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August 23, 2005 9:55 PM   Subscribe

Jon Stewart in Wired
posted by Mephistopheles (60 comments total)

 
Jon Stewart on television
posted by ?! at 10:00 PM on August 23, 2005


John Stewart in my dreams.

(President John Stewart?)
posted by Balisong at 10:06 PM on August 23, 2005


Worth noting that Meph's user page includes, "THIS IS A PRETTY_GENERIC SOCK PUPPET HELLO," no email address, and two posts, the first of which was something Meph hirself described with, "I don't know whether it's real or not. I was hoping someone else could find out."

And now this. Can we try just a little harder, please?
posted by mediareport at 10:11 PM on August 23, 2005


For an interview with Jon Stewart, that was surprisingly dull. He didn't seem interested in the questions at all, and I can't say I blame him.

For those who don't want to bother reading it, here's the one question executive summary:

Wired: So, like, will we watch TV on the internet?

Jon Stewart: Who cares?
posted by rusty at 10:12 PM on August 23, 2005


Now, Mediareport, not all of us like to be shamed for FPP's to our faces. Sock Pupetts are just another mask that some posters here need to get their courage up in order to weather the storm that usually comes after a single link post to an interview gets.
posted by Balisong at 10:15 PM on August 23, 2005


mediareport, I'm sorry for whatever I did to your ancestors in a past life.
posted by Mephistopheles at 10:16 PM on August 23, 2005


Aw, Damnit! I ended a sentance with a preposition! Just the way they always told me it might.
posted by Balisong at 10:17 PM on August 23, 2005


"Jon Stewart is My Hero) because he is a member of the GameSpy Network."

Via googletalk, which I discovered a few threads back.
posted by Citizen Premier at 10:24 PM on August 23, 2005


"gets" ain't a preposition, and sentance just ain't.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:27 PM on August 23, 2005


That was mostly a ridiculous interview. I don't understand why Jon Stewart and his producer (?) would be on the receiving end of questions about how content will be delivered in the future.

That said, Jon Stewart is my hero.
posted by ryanhealy at 10:35 PM on August 23, 2005


Well, there you go, then.
posted by Balisong at 10:42 PM on August 23, 2005


Wired doesn't seem to get it.
They probably just wanted an interview with him because he's so popular.
posted by nightchrome at 10:56 PM on August 23, 2005


Why is Jon Stewart heroic?
posted by gsb at 11:03 PM on August 23, 2005


He is heroic in the sense that all people who tell it like it is are heroic. In this day and age, the ability of a public figure to talk without dissembling is rare and should be lauded.
posted by nightchrome at 11:07 PM on August 23, 2005


Yeah, he doesn't use Newspeak like everyone else on TV does.
For that, he is truly a pioneer in these media troubled times.
posted by Balisong at 11:18 PM on August 23, 2005


He is heroic in the sense that all people who tell it like it is are heroic.

I thought that was fools. Are fools heroic now? I dunno, they always seem to wilt when they're needed the most.

mediareport, I'm sorry for whatever I did to your ancestors in a past life.

You weren't funny. They hated you for that.
posted by mediareport at 11:33 PM on August 23, 2005


Fools tell it like it is? So anyone who isn't spouting propaganda is a fool?
posted by Citizen Premier at 11:58 PM on August 23, 2005


If it's a tug-o-war between the fools and the jackasses, I'm rootin' for the fools.
posted by Balisong at 12:08 AM on August 24, 2005


Oh, Jon Stewart, he's funny.
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:17 AM on August 24, 2005


mediareport, mephistopheles first post was actually a good joke at his own expense.

Maybe your ancestors were miserable anyway.
posted by NinjaPirate at 12:57 AM on August 24, 2005


Heh, I still think it's funny that a friend of mine actually registered stophurtingamerica.com right after Stewart did that. Hooray for the intarweb.
posted by StephenV at 1:29 AM on August 24, 2005


nightchrome, your answer looks like a lowering of the bar for heroism. I always thought a hero carries out a selfless act, and clearly Jon Stewart is raking in the cash... his market is taking the piss out of the woeful media apparatus in America. Of course the two can go hand in hand, but precipitously.

Now Bill Maher, back to the point where he lost his show on ABC, that was mildly heroic because it cost him a fair bit at that time.

I guess this is a self-defeating argument, instead of talking about Jon Stewart as a hero, why not just say he's doing his job? A lot of journalists are not doing their job very well and still attract advertising revenue, and it takes a 'comedian' to point that out and attract even more advertising revenue. Pop will eat itself, and all that.

