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False Positives Adventures in Technology, SciFi and Culture from Toronto

Monday, October 18, 2004

Jon Stewart's Brutal Exchange with CNN Crossfire Hosts

IFlim is Hosting Jon Stewart's (of the Daily Show) appearance on Crossfire.

It?s sad (scary) how they (CNN) can?t answer a straight question (they can't believe he asked a straight question, then avoid the question any way they can), and hold a comedy show to a higher standard than they themselves follow. Here one column describing what happened.

Update: It was also on Boing Boing, but I missed it.

There are now suggestions that (maybe) Crossfire Downloads Exceed Broadcast Audience

Another update: Jon comments on his appearance and CrossFire's tempid response


And the New York Times has finally noted it:No Jokes or Spin. It's Time (Gasp) to Talk.

Mr. Stewart's frankness was a cool, startling, rational version of Senator Zell Miller's loony excoriation ("Get out of my face") to Chris Matthews of MSNBC during the Republican convention...

Mr. Stewart's Howard Beal (of "Network") outburst stood out because he said what a lot of viewers feel helpless to correct: that news programs, particularly on cable, have become echo chambers for political attacks, amplifying the noise instead of parsing the misinformation. Whether the issue is Swift boat ads or Bill O'Reilly's sexual harassment suit, shows like "Crossfire" or "Hardball" provide gladiator-style infotainment as journalists clownishly seek to amuse or rile viewers, not inform them....

When Mr. Carlson took the offense, charging that Mr. Stewart had no right to complain since he had asked Senator John Kerry softball questions on "The Daily Show," Mr. Stewart looked genuinely appalled. "I didn't realize - and maybe this explains quite a bit - that the news organizations look to Comedy Central for their cues on integrity." When Mr. Carlson continued to argue, Mr. Stewart shut him down hard. "You are on CNN," he said. "The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls."...

All late-night talk-show hosts make jokes about politicians. What distinguishes Mr. Stewart from Jay Leno and David Letterman is that the Comedy Central star mocks the entire political process, boring in tightly on the lockstep thinking and complacency of the parties and the media as well as the candidates. More than other television analysts and commentators, he and his writers put a spotlight on the inanities and bland hypocrisies that go mostly unnoticed in the average news cycle.


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1 Comments:

  • I found a documentary online about the rift political talk radio shows are putting in our country. I remember when we all used to get along, like in the 1860s. Oh wait.

    The Not So Civil War

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:06 PM  

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