOX is not part of the mainstream media.

Yeah, I don't know why Stewart didn't call him on this. If you host eight of 10 most watched nightly news programs, mainstream media is exactly what you are.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:32 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Chris Wallace, towards the end says "there's as much bias on the other side as you subscribe [sic] to Fox, and you go easy on them."

Isn't this just a total concession that Fox is biased on the conservative side and not fair and balanced? I wish Stewart had caught that and called him out on it. Wallace wants Stewart to call out all the bias on both sides, conceding that Fox is biased in the process.
posted by shen1138 at 6:32 PM on June 19, 2011


What's with the 'drink the water' bit? Is it 'the kool-aid' or something? Have they poisoned Jon Stewart?
posted by pompomtom at 6:42 PM on June 19, 2011


This is a wildly offensive thing to say about a person--that they'd rather have someone or something polluting the world with hate and lies just to make a dollar.

The relationship of The Daily Show and FOX News is a symbiotic one, to a not insignificant degree. I don't think that FOX News pollution is what Stewart "wants", per se, and he seems otherwise like a bright and personable individual who I'd have nothing wrong to say about outside of his work in mass media, but it's unclear that he has the necessary objectivity to disassociate or untangle his own brand of entertainment from that done by the News Corporation. After all, his standard defense is that he comes after crank-calling puppets, so it's all about making a dollar for Viacom, at the end of the day.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:42 PM on June 19, 2011


Agreed oneirodynia. Really the same should be said of talk radio too. There much only IS one brand of talk radio: rightwing. If there's only one, how can you, by definition, NOT be the mainstream?
posted by readyfreddy at 7:02 PM on June 19, 2011


er… ", There PRETTY much only IS one brand of talk radio". Mefi needs an edit function.
posted by readyfreddy at 7:03 PM on June 19, 2011


I'm really sick of Fox playing the underdog by calling everyone else the "mainstream media," while at the same time constantly crowing about their high ratings. It's time they simply admitted that they ARE the mainstream media now.
posted by wabbittwax at 7:04 PM on June 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Even without Fox News in the world throwing up all of those softballs, John Stewart would still have more material than he could fit in a half hour show 4 days a week.
posted by Daddy-O at 7:18 PM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I remember Patton Oswalt responding to the idea that comedians were going to miss the Bush era by saying that he'd give up any laughs he got from making fun of Bush in a heartbeat if it meant that we were prosperous and not torturing people. Doctors don't pray for illnesses.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:32 PM on June 19, 2011 [19 favorites]


When he says he is a comedian, I think what he is trying to say is he is under no obligation, as a comedian, to strive for fair and balanced ridicule of politics and nor do people expect him to be. When you turn on the news, your expectations are very different than when you turn on Comedy Central.
posted by Foam Pants at 7:36 PM on June 19, 2011


Freddy, there is Left wing talk radio. I found it once on a drive to chicago. It was continual sarah palin jokes, I loved it! I'm so used to angrily disagreeing with what I hear on the radio that this was just astonishing really. I couldn't listen to it for too long, it was like candy that's just too sweet, its great but you can't handle after a while.

But then some ultra crazy science hating hippy types came on and I couldn't really listen anymore. Both sides have their extremists.
posted by Chekhovian at 7:47 PM on June 19, 2011


Chekhovian, I know about standouts like that. But it isn't a nationally syndicated show that appears in every market. Rightwing radio is.
posted by readyfreddy at 7:52 PM on June 19, 2011


Yeah, count me among those who think the comedian defense is totally valid. He's not dodging, it's not disingenuous; he's saying "it doesn't make any sense to compare our standards, professionally" and that apparently needs to be repeated because that seems to be a frequent response to his show. A comedian can find a newscaster lacking without being expected to deliver the news himself.
posted by neuromodulator at 7:52 PM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I miss Craig Kilborn.

Dear god, why? I bet the female staffers on Daily Show don't.

Just saw this elsewhere and watched it. Not a powerhouse performance by Stewart, but not bad either.

To a degree, no substantive debate can take place on these shows, because the time pressure is so great. On-the-spot debates are problematic for seeking out truth because so much matters in them besides the facts. The Daily Show is THE best current affairs program in television, but it's not improvised. (If you want to know what it looks like improvised, just take a look at the episodes they made during the writer's strike. Not bad, for Stewart can think pretty well on his feet, but not great. Colbert is better at improv, as you can tell in his interviews.)

Stewart will never ask this, because if FOX News ever does clean up its act, he'll be out of a job.

