For the life of me I’ll never understand why anyone takes Jon Stewart seriously. For some reason the country seems to be fascinated with this Comedy Central clown getting into an argument with Jim Cramer. (Video here at Hot Air if you’re interested.)
The Hot Air link reminds us of a golden oldie from Treacher that explains exactly why nobody should take Jon Stewart seriously, ever. Namely, he gets sanctimonious and lectures others — but if you try to call him on his own B.S., he wimps out with the line that he’s just a comedian:
I’ve been getting more and more annoyed with him trying to have it both ways, being an increasingly self-righteous advocate and yet deflecting criticism with “It’s just a comedy show!” . . . I don’t think he necessarily needs to choose between pundit and comedian. He can do both. Just maybe not in the same breath. It was maddening when he lectured those guys and they wanted to talk to him about it, and he kept going, “Wait, I’m just a comedian!” Clown nose off, clown nose on, clown nose off, clown nose on.
Treacher was discussing the famous exchange between him and Tucker Carlson — and indeed, that exchange is a perfect example of Stewart’s evasive maneuver. Watch how Stewart gives preachy lectures — every time Carlson moves in for the kill, showing that Stewart is guilty of the same nonsense — Stewart evades the argument by squealing: “But I’m just a comedian!”
STEWART: . . . .You are partisan, what do you call it, hacks.
CARLSON: Wait, Jon, let me tell you something valuable that I think we do that I’d like to see you…
STEWART: Something valuable?
STEWART: I would like to hear it.
CARLSON: And I’ll tell you.
When politicians come on…
CARLSON: . . . .I want to contrast our questions with some questions you asked John Kerry recently.
CARLSON: … up on the screen.
STEWART: If you want to compare your show to a comedy show, you’re more than welcome to.
Clown nose on. Then he pontificates some more — clown nose off — until Carlson hits him again:
CARLSON: You have a chance to interview the Democratic nominee. You asked him questions such as — quote — “How are you holding up? Is it hard not to take the attacks personally?”
CARLSON: “Have you ever flip-flopped?” et cetera, et cetera.
CARLSON: Didn’t you feel like — you got the chance to interview the guy. Why not ask him a real question, instead of just suck up to him?
STEWART: Yes. “How are you holding up?” is a real suck-up. And I actually giving him a hot stone massage as we were doing it.
CARLSON: It sounded that way. It did.
STEWART: You know, it’s interesting to hear you talk about my responsibility.
CARLSON: I felt the sparks between you.
STEWART: I didn’t realize that — and maybe this explains quite a bit.
CARLSON: No, the opportunity to…
STEWART: … is that the news organizations look to Comedy Central for their cues on integrity.
Clown nose on. Lather, rinse, repeat:
STEWART: It’s not honest. What you do is not honest. What you do is partisan hackery. And I will tell you why I know it.
CARLSON: You had John Kerry on your show and you sniff his throne and you’re accusing us of partisan hackery?
CARLSON: You’ve got to be kidding me. He comes on and you…
STEWART: You’re on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls.
Clown nose on.
In the exchange with Cramer, Stewart didn’t even need to resort to this, because Cramer rolled over. But if Cramer had fought back, that would have been Stewart’s “out.” And he does a variant on it when he runs clips that are personally embarrassing to Cramer — but then when Cramer says he has personally called out CEOs, Stewart tells Cramer it’s not about him.
It’s possible for a comedian to have serious opinions, and Stewart is a smart guy, no doubt. He’s very clever and most people don’t notice that Clever Remark B and C contradict Clever Remark A.
But he’s also a wimp. He tries to be a political commentator, but if you call him on his own failings as a political commentator, he whines that he’s just a comedian.
Fine. You’re just a comedian. So when I look at you, you always have the clown nose on.
UPDATE: He’s being compared to Edward Murrow now? Jeez. That role is already taken by another clown named Olbermann.
By the way, this is the dodge the Sadly, No people always use. So I think of them as clowns as well.