And Stewart's constant turning every answer into a joke is sooo very tired, I mean, nobody can be that funny all of the time -- apart from Chris Morris.
posted by gsb at 1:47 AM on August 24, 2005


Tip: Do not take an entertainer more seriously than they take themselves.
posted by TwelveTwo at 2:07 AM on August 24, 2005


Are fools heroic now?

They often are, and have been. The bravery required to be heroic requires no small amount of foolishness. And The Fool, as an archetype, is nothing if not brave.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:14 AM on August 24, 2005


Good god, if you people are looking for heros on television, you're just as taken in as the rest of them. Jon Stewart is hip, yeah, and he 'tells it like it is;' he's not afraid to pander to one market segment by offending another. Woohoo. Besides, TwelveTwo had it up above; the man never pretended to be a hero.

stavros: "They often are, and have been. The bravery required to be heroic requires no small amount of foolishness. And The Fool, as an archetype, is nothing if not brave."

This might be true in some sort of Cervantine world where heroism is typified by a superhuman bravery. But bravery, in my opinion, isn't the most heroic of virtues; my heroes are wise, not foolish. But maybe that's because I spend too much time reading Homer. I don't guess we've got the same definition of 'foolish,' however.
posted by koeselitz at 2:42 AM on August 24, 2005


A lot of journalists are not doing their job very well

au contraire mon frère!

Unless you are under the mistaken impression that their job is to serve the public interest at the expense of ratings... what are you, communist?

Stewart's heroism (for me at a least) stems from the darker days of 2002-2003, when his show was the only "news"-esque outlet not going with the flow on the march to war.

The very existence of this counter-propagandizing issue treatment on what was otherwise Corporatocratic TV was rather perplexing at the time to me. Perhaps being on "Comedy Central", a rather oddball media outlet in its own right (split-owned by Viacom and TW), let them fly under the radar, whereas any other news-commentary show would have much closer editorial oversight and accountability linkages with the major media players.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 3:04 AM on August 24, 2005


Heywood, I did mention advertising revenues.

>Unless you are under the mistaken impression that their job is to serve the public interest at the expense of ratings... what are you, communist?

Heywood, I did mention advertising revenues.

You see, I love advertising, I really love it. Therefore, I have not now, or ever have been a member of the Communist Party.

I don't think serving the public interest and having high ratings are mutually exclusive. Well, not yet. I guess I dont appreciate the 'subversive' nature of Jon Stewart.

Another thing, way back in my childhood, my English teacher told me how some satarists tread the line between tragedy or farce -- it's a crude categorisation, but I was young so it's forgiven. Some truly great plays or tomes span the two quite easily. I like farce, it's all good rip-roaring fun, but after a while I find it quite boring because the chapters keep being replayed over and over again. I prefer tragedies, even the diffuse ones with no resolutions but some understanding. Maybe it's because I'm a pessimistic person, or maybe it's because I can't find the humour in the farce any longer. The laugh has gone from the belly and become a bit nervous.

pointing out the farce ≠ heroism
posted by gsb at 3:37 AM on August 24, 2005


sorry, 'satirists'
posted by gsb at 3:38 AM on August 24, 2005


look a bit closer -- the man you've canonized is every bit the media sycophant that, say, larry king is.

he's a suckass who is savvy -- he can make wry jokes when newt gingrich is on his couch, because it doesn't count. but put someone relevant out there, he either wilts or felches.

if it's rick santorum, he wilts; if it's lewis lapham, he felches. it's pathetic either way.
posted by Hat Maui at 4:23 AM on August 24, 2005


Well, I think this interview provided the best possible new MeFi tagline ever when Stewart said:

I agree. I agree with me.

The dude is seriously funny, and he takes the piss out of his colleagues reporting the "news." Good stuff.
posted by realcountrymusic at 4:44 AM on August 24, 2005


cf. "Bizarrely, Zakaria cites The Daily Show as an inspiration for his own earnest series, because 'it gets to the core of news items in a funny, quick way.' " + natalie portman :D

cheers!
posted by kliuless at 4:46 AM on August 24, 2005


President John Stewart?

If nominated; he wouldn't run; if elected, he wouldn't serve. Amid all the gentle snarkiness, there's a lot of modesty, and I think he's painfully aware of his limitations and the tremendous difficulties of the job -- he'd shy away from it because he'd want to give it the earnestness it deserves, and he knows that's not in his nature.

