Jon Stewart -- Comedy's Jonathan Gruber -- Attacks Sean Hannity

November 22nd, 2014 4:46 PM

Jon Stewart says Sean Hannity is a “loathsome dude.” The host of The Daily Show makes a point of saying of Hannity that he is “probably the most loathsome dude over there” -- there being, of course, Fox News.

Which raise an obvious question, a question impossible to miss.

What does the comedy of Jon Stewart have in common with the contempt on parade in the health care lectures of the deliberately deceptive MIT professor Jonathan Gruber? The Jonathan Gruber of all those now-infamous videos in which Gruber, the behind-the-scenes-architect of ObamaCare, is caught boasting of how ObamaCare  was built on a foundation of lies. 

The question arises after Stewart went after Hannity's integrity: “That’s just pure cynicism, and it’s horrible. Everything is presented in as devious a manner as it could be possibly be presented.”

In a later appearance on Howard Stern’s show Stewart expanded on his views of Hannity. As reported at Mediaite:  

“I don’t hate him,” Stewart said, “I just think he’s disingenuous. I think that’s a real cynical play.” Asked by Stern if he thinks Hannity is “acting” on his show, Stewart replied, “It seems like it, because nobody can be that consistent ideologically.” “It’s also the difference between sort of being a broadcaster and just being an ideologue,

Earlier, zeroing in on Fox News, Stewart had said that:

“Roger Ailes’ great gift was mainstreaming that nativist, paranoid streak in American politics and putting it on television in a much prettier, shinier box. What they did was change the inflection point. AM talk radio is, ‘We are being robbed by communists and progressives that are destroying this country. They are a cancer and treasonous!’ Fox News does it like (sweet, cheery voice) ‘Are we being run by communists? Is it treason what they’re doing? Let’s have the discussion.'”

Got all that?  Hannity is loathsome. Disingenuous. Cynical. And oh yes….devious. (And Fox is for the “paranoid”…which is doubtless why Fox beat ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC in the midterm election ratings. Which raises a question of which network’s executives might actually be “paranoid” but another topic for another time.)

But could it be, just maybe, that its Jon Stewart who is, well, loathsome, disingenuous, cynical and devious?

In other words what Jon Stewart is doing - the entire premise of The Daily Show - is to mainstream Jonathan Gruber-style leftist elitism. Except with better jokes. The other week Stewart got into a vivid discussion with Bill O’Reilly over the liberal confection of “white privilege,” somehow missing the core problem is not “white privilege” but “liberal privilege” - the latter giving liberals the “right” to define societal norms and pass judgment on who is or is not a success according to those norms.

The attack on Sean Hannity is a perfect example of the genre. There is no more a straight-shooter on radio and television than Sean Hannity. (And yes, full disclosure, I have been on both Hannity shows.) He couldn’t be either phony or an elitist if his life depended on it. He is a deeply well-grounded, thoughtful man with boundless empathy. And, of course, like millions of Americans he is a conservative. If he were the first three -- and a liberal -- he’d be a regular toast of Jon Stewart’s town. Up to his neck in liberal privilege.

But being a conservative -- a conservative who is alternately amused and disdaining of the snooty elitist liberalism that is the stock in trade of both the comedian Jon Stewart and the academic Jon Gruber -- not to mention President Obama and the entire American Left -- Hannity, like innumerable of his fellow conservatives, is under constant attack in precisely the manner Stewart and Gruber exemplify.

By now, millions are familiar with that seemingly endless stream of Gruber videos in which the ObamaCare architect is gleefully explaining how stupid are the American people and how Obama and company successfully played their gullible constituents.  Just this week there is President Obama flatly lying about his constitutional authority to rule by executive order.

 And of course, there is that left-wing staple of race card playing which Stewart indulges in with all the sophistication of  a polished Al Sharpton.  As when he went after Hannity for supporting New York’s “stop and frisk” policy. Of course, the New York Daily News  reported of the then-New York Police Commissioner on the subject this way: “ ‘The stark reality is that violence is happening disproportionately in minority communities,’ Kelly went on to say, suggesting that police are saving more minority lives, not just targeting them for stops.”  Save more lives in the black and brown community, to use Stewartesque language! Oh the horror! Then again, Stewart is the guy with fourteen writers only one of whom is black, as reported here.  And on the guest front? Reports Reuters of the man who likes to present himself in typical liberal fashion as Mr. Equality:

“But when you factor in race, Stewart’s numbers start to look very grim indeed. A resounding majority – 68 percent – of his guests were white, and of the very few African-American guests who appeared on his show, all were entertainers – the band Wu-Tang Clan and the comedian Kevin Hart. Women of color fared similarly poorly on The Daily Show: Out of 45 guests, just three were women of color.”

Yet there is Jon Stewart saying of Hannity’s shows that: “Everything is presented in as devious a manner as it could be possibly be presented.”  Really? Or is it exactly the other way around?  Here’s another example of how Stewart deals the cards when he focuses on Hannity.

