Okay. Lets start over from scratch, and see if we can have a better discussion this time around:
This troper is a center-right conservative fan of both the Fox News channel and Jon Stewart. He enjoys debate with both sides of the aisle above all and frequently watches both shows to get the best perspective on issues. Above all, he respects Stewart for facilitating debate on his shows and not outright dismissing the other side's merits because they're conservative views. Here's the thing: Jon Stewart has often gone after Fox for rather petty things while allowing people like Bill Maher and Keith Olbermann(though he HAS taken Olby to task from time to time) off the hook time after time. What he doesn't get about Stewart is how he can justify going after Fox's "Fair and Balanced" tagline because of their, to him anyway, conservative bias when there are plenty of people on that network who wish to facilitate a proper debate on their shows. Bill O'Reilly , in recent years, is a good example of trying to host a proper debate, as well as Glenn Beck(whenever he HAS a guest on, anyway) as well as others. Yes, Fox has quite a bit of partisan whacks on its airwaves, but there's less partisanship on that network than what this troper has seen on the Left-leaning networks, which content themselves parroting the Democrat agenda no matter what while Fox HAS questioned Republican platforms on more than one occasion(though most of that question has come from, again, O'Reilly and Beck).
First of all, no one else claims to be fair an balance, Jon Stewart doesn't go after Fox News because he thinks they are more bias than anyone else, but because they deny it and go promoting a lie to viewers that they are neutral, think of the viewers who believe that and that at the end of watching the network for a day they think the democratic government wants to actively ruin America, that pro-choice people want to kill all babies, and that people against the war want to the death of the nations more than the terrorist, remember bias goes far beyond politics. Reporters are thought in college that they shouldn't let their idealisms affect their reports, which is a rule rarely not broken by american reporters. I also don't agree that "sometimes" disagreeing with conservatives makes them much less bias if they keep attacking liberal opinions and "promoting" other conservatives ones, they should be as neutral as possible and let people decide, they shouldn't even give their opinion on the matter because that is were biasness starts. Example, saying something like: your safety is being threaten, government is making deals with a high ranking Muslim corporate. Instead of just: Goverment is making deals with the high ranking oversees corporate "name". See it's letting people think for themselves if this threatens their safety and if him being a Muslim is important or not. Finally I've make this post long enough so I'm not gonna point individual examples, I'm just gonna point out that in Jon's interview of Bret Beier, even him, a Fox News reporter, thinks that O'Rilley and Glen Beck as bias but that they only count for part of the cast (which doesn't really saves FNC from failing their tagline motive).
I saw the interview with Baier, and all Stewart did was make a crack about O'Reilly but not once did he speak on O'Reilly's bias. He more or less said Glenn Beck is biased, sure, but Stewart's gone on record multiple times as saying O'Reilly's probably the closest thing to "No Spin" on FNC than anyone else. And, once again, if Jon Stewart's going to go after Fox for being biased when he's just as biased as they are, it's a tad bit hypocritical. Sure, he doesn't CLAIM to be unbiased, but that doesn't make his hypocrisy any better, it just means that he's hiding behind Refuge in Audacity. Problem is, as pointed out by Bernie Goldberg, Stewart explicitly cedes his Refuge in Audacity when he gets serious about politics.
My point was that the people IN Fox News know they are biased, saying others are biased but you aren't is not a solution, because they're generalizing, not talking about you specifically, I respect O'Rilley but there are two things that I don't like about him, 1 is his temper and another one is when he defends Fox News as a whole, sure you may be the most unbiased of your company, but the others aren't, which technically makes Fox News biased.
Stewart is actively disturbed by the idea of The Daily Show being used as a primary source of information, and tries hard to make it clear that its a sometimes humorous commentary that should be secondary to ostensibly less biased genuine news sources. Fox News, by contrast, claims to be an unbiased primary source of information that doesn't need backing up by real sources, while being just as if not even more biased. Its the difference between a chocolate bar promising to taste great while having silly parodies of health claims that make a genuine point about silly claims by food products*
like, "will help you find god" or "adds 300 years to your life", with a disclaimer in small print, and maybe a note about minor possibly unproven antidepressant effects
and a chocolate bar that is actually claiming to improve bodily health*
like, claiming to be as nutritious as fruit because it has some vitamin C added despite fruit having a myriad other benefits besides vitamin C
, while being just as fattening and unhealthy, and without any disclaimer. They're both delicious candy, and they both try to say something about health claims, but only one of them admits that it isn't a substitute for an actual meal or balanced diet.