Puh. Fox News is a strong source of material, but the other news channels provide a lot as well.

Jon Stewarts done hit and runs on Fox so many times now - I see all of this as not getting anything done other than boost both Fox and TDS ratings when something happens like this.

You are wrong. For a whole generation, the Daily Show has been a rallying point. Millions of young adults have watched this, laughed, and gotten a start on seeing through all the old political lies that have worked for so long.

If the Daily Show stopped calling Fox out for being morally reprehensible shills, would Fox improve? Someone has to do it, and TDS has been the best at it for several years now.
posted by JHarris at 8:06 PM on June 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


There was Air America. That lasted for a few years I think and then it imploded. It was constantly pilloried by Rush Limbaugh. It's also where Rachel Maddow, Stephanie Miller and that obnoxious liberal guy on MSNBC came from. No, not him- the fat one.

Anyway, it was a nice change to hear those few years. I had a job that required me to drive around a lot with a partner and he was a right wing freak that loved his Rush. I enjoyed insisting on listening to Air America a few days a week. Good stuff.

Oh, Franken was on it too! He was really good.

Also, TDS was relentless in its hunting of that idiot Rick Sanchez, to the point where Sanchez I think blamed Jon Stewart when he got fired.
posted by dave78981 at 8:09 PM on June 19, 2011


TDS was originally launched as a type of SNL Weekend Update in a half hour format. Stewart took it over and made it more of a show that focused on skewering politics but it still is based on the foundation laid by Weekend Update. Would you compare any of the people who have hosted Weekend Update to so called "professional" journalists or pundits? Okay, well I guess you can go with Dennis Miller because he did it so much that he actually convinced himself that he was a pundit and has had a conservative radio talk show.
posted by GavinR at 8:09 PM on June 19, 2011


Chris Wallace reminds me of the Gary Oldman character Zorg from The Fifth Element. Every time I watch him, I half-expect black gunk to start oozing down his forehead.
posted by MegoSteve at 8:17 PM on June 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


It seems like it's time to retire the word "antics" at this point as unnecessarily anachronistic and loaded.
posted by Apropos of Something at 8:23 PM on June 19, 2011


I finally watched the interview.

I think Stewart's continual return to the concept of activism was the important takeaway.

TDS and Stewart have never claimed to be activist. In fact, most of the complaints I read about how he's not going after the hard interview with Person X or pursuing Subject Y like a guard dog lead back to how he doesn't view himself as an activist media figure.

And Wallace truly doesn't get that what he does a lot of the time IS activism. It's amazing how blind he is to his own agenda. Or maybe how well he pretends to be blind to that agenda for the sake of his television cameras. Either way, he won't admit his activism.

Anyway, great interview. Thanks for posting. I never would have seen it otherwise.
posted by hippybear at 8:25 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's also where Rachel Maddow, Stephanie Miller and that obnoxious liberal guy on MSNBC came from.

Yup, Rachel Maddow working with Chuck D and Lizz Winstead, the woman who first produced TDS, and of whom Craig Kilborn said in a GQ interview just wanted to suck his dick, hence any animus between them.

Seriously, Kilborn can fuck right off.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:29 PM on June 19, 2011 [8 favorites]


There is great non-right-wing talk radio: NPR & APM & PRI in the US, CBC Radio One in Canada, BBC Radio Four in the Uk - and all of them produce hundreds of hours of free podcasts.
posted by jb at 8:49 PM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Okay, having watched the interview now, I liked it. Mostly because it didn't descend into a shouting match. Wallace's intro was pure sonofabitchery, and there were times when I wasn't sure if he was being willfully obtuse or not, but the tone was civil throughout. I, too, wish Stewart hadn't let him get away with claiming FOX as something separate from the MSM, but Stewart still managed to just change that label to "24-Hour News Networks" and get his points across all the same.

Mostly, I wish that Stewart hadn't implied that commentators on the right are called racist or homophobic unfairly, when most of the time I'd say those assignations are dead-on and need to be pointed out, but for the most part, I thought this was solid.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:20 PM on June 19, 2011


Stewart will never ask this, because if FOX News ever does clean up its act, he'll be out of a job.

Anthony Weiner posted a picture of his whitey-tighties on twitter. You really think Stewart needs FOX?
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 9:37 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why Jon Stewart had to identify himself as "liberal". He just speaks truth to power.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:45 PM on June 19, 2011


Stewart identifies himself as liberal because he cares about poor and working class people. I mean, look at how he hammered the GOP on the 9-11 responder medical care bill.
posted by clockworkjoe at 9:51 PM on June 19, 2011


Stewart will never ask this, because if FOX News ever does clean up its act, he'll be out of a job.

Unlike Fox personnel, Jon Stewart is otherwise employable.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 10:05 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why Jon Stewart had to identify himself as "liberal".

Reality has a well-known liberal bias.
posted by bicyclefish at 12:21 AM on June 20, 2011


Unlike Fox personnel, Jon Stewart is otherwise employable.

I suppose he could always go back to making fun of Vanilla Ice for a living. Actually, I'm certain he'd have no problem finding a new job. But TDS wouldn't exist in its current form without FOX News and the News Corporation around to make fun of.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:23 AM on June 20, 2011


Why is "liberal" such a dirty word in American politics? For starters it's not entirely accurate since it's only social liberalism that us dirty centre-left types are concerned with. Wouldn't it be more accurate to call yourself progressive?

Maybe it's just the Australian politics I've grown up with but if you're a progressive stand up, damn well say it and be proud of your convictions. Have some balls and maybe you'll start getting the same respect loonies like Palin do simply because "they speak their mind and stand for something". If a US conservative wants to make fun of me because I think everyone deserves a social safety net they can, in all honesty, go suck my balls. It makes for some interesting conversation with the wife's extended family though.
posted by Talez at 12:41 AM on June 20, 2011


I suppose he could always go back to making fun of Vanilla Ice for a living.

It is kind of hard to believe it's the same guy.

Actually, I'm certain he'd have no problem finding a new job. But TDS wouldn't exist in its current form without FOX News and the News Corporation around to make fun of.

Hm, no I disagree. During the business with Anthony Weiner Fox got moved nearly to the sidelines; for a few days the show was Weiner bit, Sarah Palin bit, interview, moment of Zen.

And it's more often that the Daily Show picks on the particulars of Fox News than the overall network. They've done several brutal take downs of Glenn Beck because he's visible, but have only in passing mentioned that demonic imp serving as Fox News' unholy heart, Roger Ailes.
posted by JHarris at 2:18 AM on June 20, 2011


Why is "liberal" such a dirty word in American politics?

Because if you say something often enough Americans come to believe it's true. Hence: liberalism is bad, climate change doesn't happen, FEMA death camps, Bush planned 9-11, the moon landings were faked, everyone in Canada goes to the U.S. for health care, evolution is a fib, and Jonathan Coulton was a feral child found by John Hodgman living wild in the woods of Connecticut.
posted by JHarris at 2:21 AM on June 20, 2011


Wonder how conservatives felt about that Hurricane Katrina/global warming episode.

"The media begins falsely reporting horrific scenes of violence and even cannibalism in the city. Furthermore, their statistics of deaths are in the hundreds of millions despite a population of 8000 in the town. Nobody really tries to help the situation, but would rather figure out who to blame (George W. Bush, terrorists, FEMA, etc.). The scientists, namely Randy Marsh, are called in to examine the phenomenon. At a conference, they all declare that the disaster is the result of global warming. ...

The declaration of the scientists causes mass hysteria, and everybody runs from "global warming". Most of the South Park people crowd in the community center. Randy persistently states that global warming is causing an ice age outside that would kill them if they left. A reporter declares that 600 billion people have died in Chicago alone. Randy also says that the temperature outside will fall to over 70 million degrees below zero, (which is impossible)."

So the episode pokes fun at people who took issue with Bush's response to Katrina and mocks global warming "panic." I'm gonna guess Conservatives loved it. How liberals sit through this show at all continues to astound me.
posted by Amanojaku at 2:56 AM on June 20, 2011


Amanojaku: Because South Park is also right about liberal causes sometimes, and it makes its points vividly, right or wrong.

I'm thinking about making a sock puppet account named "The proclaimer of obvious things."
posted by JHarris at 3:32 AM on June 20, 2011


If we judged the media as liberal or conservative based on class issues, there's no way the conclusion would be that there's a liberal bias.

Fuck. NPR isn't even liberal by this standard.

Pundits don't look at events and then report on their views of those events. They market their view of things by using a vocabulary made out if current events. They're actively building arguments---not reporting on events.
posted by vitabellosi at 4:05 AM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Liberals dominate the news because liberals dominate the Universities that "educate" the journalists.

Man I wish the Universities would educate the rest of the non-journalism students, because then the liberals would fucking dominate.
posted by fusinski at 6:46 AM on June 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Blazecock Pileon: "But TDS wouldn't exist in its current form without FOX News and the News Corporation around to make fun of."

That is really untrue. TDS makes fun of Fox, but their real concentration is stupidity in the media, which is provided galore by politicians and will be forever and ever more, amen. There will always be stupidity on both sides of the aisle. Fox just showcases the particularly crazy stupidity that the Republican party has been proudly displaying of late.
posted by theredpen at 6:52 AM on June 20, 2011


NPR isn't political -- which is the way things ought to be. It's about reporting news - and car advice - and stories about everyday life.

Also "liberal" does not mean concerned about class issues. Even if you go with a mid20th century definition (as opposed to 19th cent), liberals are concerned about social issues related to rights (civil rights) and freedoms (agt censorship, in favour of sexual and personal freedom). Some also worried about poverty, but talking about class issues - that's not liberal, it's socialist in the finest meaning of that honourable movement.

We need to reclaim liberal as supporting rights and freedoms, and we need to reclaim democratic socialism as standing for class equality and the amelioration of poverty -- and any right thinking person should be happy to identify themselves as a liberal democratic socialist.
posted by jb at 8:06 AM on June 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


I dont know why anyone stands up for any side. They are still making money off of disagreement and not producing results for our troubles.
posted by saucygit at 8:12 AM on June 20, 2011


When he says he is a comedian, I think what he is trying to say is he is under no obligation, as a comedian, to strive for fair and balanced ridicule of politics and nor do people expect him to be.

In fact he needs to press this point even harder. When Chris Wallace asks, "Why don't you go after MSNBC and CNN? They're as biased as we are!" Stuart needs to say:

"Because you guys are funnier. The lengths you go to push your agenda is more brazenly hilarious. Because I can just show clips of the ridiculous things you say, mug for the camera and get a laugh. I dare you to try that with MSNBC. When Rush Limbaugh tries to make fun of liberals he has to misquote them or caricature their positions to get a laugh. When I want to make fun of conservatives, all I have to do is point."
posted by straight at 9:05 AM on June 20, 2011 [10 favorites]



I dont know why anyone stands up for any side. They are still making money off of disagreement and not producing results for our troubles.
posted by saucygit at 8:12 AM on June 20 [+] [!]

THIS. FAVORITED A MILLION TIMES IF I COULD.

As long as this entire media spectacle is playing out like a college football game, it doesn't make any difference to anyone. It's ALL MAINSTREAM MEDIA MAKING MONEY FOR MAINSTREAM MEDIA, with some feel good sarcasm for the viewers of all stripes.

It's also why I don't bother watching television unless someone posts something here.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 9:06 AM on June 20, 2011


It's Never Lurgi: "Why does the media have a liberal bias? Are liberals just better at reporting the news than conservatives? To Americans just want to hear the liberal side of it? The right dominates talk radio - no question. Why are they unable to do it for the rest of the media? You've been whining about liberal bias for years, why not start wondering why conservatives suck at reporting the news?"

I think Fox News would respond to this by pointing out that they are the highest rated cable news network. They are winning the cable news game.
posted by I am the Walrus at 10:40 AM on June 20, 2011


@bicyclefish I'm always a bit rankled "I'm just a comedian" line


Correction. He said (i'm paraphrasing) "I am a comedian first." Big difference.
posted by En0rm0 at 11:16 AM on June 20, 2011


But TDS wouldn't exist in its current form without FOX News and the News Corporation around to make fun of.

Bullshit. Remember, Fox News was almost non-existent until 8am on 9/11/01. That was literally the moment that they took the ball of 24-hour reporting on a major issue and ran with it. Stewart was hosting TDS for 3 years before that, and it was several months after that when Fox News hit Full Speed Crazy.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:03 PM on June 20, 2011


Fox News Sunday Edits Out Jon Stewart's Criticism Of Fox Exec.
posted by ericb at 1:38 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Correction. He said (i'm paraphrasing) "I am a comedian first." Big difference.

Yep.
"When Wallace latched onto Stewart's routine of explaining himself as being only a comedian, Stewart lashed back. 'I said I'm a comedian first, I never said I'm only a comedian. Being a comedian is much harder than what you do. Being a comedian I put material though a process, a comedic process.'