I'm starting to agree grudgingly with my father that only megalomanics aspire to the post of President of the US. Mere mortals with clay feet and knowledge of their limitations wouldn't touch such a difficult job with a ten-foot pole. I enjoyed Tom Clancy's couple of Jack Ryan novels that dealt with that character, essentially an Everyman of sorts, struggling to fit into the role. It bothers me that certain recent occupants of the Oval Office seem a little too glib in acting Presidential -- I'd love to have more of a Cincinnatus type, and actually a Jon Stewart, with some sense of self-doubt, might be a refreshing change.
posted by alumshubby at 5:32 AM on August 24, 2005


gentle snarkiness

Gentle?
posted by tomplus2 at 6:10 AM on August 24, 2005


he's no hero--he's just poking the media and politicians daily with a stick, sometimes sharpened, and sometimes blunt. I find it hysterical that all sorts of media and political figures still want to be on his show. He is way way too respectful of hateful politicians tho.
posted by amberglow at 6:15 AM on August 24, 2005


can make wry jokes when newt gingrich is on his couch, because it doesn't count. but put someone relevant out there, he either wilts or felches.

I heard the same argument out of Fucker Carlson. Stewart chairs a comedy program. Why don't you attack Jay Leno for not asking the "tough questions?" Why don't you attack blabbering heads that actually run "news" programs like Carlson, Novak, Hannity & Colmes, etc. when they softball?

Stewart, though not really heroic, is at least presenting a comedy program that does not assume that the public are a bunch of saps. For that he deserves praise. His comedy satire of the days events and of the media does not softball the audience even if they don't skewer the guests in the 4 minutes they appear.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:26 AM on August 24, 2005


Gentle [snarkiness] ?

Compared to, say, Denis Leary or Chris Rock...yeah, I'd say more in sorrow than in anger.
posted by alumshubby at 6:40 AM on August 24, 2005


Even if this were an awesome interview it shouldn't be a FPP. As it turns out, it is not an awesome interview.
posted by glenwood at 6:52 AM on August 24, 2005


This might be true in some sort of Cervantine world where heroism is typified by a superhuman bravery.

I think you misunderstand me, or I you. That's OK, though.

Mocking dissent is Cervantine, I think, by it's very nature. But I do not see any linkage between that and 'superhuman bravery' as a substrate of any but the most Boys' World duotone nostalgia understanding of heroism. Which doesn't really matter one way or 'tother, 'cause in my humble the heroic view of history -- coral-grown and always accreting -- is a distorting and destructive one.

Regardless, I wasn't talking about Stewart, just commenting on mediareport's rhetorical question.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:52 AM on August 24, 2005


And now this. Can we try just a little harder, please?

Oh, yes, this post was horrendous! The discussion it spawned was like a massacre of ideas, as though thoughts were tangible entities and this post inspired you all to rend them in the most viscerally gruesome ways. God, I feel so dirty having posted here myself--I know I should save my comments for pure threads--but I just wanted to stop in and let you all know that this thread made me weep. Just stop. Stop. Stop hurting MetaFilter.


The post didn't even take up that much front page space, and I wouldn't have seen the interview otherwise, and this (interesting) discussion of Jon Stewart's role, self-proclaimed and audience-perceived, wouldn't have occurred. Go read threads you find interesting, mediareport.
posted by voltairemodern at 6:55 AM on August 24, 2005


Jon Stewart is just another douchebag shoving products down our collective throats. May he die a slow and painful death soon, along with all of his sackriding admirers.
posted by mrblondemang at 7:36 AM on August 24, 2005


Now, now mrblondmang, we don't advocate murder or assassination around here (unless it is Hugo Chavez).
posted by Pollomacho at 7:59 AM on August 24, 2005


Lot of bitter people in this thread.
posted by nightchrome at 8:08 AM on August 24, 2005


mrblondemang, please expound on your insightful and unfounded analysis.
posted by glenwood at 8:11 AM on August 24, 2005


Wait, what was it Jon Stewart was selling? I missed it.
posted by odinsdream at 8:14 AM on August 24, 2005


I don't understand why Stewart has guest like Santorum on his show. He, understandably I think, doesn't ask them tough questions and the guest themselves seem to tone it down for fear of being called out. The result is just blah. I'd rather they just did away with the whole interview portion of the show.
posted by mullacc at 8:23 AM on August 24, 2005


Wait, what was it Jon Stewart was selling? I missed it.

America the book. Indecision '04 the DVD set.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:24 AM on August 24, 2005


Quite a few trolls prowling the thread here.

While at times Stewart's comedic or satiric "neutrality" comes across as disingenuous, he has the distinction, I think, of honestly trying just to do his job - which is to poke fun at current events. I think he would be a very great fool not to realize the cultural impact he is having. That being said, articles/interviews like the post above pretty much support what he's been claiming all along: He's a comedian. If you want serious issues addressed, demand that of your elected representatives.

The best comments of John Stewart, like the infamous Crossfire episode, is probably more the reflection of a smart man, aware of his media impact, really just getting fed up and speaking out.

I have a great deal of respect for Stewart. He's no hero, but he is a very smart, very perceptive man, who has wisely used his role as comedian to play the time-honored role of the Fool.
posted by elendil71 at 8:57 AM on August 24, 2005


Metafilter: Can we try just a little harder, please?
posted by OmieWise at 9:04 AM on August 24, 2005


Jon Stewart + Wired = Tired (not quite expired.) Too much media exposure dulls a sharp tongue.
posted by cenoxo at 9:09 AM on August 24, 2005


His rep for candour/courage/"telling it like it is" went down a number of notches for me after he had Robert Kennedy on last month; Kennedy sat there and rabbitted on and on and on with the lamest conspiracy theories re: Thimerosal and autism and Stewart just sat there, much like the dull-witted CNN anchors he regularly excoriates...
posted by docgonzo at 10:18 AM on August 24, 2005


Jon Stewart has never been in my living room.
posted by shockingbluamp at 10:26 AM on August 24, 2005


Metafilter: I'd say 12 percent goodness, 88 percent crapola.
posted by spock at 11:18 AM on August 24, 2005


Stewart just sat there, much like the dull-witted CNN anchors

The daily show isn't about attacking guests. Yes it would have been nice if he did some research into the topic before the show and pointed out that there doesn't seem to be a connection, but I don't think you should think any less of him for not being up on the latest research.

It would be nice if someone discovered the real reason for the increase in Autism.
posted by Malenfant at 11:23 AM on August 24, 2005


Rusty: surprised that Jon Stewart acted so cynically hip?
posted by esquire at 1:29 PM on August 24, 2005


Malenfant: true it is about attacking *conservative* guests. The Daily Show is nothing more than warmed-over liberal conventional wisdom, but slightly funnier because it is not quite as well-mannered.

Dennis Miller called. He said something about wanting his schtick back and mentioned that he was willing to trade in his newfound conservatism for it if necessary.
posted by esquire at 1:35 PM on August 24, 2005


but I don't think you should think any less of him for not being up on the latest research.

Why not? This is exactly how he skewers the Wolf Blitzer/Kyra Philips of the world.
posted by docgonzo at 3:10 PM on August 24, 2005


From the page: ---> You shouldn't say: "I really want to know what fans think. I really want to understand how people are digesting our show." Because that is one of those things that you truly have no control over. The one thing that you have control over is the content of the show. But how people are reacting to it, how it's being shared, how it's being discussed, all that other stuff, is absolutely beyond your ability to control.

Despite all this, I'll bet you anything The Daily Show staff is aware of this thread. Stewart seems to lead off with whatever story is "hot" on the blogs. His audience is the Internet. TDS is a "crossover" internet/TV show.
posted by meh at 4:03 PM on August 24, 2005


I'd rather they just did away with the whole interview portion of the show.
posted by mullacc at 8:23 AM PST on August 24 [!]


I've thought that. Especially after the election ended and they had to go back to interviewing Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz. I usually stop watching now.
posted by es_de_bah at 7:02 PM on August 24, 2005


There's an interview portion of the show?
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:37 PM on August 24, 2005


It bothers me that certain recent occupants of the Oval Office seem a little too glib in acting Presidential

Because all they're required to do is act. Cincinnatus or George Washington would be seriously overqualified today. The POTUS has two job functions: get elected and act as national spokesperson. This is why the current guy can spend half his time on vacation. Btw, it's interesting to note - the last guy was way above average smart, the current, well maybe more the other direction and yet they're both 2-term'ers... see it doesn't matter what they do or are capable of beyond getting elected and delivering someone elses speeches every once in a while.

Oh and yeah, ditch the interview, weakest part of the show for sure.
posted by scheptech at 7:56 AM on August 25, 2005


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