Liberal Salon.com Writer to Jon Stewart: Drop Your 'Trite' 'Comedian First' BS, You're an 'Activist'

It's not just conservatives who are sick and tired of Jon Stewart hiding behind his "I'm a comedian" excuse when called out for his dead-serious liberal pontifications.

Even liberals like Salon.com's Will Bunch are tired of the "Daily Show" host's faux sanctimony, even as he cheers Stewart's liberalism and calls on the comedian to embrace it.

From a June 21 War Room blog post (emphases mine):


[O]utside of "The Daily Show," in interviews like the one he gave to Chris Wallace and even his famous 2004 confrontation that may or may not have killed CNN's "Crossfire," I find that Stewart (and it pains me to say this, as such a fan) can come across as kind of lame, his "media criticism" beyond trite. In interviews, his complaints against the media tend to be an unsophisticated "pox on all of your houses." I thought his largely pointless D.C. mall rally in late October repeated the mistake he makes in these interviews -- trying to argue that our discourse is too loud while ignoring the real point that he hammers home on "The Daily Show," that our politics is irrational.

 

But the lamest thing of all, frankly, is Stewart trying to absolve responsibility from the gravitas of what he does -- and make no mistake, the gravitas is there -- by claiming that merely, "I am a comedian." That's true, but he fails to see what many others realize, which is that he is also much more than a comedian. In a world where far too much of highly paid professional journalism, especially inside the Beltway, has become a joke, it has fallen on the comedians -- Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Bill Maher perhaps the most prominent -- to say what on-one-hand, on-the-other hand journalists are too tied up in knots to tell you, that much of America's discourse in 2011 is bat-guano insane.

 

Actually, Jon Stewart, you are an activist, and the cause you fight for is most worthy because -- as you do correctly note -- it is not a purely ideological one, but the cause of reason. And the fight against illogic is not a "fair and balanced" one, that the most dangerous bogus ideas may be concentrated in the spots where global warming doesn't exist and the way to balance a budget deficit is more tax cuts for rich people. For whatever reason, in the past your friend and colleague Colbert -- who coined "truthiness" and said that reality has a known liberal bias -- has gotten it a lot better than you do.

 

Maybe Stewart is starting to get it, too. He did say on Sunday that he has an ideology that "is non-partisan and focuses on 'absurdity,' 'anti-corruption' and 'anti lack-of-authenticity.'" That sounds exactly right, so now it's time to drop the "just a comedian" shtick, which comes off like a giant cop-out, exactly the kind of thing that you normally expose so very well, night after night.

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Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters