Friday, February 13, 2015

Jon Stewart Leaves Fake Newscasting

Kevin D Williamson on Jon Stewart:
The Destroyer Goeth
Jon Stewart’s shtick is a poor substitute for discourse, but that’s the state of contemporary progressivism.


"Jon Stewart’s genius — “and for once that overused word is appropriate,” Aucoin of the Globe insists — is that he provides intellectually lazy people with an excuse for forgoing the hard work of informing themselves at anything but the most superficial level about political events. Human beings being what they are, there will always be an acute need for humor in our political discourse; Stewart’s contribution has been to substitute humor — and an easy, vapid, shallow species of humor at that — for the discourse itself, through what Jim Treacher deftly described as his “clown nose on, clown nose off” approach to commentary: When it comes to Obamacare, the minimum wage, or the national debt, you don’t have to get the economics as long as you get the joke."
When someone quotes Jon Stewart, you know you're dealing with a bottom feeder.
"Jon Stewart’s genius — “and for once that overused word is appropriate,” Aucoin of the Globe insists — is that he provides intellectually lazy people with an excuse for forgoing the hard work of informing themselves at anything but the most superficial level about political events. Human beings being what they are, there will always be an acute need for humor in our political discourse; Stewart’s contribution has been to substitute humor — and an easy, vapid, shallow species of humor at that — for the discourse itself, through what Jim Treacher deftly described as his “clown nose on, clown nose off” approach to commentary: When it comes to Obamacare, the minimum wage, or the national debt, you don’t have to get the economics as long as you get the joke."
It's actually ridicule, not real humor. Ridicule is the resort of the Leftist who has no actual logic to contribute to the issue. Being a rhetorical device rather than a logical construct, ridicule is the last hope of the irrationals who cling to a failing or failed ideology.

Real humor is usually self-deprecating; ridicule is self-promoting as the source of some sort of wisdom which is not wisdom.
"The argument is false, but the joke is a good one, and so the joke prevails over the reality. And that’s Jon Stewart’s real legacy: a Democratic electorate that neither knows nor cares that “I can see Russia from my house!” is a sentence uttered not by Sarah Palin but by Tina Fey pretending to be Sarah Palin.

And then of course there is the matter of grotesque and inexcusable intellectual dishonesty, e.g., unscrupulously editing interviews to make Jonah Goldberg look like he can’t land a punch while doing the opposite with Elizabeth Warren. Point that out, though, and it’s clown-nose-on time again: You can’t apply any meaningful standard of probity to me — I’m a comedian! Now, here’s what you should think about tax policy . . ."
Intellectual dishonesty is like any other kind of dishonesty for the Left: they cannot be dishonest if they are following their narrative. There is no lie in a world without truth, and the narrative is true. Intellectual dishonesty? Fah.
"One of the strange things I’ve encountered in writing about Jon Stewart et al. is that when I criticize progressives for getting their news from a comedy program, the usual answer is “Why isn’t there a conservative version of The Daily Show? Huh? Huh?” As though that erased the stupidity of relying on a comedy show for news and insight."
They're all Marxist Class Warriors, intent on their own elitism carrying them to the top of the One World Empire. That's the objective of utopianism, not the pursuit of rational and true worldviews.

"And it takes a bottomless well of stupidity to rely on either mode of humor for a meaningful map of the world.

But ignorance is the default position, which is one of the reasons why conservatives are at a perennial disadvantage when it comes to taking policy ideas to the general public. To understand the conservative view, you have to know a little something about supply and demand, about what prices do in a modern economy, about unintended consequences, etc. “But if you don’t want to raise the minimum wage you hate poor people and love Wall Street greedheads you racist sexist homophobe!” is, by way of comparison, pretty persuasive among the sort of people inclined to take instruction from Jon Stewart. And that sort of discourse is, unfortunately, not restricted to comedy shows. It is the reason that people like Jamelle Bouie and Amanda Marcotte have prominent media platforms, their respective professional obligations being 1) call something/someone racist and 2) call something/someone sexist, i.e., narrowly focused discrediting campaigns substituted for argument — Jon Stewart minus the laughs. "



5 comments:

Stefani Monaghan said...

"You can’t apply any meaningful standard of probity to me — I’m a comedian! Now, here’s what you should think about tax policy . . ."

To be fair, I've always felt Limbaugh used the same dodge, claiming to be an entertainer while opining on matters politic.

Having said that, I was never much for either Limbaugh, Stewart -- or the MSM, for that matter --primarily because of the paucity and poverty of thought. I'm just not into sound-byte politics.

Rikalonius said...

Limbaugh started off pretty good, I guess because no one else was doing it. He was still a very good new aggregate before the days of the internet. I don't listen to him much anymore, but he still is capable of serious analysis if it is required.

My problem with Rush these days is he has gone full blown money maker. If he isn't selling something during his broadcast time, he is finding ways to slip in ad hoc pitches his own products. The ratio of good commentary to hocking stuff left me uninterested in listening.

Stefani Monaghan said...

I used to listen to Limbaugh regularly during my days as a data entry clerk at the tax bureau, which was pretty mindless work that allowed me to plough through lots of books on tape and soak up talk radio. I became annoyed with Limbaugh for two reasons: first, because 27 minutes of every hour was commercials. I can still remember the schedule: three minutes at the top of the hour, followed by seven minutes of commercials. Six minutes of broadcast, concluding with a promise to take a caller after the next commercial break (four minutes). Then the first caller, who generally got to talk for forty five seconds (more if Limbaugh was impressed or it fed his talking point) before being muted, seven minutes of monologue, then six minutes of commercials, taking you into the second half hour, which was even heavier on commercials.

The second reason was, though billing itself as a call-in talk show, in three hours Limbaugh rarely took more than four callers, who never talked for more than a combine three minutes. Because Limbaugh, apparently, prefers listening to himself talk.

I didn't stop listening to Limbaugh because of his politics, but because of his bombast. Just not my taste.

Robert Coble said...

"I didn't stop listening to Limbaugh because of his politics, but because of his bombast. Just not my taste."

My sentiments exactly.

Stan said...

I listened to Limbaugh once, but only for maybe ten minutes, tops.

I probably watched Jon Stewart about twice that much, just enough to see the twists and lies by implication and ridicule.

It's easy enough to hear what those two had to say from second sources without having to invest the time to actually have to listen to them.