... The whole debate is actually pretty interesting, and really gets going further in when Stewart seems genuinely angry with Wallace over the way Fox handles actual news. 'The embarrassment is that I'm given credibility in this world because of the disappointment that the public has in what the news media does,' he said. 'Who are the most consistently misinformed media viewers? The most consistently misinformed? Fox, Fox viewers, consistently, every poll.'"
posted by ericb at 1:44 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


December 2010:
Fox News Viewers Are The Most Misinformed: Study.

University Study: Fox Viewers More Misinformed.

Study Finds Fox News Viewers Most Misinformed On Issues.
The study: Voters Say Election Full of Misleading and False Information.
posted by ericb at 1:51 PM on June 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Leaked Memos Cast Doubt On Fox News' Claim Of Neutrality.
posted by ericb at 1:53 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fox Lies About Polling To Claim It Is "Most Trusted" TV News Source.

Most trusted news source? PBS!
posted by ericb at 1:56 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, let's examine this whole "NPR has a liberal bias" thing, shall we?

On March 11, 2011, Ira Glass issued a challenge to On The Media.

On March 18, 2011, Daniel Hallin, Tom Rosenstiel and Sam Negus took up the challenge.

On March 25, 2011, Sam Negus, Kevin Putt and Steve Rendall weigh in once more, and Tom Rosenstiel reveals his findings.

(All links have audio for listening as well as full transcripts.)
posted by hippybear at 3:57 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jon Stewart gets no love from Politifact.
posted by crunchland at 6:30 PM on June 20, 2011


I think PolitiFact took Stewart's words a little too broadly, or at least he wasn't precise enough in his criticism. The problem with Fox isn't that they fail to inform their viewers, it's that they work to actively misinform them -- but it's something they do only on topics that serve their political agenda. So a poll that asks politically contentious questions with objective answers, like whether WMD were found in Iraq, show Fox viewers to be highly misinformed, while ones that focus on non-political news literacy stuff like the location of a recently erupted volcano indicate them to be about as informed as anybody else (i.e., not well, but that's a whole 'nother issue).

It also explains the counterintuitive results found by some polls, where O'Reilly or Hannity viewers have scores comparable to Daily Show fans. Regular watchers of such shows are sure to know more basic political facts like the party controlling the Senate or who John Boehner is than the average joe, because those are subjects discussed nightly. It's the things viewers are lead to believe about these topics that are the problem -- it's all well and good if you can name Nancy Pelosi as the House Minority Leader, but if you think she's an avowed communist atheist who voted for death panels and sharia law, then you've got yourself a problem.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:58 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bias can be an actively good thing - from the NPR links -

One other interesting thing on this question of journalistic bias that can be unconscious – The Philadelphia Inquirer a few years ago did a study because they were being attacked by pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli members of the community, so they had LSU do a study of their coverage of the Middle East. And the research came back and said, you do have a bias in your coverage. It’s a pro-peace bias. You favor whichever side at any given moment is looking for a ceasefire.

As for the "bias" at NPR - one of the conservatives claimed that an interviewer has a liberal bias because she a) questioned the feasibility of a proposal by her guest (thus doing her job by not just accepting whatever she's told) and b) doing so by asking whether tax holidays were financially responsible. So apparently now showing concern for the American national deficit is a "liberal" position. Even just doing a story about a state NOT being hard-ass on immigrants was considered to be biased.
posted by jb at 9:44 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


(in case it isn't obvious - I support pro-peace biases in all walks of life)

As for bias - I'm tired of good news organisations trying to be "unbiased". They will never please everyone, and trying to just undermines their efforts to tell the truth.

They should proudly be biased - biased in favour of the truth, in favour of theories and policies which have good evidence to support them, biased in favour of scientific consensus. They should announce over and over again that they do not intend to tell both sides of any story when one side has no evidence to support their position -- or if they do, they will stop and point out that they have no evidence.

That would be good journalism.
posted by jb at 9:47 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The way Stewart phrased the comment, it’s not enough to show a sliver of evidence that Fox News’ audience is ill-informed. The evidence needs to support the view that the data shows they are "consistently" misinformed -- a term he used not once but three times. It’s simply not true that "every poll" shows that result. So we rate his claim False.

Ouch.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:56 AM on June 21, 2011


Oh, you say "ouch" now...

Wait until you see Stewart's outlining of Politifact's critique's of Fox News' biggest Falsehoods over the past year or three.

It was aired tonight. Clip will likely be posted tomorrow.
posted by hippybear at 8:22 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Roger Ailes’ Secret Nixon-Era Blueprint for Fox News
posted by homunculus at 9:52 PM on June 30, 2011


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