In this clip,  Stewart mocks Hannity for saying there was a “lack of proportionality” in the appearance of armed government agents at the standoff surrounding rancher Cliven Bundy’s ranch. In the same routine Stewart than goes on to show another Hannity clip in which the subject is a campus protest at California’s UC Davis campus. After showing this clip of police pepper spraying the leftist Davis protestors, Stewart shows Hannity discussing the incident and saying “Did they (the police) cross the line? I don’t think so.” The sheeples in the Daily Show audience hoot Hannity on cue and Stewart is off  and running, playing to the stereotypical image of conservatives as cold and heartless idiots.

But wait! Isn’t Jon Stewart the guy who accuses Hannity of presenting “ a devious manner”?

As not shown on Stewart’s show, there is this video of the Davis incident. Another, very different video of exactly the chain of events that led to the pepper spraying.  The video, which runs almost 16 minutes in length shows another reality altogether. Titled "UC Davis Pepper Spray - What Really Happened," the video, filmed by a witness, shows the entire incident as it unfolded in real time. Without getting into a lengthy description, what do we see?

We see police giving the protestors not one, not two, but three verbal warnings that they are in violation of the law, are involved in an “unlawful assembly”  and must leave or face arrest. They are  given three minutes to leave. The response from the protestors: “F…. off!”  Police move in to remove tents that the protestors had erected. The crowd hurls abuse at them, with some attempting to physically stop the police from removing the tents. The police arrest these people, which sets up a chanted demand to free the arrested. The protestors surround the police, blocking their exit, bullying the cops, deliberately seeking to provoke them as a protestor would later admit.

Why are the details of  an almost 16 minute video of a minor incident on a college campus from three years ago relevant here? Because its use by Jon Stewart  in attacking Hannity is emblematic of how liberals in the media -- not Sean Hannity or Fox News -- deliberately go about deceiving their audience.

In taking his swipe at Hannity over Hannity’s “proportionality” comment on the UC Davis incident, in the name of “comedy” Stewart and his writers quite deliberately showed a clip of the incident that decidedly does not reflect the actual facts of what happened. Yes, this is a comedy show. But the Davis incident was hardly receiving the kind of generous publicity that, say, President Obama’s immigration speech has received. So Stewart was counting on his audience not knowing what really happened at Davis, then manipulated the video to give the impression that those bullying cops had turned on the sweetly innocent students, and the “loathsome” Sean Hannity had cheered on the bullies. Not a word or image of this was remotely true.   

In fact, the treatment of Sean Hannity in this incident recalls yet another episode involving Jon Stewart and deception, this one involving libertarian economist Peter Schiff. Invited on the show to discuss increasing the minimum wage, something Schiff opposes, the Independent Journal Review reported on Schiff’s experience, which included a lengthy videotaped interview by Stewart correspondent Samantha Bee. It was headlined:

‘Daily Show’ Guest Explains How Jon Stewart Deceptively Edits Interviews To Smear Conservatives

The story began:

“One of Jon Stewart’s favorite lines when someone asks him if he should be more responsible in his representation of news stories and politics is to snidely and smugly retort that they do comedy, not news.

One guest, Libertarian economist Peter Schiff, was so angry at how his hours-long interview was deceptively edited to make him look bad that he explained at length just how they did it, and how they treat liberals differently:

“They’re just looking for words they can put together like a Frankenstein’s monster,” Peter Schiff, finance expert and recent guest of The Daily Show, told Mediaite. “They wanted to put my words together to create a monster that everyone would hate.”

So. In sum? What is the difference between Jon Stewart - and Jon Gruber? Or for that matter Jon Stewart and the liberal broadcast and print outlets that have flatly refused to report the Gruber story as seen here and here?  Or the decision by President Obama to deliberately lie about his authority to give amnesty to five million illegals?

There is no difference. Stewart’s devious attacks on Hannity and Fox? Gruber’s deceitful machinations?  These are merely the domestic American version of what the newly-sworn-in President Reagan said of the Communist Soviet Union at his very first press conference. It is, in American terms, liberal privilege, in which liberals, to borrow from Reagan,  “have openly and publicly declared that the only morality they recognize is what will further their cause, meaning they reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat, in order to attain that…”. This is liberal privilege at work. In the media, in academia and in government.

One could go on.  But it is abundantly clear that when it comes to  presenting things in as “devious a manner as it could be possibly be presented” -- the Stewart charge against Hannity -- Jon Stewart suffers from a severe case of projection. Accusing Hannity and also Fox of sins that not only do neither commit - but sins that are committed routinely as a matter of course by themselves and others in the world of the far left. It doesn’t matter whether the deception is about the workings of ObamaCare as described by Jon Gruber  or the comedy of Jon Stewart. It doesn’t matter whether its the deliberate non-reporting on the Gruber story by the liberal networks and print press, or the policy making lies of Barack Obama. What they all have in common is the obsessive need to deliberately and willfully deceive  to, as Reagan said, “further their cause,” to achieve their liberal utopia.

Jon Stewart is a funny guy. A talented guy. But there are words for what comedy’s Jon Stewart and academia’s Jon Gruber are about. The words “devious” and “loathsome” are but two.