And to anticipate your next point, yes, the other news organizations implicitly claim to be unbiased while having biases; Fox's claim is explicit. That MSNBC and CNN say and do stupid and biased things is brought up frequently on the Daily Show. That they do not receive precisely identical coverage times is explained by differences between implicit and explicit claims in deriving comedic irony, the fact that the writers aren't robotic gods and only have 30 minutes to work with*
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? got around a similar problem by always having Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny onscreen at the same time- but that doesn't work with news stories
, the fact that, to paraphrase Stewart, MSNBC is really bad at it compared to Fox's spin mastery, and the fact that they do try, and arguably succeed in giving equal coverage at times; the last three or four times I randomly turned on The Daily Show, there were about 4 criticisms of MSNBC and CNN to about 2 criticisms of Fox, the latter of which was mostly confined to an interview.
While your second point makes great points, I have to address how you've insisted Stewart hates being claimed as a new source: If the guy didn't want to be a source of news, then why in the hell DOES he get very serious about his whole schtick in the first place? Furthermore, the guy was named "Most Reliable New Source Since the Death of Walter Cronkite" by a poll in Time Magazine. And several times, whether it be in his interviews with Bill O'Reilly or whatever, he's pulled that card and has shown to take pride in being thought of as such.
That he doesn't like being a source of information is cited in just about every interview with him on the issue I've seen and I found three in two minutes of google searching, and the Daily Show wikipedia article "reception" section as well. According to the same article, his response to the Walter Cronkite thing was "I was the "none of the above" option", and I personally wager that his bringing it up to O'Reilly is in that context- not saying that he, Stewart, has a high score on the reliability test, but that people like O'Reilly got really abysmal scores. Its not an "I did well", its a "you score so badly you're in the same ballpark as me, and that isn't a good thing". As he also mentions/references, and I personally think might also be responsible, it was an internet poll, and he shares a fanbase with Stephen "Wikipedia automatically locks pages after I reference them and Hungary almost named a bridge after me because I get people who don't usually vote in these things to vote for me" Colbert.
He mentions a lot of those things on his appearance on Crossfire, and why shows like that should be held to higher standards than him. A CNN article quotes him as saying of the people who treat him as a primary source, ""A lot of them are probably high," Stewart cracked. "I'm not sure, coming off of robots fighting and into our show, what we're dealing with out there." ". He says some serious stuff at times, but its almost always in does so to set up later jokes to poke fun. When he rarely doesn't do serious stuff as the setup for a punchline, like with the Rally to Restore Sanity And/Or Fear, its usually as commentary on American culture and the job of media within it, something that as he's said only makes sense within the context of a person who is familiar with other news media. When he has a serious political figure on the show, if you'll notice, they're the ones saying serious stuff; he's just throwing a snark out there periodically, clearly out of his element. You're far from being alone in thinking him skirting and maybe being just over the line in his use of seriousness as framework for jokes; several people have accused him of using the "I'm just a comedian" thing as a shield when he says serious things, but in my opinion, the fact that he makes pointed statements about the conflict with Gaddafi whilst comparing Gaddafi to a man in a dress and listing celebrities he resembles somewhat takes the wind out of his serious debater sails sufficiently to lose the air of professionalism. As I said, he only really loses that news-based-Rifftrax thing- only saying serious things so there's something to riff, or as the setup for a gag, or tossing in enough gags to make you stop seriously considering what he's saying- when he's talking about how we get news, and the way news media work- and as the Crossfire thing shows, he's far from singling out Fox there; he ripped into Crossfire back there back then, and that was CNN.
The comparison to Bill Maher may mostly be because Jon thinks of both himself and Bill as being comedians, and thus not held at the same standard of people whose job it is (such as Bill O'Reilly or the main news channels like FOX, CNN, and CSNBC) to give the public the truth, and calls them out for giving the people anything but.
The problem is, Maher's show takes itself FAR too seriously to be "nothing but a comedy show."
In the end Jon is a comedian, a lot and I mean a LOT of other comedians make fun of politics, news, etc. (I've heard jokes specifically about Fox News) the only difference is that it was mostly viewed as just opinions, but Jon started showing clips of the screw ups politicians and news make, he unlike the others is a threat to them. But the reality is that when you have Elmo the puppet terrorist, rarely go more than 3 minutes without making a joke and have a team called the best F**king news team in the world it should be clear that you're not at fault for being taken so seriously, after all you wouldn't even have a show if they wouldn't screw up so much or were so crazy.
My only real beef is that every now and then, Stewart tries to pass off his actual mistakes as jokes. I don't remember the exact details, but at one point I saw him try to pull a "gotcha" on a British politician who immediately corrected him about his facts. Stewart theatrically replied with "You win this round!" and shiftily gazed at the audience, getting a laugh from them. Yeah, that's cute and all, Jon, but you were trying to seriously debate the guy, and it's pretty chickenshit to turn around and pretend like you were kidding all along if you get called on something. You can't have it both ways; you can be a comic and a pundit, but not both at the same time.
It's self-deprecating humor. And the material is written in advance, so if the two happened within the same episode it was planned that way.
He's a comedian first. What does a good comedian do when he screws up? He turns it into a joke.
So it's "heads I win and tails you lose" just because someone is a comedian? Sorry, but I'm calling shenanigans on that. Guests on shows like this do have a list of sorts as to what they'll discuss, but they don't use an exact script. Stewart didn't plan to get his facts wrong; he made an honest mistake while trying to debate and passed it off like he was joking the whole time.
The thing is, he isn't actually expecting anyone to honestly believe that. He's expecting them to realize he was wrong, and to find his attempts at covering that up humorous.
I think the point the above troper was trying to make was when Stewart makes a Critical Research Failure or gets his facts wrong when debating someone of an opposing ideology, he tries to pass that off as intentional rather than a legitimate screw up, almost as if he's trying to keep that screw-up from undermining his argument.
One gets the feeling that if anybody actually believes it was intentional it speaks more for their incompetence than his, and he knows it- pardon my bluntness, but only an idiot wouldn't recognize blatant ass-covering when they see it. He's not trying to make people think he's clever when he does that, he's just trying to salvage some laughs from an otherwise embarrassing and useless situation- which is exactly what makes it funny in the first place. Its funny to watch him scramble to cover his ass, and he knows it.
Yeah, but you have to admit, it IS quite jarring when he's trying to have a serious debate and he does that sort of thing...
Actually no it isn't, because like it's been said above he's a comedian if someone on a serious news network does then I might agree with you on that, but he's on Comedy Central on a comedy show, so what best way to deal with the situation than with comedy.
So then why does he bother to have SERIOUS, PRODUCTIVE debates on his show? Why are there times where he drops to a pundit-level of seriousness when it comes to him having a debate with someone he disagrees with on his show? Refuge in Audacity only works so long as you REMAIN AUDACIOUS.
He isn't trying to be audacious. He's trying to be funny. And he succeeds, as much as he can without scaring the guests away- if you'll notice, he doesn't actually debate most of 'em, he just gives lead in questions so they can talk at him about what they wanted to get on the show to advertise, and he tosses out one-liners and jokes periodically. What do you want him to do, pants every third guest?
My guess is, the way he figures it, he lost the "serious debate" air when he screwed up, and its better to get a laugh than it is the awkward pauses and "oh, OK" that would otherwise ensue (and would be just as jarring).
It would be important to note that he occasionally does the same thing to avoid the awkwardness even when a guest screws up. Long pauses filled with embarassment would kill the mood of the show no matter who screwed up, Jon or the guest.
He's not trying to cover up his mistake. He's acknowledging it and making it a joke.
My problem with Stewart is not how he treats the media, but how he treats political ideologies in general, which is just typified in how he treats the media. The stories and people he chooses to lampoon versus those that he chooses to laud show that he happens to hold views that we would probably call liberal. Nothing wrong with that. What the comedy—and the "I'm just a comedian!" attitude—cover up is that not everyone agrees, or thinks that liberalism is laudatory and conservatism is worth lampooning. The pretense of claiming to want to be the most successful comedian he can be when he's basically telling giving an entire major political movement a daily "The Reason You Suck" Speech strikes me as slightly hypocritical.
He's a SATIRIST. Satire is, by definition, ideological. Stewart has repeatedly said that his show is not fair and that it's not supposed to be (see his interview with Jim Cramer if you want an example). His status as a comedian doesn't somehow obligate him not to take a ideological position. It's because he's a comedian that he's got the leeway to be biased and he never made any claim that he wasn't biased. The "I'm just a comedian" argument is in response to journalists responding to his criticisms by essentially telling him, "well, you don't do much better!" What Stewart is saying is that this sort of response is nonsense because it's the media that needs to have even-handed journalistic integrity, not him. He's a comedian, and journalism is not his job.
In the interview with Christ Wallace for example, he says that he's a comedian first, his job and primary objective is to make the audience laugh. Imagine if you look at it from the opposite angle. Imagine if Jon Stewart was like Mallard Fillmore, and Fox News hosts called him out on not really making jokes anymore, then he comebacks by saying that they rarely make jokes on their shows, but! it's not their job to be funny, it's their job to report the truth and (since they promote it so much) be fair and balanced but it is Jon's job to make jokes so they have full grounds to call him out on it.
Or maybe, just maybe, American conservatism has a problem that it attracts so many absolutely bugfuck crazy people that the jokes just write themselves. When one side in the debate goes 'maybe we should do something about those pseudo-military weapons floating around', and the other side has Alex Jones ranting on prime-time tv, do you really expect the Daily Show crew to ignore that?
American liberalism attracts just as many bugfuck crazy people. Both sides have crazy people worth mocking.
I'm quite sure you can find a left-wing idiot if you look. However, I picked the Alex Jones example because he is not just a nutjob, but a nutjob supported by a million-member, powerful lobbying organisation. Even from across the Atlantic it is obvious that the left in the US has no such presence. So I stick to my view that Jon takes on more of the right because the right has a comparably more visible amount of complete nutters.
I find him to be too conservative some times.
Then you clearly live in la-la land.
Europe = la la land?
Well, your average democrat would be a 'libertarian' in European politics.
The "Rally-To-Restore-Sanity" was supposed to be about being moderate, middle ground, and, well, sane. Stewart made an enormous deal about how he wanted to bring everyone together, and avoid all types of insanity and extremism. And yet, he invited this guy.Epic Fail or Hypocrite?
In response to that controversy, Yusuf said that part of what he said was stupid and offensive jokes made in bad taste, while other parts were merely giving his interpretation of Islamic law but not advocating any action. Then where I think it fits with the Rally to Restore Sanity is that he and others objected that they edited the part where he promised to accept the judgment of a British court if it found Rushdie innocent of any crime, blasphemy or otherwise. Not to mention all the things that the controversy initially caused like Tom Leykis calling for a mass steamrolling of Cat Steven's records (it was initially a mass burning) and people smashing his albums in the street. It's nice how the only options you give are epic fail or hypocrisy.
I'm very sad that this seems to be the No. 1 question people want to discuss. I had nothing to do with the issue other than what the media created. I was innocently drawn into the whole controversy. So, after many years, I'm glad at least now that I have been given the opportunity to explain to the public and fans my side of the story in my own words. At a lecture, back in 1989, I was asked a question about blasphemy according to Islamic Law, I simply repeated the legal view according to my limited knowledge of the Scriptural texts, based directly on historical commentaries of the Qur'an. The next day the newspaper headlines read, "Cat Says, Kill Rushdie." I was abhorred, but what could I do? I was a new Muslim. If you ask a Bible student to quote the legal punishment of a person who commits blasphemy in the Bible, he would be dishonest if he didn't mention Leviticus 24:16.
Well, when a guy spouts some extremist rhetoric and then tries to pass it off as "jokes", which Jon's called pundits on the Right out for doing on multiple occasions...
Ah, yes, the old "taken-out-of-context" excuse. Sorry, but I'm calling bullshit on this. Stevens (sorry, Yusuf Islam) was never "taken out of context". He advocated murder, plain and simple. The fact that, to this day, he refuses to admit it further proves the point. I think Salman Rushdie summed it up perfectly in his Letter to the Sunday Telegraph:
Cat Stevens wanted me dead. However much Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam may wish to rewrite his past, he was neither misunderstood nor misquoted over his views on the Khomeini fatwa against The Satanic Verses (Seven, April 29). In an article in The New York Times on May 22, 1989, Craig R Whitney reported Stevens/Islam saying on a British television programme "that rather than go to a demonstration to burn an effigy of the author Salman Rushdie, 'I would have hoped that it'd be the real thing'." He added that "if Mr Rushdie turned up at his doorstep looking for help, 'I might ring somebody who might do more damage to him than he would like. I'd try to phone the Ayatollah Khomeini and tell him exactly where this man is'." In a subsequent interview with The New York Times, Mr Whitney added, Stevens/Islam, who had seen a preview of the programme, said that he "stood by his comments". Let's have no more rubbish about how "green" and innocent this man was.
Not taking sides in the Rushdie-Stevens/Islam debate, but after the rally, Rushdie spoke with Stewart, and said that Stewart apparently regretted inviting Islam for exactly these reasons. Rushdie himself seems to hold no malice/grudge/whatever against Stewart.
Funny. I don't know where you got your information, but from what I read, the opposite is true. Stewart had no regrets about inviting Yusuf Islam, even if it upset Rushdie. Here's what Rushdie had to say:
I spoke to Jon Stewart about Yusuf Islam's appearance. He said he was sorry it upset me, but really, it was plain that he was fine with it. Depressing.
what's the problem here? he said that Stweart did apologized, just that "he" didn't believe him, that doesn't makes it a fact.
Oftentimes, during the second act correspondent section, they will have two interviewees on opposite sides of an issue. But they sometimes edit it to look as if the correspondent is actually getting up in the middle of the interview to go to the other one and quote something the first interviewee said. Then they appear to "go back" to the first one and quote what the second one said. But oftentimes these subjects are in different cities, how are they arranging that?
Daily Show correspondents are never on location during those segments. It's all done with green screen, something that gets played for laughs during the live Indecision specials, when people who had minutes ago claimed to be in Washington or at a state poling place wander onto the set.
No, not the "on location" bits, but the actual interviews.
Simple prediction: They are going to two people on opposite sides of an issue. It's not all that complicated to predict talking points of both sides.